The 2015 Giants season is a six-hour foreign film with mixed reviews, and you're about a third of the way through. There are amazing stretches of transcendent brilliance. There are extended segments where the lead actor changes the diaper of an avocado and cries and cries and cries. You want so much to like the good parts, the bad parts are so very long, so very bad.
It's hard to analyze right now. We need the benefit of hindsight. Except, let me offer a helpful reminder: If this weird season has ups and downs that make us all dizzy and confused, but the Giants keep beating the Dodgers, why, this is nothing but a fine season. We'll take the downs of the bi-monthly five-game losing streak if the payoff is complete and utter dominance of the Dodgers, home and on the road.
Now, let's back up. This isn't something I'm predicting to continue. That isn't to say the Giants aren't going to lose the next two games 1-0 on dropped third strikes. I'm just saying, if that's the compact, if wins against the Dodgers are our reward for this weird win-six/lose-five season, I'm all in. Because in watching that game, the thing that struck me most was that the Giants scored more runs than the Dodgers. It doesn't got old. It will never get old. This is the reason rivalries exist, because of the endorphins pumping through you right now.
The Giants beat the Dodgers. Even if you didn't know the context, even if you woke up from a decade of hibernation, isn't that a grand sentence? Didn't that sentence make you smile?
So Laz Diaz is a bozo, and it's not like there's any well-rounded baseball fan who would disagree. There has to be a worst at everything. There's a bus driver right now who is the worst living bus driver. There's a player in the English Premier League right now who is the worst player in the league. And of the 95 umpires in Major League Baseball, someone's gotta be the worst. I'll listen to arguments for Angel Hernandez and Joe West, leaning toward Hernandez, but Diaz is in the conversation.
He was at his erratic best-worst on Friday night, flipping a coin on breaking balls within six inches of the strike zone's edge. And here's the fourth pitch of the at-bat in which Buster Posey hit a grand slam:
It's not a strike. But Yasmani Grandal can frame, and he did on that pitch. We know that the strike zone was weird already, so I just wanted to highlight that a) Diaz called it correctly and b) he didn't have to. That's what a game hinges on. This isn't a plea for robot umps, just a note that we just saw a sliding door, and we're in the happier dimension.
In this happier dimension, Buster Posey clobbers garbage curveballs.
When I was younger, more impetuous, I would have made a GIF and called it a night. Except the beauty in this isn't with the moving images. It's with a still shot that describes, in 1,000 words, just how awful the pitch was.
Looooook at that awful curveball. That's the curveball that everyone on both sides of the aisle can quickly agree is a Bad Curveball and the resolution will sail through the House, 435-0.
Every so often, take a breath and remember that Buster Posey exists. He's someone who hits dingers and controls a pitching staff and looks you in the eye like a super-honest Bill Clinton and tells you whatever you want to hear. There's still a chance we'll get one of his patented bananas second halves, too. This isn't as good as he gets -- we've seen better. The important thing to remember is that this version is good enough.
A list of Giants grand slams against the Dodgers before tonight, because this is important:
These are special, dang it. This is just the fourth in the Pac Bell/AT&T era. Every time a Giants player gets a grand slam against a Dodgers pitcher, an angel gets its wings. And then the angel is pummeled with a pair of thundersticks because screw you, Scott Spiezio. And, usually, the Giants win. Don't click on that 2007 link if you're in a good mood. I didnt' remember that game, and then I did.
Chris Heston wasn't Dr. Chris and he wasn't Mr. Hydeston. For once, he was somewhere in the middle, leaving pitches up but never paying the ultimate price. Feels like he deserves at least one more of those on his resume. It would explain the difference between his ERA and FIP.
Gregor Blanco is back, and he got two hits. Feels like he's daring us to think he's the new Pagan, the secret ingredient to a winning team. All I know is that if I had to choose between a lineup with Blanco, or one with Justin Maxwell or Jarrett Parker, it's not even a choice. We've come a long way since the #FreeGaryBrown valleys of last year.
Welcome back, Gregor Blanco. Keep doing ... exactly that.