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Giants lose 7-5, bullpen proves mortal


Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The tipping point for Metallica was "The Unforgiven." You were cautiously optimistic about the stripped down, simpler songs at the beginning of the album. Then that song came on. Everything was horrible after that, and you couldn't do a damned thing about it.

Santiago Casilla's leadoff walk in the top of the ninth was "The Unforgiven" of that particular baseball game. It made no sense. It was awful. It led to bad things. There was a shirtless old dude running around on the field (if you closed your eyes and concentrated). Everything was worse after that.


I can picture Jeffrey Loria signing Jason Newsted to a big deal, then screwing with him for a couple years before letting him walk away in disgust.


What a lousy game.


The story of this game was Yusmeiro Petit. He is an alchemist's mad creation, a mixture of command, strikeouts, and dingers, with a whoopsie-pitch thrown in every seventh or eighth try. He's what a latter-day Greg Maddux with an insecurity complex would be like. "Oh, so I'm all about finesse, am I? Well, how about this fastball away from the target and right down the nope, nope, shouldn't have done that. Dang it, every time, hrrrgh."

Fine, fine. That's the kind of pitcher that answers the Craigslist ad, and for the post part, he does his thing and does it well. But in the fourth inning, with a runner in scoring position, Bruce Bochy gave up a chance at the extra run for one more inning of Petit.

Then Petit allowed another run because, when asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature. I like Petit. He is a good addition to the bullpen. He does not deserve the benefit of the doubt, especially when a runner is in scoring position.

Okay, fine, in an alternate reality, Bochy pinch-hits, and there's about a 67- to 77-percent chance that the batter makes an out, regardless. We're arguing with the support of the alternate realities we've constructed in our minds, and those realities are always right, but the odds suggest the Giants were still unlikely to score a run.

My response: 13 pitchers.

Thirteen pitchers. You gotta ...

With 13 pitchers, you get crazy. Pinch-hit for your spot starter in the third inning with the bases loaded, DON'T MIND IF I DO. We're not talking about pulling Madison Bumgarner after 60 pitchers. This is Yusmeiro Petit, who would have given way to David Huff, who is basically Yusmeiro Petit, except for the teensy differences. You pinch-hit for that guy a) in the fourth, b) in the middle of a lackluster start, c) with a runner in scoring position. It's just good sense. Microspecting each and every managerial decision is a boring, lost cause, mostly. Here, though, it was obvious while it was happening.

Literally 13 relievers and scared to pinch hit for a spot starter having a dud outing, even with a runner in scoring position. Like the guy with the $150 million payroll is going to pull his starter in the fourth, COME ON


Casilla was good, then he was hot garbage, then he was good again. The he allowed a couple hits. Santiago Casilla!

Not upset. Bullpens do this. Relievers are heroin addicts. Sometimes they'll steal your TV. Sometimes they'll write a hit album. If you get mad about a usually reliable Casilla giving up runs, you're expecting perfection on a baseball field. In 1984, they were approaching perfection, but they were hospitalized, and it hasn't been the same since. Casilla will do this. If this outing was the "Unforgiven" of outings, remember there are literally three more, each one more miserable than the last.

Casilla sure threw a nasty slider to Giancarlo Stanton, though. I wish we were celebrating that instead.


This was an Angel Pagan catch:

It should have meant more. It should have meant more, dang it. It was the best we'd seen from him in a while. When I asked unwashed Twitter if it was the best in memory, I was rebuked, and how. Here are the two best Pagan catches as a Giant.



Then this one. The other two resulted in wins. I like the other two better, too.