The game wasn't lost on a single swing. I still would have liked to see how the game progressed without the swing in question, though. With one out in the second inning, the Marlins' catcher beat out a would-be double play, and the inning continued. After another single, Dan Haren came up and ruined everything.
Haren is a good hitter for a pitcher, which means that he's still a lousy hitter. What's worse, nibbling around the strike zone against him, or throwing a first-pitch sinker right in the middle of the strike zone? I'd go with the former, and it isn't even close. It was an awful pitch, but, really, it's hard to get that mad when a pitcher gets the hit. It's a tiny "LOSE A TURN" wedge on a massive Wheel of Fortune. Just keep smiling and clapping when it happens, dummy. There's nothing you can do about it now.
Without that swing, maybe Bochy doesn't keep Hudson in too long (see below). Maybe the Giants keep the Marlins close enough to alter the dumb game. Maybe maybe maybe.
On the other hand, the Giants gave up dozens of hits for the second game in a row, and they didn't deserve to win. Why are you even here?
Certainly not for the horrific Guy Fieri GIFs, because that seems like the kind of thing that would make a bad game worse. For you, at least. I'm still laughing for inflicting that upon dozens and dozens of strangers. I feel better. For the second game in a row, the Giants were destroyed. Miss you, winning streak.
★★★There is a legitimate bright side, though. Dan Haren used to be a monster with a plus fastball and ridiculous splitter, neither of which he has anymore. When the Giants lose to a pitcher like that, it earns them karma scrip, which they can exchange at the karma store to support Tim Lincecum. You'll see. It'll be worth it.
★★★There should be a term for when pitchers get one part of a quality start, but not the other. Like a participatory-ribbon start, or a hey-this-glass-is-half-full start. Pitch six innings or more? Why, that's an accomplishment! I can't do that. I threw a softball 30 feet recently and had to call in sick the next day. It's all relative.
On the other hand, this is probably a good time to examine why Tim Hudson was left in for 6⅔ innings in the first place. Not as a gripe, but as a thought exercise. After six innings, Hudson had given up 11 hits, the most a Giants starter had given up in several hours. It's usually a little rarer than that, though, happening about once or twice a year. Probably because when a pitcher is giving up that many hits, he probably isn't doing very well as a pitcher.
Instead, Hudson went back out for the 7th, where he allowed five screaming line drives and somehow mixed in two outs along the way. The result was that Hudson allowed more hits than any Giants pitcher since Gaylord Perry in 1968, when pitchers threw complete games unless their fraying shoulder ligaments were dangling from their nose, and possibly even then. To quote noted baseball writer Ricky Watters, for what? For whom?
To rest the bullpen, I'd reckon. Hudson's pitch count was down, and it seems like the mop-up trio of George Kontos, Jean Machi, and Yusmeiro Petit are pitching an awful lot these days. The Giants had roughly a five percent chance of winning the game, according to win probability.
So playing Lasorda's advocate for a minute, here, what's the value of the theoretical inning that Hudson would have eaten in a game the Giants had very little chance to win? Perhaps not much in the short term, but the cumulative effects over 162 games might be substantial, especially if there's an extra month of postseason. If you make that decision 50 times in a season, it would cost the team two games, on average. But maybe those two games would be picked back up with the rested bullpen.
I'm not sure I agree with that, considering that the extra pitches have to be thrown by someone, and Hudson is 58 years old, but I was so baffled by the decision, I thought I'd write it out. Didn't help that much.
★★★Stop it, Dee Gordon.
★★★In the first inning, Matt Duffy started a double play to get Hudson out of a jam. It wasn't a particularly difficult double play, but my first thought was, "Boy, I'm glad Casey McGehee didn't have to make that play."
Do you see how messed up that is? It's not enough that he has to struggle and sit on the bench for a while, but now I'm making him play bad baseball in my imagination.
Slumps are messed up.
★★★In case you missed it:
Best part of the game, really.