The Giants played 27 innings against the Padres this weekend. The Giants scored in exactly two of those innings.
That's the part that gets me, other than the constant, painful losing. Those scoreless innings became 25 eye rolls, 25 deep sighs, 25 annoyed head shakes. If you're one of the dumb and unlucky, you watched about nine hours of baseball this weekend, and almost every single minute annoyed you.
Well played, Padres. Seriously, good work. It's not like their season is saved because they held a pillow of Padres over the Giants for a weekend, but it has to feel good. They did exactly what they wanted to do, which is to annoy the absolute crap out of a team that really could have used a win. The Giants are essentially out of the NL West race now, and they're tied with the Pirates in the race to host the one-game playoff. It might have totally screwed them.
Well played, Padres.
Now the Giants are in a spot where a three-game sweep against the Dodgers would feel anticlimactic, considering it would leave them still 1½ games behind and needing help from the Rockies, who don't help the Giants because screw you, Giants. Again, that's if the Giants sweep, which seems like wet nonsense, considering that at the very least, Clayton Kershaw will face Tim Hudson in one of the games.
When I was working for the llama boss, he ordered a jar of glitter from Office Depot. He poured it into a fan that I kept on my desk and trailed an extension cord around the perimeter of my office. When I got into work the next morning, my co-worker sat in the chair in front of my desk, grinning like an absolute fool. He plugged the extension cord in. I was covered with glitter for the rest of the day. No matter how hard I tried to brush the excess glitter off, I was still sparkly.
That's what the Padres did to the Giants, except they sprinkled, I don't know, flecks of bone or dead skin into the fan. Possibly raw chunks of durian. Either way, the result is the same: Ha ha, got me. Well played. There's no sense even getting mad. Just wear whatever was sprayed on you, laugh at yourself, and resolve to be more vigilant in the future.
I can't tell if the Padres have the greatest positioning and defense in baseball, or if the Giants were just hitting into lousy luck for the entire weekend. Probably both.
Except here's a note about the Padres that will be relevant over the next week: They're 46-32 at home this season, a .590 winning percentage. That's a higher winning percentage than any team in the National League has for the entire 2014 season. At home, the Padres are the Nationals. They're the Cardinals. Better, even. Don't feel so bad.
Why are they so good at home? Mike Krukow was talking about the pitching philosophy of the organization, describing it as "away, away, away." When the other team gets the ball in the air, it dies before the warning track. If the other team doesn't plan for away, away, away, they try to pull balls they have no business pulling. If they do plan for away, away, away, there's only so much damage they can do playing like Wee Willie Keeler in a huge ballpark.
It's the perfect plan, except when they go on the road, they don't have the huge ballpark to support the philosophy. They haven't won a series on the road in a month. They were swept in Colorado, and they dropped two of three in Arizona, both dreadful teams. They can't win in ballparks with a jetstream or short porch or cozy dimensions. They need big expanses, huge power alleys. They need a marine layer and thick air. If they have all that, they're a team with a 1968 ray, and they're tough to beat.
So, the Padres have four games at AT&T Park next week.
There were exactly two positives on Sunday. In no particular order:
1. Chris Dominguez
Dominguez was a surprise call-up, at least for me. He's 27 and he strikes out enough to make Brett Pill look like Tony Gwynn. He's kinda sorta intriguing because of his ability to hit dingers and play all over the field, but you have to realize his ceiling is Pedro Feliz without the same ability to make contact. It was a lot easier to draw up a career path that ended with Dominguez never making a big-league roster than it was a path that ended with him getting a single at-bat in the majors.
He got a few at-bats and even a surprise start. In that surprise start, he hit a dinger and grinned for exactly ... no, he's still grinning, never mind.
That warms the heart, even after a stupid game like that. There are a lot of players who came through San Francisco without ever getting a home run. Jeff Ball. Ivan Ochoa. Kensuke Tanaka, Tony Torcato, Ryan Rohlinger, and Carlos Valderrama.
Dominguez has a dinger, though. And it went really, really far. Good for him.
2. Brandon Crawford
He was such a drag on the offense just a couple weeks ago. He appears to be back in the land of the living. He looks like a player who can help a major league lineup every so often, rather than a player you tolerate because of the glove, sure, but also because you don't have much of a choice.
His OPS, by year:
2015: .792 (projected)
2016: .952 (projected)
2017: 1.272 (projected)
That's just how exponential growth works. Looking forward to it.