The Giants are 41-21. We've been tracking the best starts in San Francisco history this year, and here we are. This is the best start in San Francisco history, tied with the 1962 Giants. That team won the pennant. They had Mays, McCovey, Marichal, and Cepeda. Through 62 games, at least, the 2014 Giants have been just as good.
They're ... not that good. You know that, right? They don't have Mays, McCovey, Marichal, and Cepeda. A fifth of that '62 roster made the Hall of Fame. It's possible that in 10 years, we'll think of Buster Posey, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner like that, but, still, the '62 Giants are perfect for perspective. The '14 Giants shouldn't be an all-time juggernaut quite like that.
But they are. I don't get it either. You've probably read articles about how the Giants are lucky, and how the Giants are playing over their heads. Well, they are. Don't register your complaint on an Internet message board when someone offers that opinion. Here are the two best ways I can explain the Giants' luck this year:
- Tim Hudson entered the game with the best ERA in baseball. Yet Tim Hudson is not the best pitcher in baseball. If you don't think the Giants have been a little lucky, then you think a 38-year-old Tim Hudson was absolutely destined to have one of the best seasons in baseball history. His ERA was Gibsonian this year. That's not normal, people.
- Then, in the one start he laid a shiny, funky egg, the Giants won anyways. He allowed a squillion runners and almost came out with a quality start. That's how the 2014 Giants have spent the first third of the year.
Hudson wasn't good. The strike-chewing, sinker-jubblin' monster from the first 11 starts wasn't there. In his place, there was a weirdo throwing high sinkers and spiking breaking balls in the dirt. Hudson had no idea where the ball was going, certainly not like he's used to . And it was on this day, on June the Seventh in this, the Year of our Bonds, that we realized Tim Hudson wasn't the best pitcher in the universe. They still won. Man, this team is weird. Man, this team is fun.
The Giants are on pace for 107 wins, but don't even think like that. I'll settle for 105.
Then with two outs, there was a single, then an error, then a bloop hit to score two runs. Somewhere, in Los Angeles, there was someone hate-watching the game on his or her iPhone and yelling, "COME ON. SERIOUSLY. COME ON."
I will say this: There is no worse rule in baseball than the dropped-third strike being in play. It makes no sense. Not only did the hitter swing at a pitch for strike three, but the pitch was so crappy, the catcher couldn't even catch it. And if the pitch is realllllly crappy, maybe it will skip by the catcher and turn into a magic single. Swinging at a pitch at the letters isn't good enough for a fake single, but if there's a pitch that bounces six feet from the plate, maybe you can win a game with it.
I checked, and this game still counts. That rule will forever and always be horrible, though. Remember it when the Giants lose a game because of it. It makes no sense. If a hitter swings at a ball that's so bad it gets by the catcher, he should be suspended for the next game. That's a better rule.
Pablo Sandoval hit the ball well all game, but didn't have a lot to show for it. Buster Posey hit a few rockets, but he didn't have a lot to show for it. I have no idea how the Giants won this game.
No, wait, I have a guess. The bullpen is still amazing. George Kontos got jerked around by his control and defense, but he still made it out cleaner than he should have. Juan Gutierrez was superb, and so were Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt.
Reminder that in March, Lopez gave up 300 runs, which was almost as bad as Affeldt, who gave up 301.
Reminder that next March, we're going to pretend not to care about spring stats while secretly caring about spring stats.
This was the fourth walk-off win of 2014. That's more than the Giants had in 1972, 1976, 1988, and 1991. It's as many as the Giants had in 1968, 1974, 1981, 1984, 1994, and 1996. It's June 7.
You don't want to get too cocky -- check out how this team started the season -- but it's sure better when the team wins a lot and there are walk-off wins and then they win a lot and then there are more walk-off wins. I'll take that over the team that doesn't have walk-off wins and loses a lot and then has fewer walk-off wins than expected. Those teams are a drag.
I like Michael Morse.