Think of the Padresiest loss you could ever possibly conceive. A 1-0 nail-biter, where the only run for the Padres scored on a catcher's interference call that moved to second on a balk, to third on a grounder to the right side, and scored on a medium-deep fly ball.
Now picture David Eckstein hitting that medium-deep fly ball, shortly after the TV cameras cut from a shot of Clayton Richard grinning in the dugout. Also, it's a walk-off sac fly in Petco. Also also, the Giants had 10 runners in scoring position during the game, including three runners at third with fewer than two outs. Picture the Padres mobbing home plate.
There it is. The Padresiest loss imaginable.
It would have been so worth it to have it come in a game that featured the old Ryan Vogelsong. The old new Ryan Vogelsong, that is. The one we're used to now. That's the part of the season we're in, the confidence we're afforded. I would have traded a loss for a positive outing from Vogelsong. So the Giants would have slipped back to nine games ahead with 11 to go. /wanking motion. It would have been worth it to see the old new Vogelsong.
But the Giants didn't need to sacrifice a game to the Vogelsong gods. They're still ten up, with 11 to go. Hell, that calls for a chart.
|If the Giants finish the season like this ...||The Dodgers would need to do this to force a tie ...|
That's just what the Dodgers would need to set up a tie. A tie! Imagine the Giants going 1-10 over the final 11 games with the Dodgers winning 11 straight. Then imagine one more game between the Giants and Dodgers to settle the division. Boy, that'd be something. It would almost be worth it. If you were a bored Blue Jays fan, or something. The rest of us could do without it.
The old new Vogelsong that showed up tonight was exactly who we had come to expect -- he was the guy who deserved to make the All-Star team last year, and the guy who was screwed out of a spot this year. He was effective with his command like everyone's used to. His two-seamer curled around the plate like it's supposed to. That's the guy, dang it. We weren't all crazy, drinking from the same bowl of punch at the rave. Vogelsong used to look like that every game.
The choice between Zito and Vogelsong in a playoff rotation is an easy one, unless there's something horribly, obviously wrong with Vogelsong. His two-seamer is so bad, for example, that it needs to be put in storage for a while. If there's something like that, something so obvious, yeah. You have to go with Zito.
A start like this, though, makes you remember what you were missing. You might do a Shemp, comically shaking off the stupor and/or concussion. That's right, you remember. This used to be every Vogelsong start. It was poetry when he was sticking the outside corner. But it wasn't new.
Think of the Padresiest loss you could ever possibly conceive. A 1-0 nail-biter, where the only run … oh, right, you already did that.
Same thing goes for Sandoval continuing to swing the bat well. Oh, man, how that is welcome. He hit a ball at his eyes tonight for a single. Am I odd for finding comfort in that? After Pablo came back from his hamstring injury, he went into a deep slump. And at no point did he something Vlad-like. He didn't chop a single that was thrown to the on-deck circle. He didn't swing at a pickoff throw and hit it for a double. He was simply slumping.
Even more impressive than his homer was Sandoval's two-strike single up the middle. Well, no, the homer was more impressive, but the two-strike single was pretty sweet. It was good to see him hit the ball hard in a variety of different ways.
Brandon Crawford Gold Glove Update2-for-4, RBI
Damn. If he keeps hitting like that, he could win the thing.
On an unrelated note, Crawford turned another superb double play. He also made several quasi-routine plays look easy. But, most importantly, when Chase Headley was coming around third in the sixth inning with what would have been the tying run, Crawford threw a 98-m.p.h. fastball to Buster Posey.
And right at the point when Crawford caught the ball, I started pleading, hoping, begging that the next shot would be of Headley rounding the bag. I was not disappointed. Crawford has a hose. Crawford has soft hands. Crawford can turn a double play. Jimmy Rollins is 49. Brandon Crawford for Gold Glove.