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Bullpen collapses, Giants lose a game they couldn't afford to lose

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If you still have hope for the NL West, I admire you. And pity you. But also admire you.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Aaaaaand that's why it's historically unlikely that a team will come back from six back with 13 to play, or seven back with 14 to play, or whatever long odds the Giants have been facing for the last two weeks. In one of those 13 games, the bullpen just might drink from the milk carton that's been in the backyard for a week. Happens.

My least favorite part: All five Padres runs scored with two outs. You think they're out of trouble, you think they're out of trouble, you think they're out of trouble, and then SKNRXXX someone rips out a fistful of nose hairs. Repeat for the next inning, after an unexpected home run. Repeat for the last inning, after an unexpected comeback. How many nose hairs do you have? Dunno, but there's always one more.

Cory Gearrin, ostensibly auditioning for a job next year, threw eight pitches with a two-run lead, and only one of them was in the strike zone. Josh Osich did well to get two outs, but he was burned by a 94-mph fastball just above the zone. Which is to say, he wasn't really burned at all. Tip that danged cap.

Sergio Romo was very sweaty. He's not usually that sweaty. I'll go with stomach virus and give him the benefit of the doubt. Either that, or he just didn't have his best stuff working. Bruce Bochy had the choice to let Romo face Travis Jankowski -- who looks like a young Dave Mustaine in the worst possible way -- or let Javier Lopez face either Melvin Upton or Clint Barmes. I would have gone with Romo, too. And we're all fired.

George Kontos and Santiago Casilla both got behind the wrong hitters at the wrong times. And the Dodgers are that much closer to clinching in front of the people you care about.

It's fun to go over the possibilities of just how the Giants can make their miracle comeback, but sometimes Romo gives up an ill-timed two-out hit, or a Padres hitter beats a good two-strike pitch. That's why teams don't win 11 of 12 without it being a freaky 200-tails-in-a-row stretch of baseball.

Really, I'm still mad about the Cubs series. It'll take me a while to catch up.

* * *

The Giants' season in metaphor form: Down to their last three outs, with the odds stacked against them, they had a chance. Buster Posey singled in front of Matt Kemp, who fields like he's wearing pants around his torso and a jersey around his legs, and Brandon Crawford doubled. The All-Stars were starring. The Giants had a chance.

Coming up next, with the tying run at third and no outs:

  • Seventh- or eighth-string outfielder about to puke because it's his first major league at-bat
  • Emergency second baseman in the middle of a 14-for-65 September slump
  • Fifth-string catcher

And they almost did it. It took a lot of bumbling from the other team, but they almost did it. The current roster puts the R in WAR, and that must mean they put up a helluva fight, pal.

Writing about the lingering death rattle of the 2015 Giants means you get to use this GIF twice in one week:

The Giants used a variation, and it almost worked! The ol'-make-'em-throw-the-ball-to-the-backstop play. Brilliant call by Roberto Kelly, imo.

Note that when a single could have put the Giants ahead, Craig Kimbrel struck out Mac Williamson because of course he did. It's a fine line between an epic first MLB at-bat and an unfair one. The only other pinch-hitting option, though,  was Nick Noonan, which is actually something I just typed about the 2015 Giants. I mean, say it out loud.

"You have to go with the rookie because you don't want to leave it up to Nick Noonan. Also, it's September, with expanded rosters. In 2015."

The Giants, in that situation, are supposed to keep pulling talented hitters out of their pockets, like a magician's endless stream of handkerchiefs. Oh, Posey and Crawford got on? Well, here's PENCE and BELT and PANIK well he was earlier but you get the idea and now here's BLANCO to pinch-hit, suckers. That's how the team was built. They could win with a six-inning marvel like Jake Peavy because their lineup was so deep.

Instead, the firm of Williamson, Tomlinson, & Brown filed a motion for summary judgment that was denied, but not after a good fight. And you can't blame them because they're public notaries. They're not even supposed to be here. They're just using the office until the other guys get back from Camp Dizzy.

* * *

Jake Peavy deserved better, in a way. In another way, this is just about what he deserves every time, considering he's pitched seven full innings just twice in 17 starts. He has to expect the bullpen to blow a few if he's not going to go deep into games. It's like he's on the Matt Harvey plan without being Matt Harvey.

The presence of Peavy (and a sketchy Matt Cain) makes me think the Giants would do better to get a bonafide ace-type with millions of dollars that don't belong to me. The extra couple innings that David Price would save for the bullpen every week or two would add up. Then in September, when Peavy was having his patented 6 IP, 3 ER start, the relievers coming in would be that much fresher.

If you take the money and spread it around to, oh, Mike Leake and Ian Kennedy, those benefits probably aren't there. At least, not in an obvious way.

Really, I'm just delirious and rambling because it's midnight, that game sucked, and the season is basically over. Oh, Padres. What did we ever do to you?