And this weekend began with such promise, too.
Remember Friday, when the Giants handed out rain globes to commemorate an iconic moment from last year's World Series run, WHERE THIS HAPPENED? Remember Saturday, when Madison Bumgarner continued to his run of Madison Bumgarnerness? Even today, Tim Lincecum looked like TIM LINCECUM, despite allowing a home run to Chicago's Travis Wood.
The Giants were outscored in this series 6-3, were "competitive" in all three games, but are now, officially, worse than the Cubs. I, too, believe there's still a lot of distance for the Giants to fall before hitting the near-mythical "rock bottom", but I declare that POTUS dunking on them somehow during the White House visit tomorrow will very quickly put this "team" within inches of said bottom of rock.
My notes for this game turned out like notes from most of the games I've covered this season: start out detailed but taper off pretty quickly as it becomes clear that the Giants are just going to be so bad that my brain will automatically activate comfortablynumb.exe.
Still, let's have some FUN WITH RIDICULOUS, UNNECESSARY MICROSPLITS:
versus Giants (coming into 7/28/2013):
Travis Wood has six career home runs after today's fifth inning blast off of Tim Lincecum. It was the third home run this former Reds' bruiser has bashed this season. The Cubs' starting pitcher homered as many times today as the San Francisco Giants did during this entire home stand.
Nate Schierholtz is, thanks to microsplits, getting sweet, glorious revenge against the organization that stuck with him for a very long time and even gave him enough rope with which to hang himself, but also traded him for a player who helped them win a World Series. I'm happy for him. Truly.
David DeJesus. Welington Castillo. Dioner Navarro. So much Cubbery. So much dominance.
Also, and again, the Cubs are better than the Giants.
* * *
I'm not going to talk about the Giants' offense. There's nothing to say. Okay, that's a half-lie.
I suppose there's a teeny tiny part of me that wants to set a calendar reminder for November to look back at Buster Posey's season and see if it's worth exploring the question, "Is Buster Posey miscast as a middle-of-the-order lineup anchor?", but that's just kicking around ideas, faint notions... treasonous thought. Buster Posey is surrounded by nincompoops. Could Miguel Cabrera do any better in this lineup? Unfortunately, True Believers and Old School Baseball People, there is absolutely no way to examine this question, so we will not think of it again.
* * *
You don't have to SELL me on the idea that the GiantS' arE struggLed to repLay their SuccEss from Last year, or from the previous WorLd SEries' run, Let aLone 2009 and 2011, when they Stayed in contEntion untiL Late in each season, but maybe I do need to be convinced that the roster should be kept intact in large measure. SELL.
The Giants make some of the softest contact in the game. I don't have the evidence to back this up, not statistically, but sitting in the park, listening to the games on radio and TV, the crowd murmur has drowned out the groundouts and shallow flyouts more often than not in the past month. It is a sad situation in which we find our favorite baseball squadron, but that is the hand we, as True Believers, have been dealt this year.
The Giants are dead, long live the Giants!
* * *
On the other and final hand, Tim Lincecum was great today (DAT LINE: 7 ip, 4 hits, 2 walks, 1 HR, 10 K; 2 singles in 2 at bats), and really has had a decent season. Nobody survived the Reds' series and I'm tempted to advise you to ignore it, but I won't. Still, just look at his pitching log this season compared to last season. In summation, he's about 1.25 runs allowed better now than he was in 2012. His walks are down a bit, strikeouts up a bit, hits down a bit, home runs allowed are the same -- we know his velocity is the same and his stuff is the same, so it's entirely possible that it's his control and sequencing/selection that are the difference.
It's a reason to be excited in a season that has had few reasons to be excited. Tim Lincecum is good, Tim Lincecum was great, and look at his stats as of this date. The odds of the Giants re-signing him continue to increase, when they had all but bottomed out back in April.