There are a lot of nights where I need to put my kid to bed during the game. It's not a big deal; I just pause the game on my DVR, read her enough Neil Gaiman to freak her out and make her dependent on me forever, and come back to the game. The idea is that by fast-forwarding through the commercials and pitching changes, I'll catch up quickly.
That's the idea, anyway. In practice, though, I'm a grubby little content consumer. And I need my information now now now. So it starts as me fast-forwarding between batters, but it turns into me watching the game like the robot from Short Circuit, pretending I can process it all at 5x speed.
And in the bottom of the fifth, I started fast-forwarding during Tim Lincecum's at-bat because, well, yeah. He's not hitting against the Giants. Pitchers don't get hits against other teams. And I rode that fast-forward right through the commercials. Straight to hell, AT&T U-Verse, and take your precocious adult-children with you.
In the top of the sixth, in the blurry flash of a few frames, there were more commercials.
I had already accepted this as a Lincecum start with positive implications. Stuff was good, location was better, and he wasn't walking every other hitter. But then I rewound that inning. Six pitches. That's the kind of inning he's been missing all year -- the combination of luck, stuff, and location that gets the pitcher back in the dugout a minute after he was warming up. Man, that inning.
This wasn't good for a Lincecum start in 2012, that sliding scale of expectations. This was a good Lincecum start. And he would had finished the seventh inning, too, if it weren't for the crap luck/iffy defense/meddling kids. Every non-Cain pitcher should feel like they're pitching for a spot in the playoff rotation. This is Tim Lincecum, handing over a portfolio, explaining that he has six years of jazz and seven years of tap, singing something from Guys and Dolls, and asking for the lead in the playoff rotation. Luck be a changeup tonight.
Doing it against the Rockies in AT&T? Well, that makes it a little bit harder to evaluate. That's like reading a poem to your significant other on Valentine's Day. You're going to hear good things that might not represent a larger reality.
Still, that was sweet. And if not for a bizarre amalgam of catcher-interference tomfoolery and defensive herp-de-werps, Lincecum could have gone seven. He kept his stuff late.
It's better to start slow and peak late. It's probably even better than that to pitch the same damned way you pitched when you won those shiny trophies. But, if that's not possible, start slow and peak late. I'll take it.
After a Hunter Pence sacrifice fly, the CSN Bay Area telecast flashed a graphic about the Giants leading the world in sacrifice flies. That's a good stat. And it's a reminder of where the Giants used to be. Check out this blast from the past. Remember when the Giants couldn't get a hit with runners in scoring position? Was it poor luck? Was it some sort of team-wide malaise? It was probably poor luck, unless it wasn't.
The numbers as of April 30:
|on 1st, lt 2 out||153||8||21||.296||.327||.489||.815|
|on 3rd, lt 2 out||45||4||3||.257||.289||.371||.660|
|on 3rd, 2 out||43||5||6||.135||.256||.324||.580|
|on 1st, lt 2 out||1112||76||162||.307||.353||.455||.808|
|on 3rd, lt 2 out||392||47||62||.365||.389||.530||.919|
|on 3rd, 2 out||287||32||58||.198||.293||.300||.593|
Part of the offensive upgrade has been the Giants acting like a normal team, dang it. I don't feel so crazy now.
I had no idea that Angel Hernandez had the power to fine people on the spot. When Angel Pagan flipped his bat after a called third strike, Hernandez made a bunch of signals and fancy moves. Jingle jammer jingle jammer, flip flip flip. You're fined, jackass.
And then when Lincecum was asking why a guy who grounded out in the seventh was allowed to hang out on first base, Angel Hernandez made the (apparently) universal sign for catcher's interference. Wermp womp wermp womp sherka sherka point point. Oh, okay. Clear as water.
The important thing to remember, though, is that Angel Hernandez is horrible at his job.
Brandon Crawford Gold Glove Update
The Giants did a lot of things right, screwed up one thing, but won regardless. It was fun to watch. A Rockies player looked stupid. "FOWLER? I HARDLY EVEN KNOW HER!"
That is your 2012 metaphor of the night.
|If the Giants finish the season like this ...||The Dodgers would need to do this to force a tie ...|