As bad as the Braves series was, the Giants lost three different one-run games. After the unbelievable string of one-run wins earlier in the season, it's hard to complain about bad luck. That's not quite true, actually. It's exceptionally easy to complain, but you sound like a weenie doing it. Any one-run losses from here on out are more like the universe correcting a bunch of typos. If I could snicker when the Giants won a 1-0 game on a balk against the Indians, I can wear a 1-0 loss against the Braves. It's only fair. Racially equitable, too.
The Houston Astros have manhandled the Giants so far this series. The Houston Astros, one of the worst teams of the past ten years, have scored early, scored often, and kept the Giants from scoring. The Braves series was deflating. This series has been embarrassing. Today, the Giants threw out the best eight hitters they have on the team. The exact permutation doesn't matter that much. This is it. And they scored five runs. I'm just proud they scored enough runs to avoid losing on a lead-off inside-the-park home run. A triumph! Except, not so much.
It's obviously a good thing that the Diamondbacks aren't winning either. It was pretty annoying when they were on a winning streak. But the Diamondbacks losing means that the Giants still have a shot at the NL West. A decent shot, even. The Giants are in a place that 20 other teams would like to be in. And that's disgusting. In the month of August, the Giants have allowed 74 runs and scored 49. They've been stomped on all month. This isn't a team that deserves to send out playoff-ticket invoices. This isn't a team that should be able to get within 500 feet of playoff talk without violating the terms of their parole.
And yet: The San Francisco Giants are in this thing. There's magic inside this thing. This thing is loosely defined as somewhere you don't want to be. The magic inside is an actual magician performing some crappy magic show. You wish you were somewhere else. You look at your watch, and there's a month-and-a-half left. Good gravy. There's still a chance that the magician can be disembowelled by one of his own crappy illusions, but good god, time is running out, man. Hurry it up.
People keep talking about last season as the gold standard of a team that was written off but came back. Nah. Last season's team was a good one, and at this time last year, they were a single game out of the wild-card race. No, the proper comparison is the 2005 Giants. That team finished 75-87, but on September 26, they were only three games back. There were only six games left, but two were against the first-place team. There was a chance. And it was an absolutely dreadful team. That team should have been boiled down and made into soap.
This year's team is the 2005 Giants without Bonds, but with much, much better pitching. So instead of finishing 75-87, they might finish 82-80. Or maybe they'll get on a roll, and in September, we'll forget all about this nonsense. And if I can be candid, I think that the Giants are a bad team right now, but I really don't think they're this bad. The true talent of the team lies somewhere between the May/June/July bunch and the feckless August disaster. It's possible for them to get on a hot streak and win the division.
So let's just all wait for that.
The worst part of the game -- the poop icing on the poop cake --is that Brandon Belt had a pretty bad game. He almost tied the game, and he saw a lot of pitches, but he was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Welp, back to the dungeon for him. Let's see if Rowand can figure it out. Because if you're going to have a dump truck full of shitty hitters, the best thing you can do is make sure that none of them see regular playing time. That way they're even shittier.
Also, I did not enjoy that game.