This is why baseball should have ended last year. Pablo catches it. There's a parade. Everyone thanks the baseball players for everything they've done. The credits roll. There's a where-are-they-now montage at the end. Madison Bumgarner is roping horned animals. Buster Posey is Governor of Georgia. Joe Panik is Lieutenant Governor. Brandon Belt is caught in a vending machine. There wouldn't have been sequels, but there could have been spin-offs. Baseball is over, everyone, thanks for coming.
Instead, they started it up again. On purpose! And this was the kind of game that made you wonder why. You waited months for this. Months. Here it is, and the Giants are the defendi ...
By the way, pitcher is hurt
Okay, well, that's just a minor setback, and ...
Oh, and other pitcher is hurt
Well, that's inconvenient, but I'll still keep the faith because ...
Also, key, middle-of-the-order lineup cog is hurt
I know. Miss that Hunter Pence cat.
No, I'm talking about Brandon Belt.
No. NO. DAMN YOU, ODD YEAR. NOT BELT.
(No prognosis yet. It's a strained right groin for Belt.)
Belt said it "grabbed me pretty good" but can lift legs and even jog. "I just don't think it's too bad right now in my opinion."— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) April 8, 2015
That's good, at least. On Twitter, there were a couple of folks trying to tell me that Belt is injury prone. He's been on the DL three times in his career: The first time, he was hit by a baseball. The second time, he was hit by a baseball. The third time, he was hit by a baseball. Baseballs are hard. He's not exactly Nick Johnson just because he has a trick groin once in three-plus seasons.
Say, how's that game going?
Here, have a three-run dinger with two outs
Oh, those are the worst. Technically, two-out grand slams are worst, but there's something about the three-run dinger with two outs. There's an open base, and three runs sure are a lot of runs. The game changes so quickly with a three-run homer, and being one out away makes it a real dash of pickle juice in the ol' eye.
Here, have another three-run dinger with two outs
You just pulled your TV face down, that's not a computer.
Doesn't matter. This game was junk, and baseball is junk, and everyone is hurt, and the Giants are .500, which is exactly where I figured they would be. They look like they can hit a little, at least against Diamondbacks pitching, but the rotation after Bumgarner is terrifying.
Also, that pitcher up there is more hurt than he thought he was. Jake Peavy. The one with the back. Doesn't sound good.
We're in a flaming car, the brakes are out, and we have to drive through the underworld to get to the even year on the other side. Might as well turn up the stereo. Have fun with it! That's what I say.
(I'm not really this apoplectic after the first loss of the season. But this baseball experience -- the loss combined with Brandon Belt's injury and the general malaise around the team over the last six or seven hours -- will not rank highly on the top 200 baseball experiences list by the end of the year. Baseball should have gone out on top and retired, in my opinion.)
Did you see those strikeouts in the first inning from Ryan Vogelsong? They were stupendous, the archetype of what made Vogelsong an All-Star in the first place. Front-door cutter to get a lefty. Front-door four seamer to get a righty. They were thrown hard, with a purpose. Maybe, just maybe ...
Nope. I'm not sure how many demerits we're supposed to give a pitcher who was an out away from getting out of the inning twice. The walk to Goldschmidt could have easily been a strikeout ...
... but it was juuuust outside. (The one outside the box from the catcher's perspective.) Vogelsong allowed the runners. He allowed the long, long home runs. He was vincible, and he looked like a pitcher who needed another month to be a pitcher who can power through 100 pitches in five innings and get away with it.
That was not a good breaking ball. Or would it have been an outstanding breaking ball if Lamb was geared up for a fastball? Baseball is so confusing. All these hypotheticals and rhetorical questions are making me me hungry.
Oh, good, spiced possum meat. That'll get my mind off the Belt injury, Peavy re-injury, imminent arrival of Kevin Correia, and the dumpy first loss of the season. Thanks, random Diamondbacks promotion.
What a dumpy game.
We really can't complain about anything for at least three months. You know that, right? This is one heckuva tightrope we're going to have to walk.
The Giants' record in the 2014 regular season when Yusmeiro Petit appeared in relief: 5-22. Bruce Bochy would wait until the fire died out before he threw the bucket of water, that was Petit's role. He ranked above position players pitching, but just barely. He was a white flag, but at least he worked quickly.
In the postseason, it was the same story, except the Giants actually came all the way back when Petit came in for an ineffective starter, so we noticed. He was told not to let anything get worse, and when he didn't, the Giants won the game. Then he pitched a huge chunk of innings in an 18-inning game because the Giants didn't really have any other choice. He's a legend, but almost by accident.
Here's a thought, then: Let him pitch when the other team doesn't have a huge lead? If you need sloppy floppy long relief, find a guy. That Chris Heston guy. Sounds great. But Petit is being wasted if he just comes in when the Giants are down by three. If he's not going to start, don't wait for that NLCS Game 4 situation and hope the Giants come back. Make him a reliever you can trust.
Or just let him start.
Petit's a weird security blanket right now. It worked in the postseason. Not a fan of it in the regular season. If the Giants go 5-22 in Petit's relief appearances this year, they'll have done something really, really wrong.