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Giants demolish Padres again, sweep series

It's a little late for the Giants' postseason hopes, but smashing the Padres is always fun.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

In the first series against the Padres this year, the Giants scored seven runs. It was a four-game series. That means they scored an average of ... well, I'm not good at math, but the point is it was awful. Hello, welcome to the 2015 season, here's a feckless four-game series against the Padres.

In this latest series, the Giants scored 27 runs over three games. In 2010, the Giants didn't score their 27th run against the Padres until the 12th game against them. The last time the Giants scored more runs in a series against the Padres was 2002, when they had Barry Bonds and assorted chemicals, and that was a four-game series. If you want to find a three-game series with more runs, you take a look, because I couldn't find one.

What I'm getting at is that these games were fun.

The Giants hit a cool .400 with runners in scoring position, which is a good thing, considering they had 40 at-bats with runners in scoring position over their three games. The Giants averaged over six runs per game against the Padres in AT&T Park this season, and this series helped. They had an 8-, 9-, and 10-run game in this series, possibly because the Padres looked awful. Remember when I picked them to finish ahead of the Giants this year? That was dumb, because look at that dumb team. I'm pretty sure their best player is Craig Kimbrel, and ...

Wait, there are three games in San Diego later? I'll shut up.

But that was fun, contending or no. The Padres came into town, and they were bludgeoned They were almost perfect-gamed, and then they were bludgeoned some more. After getting bludgeoned one fine time, they slinked away. That's for the first half of 2010, I want to scream every time the Giants do that. That's for the first half of 2010. Man, how that scarred me. If only there were some sort of closure at the end of that season to wipe that pain away, but that didn't happen, so I'm forever angry at the Padres, even if it's completely irrational.

What I'm getting at is that these games were fun.

* * *

This game was basically a pamphlet entitled "So You Want To Get To Know Mike Leake?" In the first inning, there was thunder and triples and explosions. He looked like an undersized, overmatched, light-throwing fifth starter, someone who would never make it because he couldn't guarantee perfect location.

Then he was silky butter for his final four innings. Command, control, movement, deception, execution. Look at that guy work. Wish we had a guy like that, the other team thought.

Also, he hit a dinger.

Before he hit it, I thought, "You know, if he hits a homer here, the Giants will take the lead." Then Krukow or Kuiper said something like, "And he can swing the bat." Then he hit a dinger, perfectly timed, perfectly welcomed. The Giants have been blessed with their pitcher dingers this year -- eight, the most since moving to San Francisco -- and they've had four pitchers hit a home run in a season for the first time since 1974.

Part of me wants Leake back because I want the Giants to collect all the dinger-hitting pitchers. Moneyball II, suckers! Another, larger, part of me realizes that's a terrible way to build a baseball team. But on pitching merits, Leake is probably a pitcher worth keeping around. Benefits from the park and the Giants' infield defense. Younger than the typical free agent. Generally okay. When you add in the potential for dingers, I'm like Lucille seeing Gene Parmesan, squealing and clapping hands. Heck, see what Carlos Zambrano is up to. Mike Hampton is probably a free agent, though I haven't checked on that.

But really, the reason you sign Leake is for the pitching, ahem, so, yeah, he did okay with that. It was a darker script for the first inning, but the happy ending came pretty quickly. He's a solid pitcher and a good fit. I don't know about no $90 million or whatnot, but my early scepticism about him is fading. He's a good fit.

And the dingers!

* * *

Angel Pagan stole three bases in one game for the first time in his career. Which is impressive, considering that he was playing on crumbled hips and vertebrae for most of the season. Either the DL trip was the best thing that ever happened to him, or we're waiting for a collapse at the end of the season.

Remember, he started the season hot.

At this point, the takeaway shouldn't be that Pagan is fixed and fantastic again. It should be that rest makes him look froggy. Froggy is a good thing. He's taking bases, taking extra bases, saluting, saluting, saluting. He robbed a homer on Friday, and he's played a generally solid center, with a couple of foibles.

I'm scared the Giants are thinking he's back, he's fixed, and he'll be dandy as the starter in center for 150 games next year, when they should be thinking that he has a chance to contribute over 300 or 400 at-bats. And that's a maaaaaaybe. No guarantees.

But I'll admit that I wasn't expecting even a glimmer of hope with Pagan's return, that he was going to lumber around the bases and outfield the same way his body forced him to before. He definitely looks different, and I'm into this different, same Pagan. Just as long as the plan isn't 600 plate appearances, the Giants will figure out something to do with him.