Bruce Bochy sat down at his desk, pulled out a pencil, and started crafting the Giants' lineup for September 5, 2015. Brandon Belt at first, Andrew Susac behind the plate, K...
"Skip? Brandon Belt has the grippe. He's puking all over the place. His shoulders are actually rigid, he's puking so hard."
Bruce Bochy, still at his desk, still with his pencil, crafting the Giants' lineup for September 5, 2015. Andrew Susac behind the plate. Buster Posey at ...
"Skip? Andrew Susac has a sandworm in his wrist. He probably isn't going to make it."
Bruce Bochy, still at his desk, still with his pencil, crafting the Giants' lineup for September 5, 2015. Buster Posey at first, Hector Sanchez behind the ...
"Skip? Buster Posey fouled a ball off his foot in BP. He could probably use a day off."
Bruce Bochy, head down at his desk, eating his pencil, yelling unintelligibly to someone we can't see, sobbing loudly. Underneath the closed door, a fog began leaking in. It was a death fog. Shhhhhh, it will all be over soon. Shhhhhh.
"Skip? Lou Seal stowed away in someone's suitcase, and now he's running around and biting people. I think he's rabid. You gotta see this."
And then the Giants won.
There were a lot of problems with the starting lineup, of course, all of them out of Bochy's hands. Alejandro De Aza isn't a cleanup hitter. No manager had ever pretended he was in his major league career, so this was the first time he had ever hit cleanup. Hector Sanchez was in the lineup, even though he was ostensibly the third catcher when the sun rose today. Brandon Belt and Buster Posey were unavailable. Joe Panik and Hunter Pence were still very much unavailable.
Still, the most 2015 Giants thing in the lineup was so very obvious. Nick Noonan was at first base, where he had never been before.
Before the season, think of how many different tumblers would have needed to click for that sentence to be real life. The Giants had Belt and Posey to play first. There was Travis Ishikawa as a backup first baseman. Joaquin Arias had experience at first. Adam Duvall was in the minors. There were literally 16 dozen different players I would have guessed before Nick Noonan to start a game at first for the 2015 Giants.
With Susac's wrist, Posey's fatigue, and Belt's bowels, though, the Giants were desperate. They basically put a flier on the laundromat bulletin board, and some rando called saying he could probably help, maybe, whatever.
Not only was Noonan fine -- stretching long for a hilariously obvious first attempt in the first -- but he also drove in a few runs. The Giants, trying to win a game for the first time in months, won it on the derring-do and general sticktoitiveness of an emergency option behind six emergency options. Noonan had already been discarded by the organization, and he wasn't even with the Giants when the season began.
What I like about Noonan returning and helping the Giants win a game in 2015 is that he was once the future. The Giants had five picks in the first round of the 2007 draft. They spent the first one on some high school lefty, or something, and they spent their next on Tim Alderson. The next on Wendell Fairley, tools monster. Then came Noonan. Then Jackson Williams. Then Charlie Culberson. Could you imagine if one of those players was actually the player who helped the Giants win a championship?
The lefty helped them win three. Culberson and Alderson each helped them win a different one indirectly. Williams might be back with the team tomorrow, actually, which leaves Fairley as the odd pick out. Still, I remember a moderately promising season for Noonan in the Cal League that made me think he was the future. Give him a few years, and maybe he's ready to start in 2010, 2011, or even 2012.
Noonan is a reminder that baseball is an improv comic that thinks it's really, really funny. Show a video of Noonan playing first and helping the Giants win to someone from 2008, and the cognitive dissonance would have lasted a split-second. Oh, guess he could hit so well, he fit anywhere. The real story is far more ludicrous. Nick Noonan started at first for the first time in his life, and the Giants won.
Later in the game, Hector Sanchez's ankle exploded. Looked like a hamstring to me, but whatever. We were *this* close to Ehire Adrianza catching a few innings in an odd year. Kind of disappointed it didn't happen. It's the completionist in me.
Angel Pagan hit a home run!
Angel Pagan hit a home run, alright. It was his first since May 2, 2014, when he was hitting .337/.375/.490 after a month. Hey, nothing unusual there, the Giants were going to win the World Series and Pagan was going to be a big part of that, baby. Then he never hit a home run again.
Until now. And I've zaprudered this one for the last 20 minutes, and I can offer my hypothesis: It clipped the very inside edge of the foul pole and went careening into the seats where no one was prepared for a home run. It was about five millimeters from being a foul ball.
Perfect. It couldn't have been a normal home run. It had to be something weird. Just perfect.
Jake Peavy kept the Giants in the game. He also hit two doubles for the first time in his career. He's been the weirdest cat this season, pitching at least five full innings in each of his last 13 starts (good), but completing seven full innings just one (bad). What's the prognosis? He's probably going to be one of baseball's more expensive fifth starters next season, and other than the money and financial flexibility lost, that's probably a good thing. The Giants could have -- and have -- done worse.
He's pretty okay, everyone. Pretty okay has a place, even on next year's Giants.
Peavy talked to us then hustled off. "I gotta go see Phish." Their concert started at 7:30. It's 9:45 now. So ... still on the first song.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) September 6, 2015
This is a good tweet. You enjoy yourself while watching you enjoy myself, Jake Peavy. You enjoy you enjoy myself, enjoying them as I would myself when watching you enjoy myself myself.