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Giants lose as Coors Field sits on your chest, tells you to stop hitting yourself

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The Giants lost a dull, awful game. It was their sixth loss in a row. I'm starting to wonder about this season, everyone.

oh come on
oh come on
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday night's Giants were Jake LaMotta losing to Sugar Ray Robinson. Outclassed, but overflowing with pride. When Clayton Kershaw got that final out, they could still be proud of themselves. "You never got me down, Clay. You never got me down", they could say with confidence. And when Kershaw would point out that he actually struck them out 15 times, which is basically like a knockdown, the Giants wouldn't care. They knew they fought hard.

Thursday night's Giants were Jake LaMotta at the end of Raging Bull. They had let themselves go. They were telling jokes that weren't funny. It was hard to think of them as the same team with the same fight as before. They were kind of spilling out of their robe, there. Hey, remember when those Giants were contenders? Yeah, me neither. That was months ago, at least.

It's not just the team, though. It's not like I'm as passionate and devastated about this game as I was about Wednesday night's game. The Dodgers series was a gauntlet of one-run losses, each one more painful than the last. Which is impressive, considering the first loss was the most painful loss of the entire season. This game was the team not showering for a week, like the protagonist in the second act of a rom-com, surrounded by pizza boxes and misery. The fight was out of them.

Did you see the part where Chris Rusin pitched a complete game? Just checking.

I'd love to say that I suffered through every pitch of that one, but no. My kid had soccer practice and, see, I have this system with the DVR that I've honed over the past few years. It's for scheduling emergencies only, but it's pretty solid. As long as I get to the TV an hour after the game starts, I'm golden. I'm like the Django Reinhardt of fast-forwarding, but where that dude used two fingers, I'm making everything sing with just one thumb. Between pitches, stop. Hit the 30-second button after every out, and you're right at the start of the next at-bat. Between pitches, stop. I see every bit of action, and my only regret is that I miss the call and banter of the announcers. It's a big regret, but by the fourth or fifth inning, I'm caught up.

You might say that on the rare occasions I do this, that I'm neglecting the pace of the game, that I'm cheating, that this is why I'm still an amateur in professional's clothing. To which I argue

Anyway, on this night, there were no silky fast-forward fingers. After Wilin Rosario's first-inning single to make the score 4-0, I put the button to the plastic and revved that fast-forward engine, because screw this game. It cost me the thrill of watching Ryan Vogelsong's home run live, which made me even more annoyed. So I watched everything after that. And that made me even more annoyed. There was nothing salvageable about this game other than that home run. Everything else was the nasty chemical additives surrounding the home run, and those chemicals were going to make you have loose bowels AT BEST.

Then I caught up with the game and it's not like I have extra insight from the last four innings that you want to read, which works out because you don't want to read about that game. So.

Wait, I did have one point to make! Matt Duffy had a particularly lousy game. About four minutes after hitting into a devastatingly ill-timed double play, he threw a particularly well-timed double play into right field. Later, he hit into a devastatingly ill-timed double play again. He had a very, very discouraging game of baseball.

Which served as some contrast. Because, really, how many no good, very bad days have we watched Duffy have? Sure, he'll go 0-for-3 or 0-for-4, just like every other batter, but he'll so rarely have disaster games. There's always one hard-hit out, or one fantastic play that reminds you he's not his predecessor, or he'll take a first-to-third right when the team needs it.

When he has a completely meritless game, it stands out. Like, what in the heck was that magic rookie doing that wasn't magic? It's so foreign, so surprising. Brandon Belt will get weird with his swing and have six of those games in a row. Buster Posey has been in a funk like that for three weeks, at least with the bat. Down the line, with every player, you can track their ups and downs mentally, remembering when they were hot or cold.

Duffy's just kind of there, and by "there", I mean completely consistent and impressive. When you consider that last year at this time, he was basically the 25th man on the bench, a versatile-if-limited player who would be handing in a pinch-running situation, it's absolutely absurd to see how much he's grown. And if it takes a lousy sequence of double plays and defensive buffoonery to make us realize that, well, it's better that it happens in a stupid Coors Field blowout than anywhere else.

That's my takeaway from this game.

The Dodgers are winning, you know.

You have yourselves a good night.

★★★

Wait, Ryan Vogelsong's home run really was awesome.

vogie

Man, there was amazing pitcher-welp and amazing outfielder-welp on the same play. Why did Charlie Blackmon cross his arms behind his back and sort of run into the wall? Dunno, but it fit.

My favorite part was that he ran so damned slow around the bases. Just straight lollygagged. And I honestly think that wasn't intentional. It's not like Vogelsong said, "Oh, I'm Cadillacing around the bases because I hit the snot out of that." It's because he probably knew that home run hitters run slower than normal, but, wait, how slow is that? Okay, I'll just run slow and ... is this slow enough? Probably. Whatever.

I had the tater trot at 26.05 seconds, but I'm not a professional. That wouldn't put it in the top-ten slowest dingers of the season, but it's not that far off. When Joc Pederson hit his on Tuesday night, he touched home about the time Vogelsong was juuuuuuust approaching third base.

He earned it. What a feeling, to get your first major league homer at 38, after 11 years and 350 plate appearances.

Of course, it made me think of a dream I've had for years, of Tim Lincecum getting into a low, inside pitch and golfing it just over the wall, down the right field line, at AT&T Park. He's done it in batting practice, the legends tell us. He's done it in batting practice. And almost every time he was up, I wondered just how delightful it would be for him to get that one dinger at home. Which made me sad tonight.

Even a pitcher's home run can make me sad these days.

The Dodgers are winning, you know.

You have yourselves a good night.