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Giants lose sixth straight, fall 3-1 to Pirates

Francisco Liriano was great, and A.J. Pierzynski is on the Cardinals now.

Thearon W. Henderson

It's the time of year when we play the Armando Benitez game. In 2005, the Giants were awful for the first time in almost a decade. Benitez was supposed to be the solution to the previous season's woes, the proven closer who would keep the Wayne Franklins away from the Steve Finleys, but he was bad and the Giants were bad. He gave up a run on April 26 and his ERA went down, then he went on the DL for several months. When he came back in September, he blew two saves and took a loss in the final game of the season.

I cursed every single one of those losses. I stomped around the house, doing stupid things like putting my toothpaste down with a little extra force, or sighing real loud when I opened the fridge to grab a pudding cup. Those losses bugged me. The 2005 Giants replaced Barry Bonds in left with Pedro Feliz, and they had an unwatchable/unloveable closer who wasn't good at his job. The Giants lost more games than they should have.

The next season, the Giants melted those painful losses down and used the ore to draft Tim Lincecum. If Benitez were perfect that year, if he actually did his job, maybe the Giants slide down to #11, 12, or 13 in the draft. A college outfielder went to the Cubs with the 15th pick. Left-hander with power, real up-and-comer by the name of Tyler Colvin. That could have been the Giants, but for the grace of Benitez.

I've mentioned all that before, but it comes up now because it's impossible to justify trading one more prospect to help this team right now. Brian Sabean has to be more level-headed than the rabid fans, so it's not like he's sitting at home, thinking, "No, you know what? I'm selling. Screw this." But the Giants are going to have trade feelers all over the place, and teams are going to be scrambling around just before 1:00 p.m., looking for the best deal. Kyle Crick's name will come up. Andrew Susac's name will come up. Everyone but Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey will come up if they have value.

I'd like to think this game, and the trail of mutilated game fragments before it, will make Sabean say no. It will make him wake from the fugue state and say something like ...

No, wait, where am I? No, I'm not giving you a prospect for Luis Valbuena. Hold on, did you just ask for Crick in exchange for Alexei Ramirez? Why would we ... did you see the team I have? Ramirez isn't going to fix this. No one's going to fix this. My god, what are we doing?

The Giants just lost their seventh series at home out of their last nine. Of the other two, one was a split. The only time they won a series at home since the Mets left town the first week of June, their starting pitcher had to hit a grand slam. That was the only time in the last 23 home games that the Giants have scored more than five runs. The post-Mets breakdown:

6+ runs: 3 games
5 runs: 3
4 runs: 3
3 runs: 2
2 runs: 5
1 run: 5
0 runs: 6
Record: 6-22

Over their last 28 home games, the Giants have been shut out as many times as they've won. I've never seen anything like it. I hope to never see it again. And when Crick is picking up his 20th win in 2018, with the Giants absolutely rolling, we'll look back at this homestand, this specific homestand, as the one that saved everything. Thank goodness the Giants looked like a Division II school in that particular homestand, you'll say. Thank goodness.

Really, we should be thanking this team.

Tomorrow, we return with the regularly scheduled trade posts. Ignore them all.


You didn't know the Giants were going to lose after the Pirates hit a leadoff home run. You knew they were going to lose because a smallish, right-handed utility player hit one out to right field, where right-handed hitters are usually completely incapable of hitting home runs. The marine layer was taking a smoke break, and the ball just got over the fence. So it goes.


The best news of the night was that Vin Scully announced that he was coming back in 2015. Matt Cain might be out for this year and next year, and the Giants used Travis Ishikawa, representing the tying run, as a pinch-hitter with two outs in the ninth, with Dan Uggla on deck, before losing their sixth straight game. But at least Scully is coming back.

At least Scully is coming back. At least Dodgers fans are happy.

Hey, look, the Dodgers are winning again. How about that?


Angel Pagan: OK, Skip, heading to the airport. Hope my back doesn't even get more screwed up on the plane to Arizona, ha.

Bruce Bochy: Say, Angel, we've been meaning to talk to you about the glowing amulet around your neck.

Glowing Amulet: Hummmmmmmmmmmm.

Pagan: Sure, Skip. What's up?

Bochy: Well, some of the guys and I, we kind of feel like our life-force is tethered to it, that it's enveloped our very being, and that without it, we'll be cast adrift, waking up in the middle of the night, feeling around for our souls like phantom limbs, caught somewhere between death and the blameless void of living.

Pagan: ...

Bochy: We were wondering if you could leave the amulet here.

Glowing Amulet: Do not believe his lies.

Pagan: It matches my vest, Skip. I have to keep it. It's too late to change, I'll miss my plane.

Glowing Amulet: Hissssssssssssssssssss.