We've talked before about the recent history of the Giants and Pirates. The Giants are takers in that relationship. Ugly, ungrateful takers, sleeping on the Pirates' couch, borrowing money and eating from the fridge. It started with Barry Bonds, then moved to Jason Schmidt, Javier Lopez, and Freddy Sanchez.
"Can you watch this Matt Morris just for a second? I'll be right back."
"Hey remember when I did you that solid and paid you back with that Ryan Vogelsong? Can we borrow that back for just a minute? Just for a minute, just for a minute."
On Wednesday, the Pirates gave the Giants another gift: The gift of a ballgame they didn't deserve to win. If you've been playing don't-deserve-to-win bingo over the last two months, you still need four more games. This was needed. Oh, how this was needed.
In the first inning, Gregory Polanco lollygagged to first, when he could have been at second. Then he was thrown out at third with two outs, violating one of baseball's sacred "rules of common sense, you dummy."
In the bottom-half of the first, Charlie Morton walked Joe Panik to score a run. It took two infield hits, two walks, and a looping fister to score three runs that inning, but like a high school kid who finds a fifth of Seagram's in the dumpster behind the Panda Express, it doesn't matter where it came from. It's time to party.
In the sixth inning ... I ... look ... I've probably written close to five million words about baseball, give or take a million. That's not hyperbole. And I wish I had saved some for this:
I have never.
I have never.
An inning later, a Pirates reliever walked Michael Morse, just his 23rd walk of the year. Four batters later, Joe Panik decided he was Dee Gordon and tried to score on a wild pitch after hesitating for two seconds. Instead of tagging him out by five feet, the Pirates screwed it up. For three hours, the Pirates treated that game like it had scabies, and they did everything they could to keep their distance. The Giants got a participant ribbon out of the dreadful six-game homestand, and they're proud to show it off.
But back to that first part, about the Pirates being enablers for the Giants' sloth. You might say they did the Giants another solid, that the Giants can feel less dour and skeptical about the team going into the trade deadline. They can approach the deadline like a team leading the wild card race normally would, wheelin' and dealin', patching up holes on the roster. The Pirates gave them the gift of confidence.
Unless this was the urine in the Mountain Dew bottle, the Nair in the shampoo bottle, the ultimate revenge. Maybe the Pirates just gave the Giants false hope because they were sick of it. Sick of it all. And when the Giants trade Kyle Crick for Emilio Bonifacio, they'll be there in five years when Crick is starting every All-Star Game. They'll laugh at the Giants and spit at them and yell things about Rajai Davis. This could be the twist of the knife they've been looking for the whole time. This is the start of a long con.
Or it could have been just a shoddy, miserably played baseball game from the Pirates.
Probably that. Look at that double play! Seems like there should be a public apology after that one.
Beer Dinger Power Rankings
1. The kid in the white jersey making a valiant effort.
2. Michael Morse pretending that he's athletic and missing the ball by eight feet.
3. The beer.
4. The beer-holding woman who was a gust of wind away from drinking her meals for the next month.
5. Mike Krukow's narration.
6. The guy who jumped on the freaking rail but forgot to catch the ball.
7. The kid in the black jersey whose eyes were closed.
8. The umpire who comes in at the last second to see if everything's okay.
I've watched this about 50 times, and it's keeping me from finishing this. Uh, let's see, Lincecum didn't have it, the bullpen was awesome, Buster Posey keeps hitting it hard right at people, glad to see Gregor Blanco turn it around, though he sure isn't getting to the tough balls in center like he used to, and, uh, good work Andrew Susac and Joe Panik! NOW BACK TO THE BEER EXPLOSION VINE.
With three hits, Gregor Blanco is now 13 points behind Tyler Colvin for the best OPS on the bench.
In other news, the Giants just might need more production out of their bench.
Tim Lincecum is the 2014 Giants of the 2014 Giants pitchers. You're happy. You're sad. You're dejected. You're elated beyond words! You're very, very dejected. Throughout it all, you're confused. Deeply confused.
Except I don't think you should be. Lincecum is probably the fourth starter that FIP has predicted for years, the one he's been this year, and that's going to come with the peaks and valleys of a fourth starter. Here, folks, was a valley. He hung curveballs that deserved to be hit, and he was as imperfect with his command as he's been in two months.
The Giants are the fourth starter of teams, then? And earlier in the year, they were the equivalent of 8-0 with a 2.23 ERA, with people talking about them starting the All-Star Game?
Yeah, that's about right. Except starting pitchers can't absorb Emilio Bonifacio at the All-Star Break and turn everything around. Lincecum and the Giants should be just fine, in which "just fine" is defined as "maybe good enough? I guess?"