After the old scoutmaster turned off his flashlight and cackled all the way back to his tent, we both pulled our sleeping bags over our heads. Carl broke the silence first.
"It's just a story."
The fire popped and hissed a dying hiss. God, how I would have killed for some trees rustling in the breeze, maybe an owl, anything to break the silence, but there was only nothing. It was so loud we couldn't think.
"Yeah, it's just a story. There's no June swoon. It's just a story."
But what if it isn't looped and looped and looped, a garage sale record, over and over and over again. The reasonable thoughts stormed in at the same pace. No, it's just a story. No, it's just a story. No, it's just a story.
"Just a story."
We both heard it. We both pulled the sleeping bags tighter, oxygen be damned. If we screamed, it would be real, and this couldn't be real, so we said nothing, did nothing. But we heard it.
Probably the wind. Probably a raccoon. Probably just our overactive imaginations, ha ha. It was so distant. It was nothing.
It sounded closer, even though it wasn't real. It couldn't be real.
We heard the chewing before we heard the bones crack. We didn't know it was May's flesh being torn off, bite by bite, until later, when we found the scoutmaster's head and the rest of May's carcass.
We pulled the sleeping bags tighter and tighter. Only eight hours until sunrise. The clawing sounds and the gurgling would probably stop before then.
* * *
Ha ha, man, that was a lousy game!
* * *
A individual loss to a bad team is awful enough. But, really, the Giants have been winning. A lot. If they mixed in an extra loss in the last two weeks and won this Wednesday, would you still be this irritated? No. It would have been Happy Times in Giants Land.
Except the Giants also lost Hunter Pence. Nuts to the game. He pulled his hamstring legging out what was going to be an infield hit, and he's gone. We need to wait for an MRI, so it's irresponsible to speculate. But, hell, a month. Two months. A long, long time. Longer than day-to-day. Long enough where the Giants will actually put him on the disabled list.
The Giants have been pretty good about timing their injuries to come in games they've won. I would walk the tightrope between "PLAYER HURT" and "SPORTS TEAM GREAT VICTORY" as deftly as possible, annoyed that they couldn't just give us the typical satisfaction of victory that we were only going to get 60 to 100 times every year. It was the worst.
Well, I found something worse than that. A key player going down, followed by a blown save.
I'm not going to rank the Giants in order of we're-hosed-by-injury, because that's a dark, dark cave to spelunk into. But it's fair to say that the Giants aren't a team built on outfield depth. They aren't known for an eternal geyser of minor league outfielders shooting out of the earth. They'll have to rub some dirt on the roster, walk it off.
[dirt strikes out]
Well, you know what, that's not important. The Giants lost a key player tonight, that's what's important, and they're ill equipped to replace him. Also, they lost a game they should have won. They desperately should have won. They had. In hand. It was so easy.
Also, Hunter Pence is hurt. How long, it's inappropriate to say. But I don't remember players grabbing at their hamstrings and limping off the field, only to return the next day and say, "It was just a minor case of dropsy. I'm all better!" It's weeks that he's going to miss. Weeks, I tell you. WEEKS.
[Giants acquire Rickie Weeks from Diamondbacks]
Now look what you've done.
* * *
Remember that time A.J. Pierzynski hit a home run off Santiago Casilla, and the Giants lost a brutal heartbreaker that sort of changed their season?
This was like that, only we had to imagine Pierzynski gloating instead of actually watching it. Also, it feels worse because it just happened.
But remember that time A.J. Pierzynski hit a home run off Santiago Casilla?
* * *
* * *
Before getting too weird: Albert Suarez enters the pantheon of random Giants starters, and he performed admirably. Eric Hacker is here to present the jacket, and Guillermo Moscoso is emceeing. Fantastic work, really. That's as good as the Giants should have hoped, if not a little better, and they should have won the game.
Suarez is a reminder that I would be an awful GM or scout. He was basically Jeff Samardzija tonight, as far as I could tell. Threw hard. Hit his spots, mostly. Five years, $90 million. It seems weird until I remember that I can't throw as hard as him. Not even close!
* * *
And now we get to Santiago Casilla. His ERA is still 2.08, which is great, does anyone want to ... no? Okay. He has years of meritorious service. Does anyone want to ... no? Okay. He has the highest strikeout rate and the lowest walk rate of his career this season, does anyone want to ... no?
The Giants are 19-4 when he appears. That means he's basically a good luck ch
This was the fifth run allowed by Casilla on the season. The first run came when the Giants were leading by one. The second run came when the Giants were leading by one. The third run came when the Giants were leading by one. The fourth run came when the Giants were leading by three! The fifth run came when the Giants were leading by one.
This seems to indicate that he is a) a victim of unfortunate, hideous, dumb timing and a poor sense of the moment, and b) the Giants sure aren't good at getting to the ninth inning with a bigger lead. Both can be true, and they don't have to absolve him at all. Just pointing out that with four more insurance runs over 30+ innings, we don't notice Casilla nearly as much.
That doesn't mean he wasn't a wretch in this game, though. His transgressions, ranked, in order of "come on" to "NO NO NO":
- Allowing a BABIP special of a single
- Hitting Adonis Garcia with a two-strike pitch
- Throwing a wild pitch
Really, two mistakes in the inning. Both of them having to do with erratic command, which isn't usually his problem. But they were unconscionable at the worst time. Where was this hiccup against the Diamondbacks with a two-run lead? Where was this hiccup against the Reds with a three-run lead? Why in the one-run games? WHY ALWAYS IN THE ONE-RUN GAMES?
* * *