Over his career against left-handers, Cody Ross is basically Frank Robinson. It's not something that gets as much play as it should, but in 747 plate appearances against lefties, he has a .284 batting average, a .351 on-base percentage, and a .568 slugging percentage. It's not a huge sample, but those are All-Star numbers, even if only against left-handers.
Carlos Beltran is good. He's not going to make the Hall of Fame unless he has a Jeff Kent-like finish to his career, but he's had a fantastic career. He was having a good season until he walked into the Giants' clubhouse, at which point Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada started taking bites of Beltran's sandwich when he wasn't looking. Rowand and Tejada weren't clubhouse cancers -- it was more of a bacterial thing. First guy to isolate the strain will get a Nobel Prize, I'm sure.
Pat Burrell is sleeping with your significant other right now. This has nothing to do with my overall point, but I thought it would be something to note. He's ... well, you probably don't want to know what he's doing. Just keep reading this. Keeeep reading this. If it makes you feel better, you can tell yourself that he's playing a game of Clue with your wife or girlfriend. There's some rope and a candlestick involved, so you wouldn't be that far off. I bring Burrell up because it's good to have him back. I also bring him up because he's sleeping with your significant other right now.
Point is, the Giants aren't as wretched offensively as they've been. They're on a historical pace. This team is over a century old, and this permutation of players is vying to be the worst-hitting team in franchise history. They're better hitters than that. They might not have a good offense, but the lineup features a few players who should be in a major-league lineup. Back when the injuries were comical, and when the lineups were teeming with open-range Rowands and Tejadas, you couldn't always say that.
The Diamondbacks scored a run in the first inning. It was a Matt Cain game. There's cynicism, and then there are Matt Cain games. It's not cynical to assume he's not getting run support; it's practical. It's a mechanism that's wired into our brains. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, there was some evolutionary advantage to watching a bunch of fellow monkeys fail in a way that ruined the efforts of a superior monkey. Now we have that wiring. I don't know why either, but it's why we keep watching Matt Cain games even though there's a pretty good chance we'll hate the result. Great pitcher. Lousy luck.
It wasn't a one-run win on a balk. It wasn't a perfectly pitched game. It was the kind of win that a normal team might get. Good hitting. Good pitching. Yeah, a normal team. Seems so whimsical.
Long road ahead, et cetera. But if something crazy happens after all, let us not forget Matt Williams giving Justin Upton a stop sign when the ball was cut off in the first inning. Let's remember Paul Goldschmidt's strikeout. If that doesn't happen, if the Diamondbacks tack on another couple of runs, it's Gumby shoulders all around. I would have driven up to AT&T Park and carried Matt Cain off the field, Costner/Houston-style.
Good win. Needed win. More please.