It's possible that there is a demon or spirit, either malevolent or benevolent, that moves from Trevor to Trevor, like the entity from It Follows, except it makes Trevors hit home runs. It could have been around since ancient times, which means it would have been sad, lonely, and useless for centuries.
Azytrnx: Hit a home run! Send the baseball into the limitless void! I command you!
Trevor, a Mayan: I do not understand this request because we have not invented baseball.
Azytrnx: This sucks.
This is Azytrnx's time now! And he's just going to move from Trevor to Trevor. You think it's a joke, but Trevor Plouffe is hitting .174 with one measly home run this year. Trevor Story looked mortal again. It's Trevor Brown's time now. He is inhabited. He contains multitudes. It's his time.
Or maybe this is just one of those funny things that happens at the start of season. It doesn't have to mean anything. It doesn't mean that Andrew Susac needs to pay me $25,000 to bribe me into putting Brown on my fantasy team (call me). It doesn't mean that you should put Brown on your fantasy team. It doesn't mean that Buster Posey should rest more or play first more against lefties.
It's just a backup catcher hitting more homers than we're entitled to. A glorious list of home runs from backup catchers over the last few seasons:
- 2015 - Sanchez 1, Susac 3
- 2014 - Sanchez 3, Susac 3
- 2013 - Sanchez 3, Quiroz 1
- 2012 - Sanchez 3
Brown has given the Giants a season's worth of backup-catcher dingers in the first week of the season. He doesn't have to hit another one, and who knows, maybe he won't. But you can't deny his timing.
And that, my friends, is what even-year poppycock is all about. Although I wouldn't put it past Hensley Meulens, secret warlock, to do whatever it is that he does, see whatever it is that he sees. Maybe he flipped the Trevor Brown switch from Quiroz to Duffy like a good hitting coach does. We wouldn't be opposed.
Every team is going to have fluky games from their reserves and random minor-league callups. Why, I was just looking at a box score from a game at Coors with two Brett Pill triples. It happens. The difference is that the 2016 Giants apparently get to laugh when they happen and throw them on top of the pile. They don't have to count on them, like they would have in 2009, 2011, 2013, or last year. When the surprises are mixed in with the expected production, it almost seems like cheating.
That's the beauty of a backup-catcher home run in the middle of an already enviable offensive stretch. We need to put a tub of this stuff in the freezer for June.
* * *
Two-homer games for Brown, by level:
- Northwest League: 0
- South Atlantic League: 0
- California League: 0
- Pacific Coast League: 0
- Majors: 1
His three home runs actually ties his career high at any professional level, as he hit three for the Augusta GreenJackets in 423 plate appearances in 2013.
Baseball is fun.
* * *
Also of note, Brown reminds me of Tim Lincecum, for some reason.
No? You're not seeing it? Yeah, probably just me. Sorry.
* * *
Jeff Samardzija was excellent, getting ...
See? It's not just me, right? You gotta believe me, there's something to this, please.
* * *
Jeff Samardzija was excellent, getting wild swings and comfortable outs, taming Coors Field like few Giants pitchers before him. There have been just 13 starts in which a Giants pitcher threw eight innings or more at Coors. Madison Bumgarner's done it once. Jason Schmidt did it once. Tim Lincecum did it once. Barry Zito, Russ Ortiz, and Matt Cain did it twice.
Now Samardzija. Sure, he might join Ryan Jensen and Kirk Rueter in the one-timer club, but he's off to an outstanding start if he wants to catch up to Cain, Ortiz, and Zito. One start, one gem. Maybe it's time to start talking extension.
All of the eyeballs were on Trevor Story, who has been quite the series of related anecdotes this season. He couldn't catch up to a fuzzy 94-mph cutter, though.
Gameday had it at 95, but called it a regular four-seam fastball. Either way, it was freaky, and you can see the movement catch Brown off guard at the last second. The rumors are true: Samardzija can throw pitches we haven't seen from a starting pitcher in a long time. We're used to Bumgarner's slutter, and we have fond memories of Cain's high fastball and Lincecum's change in their primes. But it's been a little bit since we saw this from a right-handed starter.
The next step is to harness it. Or, heck, just do this every other time, nuts to projecting anything more. After spending March worrying about the starting pitching, thinking, "What if they're all bad?", there wasn't a lot of time to think best-case thoughts.
For example: "What if it's 2014 again?"
Not just in the way that 2014 ended, which was swell, but for the pitchers, all around. Bumgarner was the Sportsman of the Year. Johnny Cueto finished second in the Cy Young voting. Samardzija was a deserving All-Star. Jake Peavy was a second-half revelation and overall solid pitcher. And Cain ... well, we'll have to work on that part, but you get the idea. About 20 months ago, this would have been an absolutely absurd rotation, not just an if-things-go-right mish-mash of history, stuff, and money.
The truth is probably between those two extremes. Eight games in, and the rotation looks like it might be a strength, not just something that allows the Giants to win through their other strengths.
* * *
As long as we're going heavy on the AV stuff, let's check in with how Hunter Pence kept his at-bat alive before hitting his home run.
I have no idea how he made contact. The definition of a losing streak is "games in which that kind of contact doesn't happen." But he fouled it off, just barely, before launching one of the more majestic home runs of the season.
And, of course, the radio call was appropriate:
Now it's a thing!— Andrew A. Bassak (@drewbassak) April 13, 2016
"@mactin55: @extrabaggs @AlexPavlovic @mccoveychron @LOLKNBR with Miller's call pic.twitter.com/cyzR9aB9Fg"
Pence having sound, impressive at-bats might be the best part of the early season so far. It's at least tied with all the other best parts. Matt Duffy and Denard Span are going to have Opening Day-type performances again soon, and everything will have come full circle.
* * *
The Giants didn't have an eight-game streak with at least one homer last year. They didn't have one in 2012, and they didn't have one in 2011. They didn't have one from 2006 through 2009.
They have one to start 2016, which is a team record to start a season. Don't get too complacent -- they started the 2014 season in the throes of a dinger frenzy, too -- but if you had to choose between the gobs and gobs of home runs and not having the gobs and gobs of home runs, you would probably choose the gobs and gobs of home runs.
I know I would.