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Giants thump Cubs, 8-3

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On the whole, I preferred the experience of this game to last night's.

David Banks

The formerly okay Edwin Jackson took the mound, and the onscreen graphics proclaimed him terrible. Say, thought the professional baseball writer, what happened to that guy?

/thwack

I should look his season up on Baseball-Reference.com and see what's going on.

/thwack thwack

Wow. Wonder if this is going to be one of those Brandon Backe situations, in which a bad pitcher suddenly finds himself cured against a struggling lineup.

/thwack walk thwack

No, Virginia, Edwin Jackson isn't good. I don't know what happened to him. Always thought it was weird for the Dodgers to promote him when they did and trade them when they did. Thought it was weird for the Rays to give up on him when they did, and thought it was weird for the Cardinals to realize they couldn't fix him. Most of all, I've always thought it was weird that he was never good. There hasn't been a bigger long con in baseball over the past 20 years.

The Giants ran into a bad pitcher having a bad game, and they did bad things to him. Good. That's what's supposed to happen. I swear, though, I don't remember situations like this, games set on a tee, over the last two months. I don't remember thinking, "Oh, good. This guy." more than once a month. Maybe that's just a perception thing, or maybe there are just more quality starters in this wacky world, and that's why we're closer to 1968 than 2000 when it comes to offense. Dunno.

But I'll take it. More struggling pitchers, please. It's so much fun to watch. Just note that the Edwin Jacksons of the world have been expunged from the playoff teams by now, so don't get too excited about what the Giants face might be lucky enough to face in the future.

Tonight's enough. Remember that time the Giants sent all nine hitters to the plate in the first inning and you never really felt nervous about the game? That game from right then? Right over there?

Chris_1__medium

That was awesome.

★★★

Jake Peavy looks more like Sebastian Bach than Jeremy Renner. Maybe it's just me.

More importantly, he's on a winning streak. It's the first time a team has won two of his starts consecutively since late April. This would also be the first three-game winning streak for the Giants in a month, except I'm not sure now that works. Is it a temporary winning streak? Is it a winning streak with an asterisk? Or is this not a winning streak until we know more? Schrödinger's winning streak.

Even as Peavy was pitching well enough with the Giants losing behind him, I never bemoaned his existence. I don't trust Yusmeiro Petit's ability to go a second time through a lineup, so I'll prefer Peavy's problems with the third time through a lineup.

He's comforting. He's not a nice bottle of Old Potrero like he used to be, but he's not the bottle of Sauza with a thumb in it that you already had in the liquor cabinet in case of an emergency. He's just straight vodka. No better, no worse. He'll get you through the night. He'll mix with good things and bad things. He's tasteless by design. He might come in a bottle that bounces or shatters, no matter. He shouldn't be the problem, either way.

I'm getting used to the idea of Jake Peavy on the Giants. Each day they march toward a scenario in which they don't screw this all up, I'm more excited that he's there to not screw it up with them.

★★★

As you enjoyed the Giants hitting Carlos Villanueva hard, never forget that he was the prospect who went to the Brewers for Wayne Franklin, who might have been one of the worst pitchers in baseball history, and was certainly one of the worst pitchers in Giants history for his particular moment.

You'd think the last three years would have cleansed those feelings. Nope. Villanueva still brings them back. Sorry.

★★★

Joe Panik in a lineup would have made me feel better. Him in there, swinging without apparent pain, why, that's a delightful story. Even if he popped five balls to the third baseman, it would have been a good story.

He had three hits, including an extra-base hit that deserved to be an extra-base hit, though. The Giants clipped off a lock of Bill Mueller's hair and put it in a glass of water, and now they're reaping the rewards. You remember Bill Mueller, right?

Screen_shot_2014-08-20_at_9.21.29_pm


Ha ha, wait. I should have eaten only half of that cookie.


Right, right, that guy. That swing isn't actually the best comp because he did fill out and start swinging with a little bit of a power lift, but I swear, when Panik goes the other way, it reminds me of Mueller. When he takes a ball into the right-center gap, it reminds me of Mueller.

I don't have the side-by-side GIFs to prove it, and I'm well aware that Panik having Mueller's career would be an extreme best-case scenario. But Mueller having Mueller's career was an extreme best-case scenario, too. Let a fella dream. It's fun to watch right now.

★★★

Andrew Susac's first career homer:

Andrew-susac


To the opposite field, like a good man. You can't spell "USA" without Andrew Susac. You can't spell "Anus Dew Scar", either, but focus on the USA one. USA! Andrew Susac!

★★★

Travis Ishikawa is a band you used to love at the county fair, singing the hits you used to think were great. Forget about what other people think. Forget about what the quality control portion of your brain secretly knows. When it works, it's awesome. Such found money.

It comes at a cost, of course. Brandon Belt probably won't be back this year, and concussions are freaky enough to worry about more than that. In the moment, though, Ishikawa making a great defensive play or roping a single ... it reminds me of when the Giants' hopes rested on a couple of these guys coming through. Even though he wasn't one of the guys, at least long term, he's still a part of the wave of players that did that thing back there, that very welcome thing.

Ishikawa is one of the best parts about watching Giants baseball right now, when he does good things. That last part is important. The odds suggest he's not going to do those good things all that often. But when he does, it's quite the rush of adrenaline. He's that guy. Remember that guy? I do. He was fun. When it worked. So root for it to work some more.