So that's how it's going to be this season, eh? I'm not talking bout the eight runs or the glorious cavalcade of two-out RBIs, but the feeling that eight runs just might not be enough, not with this staff. Not against most lineups. You just have to put your head down and hope Vinny Castilla and Dante Bichette can keep adding to the lead.
I'm okay with that.
Let me tell you the story of a young man who was really into the San Francisco Giants. When Pacific Bell Park was being built, he and his friends would head up to the city and drive around the construction site. Nothing to do, don't want to hang out at home, what else is there to do? Girders. Let's go check out some girders.
It was hard to imagine the park, hard to fantasize about a first pitch, win, or World Series. It wasn't Candlestick, that's all we knew. We signed up for season tickets, of course, getting bleacher seats because that's all we could afford. It was the longest winter of my life. I was so excited about Opening Day, that I traded away the rights to a potential clinching game in a future World Series with one of my seat partners. I was at the last game at Candlestick, and I wanted to be at the first game at Pac Bell. I needed to be at that game.
I'm in there, somewhere, and I was completely miserable. It didn't ruin the experience. Nothing short of a zeppelin accident could have done that. But it soured the experience some. It was gross.
Since then, I've been a fan of ruining Opening Days for Dodgers fans. They still owe us a few years of back karma for soiling the opening of Pac Bell. Last year, then, was kinda gauche. Really, it was just rude. The Dodgers had the magic Opening Day, the one to remember for decades, and it came after their renaissance offseason. New owners in, old despot out, and their Cy Young was hitting dingers to win the game.
This was much better. This was a fantastically ruined Opening Day. The Dodgers were lousy, simply lousy. The Giants hit the ball well enough, but they were also lucky. Eight straight batters reached after two were out in the first inning, and a couple of them were bloops and blorps, with Ryan Vogelsong's run-scoring single the most humiliating of them all.
Wait, no, maybe the best was the Brandon Hicks double into the aether.
Wait, no, they're all beautiful.
Buster Posey murdered a baseball that didn't go over the wall with two outs, and it felt familiar. The Giants did all sorts of things right, but they weren't going to get any runs. There were going to be runners left at second and third, but it was going to feel like a moral victory just to get runners at second and third.
Instead, eight straight batters reached, and each one made the crowd groooooaaaaan more than the last. It was the best string of Giants-related nonsense since the 19-run game last September. That is, the second-to-last game they played at Dodger Stadium.
This rivalry can be fun when everything goes the way you want it to.
The Giants probably wouldn't have lost if this call didn't go their way ..
But I'm sure as hell glad we didn't have to find out. We had problems with the Giants' first taste of replay this season. It's still a net positive, though. It's still a net positive.
Way to get thrown out on the bases, down by four, Hanley.
The Dodgers have a $448 billion payroll. Chone Figgins was one of their last chances, but only because Dee Gordon hit in the previous inning.
Ryan Vogelsong didn't look good. He looked the opposite of good. Bad, some would say. The first inning was brilliant, vintage Vogelsong, but the grindgrindgrind that worked so well in previous years isn't working anymore.
That's a topic for another time. Right now, revel in the ruined Opening Day. The Giants are 4-1. It might not get better than this, which would mean the season didn't turn out anywhere close to how we hoped. But at least there was a this.
I liked this.