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Giants drop sixth straight in most frustrating game of second half

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If you've watched every game of the second half, which has included a walk-off balk, you'll know that's saying a lot.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants lost their sixth straight game on Friday night, losing a one-run game, while going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Brandon Crawford made three errors for the first time in his career, and the bullpen faltered late.

The only reason I’m not printing that paragraph out and eating it is because it could have been worse. If Brandon Belt had reached base, Trevor Brown would have been the last chance for the Giants because he was an injury replacement for Buster Posey (x-rays are negative). The first paragraph was an A- of misery. It could have been an A+. Try harder, Giants.

Start with the Crawford errors as a metaphor. They don’t mean he’s suddenly awful at defense. They mean he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, repeatedly. Why, he’s the personification of the Giants in the second half! Not bad. Just bad right now. In the first inning, Crawford’s throw tailed on its way to home, driving Royals fans nuts and surprising Buster Posey. In the seventh inning, Carlos Beltran’s famed hustle forced a quick throw. Neither of those errors mattered.

In the eighth inning, though, Crawford attempted a miracle double play that we’ve seen before. He had to twirl around because the ball was hit six inches to his left, preventing him from a direct route to second base. It was an error because Brandon Belt is 6’5" instead of 6’6", and also because it trickled away from him instead of dropping straight down off his glove. The ball was put in play on an 0-2 pitch that was pounded straight into the ground.

If you tell me it’s a game of inches, I will cut you. I’m going somewhere with this. Wait for the moral of the story.

Again, they don’t mean that Crawford is untrustworthy because he nearly doubled his 2016 errors total in one night. The moral of the story is that it’s a game of inches. Then the inches crawled up the Giants’ legs and torso and collectively bit them on the neck until they bled out.

Was Gregor Blanco safe?


Maybe? Don’t know? Doesn’t matter. The game of inches doesn’t just apply to the play at the plate. It applies to the umpire’s brain, too. If the umpire’s inherently unreliable human nervous system processed this information a slightly different way, the safe call would have been upheld. It’s a game of neurons!

Instead, it’s a run the Giants couldn’t get because of course they couldn’t. Note that Gregor Blanco tried to score on a fly ball to short right with no outs, even though there still would have been a chance to score on a fly ball with one out.

The Giants are 7-51 with runners in scoring position in the second half, by the way. You know, in case you were wondering why you wanted to bite your own foot off. That’s 44 at-bats in the last week where the single didn’t score the runner from second or third. That’s 44 at-bats where you thought, "C’mon. Just a single" that never came. Also, those seven hits came in miserable losses.

Please don’t take this as a bunch of whining that the Giants are getting unlucky. No, no, no. They’ve just stepped in a pile of baseball, and they’re on a road trip that was grown in a petri dish from a swab taken from Tommy Lasorda’s armpit. These inches, these little gopher holes of misery, have nothing to do with luck. They’re just the crap the generator spits out in a season that also features two eight-game winning streaks.

It would be a lot cooler if the Giants could win a game, though. Did you see the rocket that Jarrett Parker hit with a runner in scoring position in the second inning? Did you see the squib toots the Yankees scored their runs on? Did you catch that the Giants got to their vaunted bullpen and tied a game that shouldn’t have been tied, only to lose it on a squib toot, a walk, and an error?

No, of course you didn’t. You turned this off a while ago. Good for you.

* * *

Madison Bumgarner struggled with his command for two innings, and then he was fine.

This has been an update of the Madison Bumgarner Emergency Broadcast System. If this were an actual emergency, this site would have been directed to an embedded otter video with the words "SCREW THIS, I QUIT" typed underneath.

* * *

No one really wants to read about this game, but I’m vain and you’re here, so let’s talk about two at-bats in this game.

Mac Williamson should be the hero. He should be the danged hero, and we should be writing songs about his travels and travails right now. Against Andrew Miller -- basically Randy Johnson with more time to file his nails — he was down 0-2. That’s murder. Doesn’t matter if it’s against lefties, righties, a switch-hitter standing in the middle of the plate, whatever. After falling behind 0-2 to Miller, hitters were 6-for-50 against him.

Why, that’s almost as bad as the Giants with runners in scoring position since the All-Star break! Man, that’s awful.

Williamson took a slider. Spit on it, actually. Metaphorically, sure, but if we wanted to look at the tape, he probably snorted at it, too. Then he took another slider. spit-snorted at it. Then the nastiest slider of the at-bat. Spit-snorted at that one, too.

Then he got the fastball he couldn’t catch up to with the first two swings, and he drove it to the wall. Game tied. He should have been the hero. It was one of my favorite at-bats of the year.

Just an inning before, though, we had one of the worst at-bats of the year. Angel Pagan worked the count to 3-0 with a runner on third. He got the green light, which I’m fine with, really. I wouldn’t just let my power hitters loose on 3-0. That’s every hitter’s best chance to see a fastball down the middle while they’re expecting it, which is sort of the point of hitting. I’d let Ben Revere swing 3-0 with a runner in scoring position in a one-run game. Let ‘em all swing if they’re judicious about it.


he tried to pull that pitch [sob] he tried to pull that pitch on 3-0 [sob] he didn’t just decide to swing at a fastball that wasn’t down the middle, he actually tried to pull it [sob].

It’s not why the Giants lost the game. All of it is why the Giants lost the game. Every single mistake and mishap. They’ve lost six in a row, you know. Things have been better!