In the first inning, the Giants scored three runs and you were annoyed. Not while it was happening -- goodness, no -- but at the end of the inning, you were annoyed. Ryan Vogelsong didn't run out a ground ball, and it cost the Giants a fourth run. It's been over a month since the Giants scored four runs.
Doom was next to you in line at the grocery store. You avoided eye contact.
It was one of the dumber mistakes of the year by anyone on the team. Gregor Blanco got thrown out stealing second, down by five. This was dumber. Jeremy Affeldt forgot to wear his knee brace in spring training and tweaked his knee. This was dumber. This was literally a runner stopping 10 feet from the base and costing his team a run. In four of Vogelsong's five July starts, the Giants didn't score a run at all. He knows the value of a run.
Doom turned around, said, "Hey, I know you."
Four pitches into the next inning, Carlos Gomez hit a 450-foot home run. What should have been a 4-0 Giants lead was a two-run game. The Brewers didn't have an out yet.
Doom said, "I went to high school with you. Remember? Gym class?"
When the Giants ended that first inning, they were 75-percent favorites to win. Gomez's dinger pushed that back to 66 percent, but we were far from dooooooom. Yet you felt it. I sure did. I wouldn't have put a dollar on the Giants in that game after that homer, probability be damned. Let this be another reminder, then, that baseball isn't that easy to predict. You're looking for patterns of doom because you're a silly, superstitious fan. A silly, smart, experienced fan.
Another reminder that baseball isn't that easy to predict: Ryan Vogelsong was the pitcher. He debuted for the Giants almost 14 years ago in a game that featured two current CSN commentators and the father of a player currently in his sixth season, and he's still on the mound, still grinding, still pitching for the Giants.
He wasn't anything special on Wednesday, mind you. He was a combination of Grinder and Pirate, except he was getting away with some of the Pirate balls left up in the zone. The Brewers made contact, hard contact, but he was mostly unscathed.
Good. He deserved that kind of start after July, He followed up one of his very best starts of his career with an I'll-take-it, and suddenly his ERA (3.64) is slumming it with his FIP (3.44, the best of his career). He looks like a pitcher you have in the rotation on purpose, not a pitcher who's in there because his team is out of other options. It wasn't that way for all of last year and through four starts this year. It's good to have him back, in which "back" is defined as a pitcher who can look as he did against the Mets and get away with what he did against the Brewers.
If you weren't feeling doom, if you weren't one of the onlookers peeking between your fingers after the baserunning blunder, it's probably because you were excited about Michael Morse getting a broken-bat hit with runners in scoring position. The last time Morse had two RBI in one game, it was June 13.
/pause for dramatic effect
I know RBI aren't a great way to evaluate how a player is going to perform in the future -- that the different team-based factors make it almost useless for individual, predictive analysis -- but they're a dandy shorthand when you're looking for how a player made you feel as a fan over an extended period of time. Morse played in 42 games since that June 13 game, starting in 40 of them in that stretch. There wasn't one game in which he carried the team on his freakishly broad shoulders. He had five RBI in 144 at-bats, despite hitting in the middle of the order. That is seriously hard to do. Juan Perez has twice as many in his career (in almost exactly the same number of at-bats), despite usually hitting 7th, 8th, or hitting for the pitcher without runners on.
Emmanuel Burriss drove in seven runs in 137 at-bats in 2012, despite having just one extra-base hit.
See what I mean? Morse being that feckless is freaky, even if he was slumping something awful the whole time. It takes a lack of broken-bat hits with runners on base to be that horrible at driving in runs. So this one is yours, Michael Morse. Mount the dead bat above the fireplace and sing its praises. It died a good soldier.
I was already planning for a Pablo post over the next couple days, so I'm not going to steal from that source material. Just note that, according to WAR, Sandoval is one of the seven or eight or nine most valuable players in the National League right now. A big part of that is his defense, and even though it's been transcendent this year, I'm always skeptical of those boosts. Still, he's closer to Troy Tulowitzki than he is to Justin Upton according to one nerd stat, which is bizarre.
Sandoval was hitting .193/.261/.293 on May 13.
Since then: much better.
He's going to make a lot of money this offseason. Oh, how I wish the Giants would have seen this coming and locked him up when he was out of shape and hard to watch. But would he have Camp Panda-ed himself with the guaranteed money? They call this a Catch-48 in the industry. For now, just be happy that he's hitting.
Sergio Romo struck out the side and looked like the old, collector's version doing it. This site has been around long enough to watch him turn from fringe prospect to fringe roster candidate to mopup man to setup man to closer, doing it for some pretty important teams. If you were yelling at him instead of fretting with him, you're probably a bad fan. I mean, we all root differently, but I'm pretty sure you're awful and you don't deserve anything. You're probably dragging the rest of us down.
More importantly, though, the slider looks good. Poor Rickie Weeks. It wasn't exactly his worst performance against Romo ...
But he still looked like me trying to learn the game of cricket by playing a pirated NES ROM. What's that button? Why wouldn't he just hit it? With his whacking board? What is that guy doing? Where's the field? What in the bloody hell is a slider?
That's what Rickie Weeks looked like. And it was enjoyable.