The Giants lost tonight for a variety of pitching-related reasons, but if it had been possible, Joe Panik would've traded the luck the baseball gods granted him in the eighth inning on the cue shot that hit the third base bag for the half inch needed for Matt Duffy's fouled 3-2 pitch in the ninth inning to become a game-tying double. Well, maybe he wouldn't have made that trade, but *I* certainly would have. And you certainly would have. And Bruce Bochy, too, certainly would have.
And maybe if tonight's game had been a national broadcast or a playoff game then there would've been a couple more camera angles that might've given us a more definitive look on the replay. Sure, no chalk went airborne when that ball hit the field, but all that ball had to do was graze the chalk. The Giants were a half inch or less from possibly tying the game.
Instead, Tommy Kahnle of the Colorado Rockies, who was in the middle of a full-on meltdown inning, was able to catch his breath -- as the sleepy replay official(s) in New York quickly viewed the two terrible camera angles available to him before upholding the foul call on the field -- and figure out exactly what pitch he'd throw to Matt Duffy on the next 3-2 pitch. Apparently, he decided on "perfect changeup" and was somehow, despite no demonstrative ability previously in the inning, able to throw a perfect changeup to strikeout Duffy. And then he did it again twice to Buster Posey.
But enough about a bad reliever pulling out of a nosedive to close out a win. Let's talk about the bad relievers who lit the plane on fire while it was in the maintenance bay.
WELL ACTUALLY, let's first recognize that Tim Hudson stayed in the game well past his expiration date. The speed with which he gave up a 1-0 lead to create a 3-1 deficit was wholly ignored as he entered the seventh inning. The signs of trouble were there from about the fourth inning on -- missed locations and non-existent stuff creating a meatballapalooza for a team that crushes mistakes. If that had been Chris Heston on the mound tonight, Bruce Bochy would've pulled him at the first sign of trouble that late in the game. Inexplicably, 67-year old Tim Hudson earns the benefit of the doubt after the thirtieth sign of trouble.
It didn't quite cost the Giants the game, though, because Javier Lopez looked dreadful. Perhaps he slept wrong a few nights ago and he's all out of whack or he's a little more dehydrated than usual because of the slightly higher temperatures in the bay area right now, because his past two appearances have been batting practice for the opposition. Carlos Gonazlez was probably destined for a 5-hit night no matter what, but the two pitches "CarGo" swung at in that plate appearance were 84 mph and at the letters.
Mike Broadway's appearance was Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark.
When the Rockies pitchers made mistakes tonight, the Giants hitters managed to dink and doink them. When the Giants relievers made mistakes tonight, the Rockies hitters EVISCERATED them.
Who crushed it [the hanging breaking ball] better: Susac in the 5th or Arenado in the 6th? (Major League Baseball doesn't want to help me out here and make it easy to embed both, so you'll have to click this link for Susac's)
It has been a little bit more than a year ago since the Rockies swept the Giants at AT&T Park in a devastating fashion: three come-from-behind victories. The Giants ruined our Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Tonight's loss was not quite like that. Sure, it featured grotesque bullpennery, but it also featured a Infinity Gauntletesque display of power from the Rockies' offense. Still, tonight serves as a reminder that when summer comes to the Bay Area, the Rockies had better not follow, because their bats are primed to blast AT&T Park. As the Tamarians might say, "Colorado at San Francisco in June."
Tim Hudson wants to remain in the starting rotation. Tonight's effort might've been labeled "valiant" were it not for his manager who wanted to make sure Hudson got the W. Instead, I... I don't know. I'm sure any sane manager would rather dry hump the railing for four or five innings in a Hudson start than a Lincecum start at this point, so there's that. And Peavy has to overcome a lot of recent failure to be demonstrably better than Hudson, too. So, it seems likely the starting rotation confusion, juggling, breathtakingly awful managing as a result of reputation will continue for at least the next few weeks. The trade deadline might not provide a clear path either, but it'll certainly clear some brush.
The Giants had two 2-out RBI tonight. Coming into the game, they were hitting .275/.351/.402 with a 9% walk rate in 942 plate appearances with two outs. It's eyebrow-raising how good they've been with two outs (their .320 BAbip I'll suggest is the result of a 2-strike approach of serving pitches right back up the middle; though, admittedly, .320 isn't too much off the average) so, then, it should feel DOUBLY disappointing that Buster Posey struck out to end the game. That's all I'm asking you to consider as you wait for the next game.
Somehow, the Giants are merely 19-20 at home. It feels like they're 9-39 and have never won a World Series in the San Francisco era.