just let us enjoy a win in this death swamp
Much like the night Brandon Belt done busted, there are no smiles after what should be one of the happiest fun-time wins of the season. The Giants went into the game with 13 pitchers; they're currently at 11. I hate baseball and everything it represents.
We'll start with Santiago Casilla, if only because it looked like the kind of injury that won't allow him to put on his own pants for six months. The replay didn't show anything ugly -- no twisting ankles or imploding knees -- which led Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper to suggest it could be a hamstring. That's better than a knee. That's worse than a nothing. He looked like he was in serious pain.
I'm pretty sure a Casilla at-bat will forever be more exciting than an unassisted triple play or a pitcher hitting for the cycle. It's the purest argument against the DH that exists in the wild.
And with one burst of ill-advised hustle, Casilla became the purest argument for the DH. There are priorities, here:
- Bemoan the fate of Casilla himself, who is a human being who wants nothing more but to play baseball, yet will quite likely be hobbled for a significant time
- Bemoan the fate of the Giants, who will be without a reliever who has, somehow, become one of the best setup men the team has enjoyed in the era of the specialized bullpen
- Bemoan the fate of the Giants fan, who will never again see a reliever try to hit as long as Bruce Bochy is the manager
The first one is the most important. The second one is our ugly reality. The third one is insignificant compared to the other two, especially the first, but there was so much joy in a Casilla plate appearance. It was like watching a sheepdog try to round up bumper cars. That is not your job, sheepdog! You are bad at this! I cannot stop watching, sheepdog!
Instead, the worst fears were realized. This is why relievers don't try when they get a chance. This is why they shouldn't hustle down the line. This is why players like Troy Tulowitzki pick and choose their spots when it comes to 110-percenting. From now on, Bochy is going to institute a no-try rule for his relievers. It will be logical, called for, and unconscionably boring.
Oh, and Matt Cain is hurt.
Cain didn't look like there were barracudas trying to eat their way out of his leg, so the assumption is that he's in better shape than Casilla. I want to believe Cain is fine. He was in the middle of his best start of the year, the nexus of command and stuff that we grew used to over the years. Then, because this is apparently a meme or something, Cain was hurt freakishly. He's been on the DL twice in his career: once because of a comebacker and once because of a sandwich. This will likely be the third time, and it's because of another comebacker.
I can't complain about bad luck because Cain's been a remarkably durable pitcher, one of the most durable over the last 20 years for any team. But how about that lousy luck?
If the Giants are going to be good, they'll be good with Matt Cain. If he misses a start, it'll be frustrating. If he misses two, it'll be throw-the-remoting. If he misses three, it'll be wall-punchinging. If he misses more, forget about it. It's like that anatomy professor told me before he passed out and threw up on himself: Hamstrings are dicks.
According to the post-game report, it probably isn't that serious.
Cain felt injury on his final pitch. Has an MRI tomorrow, said he's unsure about next start.— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 22, 2014
Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.
There was cool stuff, too, I guess. The Giants won at Coors Field. For all the hubbub about Coors Field and humidors, let's take a moment again to praise the humidor. It allows for a 5-1 game. It allows for normal baseball. If you ever watched a Giants/Rockies game in the early part of the millennium, you'll know what I'm talking about. Praise the overly moist balls.
Yusmeiro Petit was excellent on short notice, just superb. He's like the world's funniest comedian, but one who goes out every third show and starts his act with, "Say, what's the deal with all of those starving children?" Those nights make you forget the other nights, and he doesn't get as many regular gigs as he should.
But that doesn't take away from the nights when he's brilliant, and tonight -- in Coors Field! -- was one of those nights. I gave him and his dooky-flopping floop balls a six-percent chance of success in the thin air of Coors. He exceeded the best-case scenario and rode those dookballs to the moon. Excellent spot-starting.
My guess is he'll get at least one more start. A brief reminder of Giants spot starters of the recent past: Matt Kinney, Dan Runzler, Eric Hacker, Travis Blackley, and Guillermo Moscoso. Which is a fancy way of saying that things aren't good, but they could be worst. Still on board with the emergency stockpile of Petit in a Can.
Pablo Sandoval gonna hit .400 for the rest of the year. When he's hitting opposite-field homers, he's golden. Start screen-capping those tweets and comments now, so we can shame the non-believers later. Shame them and shun them.
Brandon Crawford with 15-homer power is one of the better players in baseball.
It seems goofy to type, but considering the run-scoring environment of the league, the park he plays in, and the defense he blesses us with, he's on a short list of the most underrated players in baseball. There was a time when I wanted the Giants to sign Clint Barmes instead of play Brandon Crawford. This is because I'm stupid, and they're not. But his ascension is also a testament to player development. There was clay. The Giants have apparently molded it. That never used to happen. That never used to happen.
You can take away the credit they might get for Buster Posey, as he was mostly complete before the Giants lucked into him. You can take away the credit they get for Brandon Belt because of the jimmy-jacking around. You can take away the credit for Pablo Sandoval because he ascended all the way from A-ball in one season and stunned everyone. But Crawford's steady improvement makes you want to give all of that credit right back. I don't know what the secret is, or who had what to do with what, but it's a pleasure to watch Crawford play baseball right now.
And Rockies fans hate him. That's important.
From Gidget, we have something to cheer you up.
Just ... not now, Hunter. Thanks, but not now.