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Snot Rockets in Flight; Afternoon Dislike

Part 463469 of in the "Disappointing Ends to Larger Successes" series, in which our hero figures out a way to not be too negative about the result of a single game. The rest of the road trip was a success. You've heard this sentiment before. And it's annoying.

True! Valid! Worth bringing up!

But annoying. I want to be in a bad mood because the Giants lost today. But of course you would have taken a 5-2 road trip through Colorado and St. Louis before the trip started. That's a fantastic result, regardless of the permutation you take to get there. It's so danged frustrating, though. Is there a sport that makes you greedier than baseball? I'm going to guess not.

Adam Wainwright pitched well enough, I suppose. Tip your cap furiously, and all that. It's better to get beaten by Wainwright than it is to suffer the same fate at the hands of Joe Kelly, I suppose. And if Scutaro coulda hit the ball just a few feet to the right. And if Beltran were looking for something on the outside corner. And if, and if, and if …


I'm pretty sure my favorite pitch thrown by a Giant is Sergio Romo's slider. Tim Lincecum's change held the crown for a long time, but there was a bloody regicide. Romo's slider is just the best.

But a close second -- really, really close -- is Madison Bumgarner's cutter. I guess it's a kind of slider, but I'll call it a cutter because it isn't that much slower than his fastball velocity. He usually throws it around 88 m.p.h., and he uses it to shave the cuticles off right-handed hitters. It's an impossible pitch, as it looks like it's going to be a strike on the inside, but then it bores in on the hands. Even experienced menaces like Matt Holliday get confused by it.

Bumgarner got beat on the pitch today. It was where he wanted it horizontally, at least:

But it was up. Carlos Beltran can hit up. He can also field. He's pretty good at the whole baseball thing. From a risk/reward perspective, his short-term deal was one of the best in the offseason. My word, how I wish the Giants were in on him . We might have Melky in center, and that'd be an adventure, but it'd sure be nice to watch Carlos Beltran every day again.

Bumgarner got beat on his best pitch. Just like it happens with Romo's slider occasionally, so it goes for Bumgarner's cutter. Slider? Slide-cut. Slutter. Yes, that will do just fine.


Brandon Belt: gangle gangle twitch strikeout

Hunter Pence: gangle gangle twitch double

Belt: gangle gangle twitch twitch?

Pence: (demonstrates) gaaaaangle. gaaaaaangle twitch … twitchtwitchdouble

Belt: (nods head) gaaaaangle. gaaaaaangle twitch…twitchtwitchwalk

Pence: (smiles) gangle! awkward gangle twitch!

Belt: (shakes Pence's hand and leaves, smiling) gangle!

Pence: gangle gangle twitch strikeout

Pence: gangle gangle twitch strikeout

Pence: gangle gangle twitch strikeout

Pence: Well, shit.


There was a way the game could have been more frustrating. The Cardinals scored their third run on a blown call. Buster Posey nailed future Hall of Famer Jon Jay at third on a stolen-base attempt. If the Giants were able to score one more run, that would have been the story of the game. Instead, it's a footnote.

But just like "tie goes to the runner", umpires should just assume that Posey isn't having it on the close plays. They can make index cards, write notes on their hands … whatever it takes to remember. If it looks like a tie, it doesn't go to the base runner.

In this particular game of rock/paper/scissors, Posey not having it should trump any thoughts of a safe call when it's that close. Because, usually, Posey did get him. Erring on the side of Posey is a good way to get the call right, especially if you can't see a damned thing because there's a player in the way.

Stupid game.