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Giants memorably humiliated for second straight night

This time the bullpen was perfect, but the defense was appalling.

Angel Pagan reacts to a ground ball hit to first base.
Angel Pagan reacts to a ground ball hit to first base.
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

And so it was that the night after the bullpen caught on fire, with flames licking the troposphere and changing weather patterns around the world, that the Giants played one of their sloppiest, ugliest games of the season. In the last 18 innings, the Giants were basically the worst of the 1962 Mets. Historically awful. You want to laugh at it because it’s so bad it’s good, but it’s so bad it’s bad, and everyone involved feels deep shame.

Other than that, the Giants and A’s played a baseball game on Wednesday night, and the Giants had more hits, so it was basically a tie.

It’s rare that we get a GIF that can act as a proxy for the entire recap, but here we go. Here was Tuesday night’s game, in which the A’s defeated the Giants, 7-1:

It’s not just the missed catch, though that’s the most important part. It’s the hop afterward. It’s Denard Span standing motionless for a second, thinking, "Wait, no way." It’s the mix of incompetence and incredulity.

The game was mostly over by this point, so don’t take this as a missive that Angel Pagan cost the Giants the game. Not at all. It took a village. Without indoor plumbing.

It all actually started with a harmless one-out pop fly to right field. The score was 0-0 in the third inning, and Jake Peavy was cruising along.

Just a nice, harmless pop fly.

It was Mac Williamson’s ball. You’ll read comparisons to Bob Brenly’s famous four-error game from 30 years ago, but that’s wildly unfair. Williamson had a rough game that included the following:

  • Getting called out in the middle of a rally for violating the Ruben Tejada rule while Ruben Tejada was on deck

  • Colliding with an infielder to start a rally that should have never happened

  • Having a home run ball pop out of his glove

  • Missing a redemptive grand slam by five feet

  • Grounding into a double play with the bases loaded instead

And yet, there are reasonable explanations for all of them. Williamson’s slide wasn’t egregious; all he had to do was stick an arm out to hug the base. It was Peña’s fault on the pop-up. That home run ball would have been a SportsCenter catch for a reason. That’s a tough catch! The difference between a grand slam and a double play is about .005 seconds, and Williamson had good at-bats for the rest of the game.

That’s not Williamson apologencia. But these are all things that happen over the course of a career. You’ve seen a celebrity in public, right? Sure you have. Everyone has one story. Happens over the course of a lifetime. This was the equivalent of having four celebrities steal something from your garage sale on the same day.

We’re getting ahead of ourselves. So there’s a runner on third because the second baseman didn’t hear the right fielder, and then there’s a safety squeeze to score him, which is just obnoxious. Then there’s a ball hit to the outfield with two outs. Let’s check in with Angel Pagan’s route on that ball:

It goes for a triple, and then Peavy makes a lousy pitch.

Another angle showed Williamson slamming into the wall. This play is tough, man. Don’t even pretend like he should have had it. It’s something you practice when you’re a kid in your backyard, ha ha, but to actually get within a glove-closing of making that play? Hard. Extraordinarily hard. And those walls aren’t exactly speed bumps. Williamson is a very large human, so you can use him for scale. He was up there, fully extended.

At the same time, you kind of want him to CLOSE THE GLOVE JUST A SPLIT-SECOND SOONER because you’re an irate fan. It’s your right.

After that, let’s see, hey, Ruben Tejada, welcome to the Giants! Introduce yourself!

Jake Peavy made Jake Peavy faces, and then he threw about 500 more pitches in the inning because of course he did. In the following inning, we had the Pagan misplay up there and more dumbery, and the Giants were down by seven runs. That’s seven runs, on ...

  • an error
  • a bunt
  • a lousy route
  • a home run that popped out of a glove
  • a walk
  • a home run to Yonder Alonso, who is awful
  • an error from Angel Pagan
  • a single-and-an-error on Pagan that was inexplicably ruled a double
  • a single or something, look, I don’t care

Jake Peavy wasn’t blameless. He made fat pitches at the wrong time. But he deserved better. He deserved a typically competent Peavy start. In and out in six innings, with just a sprinkling of runs around some grinding and frustratingly artful precision. He didn’t deserve for the entire Giants team to act like they were a 15-year-old suffering through their first hangover during their Sunday shift at Hot Topic.

It’s rare that we get a GIF that can act as a proxy for the entire recap, but here we go. Here was Tuesday night’s game, in which the A’s defeated the Giants, 7-1:

It’s just one game. The Giants are still six games ahead of the Dodgers and having an otherwise fantastic season. It’s just that we just had a memorably dumb game. It was right there, just last night. For the Giants to act like this less than 24 hours later, why, it’s just rude.

Also, unwatchable. Rude and unwatchable. Do better, Giants.

* * *

Also, the Giants scored one run, even though the starting pitcher was a rookie with a 6.02 ERA who just came off the DL. That seems important to leave somewhere.

* * *

The bullpen threw 4⅔ scoreless innings, and that makes me madder than anything. A night after four different relievers pitched like absolute garbage and caused one of the most spectacular bullpen failures in franchise history, four relievers combined a half-ballgame of completely uneventful baseball.

The next person who mentions cluster luck to me is going to get their cluster filled w

* * *

Spare screenshots from the game and some tweets that I didn’t get to use here but I didn’t want to waste: