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Giants lose in horrific fashion to Rockies, 7-4

There was ninth-inning nonsense.

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

There's something especially unsavory about losing a game like that to the Rockies at AT&T Park. At Coors Field, sure. A game like that every year was written into the Treaty of Neifi back in aught-four, I think. But at AT&T, the Rockies are usually fecklessier than feckless. Then consider that two of their best hitters are out. How did the Rockies even get two runs in the first eight innings? Oh, the reverse-humidor jokes I've been stockpiling will come in handy today.

Then: chaos. Seagulls tearing the flesh from other seagulls, gigantic Coke bottles melting into the Bay. All is lost, all is lost. If you weren't sure why Thursday's game felt like a big deal, here you go. Imagine how this would feel if the Giants were in the middle of a five-game losing streak.

About the same. But you get the point.

This was supposed to be a post chuckling about how hilarious it was that Tim Lincecum showed up with his best stuff to face the Rockies, who would get three hits against Todd Wellemeyer at AT&T. Instead, the Rockies' offense -- the depleted, dinged-up Rockies' offense -- laid waste to the Giants in the ninth inning. There are three ninth-inning villains to highlight. Let's get to it.

Sergio Romo

The obvious one, the one who is probably being talked about on KNBR right now. Romo isn't an either/or pitcher right now -- that is, being entirely for or against him is ridiculous right now. The anti-sergites are livid right now, but the Rockies really Padred him to death. Look, it's right there in the GameDay description:

Soft line drives. Off the end of the bat. Whatever. The first loud hit he gave up was to DJ LeMahieu to give the lead up. There have been Romo saves this year where his outs were louder than the hits he gave up to the first four batters on Friday night.

On the other hand, this clearly isn't the same Romo. The reason the balls were put in play was because Romo isn't striking out hitters like he used to. He struck out 13 batters for every nine innings in 2011. He's down to eight for every nine innings this year, mostly because he can't get left-handed hitters to swing and miss like he used to.

He's still a good reliever -- a pitcher with command, control, and swing-and-miss stuff. But we're in for an adjustment period, I think. Both things can be true: There were unfortunate bloops, and there was something to worry about.

Angel Pagan

What a stupid throw.

I've written -- wait for the database to update -- 55,394 words on Yasiel Puig being a fascinating dunderhead with bees in his pants, partially because he'll do stupid things like miss cutoff men because he wants to show off his arm. He's 22. When I was 22, I tried to vault a parking meter when I was drunk, and my jean bellbottoms got caught on the meter, and I flipped over and took a header into the pavement, and also I was wearing jean bellbottoms.

Pagan is 32. When I was 32, I shifted my 401(k) into PRIMECAP on the advice of someone I trust. I started to throw spinach into my smoothies because I could hardly taste it. And I didn't vault parking meters.

With a two-run lead, Pagan tried to show off his arm and nab the lead runner. The lead runner who was completely useless. The back runner moved up. All risk, no reward. He knows better. This entire season, Pagan has been somewhere between okay and brilliant in the outfield, and there haven't been any nincompoop swallow-his-sunglasses moments to speak of. He was cured! That stuff from the first half of last year? Gone! Totally cured.

Maybe him not being a nincompoop in the outfield is like a hitter with a .500 BABIP. Great while it lasts, but don't trust it.

What a stupid throw.

Then he bobbled a ball two minute later because the nincompoop gland was pulsing maniacally.

Bruce Bochy

Don't walk the bases loaded on purpose with one out.

"Well, I, err, there was a left-handed ..."

Don't walk the bases loaded on purpose with one out.

"The, urh, double play would have gotten us out of ..."

Don't walk the bases loaded on purpose with one out. Don't. Don't. Don't.

To be fair, the reason I hate the intentional walk to load the bases so much is that it doesn't allow the pitcher any freedom if he falls behind with the first pitch of the subsequent at-bat, and Romo got Ryan Wheeler down 0-2. The problem was more about Romo not putting him away -- no sliders in the at-bat, three sinkers, because he was a left-hander -- than the intentional walk. But the walk was still the winning run.

Don't walk the bases loaded on purpose with one out.


Imagine being a Dodgers fan right now, fist-pumping because they're 7½ games back. That seems worse than this, except it doesn't. Baseball's weird.


I made this earlier when things were happier, and it's still worth sharing. Here's what Hector Sanchez is doing with the bases empty:

Lucroy de Candlestick.

Maybe it was an isolated incident, an exaggerated frame, but throughout the game, he was a little more aggressive with the frames with the bases empty. Someone's in his ear, and for the better, I'd guess. It's like the old Carly Simon song: You can't stop stabbing until you learn how to frame.

Sanchez is still 24, and he gets 150 at-bats every year. He can make this work. I still believe.


Neat outing, Tim Lincecum. Be a shame if anything happened to it.

/Romo shatters taillight


And then LaTroy Hawkins mopped everything up.