Wasn't that a great ring ceremony yesterday? Simply grand. Going forward, though, it might be extremely difficult to extract any entertainment value from watching the San Francisco Giants. Are the Giants good? Not right now. Will they be good? Hard to say.
If I may propose a solution to this looming crisis: consider the Giants a thought experiment. Schrodinger's Baseball Team. This team might just exist in such a state that it's both dead (will not be good this season) and alive (will be good this season). This proposal is particularly useful if you'd prefer to hold off on deciding this team's state -- or rather, maintaining its superposition as all possible states -- a mere 14 games into the season.
And when we consider how today's game broke down you can see the minor wisdom in thinking this way.
Top of the third inning. Aaron Hill came to the plate with two runners on base and two outs. Tim Hudson was laboring. Andrew Susac was catching instead of Buster Posey. The plate appearance ended with a walk on what looked on the telecast to be a borderline pitch. As you can see, on Gameday it exists as both a ball and a strike.
Maybe with Posey catching that gets framed differently and it's a called third strike. Or maybe it was just a pitch out of the zone. Period. End of story. In any case, it loaded the bases. What followed next -- hit by pitch, 2-run double -- decided the game. Or did it?
If you choose to believe that the Giants are dead, then yes, a 4-run deficit would be impossible to overcome. But if you believe that some of the Giants bats are doing pretty well -- and, in the case of Brandon Belt, possibly even "heating up" -- and that they were making strong, loud contact off of Jeremy Hellickson, then it was simply a matter of stringing together hits and the team getting some sorely lacking luck on its side.
But if you're engaging in thought experiments, maybe double down and think about the really out there stuff, such as the existence of actual Baseball Gods. Perhaps they are coming to collect. Aaron Hill's borderline ball four, then, was the first clip of a karmic hair cut stretching back to Miguel Cabrera staring at a fastball. A.J. Pollock's beautiful diving catch to rob Tim Hudson of a hit was like the minimum payment due on the debt incurred surviving Alex Gordon's single + two-base error.
You could play around with a lot of scenarios here because most of them are better than what we've got at the moment: a 4-10 team that can't hit or pitch or field. It's so early in the season that it'd be practically irresponsible to declare the Giants "dead" but history has shown that teams with dreadful Aprils don't play into October. Is the possibility of upending history and the label of "defending champion" enough to declare the Giants "alive"?
Brandon Belt had some nice plate appearances today. He had two hard hits. He also had a strikeout. He also played left field. He didn't look completely out of his element in left field. There was a screaming line drive hit over his head by Chris Owings (who was pretty "dead" coming into today's game) that at first looked like something that could've been caught by an acrobatic outfielder but on second look could not have been. In any case, Belt handled the carom quite nicely. If you're looking for a list of positives from today's game, he might sit atop the list.
Although, Joe Panik looked a little bit better here too and in this series in general than he had in the previous series. Maybe he's just really good against the Diamondbacks.
It's kinda amazing that Tim Hudson is probably the Giants' fourth-best starting pitcher (after Bumgarner, Heston, and Petit) but it's a distant fourth, given his age and general skill set. Oh, he still has his pitches, but his control is far from pinpoint most innings. You could brush it aside as being early in the season were it not for his age.
And then there's Casey McGehee. He certainly tried today. I saw someone who looked determined to baseball. If you're wondering which part of the "Homer Sinks Into the Tar Pit" scene Casey McGehee's at right now, I'd say he's firmly at "Nooo, that's okay. I'm pretty sure I can struggle my way out."
Hopefully, this isn't the start of another losing streak.
/posts .gif of a celebrity swearing