It took until Michael Morse struck out looking in the top of the ninth inning with a runner on first base on a fastball that had been consistently called a strike before I thought the Giants were really out of this game. I was disappointed, sure, because the game had so much potential to be something great and I had managed to hold out hope for extra innings or something equally great even after the dual perfect games and then the dual no hitters ended.
Tonight's game is one of those games that might've made a curious viewer unaware of the sport really interested, maybe even enough to watch another game or buy a shirsey for a new-favorite squadron. I can imagine a Scandinavian bloke putting down her lefse for a moment to enjoy Hunter Pence's impressive glove work in the sixth (and, also, freakin' Juan Lagares! Brandon Belt just came back from a concussion! Give the guy a break!) or a German on vacation putting down his day planner and recognizing that two pitchers were dominating their opposition's lineup. It was a great change of pace from the usual penthouse/outhouse style the Giants have been playing with for the past six weeks but it was also disappointing.
Yes, the Giants lost. That's what's *most* disappointing. Jake Peavy looked good (again) but still got the loss. I'm sure he thought changing teams would change his luck, but nope -- welcome to San Francisco, Jake, where winning a lot for two months doesn't mean anything for the following two months and pitching in a more pitcher-friendly league doesn't really help you out. Your new offense is as hit or mess as your old offense.
But even the loss and Peavy getting hosed (we can debate whether or not he should've been pulled when the wheels started to come off in the seventh) doesn't make up for the disappointment of losing both dual perfect games and no hitters. It was too good to be true. What would've happened with nine perfect innings from two pitchers? Does Babe Ruth come back to life? Do stadium beer sales resume? Really, though: nards. It would've been cool to see a no hitter or a perfect game. The Giants were close to full strength and
Neil deGrom Tyson Jacob deGrom was, too, so it would've felt "deserved" and Peavy -- well, Peavy would've shown us he's still got it. I don't really know what "it" is at this point, though. I mean, he's exactly what the Giants need right now (a starter who can throw six quality innings), but I don't think he needs to prove anything. I just really wanted to see something cool tonight.
Instead, we got Michael Morse making his third memorable fielding miscue of the past five weeks. I'm going off the top of my head here but I recall those other miscues as setting up run-scoring innings for the opposition, too. It just so happens that Morse's defensive misplay + Bochy's faith in veterans = big innings. I propose that the Giants should stop adding those two things together.
I'm of the opinion that another left fielder would've caught that ball. Maybe it would've required a play that was somewhere in between what Juan Lagares and Eric Young Jr. did tonight and maybe the ball even had tricky spin that would've fooled some other outfielders considered to be better than Morse, but all of those possibilities are easy to discard because, irrationally, Michael Morse's total performance of late has been something close to infuriating. That guy… man, it'd be nice if he could do what he did in April again. That'd be swell. I get that he can't read a ball, but at the plate now it looks like he can't read a pitch. I mean… I mean… no, it couldn't be that. He can *read*, it's just… nards. I really wanted to see something cool tonight.
And yet, Brandon Belt returned and looked good. That Brandon Crawford is something special with the glove. (rubs eyes) And-and… is that… is that TRAVIS ISHIKAWA? What year is this?
It was a loss that didn't remind me of recent losses. It reminded me that baseball is awesome and that despite its awesomeness, sometimes your favorite team doesn't wind up the sole benefactor of that awesomeness.