Oh, so this is supposed to feel good? A too-late shutout from a disappointing deadline acquisition against a hungover Dodgers team? We're supposed to be happy that the Giants won 5-0, even though it was a completely meaningless game?
Yeah, probably. Here, check it out:
Giants 5, Dodgers 0
I don't care if that comes in Scottsdale or a game of MVP 2005. It's nice to type. It's nice to read. It's nice to sing in the shower. Giants 5, Dodgers 0. Try it. Sure, there's a little pathos with this one, but it still counts.
We get to close the books on Mike Leake, possible ex-Giant. Because he's relatively young (27) for a free agent, I've seen rumors that he'll command a six- or seven-year deal. This is a perfect time to contemplate that, after his first career shutout. Did that look like a dominant pitcher, laying waste to the opposition? It did not. It looked like a pitcher who knows what he's doing, having a pretty good game. Which is what you'll get when he's right. You can decide if that's worth a six-year commitment.
Oh, you've decided already? Yeah, me too. But maybe those estimates are off, and he'll be a bargain after the bigger contracts are signed. I'm not opposed to Mike Leake on the Giants for a couple of years. But the sheen is certainly off. His final numbers as a Giant:
8 HR allowed
And one injury. The test drive taught the Giants a few things. First, that AT&T Park fits his style. Second, that AT&T Park sure as heck isn't magic for him. Third, that's he's pretty Mike Leakey. Which is to say, he's pretty Jake Peavish, too. Those players can help a team win. And having a couple on hand is a pretty good idea if the top of the rotation is solid.
If the top of the rotation is solid.
Don't forget that part. Write a reminder for yourself.
Seems extreme, but also effective. If Mike Leake is the #2 next April, the even year will seem quite odd. Quite odd, indeed.
That written, we can live in the moment for a bit. Huzzah for Mike Leake and his shutout of the Dodgers!
Giants 5, Dodgers 0
It's bittersweet, but it's better than the alternative. I wouldn't be opposed to the Giants finishing a game behind the Dodgers, really, if only because it would let us whine alllllll winter about specific games and blunders and moves and calls. It would also look a lot cooler for future generations.
* * *
The 69th splash hit in Giants history -- truly one of the franchise's most hallowed marks, was almost hit by Nick Noonan
Wait, what's that? Enhance.
You son of a ... you just miketrouted the only splash hit of the season. And you did it for a ball you have a moral obligation to give up, too. For merchandise, memorabilia, and or tickets? Is it worth it? Is it ... yeah, it probably is. Still, total buzzkill.
Also, Nick Noonan is hitting home runs while playing first base for the Giants in 2015.
Let's get the home run update out of the way:
Career home runs, Giants 2007 draftees
Madison Bumgarner: 11
Charlie Culberson: 5
Jackson Williams: 1
Nick Noonan: 1
Johnny Monell: 0
Is it awesome or a little sad that a pitcher has more home runs than the rest of the major league hitters from that draft combined? Yes.
* * *
Two weeks ago, after Matt Duffy twisted his ankle on a play at first base, the Cubs threw over to first, specifically because they wanted to see how hurt Duffy was. Or because they wanted to tweak the ankle for a competitive advantage. Or because they're Pence-breaking, Aoki-concussing jerks. Maybe all three. On the next pitch, Duffy stole second because he was pissed off.
On Wednesday night, Duffy almost took a fastball to the face off Kenley Jansen, who was completely disinterested in a non-save situation, as is his way.
Nope. Nope nope nope. This is the odd year having mercy on us all.
In response, Duffy lined a single up the middle, and then he stole second because he was pissed off. He's got some fire to him. He totally had a switchblade in his jean jacket in high school, you can tell.
2015 is a dumb season? Maybe. But it can't be all bad if it left Duffy on our doorstep. I don't remember a young player who has been so consistently impressive and slumpless on both sides of the ball. He was in a mini-slump for September before tonight -- .273/.310/.364 -- but the dinger and the single will help.
Also of note: seven dingers at home, five on the road. He gives zero bothers about AT&T Park, apparently. I'm okay with that. Appreciate Matt Duffy one more time, and have a good night.