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The Giants were pummeled, and the Dodgers hate your dad

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Other than that, it wasn't so bad.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants could have swept the series against the Dodgers, but they didn't. They could have moved into first place, but they didn't. You're left with the same did-good-things-just-happen? choice after the end of a three-game series that we're used to. Yes, it's a good thing that the Giants took the series on the road. No, it's not a good thing that they lost the final game of the series. Yes, if the Giants win two out of every three-game series, they'll be one of the better teams of our generation, so be happy when they keep that pace in a series. No, you shouldn't be happy at this very second, thinking of the way the Dodgers just pummeled the Giants.

It's confusing.

Yes, I'm retiring the "Giants avoid the sweep" headline construction because a) I'm tired of people correcting me on social media and b) it really seems jinxy. It sure seems to happen every time these weirdos go for a series sweep. No, I don't really believe in superstitions. Yes, I'm spending my energy beating the yes-no construction into the ground. No, I don't really care. Because I had to watch that game, and, lo, it was a garbage game. So I can write anything in here and not feel guilty about it. Because it's not like you're reading this. Why would you want to read more about that game?

Overall, it was a good series. The Giants won two out of the three games, and moved closer to first place. They didn't get bludgeoned by a Kershaw-shaped blunt object, and I'm not sure if we had to look at Zack Greinke once.

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Good point, autocorrect. Really, it was a good series, overall. Remember that. Why are you throwing things? It was a good weekend! Don't look at me like that, oh, fine, I'm annoyed, too, but please stop throwing things.

★★★
This is the part of the recap when we talk about Tim Lincecum.

Aaaaand everyone left. Except for you, Brad. Thanks for staying, Brad. Let's talk about Tim Lincecum.

We're now six starts removed from the last unambiguously outstanding Lincecum start. That's six starts of grinding, six starts of erratic command and control. Six starts of quietly thinking, man, this guy sure doesn't look like the other successful pitchers in the league. And if you're not thinking about the end of Lincecum in the rotation, well, you are some sort of space bear who just woke up from space-hibernation after three years. Here's a basket of salmon entrails. Here's a glass of water. We have a lot to talk about.

If you're not a space bear, you get it. Like, 2012 was a long time ago. Kensuke Tanaka was on the Giants after that, as was Jeff Francoeur. Johnny Monell had at-bats for the Giants since then, and so did Nick Noonan and Cole Gillaspie. Guillermo Moscoso was on the team. We wondered if Chad Gaudin was going to be in the rotation the following year at one point, like he was some sort of long-term solution. That was a long, long, long time ago.

Before all that happened, Tim Lincecum was a distinctly below-average major league pitcher, and he never really improved. All of the long-ago stuff up there? That was after LIncecum started pitching poorly. This is year four -- four! -- of this. We can't be surprised by now.

Lincecum's ERA is up to 3.86, now. He's made it into the seventh inning just three times in 14 starts this year. The walks are up, the strikeouts are down, and the velocity is also down. Am I being overly negative? Am I missing something that's obvious to you, a glimmer of hope to share with the rest of the Giants-loving world? Because I want to share that glimmer. Just let me know what that is, please, and it will be the first thing I update my LinkedIn status with, I promise. I'm just not seeing it, here.

One of these days, the lasers will let us have a stat based on how much the catcher's glove moves after he sets his target. There's no way a stat like that will be easy to calculate and interpret, so we have years of statheads arguing about it and sniping at each other. I still want to see the stat. That seems like a useful stat. And I'll bet that stat would tell us the same thing as our eyeballs are right now: Wow, Tim Lincecum sure isn't like other pitchers, and that isn't a good thing.

★★★
Something I was happy about before the game: Brandon Belt started in left field instead of sitting on the bench in a Posey-at-first game. It was creative, it was bold. And then Belt kicked a ball in the most first-baseman way, reminding you that he didn't belong within 100 feet of left field, unless he was rounding third and coming home.

Something I was happy about before the game: Yusmeiro Petit existing. He's an overqualified long reliever, a wasted talent but still a talent. Love that guy. And then Petit allowed four homers. Four! Let's get a list of every Giants reliever since 1914 to allow four homers or more in a game:

And, that's the list. Welcome to history, Yusmeiro. Population: You. Smerio. And Alan Embree.

The point is, don't feel happy about anything, ever.

★★★
Good question, Twitter subscriber! It's a little tricky to find out all the ESPN games from past years with raw googling, but here's my best stab at it:

4/6/12: Diamondbacks 5, Giants 4
4/1/13: Dodgers 4, Giants 0
5/5/13: Giants 4, Dodgers 3
4/6/14: Dodgers 6, Giants 2
7/27/14: Dodgers 4, Giants 3
9/7/14: Tigers 6, Giants 1

I might have missed a couple, but that's all that remains on the Internet for us. So basically, if the Giants could have combined all of the runs from their last seven ESPN games, they would have beat the Dodgers tonight, and they wouldn't have even needed to bring Casilla in for a save. That would have been a fun game, alright. As is, the Giants have kind of wet the bed for the national broadcasts, especially on Sunday nights.

And yet they're so good on national broadcasts in the fall.

It all evens out.

Lotta stupid Dodgers games mixed in though.

Like that stupid Dodgers game.

Let's stop talking about baseball now.

★★★
One last note: I like K-Zone. I also get why it drive other people insane. We're heading toward a future in which we'll get all of these options à la carte, and I think I would order that particular one for myself. Saves me the hassle of messing around with post-game PITCH/fx scrapers after the game, and I'm not bothered by it in the moment.

That's just one feller's opinion, and I'm still looking forward to the day when I can turn off the announcers, turn on the ambient noise, toggle a few options (like K-Zone and advance statistical overlays and such) and set the game up exactly like I want it.

Until then, I"m okay with these gimmicky, dandy features, if only because I like them and don't care what anyone else thinks.

Sorry. Losses to the Dodgers really still bug me, after all these years.