There have been a lot of this-just-might-not-be-our-year-fellas losses already. Not losses that make you give up, necessarily. Losses that make you think, yeah, I'm pretty sure this isn't a good enough team to make the playoffs. The Giants lost to the Astros because they can't score more than three runs in a single game. They won two games in the series, and that's more than they deserved. This might be the most this-just-might-not-be-our-year-fellas series of the season.
My evidence: the Giants were beaten in two of these games by Henry Sosa and Matt Downs.
Well, and an umpire at second base, most likely. That's pretty not-our-year right there. A wretched, inane offense will always shoulder most of the blame, sure, but only until the shoulder gets sore and falls off. Oh, and they were beaten by the Astros, a team with four wins on the season, all against the Giants. That's very not-our-year. And Jose Altuve. Always Jose Altuve. Maybe if Mike Murphy grabs him before he can get on the Astros' team bus, Altuve could tell us where to find enough gold to sign Prince Fielder. This offense could be saved after all.
But if you're looking for messages in the tea leaves, Henry Sosa and Matt Downs combine for a pretty unmistakable message from the cosmos. Not time to give up. But let's just allow those names to rattle around in our brains in a while.
Usually the team locked in a race with the Giants really ticks me off. The Padres last year. The Rockies every year they contend. Just a mention of the team's name ticks me off. Maybe there's a reason for the disdain. The 2010 Padres ticked me off because I didn't think they were especially good. Whenever the Giants are chasing the Rockies, it ticks me off because they're a bunch of cheaters. They stuff hollowed-out bats with exactingly moist tobacco. Look it up. Reverse-surprise conspiracies are more likely to be true than regular conspiracies. Look that up too. But the Rockies are usually hyper-annoying just because they're the Rockies.
The Diamondbacks don't tick me off, though. They really don't. They certainly did in 1999 and 2001, but they're a total afterthought to me this year. The Giants tick me off. I watch this team with a mix of disgust and admiration. It's like knowing that a good friend is cheating on his wife with Scarlett Johansson. C'mon, man, don't cheat on your wife, but hey that's kind of cool, wait, no it isn't, you repulse me, though, if you have to be a cad, at least your taste is, wait, what in the hell am I talking about, you're awful. That's the hitting/pitching dichotomy of the 2011 Giants. The beauty of the pitching is completely overshadowed by the indefensible, greater shame.
It's almost like the 2009 Giants, except now we have the knowledge that a decent offense really can lead to beautiful things. We have the taste. It's delicious, that winning. That's what makes this worse than 2009. Just when I thought they were out, they pull us back ... oh, wait, they really were out. It went 4-3. But I went into this season thinking that Huff, Ross, and Torres were good, and that Posey was around for a full season. Whoops. Turns out none of that was true, and it feels a little dirty picking on Huff today because without him, the Giants might not have scored at all.
This is a flawed team with a bunch of injuries, and they're hitting even below their meager potential. Yep.