It was the best of lines, it was the worst of lines, it was the age of unbridled optimism, it was the age of foolish pessimism. Marco Scutaro played in a baseball game. Tim Lincecum kind of did. The Giants mounted a furious comeback, and the Giants blew a save. Today came with some really good news and some really discomfiting news. Almost none of it meant anything. Start, season, start.
The good news is that Scutaro is alive and flicking. There was a report he could play in a minor-league game soon, it was something of a surprise to see him in the lineup. He played just three innings, but various pieces of him were not found on the field, and they were not itemized and collected in little plastic baggies. He got a hit and scored a run. Marco Scutaro isn't dead, everyone. It looks like he just might start the season.
He also struck out on three pitches in his second at-bat, which isn't something that happens often. Just six times last year, which is about six more than I would have guessed. Still, they say people who have played a lot of baseball are ahead of the people who haven't played any at all this time of year.
Last week, Chris looked at what it would mean to lose Scutaro. The answer: a win or two that the Giants probably can't afford to lose. Of course, that assumes that Scutaro is healthy enough to hit well, rather than just healthy enough to hold a bat real convincing-like.
The bad news is that Lincecum was hit hard, and he wasn't missing bats. He got Mike Trout to swing and miss on a nasty change, but even his quiet innings were filled with hard-hit outs and line-drive double plays. He walked two and didn't strike anyone out; if it were a regular-season game, that would have been the first time in Lincecum's career that he exited a start without recording a strikeout. While it's silly to extrapolate the 2014 season for Lincecum based on his spring stats, there will never be a comfortable time for Lincecum to not strike someone out.
Keep Zito's number on your phone, Sabes*. That's all I'm saying.
The worst news is that the Giants were down three runs in the ninth, with Brandon Hicks in an 0-2 count with two outs, and they came back to take the lead. This is bad news because they just used up their best comeback of the year in a Cactus League game. Then they lost the game when Jean Machi allowed a walk-off homer in the bottom of the inning. Wasting a comeback like that is like using a wild card to take the Risk logo.
It's close, and Lincecum blow-up starts are always depressing, but Scuatro's cameo means Happy Fun Facts take it easily, moving them to 14-3 on the preseason. There is no Panik to spread just yet.
*For craaaaank calls**. ** "Yeah, this is Anthony Rizzo, jackass. Pick up your freaking ears."
*For craaaaank calls**.
** "Yeah, this is Anthony Rizzo, jackass. Pick up your freaking ears."