I don't really know how to relate this game to Carlos Beltran. This game was uncut 2011 Giants. There was hacking, there was pitching, and there was just enough. There are games with hacking, pitching, and not enough, but they're less common. Pure, uncut Giants.
Now we get to wonder what the lineup look likes with another middle-of-the-order hitter. You'd think it would be better, but maybe it screws up the equilibrium of the whole thing. Add one more hitter to Pablo Sandoval, and maybe Eli Whiteside and Aaron Rowand don't score that first run. Maybe they figure that Beltran has it covered, slack off, and focus on ... whatever it is that they do.
Maybe this team has the perfect amount of goof and talent, and it's an alchemist's dream, this collection of players. From lead comes gold, and those wacky men of science can't figure it out. Maybe Beltran is something rare and expensive and good -- like a pile of saffron or whole vanilla beans -- that's good on its own, but lousy when it comes to turning lead into gold. Fouls everything up, it does!
Or maybe the Giants are just a good team. Matt Cain is one of the players who makes the Giants a good team because he's Matt Cain, a calm, cool, and collected monster. Twenty-two starts. Twenty-one starts with six innings or more. Fifty out of his last fifty-five starts, he's gone six or more innings. He's so danged awesome.
You want to know why I'd never make it as a real Giants writer? Because I'd submit a typewritten "Matt Cain is so danged awesome" with a bunch of hearts scribbled all over it for my article. This would be unprofessional, mostly because it wouldn't be done on a computer. People these days don't know what to do with that. But if my editor suggested that it was unprofessional because of the content -- the "Matt Cain is so danged awesome" with a bunch of hearts scribbled all over it stuff -- I'd quit. Because that's the unfiltered truth, man, and I don't care if the corporations don't want you to know it, man.
We've been watching the Giants win more than they lose all season, and this is how they've done it. Now they're going to have a better player to help them. I like that, and I'll worry about Wheeler later. I have a feeling in December, I'll be really annoyed and worried about Wheeler. Right now, though, I'm not going to start looking for flaws. No, Beltran doesn't play a position that the Giants were desperate for, like shortstop or catcher. No, it doesn't replace Aubrey Huff with Brandon Belt, which would be a substantial upgrade.
But Beltran makes a good team better. That's the way to relate a game like this to Carlos Beltran. This game? So 2011 Giants. But tomorrow it will be (spoiler) the 2011 Giants plus a much better player than they've had in the lineup this year. It takes a game like this to make you feel even better about it. You'd think it would take a 1-0 loss to make you think, crap, I can't wait until the real hitter gets here. But, no. This is much better.
I liked this game.