Pablo's hurt. Old Zito's back. Crawford can't field or hit. Second base is a revolving door of nonsense. Belt's head is filled with cotton candy shoved in his ears by a coaching staff that thinks they can hack their way out of a slump. Melky's back to his 2010 self. The 22-year-old backup catcher who basically skipped AAA to hit cleanup (?) is somehow -- wait for it … wait for it … -- not ready to hit major-league pitching. It's supposed to rain tomorrow. Out of bourbon. Hollywood doesn't make 'em like they used to. Still can't believe that John Bonham died.
That was the perfect slink-back-to-.500 game. I don't like to overuse my favorite Giants-related adjective, so I save it for special occasions like this: For the first eight innings of the game, the Giants' offense was feckless. Completely feckless. Without feck. Devoid of anything that could be mistaken for feck. Boring, limp, and lifeless. And now Pablo Sandoval is hurt. I'm sure things will get better when Conor Gillaspie takes his place on the roster.
But it wasn't feckless for the whole game. There was a broken-bat double, a bloop hit, a solid single, and a bunt in the ninth. It's so simple, this hitting thing. That's all it takes to score a couple of runs. And for a bit, it was an exciting time to watch the Giants hit. They were doing it by not really hitting the ball hard, but all we want is for a couple of these stupid hits to come in the right sequence. In the ninth, they did.
And then there was Giancarlo. The pitch from Casilla was something of a hanger, but I'll never be upset with a pitcher for giving up a home run like that. It was a 2-iron that only two or three hitters in baseball could have muscled out.
It's still just a game in May. Even though the Giants lost, there was at least a little excitement in the ninth. I wasn't as depressing as it could have been.
Oh. Right. Sandoval.
The real story is Sandoval leaving the game. I'm making an educated guess: similar problem to what he went through last year, just with the other hand. Similar timetable. Can't back that up with facts. Just a hunch. Surgery … four to eight weeks …. Maybe if the Giants won, I'd go with a day-to-day prediction. Not tonight.
The good news is that Conor Gillaspie is raking in Fresno! The bad news is that Pablo Sandoval is hurt. This offense is going to be unbearable.
Right around the end of the second inning, after the second or third Marlin walked, Duane Kuiper said that Barry Zito was out of whack. That didn't seem right. It seemed like Zito was finally in whack. There was a big ol' bucket of whack, and Zito was right in it. He looked like the Zito of old -- walking that fine line between nibbling and Jonathan Sanchez. He'll have games like his last outing; he'll have games like tonight. This isn't the new Zito. We should just be thankful that it's probably not the Zito from last year.
After 30 games in the majors, Giancarlo Stanton was hitting .223 with a .285 on-base percentage. He had five homers in 112 at-bats, but he also had 44 strikeouts.
The next season, he hit .185/.290/.333 in his first ten games, striking out in a third of his at-bats.
This season, he hit .237/.275/.342 in his first ten games, striking out nine times in 38 at-bats.
Don't think I'm comparing Brandon Belt to Stanton. That's ludicrous. Stanton is the kind of power prodigy that comes around once or twice in a generation. But I want you to wonder what the Giants would have done with a high-strikeout player like Stanton when he struggled for his first month. And then if he struggled to start the next season. Seriously wonder.
Be honest with yourself. If you think they would have recognized his latent talent and kept him in the lineup, that's fine. There's no right answer; this is all hypothetical nonsense. Just think about it.
The Marlins kept him in the lineup. They never wavered. There was no yo-yoing.
Also, I want the Giants to go out and get a Giancarlo Stanton. I can wait.