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Giants drop third straight, lose 4-3

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The Pirates got the two-out hit they needed. The Giants did not.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

According to RhymeZone, there are 18 one-syllable words that rhyme with "June." You are allowed to use 17 of them after "June." The eighteenth gets you shot into a dimensional prison with General Zod. These aren't my rules. I'm just suggesting that you don't try it.

For the first time since April 17, when they lost eight straight, the Giants have a nasty little losing streak going. And unlike Sunday's quick nose-hair pull of a loss, this was a real creeper. The Giants needed the hit they were getting in May, but that hit was a temp. Sorry, contract ended on May 31. Maybe that's why there's going to be a June sw

Whoa, whoa, whoa, caught myself. In this game, though, there was a simple explanation for what happened: The Pirates, when Gerrit Cole is pitching against Ryan Vogelsong, are a better team. Perhaps a substantially better team. Think about what it takes for Vogelsong to succeed. He has to have the movement, sure. And he's absolutely dependent on location. He needs to set hitters up well and keep them off-balance. Add all of those things together, and he has a shot, even if he's in his late 30s and without the fastball he used to have.

Cole has all of that and a 95-mph fastball, too.

And that's what it looks like. When Vogelsong gets into a bases-loaded mess, he has to pitch backwards, forwards, diagonal. He has to invent new pitches with his mind and throw smoke bombs. And maybe -- maybe -- after all that, he'll escape with the outs he needs. It's a fine line. Sometimes it looks like the first month of Vogelsong, sometimes it looks like the most recent one.

When Cole gets into a bases-loaded mess, he abuses the batters with his stuff-ray.

The former will keep the Giants in the game, usually, and he'll keep it up until the team needs room in the rotation. The latter might start the All-Star Game. And on this night, baseball played out exactly how you might have expected. I want a Gerrit Cole. Look for my post tomorrow with a trade idea that gets him on the Giants without giving up any of my favorite prospects or major leaguers.

★★★

It's worth noting that the strike zone was grumbling garbage all night. From Brooks Baseball, we have the called strikes for Gerrit Cole. This is from the catcher's perspective. The little orange squares are called strikes, and lookie how many of them are below the zone.

zone

Ryan Vogelsong didn't have as many called strikes below the zone, but then again, he wasn't pitching there as frequently. Add in that Chris Stewart is a pitch-framing wizard, and you have something between "lousy umpiring" and "good execution" that makes for an annoying night.

★★★

Matt Duffy's spoonerism -- Dat Muffy -- is brilliant on a couple different levels. Both of those levels require you to be eight years old, at least mentally. It was great fun when he came up.

Except muff isn't just a word that an eight-year-old can appreciate. It's also a baseball word, meaning an error or misplay. Suddenly, that spoonerism isn't so funny. With each boot and kick from Duffy, it becomes a little crueler. The transition to third can't be an easy one, and it's far, far too early to pass judgement on Duffy's defense. But it's been an uncomfortably hot corner for him this last week.

With each Duffy muff, the odds of the Giants paying a lot for help at the deadline go up a tick. I'd prefer that he just catch the ball and slap the ball hither and thither, as requested. It's early. We still might get exactly that for the rest of the season.

★★★

The worst part about that game is that we don't get to appreciate this catch fully.

We would have written sonnets for that catch. We would have put on some Barry White and rubbed that catch's back. We would have done so very much. Instead, it was a footnote to an otherwise frustrating game.

The scouting report is in, though. Pagan apparently goes ↖️ very, very well.