It would have been easy to do a three-word post-game after the eighth inning: "Oh, those Giants." As if the newly league-average offense was slowly reverting to its awful, putrid form.
But this isn’t the same Giants club that would roll into Milwaukee or Pittsburgh and get shut down by Rick Rangelburk or Range Rickelburk or something like that, winner of the Pacific Coast League’s "Best Sportsmanship Award," seven years running. This Giants team will get shut down by a pitcher like that only every other time. It’s a new era. Against legitimate pitching, both in the rotation and the bullpen? Yeeesh. It’s hard to imagine this team going against three top-flight pitching staffs in the playoffs and coming away with a championship. So as Tommy Hanson shut down the lineup inning after inning, it was like, well, yeah, that’s what a really good pitcher will do.
Then the Giants got a bunch of baserunners. And I’m not sure how. There were a couple of walks, an error or two, some sac flies, I think there were two or three catcher’s interference calls...heck, let’s take a look at the win expectancy chart from FanGraphs :
Confidence game. This was a confidence game. If they can win a game like this, they can win any game in which every single pitcher pitches beautifully. That’s all we ask.
Also, Barry Zito is good now. It was much better for him to start wretched and ease into good rather than start good and devolve into wretched. It’s all so clear now.