This was how more Giants games were supposed to go this season.
- The Giants were kept in the game, and not especially gracefully, by the 30-something pitcher who no one really expected a lot from this year.
- The 30-something utility outfielder, who somehow crept his way into the starting lineup, had a bunch of hits.
- The rookie first baseman kept roping hits.
This season was all supposed to add up to a team that didn't have a wretched offense. That would have been a contender -- they wouldn't have been the Phillies, but they would have made the Phillies just a wee bit nervous in the playoffs. Just replace Zito with Vogelsong, Torres with Christian, and Belt with Pill, and this game made all kinds of sense.
There will be an offseason to dig into this, but here's what the real problem with the Giants' offense has been:
No one on base, league: .249/.309/.390
No one on base, Giants: .244/.303/.383
Runners in scoring position, league: .250/.339/.382
Runners in scoring position, Giants: .220/.303/.331
Runners in scoring position (two outs), league: .226/.333/.348
Runners in scoring position (two outs), Giants: .172/.293/.268
That's about right. With no one on, the Giants are a little worse than the rest of the league. Not much, but a little. Pretty close to average. But when runners get in scoring position, everyone's all "OH GOD WHAT IS THIS STICK OF WOOD MAYBE IT'S EDIBLE OH GOD THERE ARE SPLINTERS IN MY TONGUE."
So when the Giants actually have a game where they actually get hits with runners in scoring position, where they actually act like a normal team, it's a beautiful thing. And then it gets frustrating. Then it's beautiful again. Then you're all frustrated again. Now you're disgusted. You should take a walk. You do, and when you come back, you're all, hey, the Giants won!
They beat the Dodgers, even. They guaranteed a season series-win against the Dodgers. And, hey, screw the Dodgers. In that respect, it was a beautiful thing. But if you're like me, and you think all of those numbers with runners in scoring position, et cetera, are just a big ol' fluke, this game was a reminder that this season was all screwy even if you don't take the injuries into account. So danged bittersweet.
Still sweet. And, hey, there's still something like a race going on. The Braves are just 3.5 games up with ... aw, hell, seven games left? What the crap.
It's September. We're all burned out from a crazy-long season that's most likely going to end in disappointment. But in a couple of months, we'd sell plasma to watch the Giants beat the snot out of the Dodgers again. It's bittersweet, but it's beautiful. Always beautiful. Ever so beautiful.