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Post-game thread: Giants drop final game of series

Aubrey Huff had over 500 innings in the outfield last year, and contrary to popular belief, those innings were evenly split between left field and right field. I watched most of those 500 innings. There were moments were you could tell he wasn’t an experienced outfielder. There were times where you might have wished someone with more range was roaming around out there. But at no point did I think, man, Aubrey Huff just might be the worst Giants outfielder since Glenallen Hill.

Tonight, Aubrey Huff looked like the worst Giants outfielder since Glenallen Hill. Wait, that might be a little unfair. Hill had a decent arm. There are unjustified early-season overreactions, and there are justified fears that gnaw at your brain.

  • Unjustified: "The Giants can’t catch the ball and that’s one of the fundamentals of the game just like my grandpappy told me and if they can’t catch the ball they are done for the season!"
  • Justified: "What if that guy who was given $22M on the assumption that he can play the outfield...can’t actually play the outfield at all?


The Giants were only willing to re-sign Huff if he wasn’t going to block Brandon Belt. With Huff’s (perceived) ability to play the outfield, and Belt’s athleticism possibly allowing for a similar versatility, it wasn’t supposed to be a problem. And, really, we’re talking about a single game. It was that bad. Huff’s game in the outfield was the kind of game that had to make the Giants’ management cycle through the permutations. Does Belt try left field out? Does he go to Fresno to work on it? Does Ross push Huff to left when he comes back? Can Huff even play left? It’s absolutely appropriate to panic.

The logician in me knows that the 500 innings last year mean a heck of a lot more than the eight Huff played tonight. It’s not especially close. So there’s a chance this was just a hiccup. There’s a chance, a good chance, that Huff will continue to roam around the prairies of National League parks without incident. But, man, was tonight a debacle.

As far as Zito goes: the mustache symbiote could still be good. It could still be evil. It might just be. We just don’t know yet. Zito’s pitch to Matt Kemp might have been one of the ugliest pitches of his Giants career -- an 84-mph, American Legion special right over the heart of the plate. Other than that, he pitched fine. Better than fine, actually. While his velocity dips get the press, Zito will always live and die with his location and curveball. If he’s in the strike zone without being right in the middle of it and his curve has bite, he does a pretty good impression of the Zito from the A’s, even if he’s throwing 84. This will be the same from now until the end of time. Or at least until Zito’s contract with the Giants is up in 2028.

But, dang, what a miserable loss. Maybe the Giants really will kick the ball around all season. Stay strong, sample-size deniers. Stay strong.