I could spin this into a positive kind of night by pointing out that there’s nothing wrong with Madison Bumgarner. He’s still one of the more promising young pitchers in the game. If he had pitched like this in AA tonight as a 21-year-old prospect, everyone would be salivating. Nope, he’s doing it in the majors, and with the added pressure of knowing that his team is incapable of scoring runs. It was an impressive outing.
Because the alternative would be to highlight the error from Miguel Tejada. It’s not an error yet, but it will be within the next 24 hours. The Giants are 13-15. Without looking it up, I’m going to guess that Tejada is worth -15 WAR so far in 2011. He swings like the catcher has rigged some sort of invisible bungee cord to his bat. He fields like the ball is covered in cholera. He’s making us absolutely pine for the days of an achy Edgar Renteria.
If you’re not going to focus on Bumgarner and the positives of his performance, you’d have to dwell on the worst everyday player in the majors. Yeah, it has only been a month, but that label sticks without a lot of adhesive. The good news is that Tejada is only 141 RBI away from his career best -- he’s due. But I can’t imagine Ryan Rohlinger being worse than Miguel Tejada. I can’t imagine Brian Bocock being worse than Tejada. I can’t imagine Duane Kuiper ambling down from the broadcast booth and being worse than Tejada. Worst everyday player in the majors.
So it’s just a little frustrating to watch your team lose because the worst everyday player in the majors does something that you’d expect from the worst everyday player in the majors. Yuniesky Betancourt has about .100 points of OPS on Tejada. Oh, how sweet an upgrade like that would be. So this isn’t the right place to dwell on just how bad Miguel Tejada is. It would be too depressing after a loss like that.
No, it’s best just to ignore Miguel Tejada and his splintery husk wandering around a baseball field, confused, trying to find some coins so the ferryman will boat him across the River Styx. I wrote about how awful he was already today. Do you really need more words on how bad, how turgid, how unspeakable his play has been this season? The season’s still early, and if Renteria has taught us anything, it’s that players can surprise after we the think they’re cooked.
Today, let’s just focus on Bumgarner. Looked good, didn’t he?