Home openers are just a notch above Cactus League games on the you-know-it’s-not-that-important-but-it’s-still-important-to-you hierarchy. Sure, a team can lose their home opener and still have a great season. But it’s so, so much better to win. There’s bunting, ceremonial primping, crappy music, and fighter jets designed to annoy the un-American people in the surrounding area who don’t like baseball. It’s awesome.
Okay, so that was my opener. I didn’t need to change a word! Everything else is a jumbled mess because of the 48 different lead changes in the late innings. So if I miss something, and you read "The Giants’ win loss loss win was the first loss win in which I felt really something or rather," please forgive me.
First off: no more making fun of Aaron Rowand for a while. Maybe for the rest of the year. Between his April heroics last year, the World Series win (just because he didn't prevent it, you know?), and today, he’s getting a pass for a while. He was already going to get credit for keeping the game alive in the ninth. It was a fantastic approach and a solid single. And then his hit to end the game was exactly what the Giants should hope they get out of Rowand for the life of his contract -- a measured approach off the bench against a lefty.
Oh, man. Where to begin?
So that was a frustrating loss. Beyond frustrating. Still early, still not panic time, but beyond frustrating. That game was won. That game was decided when the second-to-last man on the Cardinals bench dribbled a dribbler where dribblers don’t turn into outs, and then the last man on the bench struck out twice before singling through a hole. Grrrffffrfaaafggggh.
Let’s see...nope. Don’t need that paragraph. Maybe I should just start over.
Let’s just go with bullet points:
- The win raised the team ERA, which isn't a problem, but the opening ceremonies raised the organizational AOR far past acceptable levels.
- Brian Wilson isn't right. The singles were understandable, but he walk to Molina and the Jay hit-by-pitch weren't in character.
- After spending an offseason worrying about Miguel Tejada’s defense, every single pitcher on the staff has 13 errors through te first seven games.
- The Giants scored three runs off Jake Westbrook in 5.2 innings. This is known around baseball as Jake Westbrook being Jake Westbrook. When that phrase takes off, remember you read it here first.
- The Cardinals scored two runs off Jonathan Sanchez, who threw with overpowering stuff at times, but struggled with his control often and left the game after five-plus innings due to pitch-count concerns. This is known around baseball as Jonathan Sanchez being Jonathan Sanchez. When that phrase takes off, remember you read it here first.
- After Sanchez walked the first two hitters of the game to get to Albert Pujols, didn’t you just have the best, fuzziest feeling in your tummy? It tickled like you had some Diet Coke and Mentos at the same time as you closed a car door on your foot. That’s known around baseball as a feeling of a fish hook pulling your innards through your nose. And, hey, it happened again in the ninth! And the tenth! And the eleventh! And the twelfth! Love this baseball stuff! It isn’t shortening my life at all!
- If I ever get hired as a manager -- been polishing my resume! -- I will never, ever walk the bases loaded in a walkoff situation unless it brings me to a pitcher. It just gives the hitter too much leverage.
- Pablo, Pablo, Pablo in the ninth. Sure, he got off to a hot start last April too, but it feels different. Sure, only because I want it to, but maybe I’ll be right, too. Those are the best kinds of told-you-sos.
Did you know that Bulleit Bourbon makes a rye whiskey now? I did. And that's what I'm a gonna do. What a game. Would have been just as exciting if Theriot were called out on strikes, though.