It was just one of those days.
The Giants encountered two natural forces they just could not control: Mother Nature and Michael Wacha.
Yusmeiro Petit put in a strong effort to spell the injured but not actually injured Matt Cain and kept the Giants in the game. It was not his fault that Michael Wacha was so, so good.
Fastball, changeup, changeup, fastball, fastball, fastball. Changeup. So good.
You can see why the Cardinals are so excited about him and you can understand why it was a bit of a headscratcher when he returned after the first rain delay. There was no stopping him. He was a remorseless pitching machine. And when Gregor Blanco dared to slow his pace, Wacha hit him. Cold.
Also, it's tough to analyze one loss amidst a plethora of wins (four games coming into today and eight of ten after the loss) just as it's been a bit tricky nitpicking a team with the best record in the sport. At some point, the Giants will stop cashing in on 2-out RBI opportunities at a rate of 48% (they blew their one big chance -- a runner on third -- today), but I think today's matchup was hardly the situation where that conversation becomes necessary. The Giants started Ehire Adrianza, for goodness sake, and Hector Sanchez looks like he needs a day. Our favorite baseball team could've looked even worse, but against a team that overpowered them, they merely looked regular overpowered instead of comically overpowered. Even at less than full strength, the Giants are a tough team to beat.
I'm no scout, so I can't look at Oscar Taveras' first home run (his first ML hit, too) and say, "Here's a future Hall of Famer." What I can say is that he looked somewhat polished. Not just with his HR pose, either. Petit had moved his feet with a fastball in and had designs on breaking him down with a slider, possibly away or possibly back down and in... but the pitch wound up catching all the juicy parts of the plate and Taveras looked like he was waiting for that exact pitch type. The location was better than he might've expected, the ball's final location no doubt made him elated.
And then George Kontos gave up a run. It was trending that way, given his inability to control his slider. Oh well.
More disappointing was the Cardinals' broadcast singing Jeremy Affeldt's praises. Well, more amusing than disappointing. Affeldt is our lovable, socially conscious goof, but to Cardinals radio he's a postseason hero. I mean, he is that, too, but even in the postseason we only revere him after the fact. Most of the time we're remembering him in relation to hamburgers. Anyway, I mention all this because for me, that was the most amusing part of today's game.