They almost got away with it. They almost looked like a normal team for the majority of a three-game series, the kind of team you could watch for extended periods of time without getting annoyed. They looked like a team that was capable of going on the road and beating a good team on a roll. They looked like the kind of team that stand up to the elite teams in baseball, which would mean they would have a legitimate chance in the playoffs.
And they would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for that meddling bullpen.
Instead, they were embarrassed. Absolutely embarrassed. The Giants blew a 5-0 lead, with the bullpen giving up 11 runs, which is just two fewer than they allowed all August coming into Sunday. They couldn't field, and they couldn't pitch. They looked like a team from Kyrgyzstan playing against Cuba in a World Baseball Classic qualifier. They were absolutely humiliated, and now they have to get through airport security with that smell of humiliation stuck to them before they sit on a plane for six hours and think about what they've done.
Before the series:
If the Giants look like complete butts, it will mark the ninth straight time they've failed to win a series against a team that's currently fighting for a playoff spot. Yet we're all spending so much energy worrying about them, hoping they'll sneak into the playoffs, checking the standings every day, so they can ... somehow not get shamed by good teams and embarrass us all? I don't get it.
Status: complete butts. They knocked around Stephen Strasburg. They knocked around Stephen Strasburg. They still lost, the third time this season they've lost a game in which they scored six runs or more. The first two were in the death-spiral series at home against the Rockies, when you first realized this team might not win 100 games.
Say, look who's coming into town ...
They looked like complete butts, just like we figured they would. Let this be another reminder that our big hope is that the Giants can win enough games to make the playoffs, where they will face good teams they are incapable of beating. Seems like a good way to spend our time.
There was a bit of a kerfuffle in the sixth inning, with Buster Posey coming out to the mound, clearly upset about something. Both CSN Bay Area and TBS implied that Posey was upset that Jayson Werth was tipping location from second base.
"Before the pitch, Werth would stand really still, as if to imply that the ball was about to hang right over the middle of the plate. So the hitters were just waiting for the pitch there. Total bull."
- Buster Posey, probably
It is impossible to care after a game like that. Absolutely impossible. Setting up outside and throwing inside the next time Werth is on second would probably help things. Throwing baseballs anywhere other than in the middle of the plate would help, too.
It was a weird game all around, with Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy both ejected:
Hudson also ejected. Peavy said they thought Strasburg wasn't coming to complete stop, yelled it a couple times. That was it, no expletives.— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) August 24, 2014
Nationals Park has been an underrated Coors Field of hell over the last few years. Worth keeping an eye on.
Scott Hairston hadn't had a hit since August 3. He'd driven in one run since June. Of course he got a hit and an RBI in this game. Of course he did. .
I made this during happier times. The Giants were winning by using the keys of the game that an intern might come up with on his last day on the job.
The Giants hit at least one home run for the fifth straight game, the first time they'd done that since late May, when they were good. The dingers were so unexpected and welcome. The dingers couldn't make up for the bullpen, though, which collectively reenacted the famous Lucy and Ethel scene, but with dingers and severed fingers in place of chocolates.
The game started so well, too. This hero of a girl screwed up Strasburg's concentration:
And then Gregor Blanco hit his second leadoff homer of his Giants career. Here's a list of players tied with or ahead of Blanco in leadoff home runs:
Bobby Bonds 11
Ray Durham 8
Marvin Benard 6
Randy Winn 5
Chili Davis 5
Andres Torres 4
Angel Pagan 3
Bill Madlock 3
Aaron Rowand 2
Deion Sanders 2
Felipe Alou 2
Gary Thomasson 2
Larry Herndon 2
Kenny Lofton 2
Brett Butler 2
Eugenio Velez 2
Harvey Kuenn 2
Gregor Blanco 2
This is an amusing list. I can only hope that it brightened your day, even if just a touch. If it didn't, then you might as well click on this list of games in which the Giants allowed 14 runs or more since 1958.
He sure did! And that was before he knew how the game was going to turn out.