If the Giants couldn't win a series against the Rockies at AT&T Park , why ...
The standard disclaimer on must-win games applies, but when the Rockies roll into San Francisco without Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, a team that fancies itself a contender has to win that series. Has to. Probably has to. Probably should. Whatever. A split or --gadzooks -- a loss in a four-game series to a hobbled team that was 3-23 on the road since the last time they left San Francisco would mean something in the standings, sure. But it's also okay to play armchair psychologist here, just for a bit. That scenario would chew on brain stems for the next week. That would have been the kind of hit to a team's collective confidence that's hard to quantify and test for, but you would assume exists.
We're not talking about that now, though. The Giants won a game they should have won, which gave them the series they should have won. Monday's dizzy derpfest was frustrating specifically because it was the first game of the series. That and the derping. The first game of the series, though, meant that more derping could happen in the second. And then there was the potential for an off-night or off-day in the third and fourth games. It was possible to see how the whole series was going to catch fire.
Instead, exhale. I was hoping for a sweep, but I was realistically expecting three out of four. The Giants, those rapscallions, did what they were supposed to. They beat a bad team. They've haven't lost a series to a team that's currently under .500 since the Reds swept them in June. That's a total of nine series, with the Giants winning eight of them and splitting the other (against the White Sox).
I want to write something like, "the Giants need to play well against the Brewers, Tigers, and Dodgers over their next 29 games." But they really don't. There's a reasonable path to the playoffs that involves the Giants doing exactly what they've been doing for the last two months. They have just 12 games against good teams left and just 17 against bad teams.
Run the table against the bad teams, and the Giants are in, baby. Where they'll play the Rockies again, I'm sure. Haven't followed the playoff race that closely, but I'm pretty sure they'll face a team just like the Rockies, if not the actual Rockies, so let's get excited.
A couple of weeks ago, the hypothetical question was "Tim Lincecum or Yusmeiro Petit?" We have some returns coming in. Some early, early sample-size-obscured returns. First, though, we need to rephrase the question.
Should Tim Lincecum or World's Record Holder Yusmeiro Petit be the fifth starter for the Giants?
Oh? You were talking about World's Record Holder Yusmerio Petit? Well, why didn't you say so?
The early returns are indeed in, and Petit has remained fantastic. The record -- 46 consecutive outs or 1.703703703703 perfect games, spread over seven different outings -- isn't evidence of sustainable dominance. It's randomness waking up in talent's apartment after a single blind date. Oh, they do make a lovely couple, but I'm not going to use their wild night as a reason to rent a tux.
Forget the record entirely, then. Focus on the pitchers in question. One of them throws 89/92 with swing-and-miss offspeed stuff but doesn't know where the ball is going. One of them throws 88/91 with swing-and-miss offspeed stuff and knows exactly where the ball is going. One of them has allowed a plethora of dingers this year. The other one hasn't. One of them both walks and strikes out a lot of batters, and the other one just strikes out a lot of batters.
One of them has had at least three bobblehead giveaways over the last few years. The other one is a minor league free agent. That's why I'm surprised the Giants made the (temporary) move in the first place; it had to be a tough decision, even coming from people forced to watch Lincecum pitch over the last month. The move was made, the early returns are in, and the temporary label looks more and more, well, temporary. Petit's probably used to be home runs, and he's in the right park for that affliction.
An interesting note is that the Giants had lost all six of Petit's previous appearances, and they're now 9-25 when appears in a game. This has nothing to do with how he's pitched, usually. He's just been the peroxide-soaked cotton ball on the severed artery. He's looking like a competent rotation cog right now, though. It's been a while since the Giants had five of those.
Andrew Susac needs a catchphrase.
We have Buster Posey and "I ain't havin' it." We're willing to ignore his explanation, too, where he says he didn't have a good grip on the ball and said "I didn't have it" because the catchphrase is too great. We're almost five years into the I-ain't-havin'-it myth, and it's probably safe to assume it's never going away.
Susac needs one of those. I know there are some folks in and around the Giants organization who read this site on accident. You have a job to do for us. You need to film Susac at all times and get him to say something catchphrase-worthy.
This soda's flat. Get this thing out of here.
Anything. We can work with anything. Lop off the part about the soda being flat, and we'll eagerly adopt it.
Why are you trying to set my arm on fire?
This can be trimmed to a GIF of "My arm('s) on fire." It would require the person reading this to give Susac a "hotfoot" but on the arm, but players love that stuff, so give it a try.
I'm not trying to be a contrarian, but I think The Incredibles is the best movie Pixar ever released.
We'll see, but there's a chance of "I think I'm incredible" with that one. Really, just film everything and report back. We'll find the catchphrase later.
The Giants have hit a home run in each of their last nine games. That's the 33rd time they've had a streak that long since moving to San Francisco and the second time this season.
Dingers, everyone. Dingers.
It would honor a great man.
It also means a region of the Solar System that's filled with asteroids.
Next time, Brandon. You have to promise.
Also, I kind of like the name "Kuiper" for a boy.