Until the bottom of the fourth, I thought I had figured out what annoyed me about the way the 2011 Giants have been losing. They were losing like the 2009 Giants. Wait, that’s not entirely accurate. They were losing like the 2009 Giants, but with every fielder on the team playing with camel hooves instead of mitts.
It was a slog through a lineup that was relying on Pablo Sandoval to hit .330 on pitches that bounce. When the Dodgers scored three runs, it was like an algebra teacher giving out calculus homework -- you could picture the Giants looking up at the three runs on the scoreboard and saying, "You expect us to do what?" IT WAS 2009 ALL OVER. Disgusting.
Then not-Molina had some good at-bats, and even when not-Bowker is struggling, he can take a walk. So the panic was unjustified. The Giants actually came back. Two-out hits and unlikely heroes, and all that. This win was so, so not 2009. This was a team having good at-bats and picking up a pitcher whose biggest sin was allowing his hits consecutively.
Guillermo Mota and Aaron Rowand -- fan favorites in an alternate universe that puts the deli meat outside the bread, I’m sure -- came through in huge spots. Mota inherited a bases loaded, one-out situation and gave up nothing. Rowand had one of the prettiest swings he’s ever had in a Giants uniform, a smooth, opposite-field approach that went a long way. Good for them.
Also of note: Brian Wilson isn’t going to finish the season with an ERA above 30.00. We’re talking, 20.00, tops. Watching Wilson take advantage of Sam Holbrook’s wide zone was a beautiful thing. If every ump had Holbrook’s zone -- and to be fair, he was consistent with it all night -- Wilson would be Mariano Rivera without all the choking.
Think back to Brandon Belt’s error. Repeat the words you were saying at the time, laughing more and more with each repetition. Exorcise those demons. After taking two of three from the Cardinals, the Giants can still take two of three from the Dodgers. April wins aren’t the most predictive things, but this one feels pretty sweet.