This isn't the start of something beautiful. This isn't the start of a legendary divisional comeback. At the very least, though, the Yankees came into San Francisco at .500, and they left under .500. Satisfaction, defined: Putting the Yankees under .500 in June. Overpriced misery loves overpriced company.
The two high spots of the weekend:
- Liking baseball again. There was a part of me that was really scared I'd lose interest in baseball if the Giants were awful for the next five years. That's just not an option. There's always going to be a reason to cheer, even in the 100-loss seasons. Mike Benjamin's consecutive hits streak, Bill Mueller's emergence, pulling out a series-win upset at home...there are always going to be reasons to watch baseball, even in the ugly times.
- I loves me some of that young bullpen. They weren't perfect. Brad Hennessey gave up the homer to Alex Rodriguez, Jack Taschner was touched up for a run yesterday, and Randy Messenger gave up a run in the first game, but it's a bullpen that's hard to complain about. I'm still on the Hennessey-as-closer bandwagon, even after the tough weekend. Vinnie Chulk's ERA is creeping closer to Jeremy Accardo's, which would create a 43% drop in justifiable whining over the next few months. Messenger seems to suffer from Tomkosis -- great 'n' nasty stuff, but where are all the strikeouts? -- and yet all he's doing is getting outs. He'll always be the player to be thanked later in the Benitez deal.
Taschner might be the most frustrating pitcher on the staff, but it's worth noting that he's only allowed an earned run in nine of his 31 appearances. That's not great, but it's not the disaster that you'd expect from a 5.48 ERA. Kevin Correia needs to stop getting grooming tips from Jeff Weaver, but there's no sense in rocking the boat when he's on a roll. I don't cringe when any of the non-Kline pitchers get the call, and even Kline's been pitching well. Very well, actually.
Trust me, I'd love nothing more than to start a "Free Dan Giese!"-campaign and put a Giese-o-meter up on the front page, but there just isn't space in the bullpen. Who'd've thunk it? Hopefully Morris gets traded for something sweet, Kline gets traded for an A-ball player, Jonathan Sanchez moves up to the rotation, and we get to see Giese and Pat Misch.
"The bullpen: It's not just for blaming anymore™".