clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Breaking: Matt Cain and Buster Posey Are Talented Baseball Players

Ahhhh. That was much better.

I hate when the human brain pretends it can see patterns. The Giants swept the Dodgers to move into a tie for first, which meant when the Dodgers took the first two of the last series, you knew what was going to happen. Symmetry. Except, that makes no sense. Every game is a jumble of isolated events that have nothing to do with the Giants' sweep in June. Come on. You know better. Kind of.

So when the Rockies took the first game in a very Giants way, you could see the symmetry. The Rockies said, okay, fine. You're going to come into our house and Rockie us around? We're going to come into this place and Giants everything up.

Again, stupid. Baseball isn't that neat and tidy. But it's all I could think about last night. I'm glad to know it was nonsense.

Another bit of stupid symmetry: Just as Tim Lincecum stops giving up a ton of runs, Matt Cain starts allowing them. They have nothing to do with each other. This isn't the start of some role-playing game, where you have to take points away from dexterity to put them towards strength. They can both be good at the same time, you know. It happened that one time. Remember? In Texas? And everything before, and just about everything after? Remember? Those were the days several seasons, alright.

Cain was himself today. He limited the walks, struck hitters out when he needed to, and was as effective as he usually is. I wasn't worried about Cain, per se, but his mediocre-to-dreadful post-break starts were starting to pile up. It was good to see him pitch so well in a situation where he should have pitched that well -- at home, against a struggling team.


When Matt Cain came off the mound in the eighth, Marco Scutaro made an awkward, lunging swipe to pat him on the back. It was made after Cain was already walking away, and it was like something a fan would do to Bruce Springsteen after getting too close to the crowd as he walked offstage.

I like Marco Scutaro.


Down by four runs, with one out in the fifth, Jordan Pacheco tried to steal second. Okay.

He was thrown out, of course, because Buster Posey is the best at everything. If I could control Jim Tracy, Being John Malkovich-style, I would have sent Pacheco there. Why? Because it's not enough to watch Posey club a home run with that clean, inimitable swing. You can't fully appreciate his greatness with just that. You have to see him gun down a runner on a pitch that he had to stab out of the strike zone. Then you can fully appreciate him.

I'm already out of adjectives for Posey. I'm going to have to start using nouns and verbs to describe him. He is puppy-frolicking. He is cheer. He is the sun, nourishing all crops and foodstuffs. I was hoping for about 60 percent of this, to be honest. This season was supposed to be the return from the calamitous injury. Take it easy, Buster. Get your bearings, and go ape on the league in 2013. Instead, he's this good, this quick?

Out of words. This second-half stretch has been one of my favorite individual streaks to watch since Bonds retired.

Among National League catchers, FanGraphs has Posey just ahead of Yadier Molina and just behind Carlos Ruiz in WAR. The difference is defense. Molina is worth 8.2 runs, and Ruiz is worth 4.2 runs. Supposedly. Posey is worth 0.9 runs. Supposedly.

Defensive stats for catchers are like cartography in the 1500s. There are some basics in place. But there be dragons, too. And because I'm a shameless homer, I'll just ignore those defensive stats. Because how much better could Posey get defensively? The answer is none. None more better.

I have to tell myself five times every game not to take him for granted, even though I'm sure that I don't.


Here's a little snippet of director's cut commentary for these post-game recaps: Occasionally on the weekends, I record the game in case I'm out with the family past 1:00. I'll come back around 2:00 or 2:30, fast forward through the commercials, and move through the game action at 1.5x speed until there's a base runner. I have a system, and I've honed it over the years.

The flaw in the design: stray texts from friends and family. I suppose the answer is to text my entire contacts list before I record a game, but that seems somewhat obsessive and insane. And as I was pulling into the driveway, ready to start catching up with the game, I got this text from a friend:

Brett Pill has concrete feet

Then the imagination starts to run wild. You start to read into it like a 13-year-old studying the way a secret crush signed his or her yearbook. Concrete feet. He's slow. Oh, god, there was a play at the plate. The game's close. It has to be close. Pill got thrown out at the plate. Dammit. Why is Pill even playing? Wait, but he was on base. That's probably good. Unless the concrete feet had something to do with defense. Oh, no, he made an error. A big error. Wait, concrete feet? Like concrete shoes? My friend is Italian. He wouldn't … oh, man.

After I caught up with the game I still had no idea what he was talking about. He should probably just text random things throughout every game just to mess with me.

Not even sure why Vogelsong had a lobster bib on in the first place, but those claws can cut pretty deep. Hope there's no DL time.

There's no point to this section. But the three percent of you who are experienced DVRers get it.