This offseason has been a bit of an experiment for me, as I've been attempting to extract meaning from the meaningless, writing up spring games. My half-baked idea was to list Happy Fun Facts and less-happy sad facts, putting them against each other in a rigged competition.
The Happy Fun Facts almost always won. If you want to find optimism in a spring game, you shouldn't have to look so hard. And if you're looking for pessimism in a spring game, you don't really deserve spring.
This weekend, though, I found the Happy Fun Facts bound and gagged in a trunk. They're okay. I didn't want to pry, so I don't know if they forgot the safe word, or if someone's out to get them. They seemed fine. But it was disconcerting to say the least.
The Giants won a game against the Mariners, 13-6, lost a game to the A's, 8-1, and lost to the Indians, 5-1. Things that happened in those three games:
- Matt Cain was bludgeoned like it was a regular-season Cardinals game, giving up nine runners and two homers in 2⅔ innings.
- Edwin Escobar continued his strange walk-filled spring, which isn't was anyone was expecting from the ostensible sixth or seventh starter.
- Tim Hudson got hit around a bit and walked four, the kind of outing that shakes my Hudson-based faith around a bit, considering how old he is. For perspective, he's my age, and raking my yard almost makes me incontinent. It's basically the same thing for Hudson and pitching, except he might be in a little better shape than I am. It's so much easier to imagine 38-year-old pitchers disintegrating after they have a single bad outing.
- Brandon Belt struck out four times in six plate appearances.
- Everything good that happened, more or less, came from players that shouldn't play too much for the 2014 Giants. Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Angel Pagan, Belt, Hunter Pence ... none of those guys did anything too exciting. The Giants actually won one of the three games, but that comeback against the Mariners happened because of Juan Perez, Brandon Hicks, Chris Dominguez, and Elliot Blair.
- Even Derek Law gave up some runs, walking more batters on Saturday than he did in the Cal League last year.
Keep Happy Fun Facts in your thoughts. They're strong little fellas, but they need some time to recover after this weekend. They're still leading their division with a healthy 13-3 mark. But the Cain outing was something of a toenail in the hamburger patty. Better luck next time.