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Giants hit snooze button, drop fifth straight

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It was, perhaps, the ugliest baseball of the year, on multiple levels.

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

It could have been worse. You could have stayed home for that game tonight. As in, "Maybe I'll go to that barbecue or watch some fireworks ... but I kinda want to stay home and watch Madison Bumgarner against Stephen Strasburg." Bumgarner was bad. Strasburg got hurt. At least now you have the rest of the day.

It could have been worse because it could have been the Dodgers. It could have been worse because someone on the Giants could have gotten hurt. It could have ended on a blown strike three from Angel Hernandez, or a replay that was screwed up in New York. There could have been four separate rain delays, or the Nationals could have scored five runs in the ninth when you thought the game was already over.

Instead, it was a simple blowout loss. It was merely humiliating on a small scale. It was the worst loss of the losing streak, at least as far as the quality of baseball is concerned, but it's over. The taste will linger in your mouth for a day, no longer. And you can replace that taste with various meats and/or vegetables that are grilled over some sort of flame. Could have been worse.

Happy birthday, America! The Giants got you a box of sick. Don't open the box of sick. We'll see you again next year.

★★★

Madison Bumgarner had one of those wild-within-the-strike-zone games, which he's good for a few times every year. The start probably ruined his chances at an All-Star bid, even with his manager doing some of the picking. There are just too many pitchers in the NL with ERAs close to 2.00 this year, and, like, seven or eight of them are on the Pirates.

Which is another way to say that the Giants have only one really good pitcher, but he hasn't been as good as the other really good pitchers around the league. That's one of the reasons the Giants can have four of the top 20 position players in the league (by WAR) and barely be above .500. The entire staff has been erratic, and the best pitcher has been good, not great.

I was really looking forward to that Bumgarner/Strasburg matchup, you know. What a mess of a game.

★★★


The last time the Giants won on Independence Day, they beat the Astros and Russ Ortiz. Brandon Medders and Merkin Valdez combined for two scoreless innings, and Pablo Sandoval stole a base. Rich Aurilia replaced him as a pinch-runner later in the game.

★★★

We'll end with a game I like to call "Pick the bigger travesty." It goes like this: You pick which travesty is the bigger travesty.

Travesty #1: The Giants' stupid plays

They weren't going to win anyway, not after the Nationals scored three times in the first, but there was a rancid air of nincompoopery around the entire game that made everything that much worse.

Brandon Belt started the nincompoopery off by getting picked off first. How do you get picked off first by a catcher? You lollygag. Take the big secondary lead, then check your phone as you amble back to first. There's no reason to take a lead that big and then freeze after the ball isn't put in play. Taking a lead that big is a conscious decision, and I don't understand how it's not followed with an internal monologue of "BUT YOU'D BETTER GET BACK QUICKLY" every damned time.

Then Belt rolled around in the nincompoopery by wandering off when Brandon Crawford threw to first in the third or fourth or ... hell, it doesn't matter. The play went off Matt Duffy, right to Crawford (like that magnificent play in the NLCS last year), who threw to first, where Belt was ... I don't know, wandering around the infield, holding a sparkler. He thought the play was going to second, or something, but it still doesn't explain his plan. What reason did he have for being anywhere but first base?

Just want a little rosin, is all, and oh, no, they're throwing to me, get back get back get back, aw, man.

Gregor Blanco then made the last out at third because he rounded the base without knowing if Ian Desmond made a throw to first. How much of that is on Roberto Kelly? I honestly don't know if any of it is, or if all of it is, but it was awful, considering the situation and the Giants' desperate need of baserunners to have the slimmest of slim chances.

Again, none of them specifically cost the Giants the game, but we had to watch it. The Constitution allows us to complain about it, and that's what makes this country so great.

Travesty #2: The stupid holiday uniforms

Someone tweeted at me that they were Mets colors. Another tweeted they were Dodgers colors. They weren't either. They were an unholy hybrid of blue, orange, red, black, and indigestion. The hat was supposed to be a flag. It looked like a fanny pack made out of Zubaz. The numbers were supposed to look like they were filled with stars. They looked like polka dots.

It was a peanut butter and pork martini with Mountain Dew instead of vermouth. The uniforms were created without any regard for how the blues and reds look with the orange and black. Either make the entire uniform red and blue, or just stop. I can get used to one day with red and blue Giants uniforms. I can't get used to that.

You know what those uniforms were? They were Bing Bong.

bing bong

They were an elephant cotton candy cat, a mish-mash of nonsensical parts and the manifestation of pure sadness. The only good thing about the uniforms was that they made me so irritated, I paid less attention to the baseball game.

We should all just stop thinking about that baseball game.