Feels like this was the tale of two games. In the first game, there was an ass-kicking. Jonathan Sanchez walked only two of the 21 batters he faced. That's good! Everything else was a steaming pile. Remember, the Giants are supposed to be the Phillies' peers. The ostensible rivalry came about because these two teams were supposed to be twin titans. A summit of the powers! And the Giants kind of suck right now. They've lost six of their last seven.
Seven of their last eight? Whatever. I don't even know right now. The Giants aren't an especially good team right now.
Okay, so it was Victorino who got plunked. That's awesome. He has a rectum face, and society is right to treat him differently. Then he came out three steps and was like, "What's up?" And then he stopped because 96.2% of all major-league players can tear Victorino apart at the joints and feast on his marrow. But Victorino marrow will make a fella impotent and infertile, so everyone was content to mill about and push each other around for a bit. Then Whiteside started pogoing. "C'MONC'MONC'MONC'MON," quoth the Whiteside. And things got a little furry from that point on.
Jonathan Sanchez looked ... okay. Trust him more than Zito, at least. The velocity was down a tidge, and his stamina wasn't there -- if it every really was -- but he looked like a guy who could help a rotation. Maybe. Someday. Another six years, and he'll be in top form! And the Phillies tossed out their fifth starter, a guy who wasn't even supposed to be in the majors this year, and he dominated the Giants again. That's a little discouraging.
Victorino tackled Hensley Meulens. That made sense. Fine work. But all I could think of was Eli Whiteside, hopping up and down, looking to protect his pitcher and possibly feasting on Victorino marrow because, screw it, he'd be perpetually flaccid and unable to have anymore kids, but at least we wouldn't have to deal with that chirpy, cheap bastard anymore.
It's the rare moment where the backup becomes something more -- an equal 1/25th of a complete team. We watch these guys for 162 days out of the year, and we can think of them as Strat-o-Matic cards at times, but we don't know who the players are who will start hopping around, ready to get in the middle of some pink-and-gray scrum. Whiteside is one of those guys.
The Giants scored two runs. This is an improvement! My projections:
8/5: 0 runs
8/6: 2 runs
8/7: 4 runs
8/8: 8 runs
8/9: 16 runs
8/10: 32 runs
The bad part is that the Pirates are in town on August 10th, and I'd feel really bad putting up 32 runs on them. Oh, well. Can't get in the way of the freight train known as mathematics.
There will be some noise about this game, this brawl, waking up the Giants. Good. Hope so. Because this is an ugly, moribund bunch right now, and if they have to get in fights, or have players-only meetings, or take a field trip to the Exploratorium together ... don't care. Do it. Whatever it takes. If you need to sacrifice an orphan, sacrifice an orphan. Throw him into the volcano. Win a damned game.
Last thing: upset about a player stealing with a six-run lead? Throw him out. Either that, or go over to the dugout and politely explain that you won't try to score either. I hope that wasn't the real reason for the plunking. I'll hold on to the belief that Shane Victorino is a weasel with a rectum face, and that Ramon Ramirez is only a man who cares about justice and all that is sacred in this world. That makes more sense.