It was a nice story until "Chris Quick" ruined it. Jean Machi was a splitter-deity, making hitters look bad with his funky split-finger. His K/BB ratio was good, and he looked like he was going to be the surprise reliever of the year, a tradition that extends back to Felix Rodriguez and John Johnstone.
Then he was terrible. Now Machi's going down to Triple-A, and George Kontos is coming back up.
I always picture people spinning back to Fresno in those things that General Zod was imprisoned in for Superman II. It's probably the poet in me.
But Machi is down and Kontos is up. There's a wrinkle to this one, though, as Kontos was suspended for three games for GIVING THE PIRATES SOME WHATFOR for no good reason. He hit Andrew McCutchen, which is like tearing up a stamp to express your displeasure with the Federal Government. Good work, Giants. But Kontos is appealing his suspension according to Andrew Baggarly.
Cool. So he'll be available for the Dodgers series, but the Giants could be a reliever short in Coors Field.
Well, say, that doesn't seem like good timing. But Kontos instead of Machi was something we would have expected to be a net gain in March. Then things got weird. Now the matrix is unstuck, and we're right back where we should be.
From a splitter that hangs every fourth pitch to a slider that hangs every fourth pitch. Baby steps, everyone. Baby steps.