There it was, the worst inning in AT&T Park history. When the inning started, it was a close game. It came in a game against the Rockies, who usually gag on the thick, viscous sea air. Rockies hitters hold the bats like Ninja Turtles when they're outside of Denver because they don't know what else to do. And in that environment, they set an AT&T Park record.
Hey, hey, you know what? That's not even the worst part. The 13 runs the Rockies scored? That was a franchise record for them.
The Rockies play in Coors Field. They set their franchise record for runs scored in an inning at AT&T Park. This is your dog eating a very nice spread of hummus and veggies, and you eating your kid's homework. This is your car driving you into a retaining wall. This isn't supposed to happen.
Hold up. Before we continue, let me explain my current post-game writing ritual. I go into my garage, where there's a crappy boombox. Beneath the boombox are tubs and tubs of cassettes from 20 to 25 years ago. Some of these cassettes are outstanding. Some of them are horrible. If I'm going to do this, I'm going to pick the worst mood music I can find.
/throws gum into woods
Okay, let's go. Let's tell her about it.
There will be a day this summer -- July, August, whatever -- when someone's yapping to you about the Giants' Pythagorean record this, Pythagorean record that, and you're going to want to bring this game up. The stock response to those exceptions is that good teams don't allow 17 runs. Good teams don't let this happen.
Fair enough. But if both of the pitchers responsible for Thursday night's game are still on the roster by July, it will be a startling turn of events. Cain will be around indefinitely, don't worry, even if he has to become the new Yusmeiro Petit or allow a phantom injury give him some work on the side. It's not like the Giants are super eager to eat the remainder of his contract without giving him a chance to do something.
That's a note I had about this game. No idea what it means. What a mess.
More importantly, Mazzaro won't be with the team in the summer, when those arguments are made. He strikes hitters out more than Kirk Rueter did, just barely, so it was curious that he was a) a minor league free agent and b) the Giants' first choice to take a valuable 40-man roster spot. His one job was to absorb innings, two or three, even if they came with a few runs allowed.
He couldn't. He couldn't fake it. He couldn't allow five or six runs over three innings. He had to allow all of the runs in none of the innings. It was uncomfortable to watch! It was also not the worst relief appearance of his career.
That was Mazzaro's one job, to absorb innings. And to be fair -- you have to be fair about this point -- the Giants' defense completely hosed both Cain and Mazzaro. The CSN broadcast flashed a graphic reading "MOST INNINGS WITHOUT AN ERROR, NL SHORTSTOPS" with Brandon Crawford at the top, and you could see the scorpions crawl out of the graphic, through the TV, and into your home. You knew what was going to happen.
Crawford borked a throw. Kelby Tomlinson borked a double play -- don't worry, he can always DH. And the history was just shooting out of the broken sewer pipe.
The honest truth is that I don't mind Billy Joel, but he really did think he was Paul McCartney. It's like Charlie Morton and Roy Halladay, where both of them thrived in a field where millions fail, with ups and downs that we can't possibly fathom, and yet there are some very noticeable differences in terms of quality.
Right, back to Mazzaro. The Keiichi Yabu of the staff still has to get three outs out of every 12 batters. It's right there in the job description.
Here we are, talking about Mazzaro, like he wasn't doomed to pitch in a gaggle of losses the second he arrived. This was Matt Cain's start. He had flashes! He also allowed eight runs in four innings. The Giants are in crisis mode, at least a little.
Definite change in tone to Bochy's Peavy/Cain answer tonight. Again said he'll stand by them, but acknowledged they'll "talk about it."— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) May 6, 2016
Did you see the 2-0 pitch with two outs to Nolan Arenado in the first inning? Oh, you have to ... look, don't short yourself on that one. Arenado is basically Barry Bonds crossed with an ED-209 against the Giants. Don't throw him a pitch to hit. Whatever you do. Just don't.
So Cain underhanded him a changeup, then ducked behind the mound, fingers in his ears, like he was a cartoon dog that just lit a stick of dynamite.
I can't imagine the technical expertise it takes to throw a baseball hard. Can't imagine what it takes to throw it hard and where you want. I'm here using verbs and gerunds and adverbs for a living, and I know it's way more complicated than that. There are hundreds of nuances that I can, and do, screw up. So I'm not going to pretend to know what pitchers are going through.
Just ... don't throw 2-0 meatballs to Nolan Arenado? Please?
That's the worst part about this game, except for all the other parts. It's not like Eric Hacker started this game. It was Matt Cain, franchise hero. And he was awful again. It's not an either/or situation coming to a head with Cain and Jake Peavy. It's a 40-percent nightmare of what the Giants were hoping was a functional rotation.
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Don't worry, Mazzaro wasn't alone in giving up nine earned runs in a single game. The pitcher that's done it most since 2010 is Jeff Samardzija, who's done it six times.
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There was an inning where the Giants would have had the bases loaded with no outs, but Roberto Kelly waved in Buster Posey, who runs like an honorary Molina in a suit of armor, and that was stupid.
It's not why the Giants lost, but come on, man. Stop sending Buster Posey in those situations.
Food for thought: If Bochy challenges that play under the Posey Rule, a) the Internet would catch on fire, and b) butterflies flap their wings, and the 13-run inning never happens. Always challenge, that's my motto.
* * *Someone proposed in the stands during this game.
SOMEONE PROPOSED IN THE STANDS DURING THIS GAME.
Dude: Baby, you are my everything, and I want to spend my life with you.
Vin Mazzaro: /eats umpire's face mask
Mazzaro: This should protect my belly for a fortnight, at least!
Dude: Ever since we've been together, I've felt a connection to the universe.
Kelby Tomlinson: These glasses make me look smart! I can't believe the optometrist just let me have them off the rack. At the flea market. Where there probably aren't any actual optometrists. Wait ...
Dude: I just feel this is our time.
Seagull: /carries would-be fiancée to seagull lair
Dude: Will you do me the honor ...
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