The Dodgers hit a home run, and the Giants didn’t.
* * *
Okay. I’ve calmed down.
* * *
That was it, though. One homer. It came on a bad pitch, a naughty pitch, just a very bad pitch. Justin Turner deserved to hit that pitch. He deserved to hit that pitch far.
But did the Giants get a pitch to hit all game? We’ll go in reverse chronological order. Kenley Jansen didn’t give them a pitch to hit. He’s Kenley Jansen.
No, the Giants hit a homer off Jansen last night. When they were down by four. They don’t get to hit home runs off him when it’s a 1-0 game. Also, the Giants are still oh-for-the-season when trailing after eight innings. They will never come back. Sorry. Moose out front should have told you.
But if the Dodgers pitched nothing but superstars all night, we wouldn’t be mad. Would be a tip-your-cap game, and that’s a different kind of irritation. No, we’ll move on to Joe Blanton, frontrunner for the Seriously, Joe Blanton Award of 2016 in the National League.
Let’s see, did the actual Joe Blanton we’re not even kidding hang any pitches?
That’s 23 pitches. Maybe seven of them were quality. That blue one, right in Brandon Crawford’s happy zone? That was the third curveball in a row that he threw. It came in an 0-2 count, after Dave Roberts decided not to bring in a left-hander that Crawford has never seen before, and Blanton hung it.
What’s that swinging strike in the middle of the strike zone? Don’t care. Not going to look it up. Corey Seager would have hit a five-run homer off it and worn Christy Mathewson’s skull like a hat as he crossed home plate. But the Giants player who got it couldn’t turn it into a home run.
The Giants can get home runs when a) it doesn’t help or b) when Madison Bumgarner sighs really loudly and does it himself. That’s why I wrote all of these paragraphs after Turner’s home run. To save time.
We’ll move backward through time to Pedro Baez.
Alright, that’s more the Giants being jackfaces and helping him out than missing their pitches. Cool called strike seven inches off the plate, though.
Adam Liberatore pitched to a batter.
The out was a line drive with a runner on base. If Conor Gillaspie starts his swing .03 seconds earlier, and it’s into the gap. KATE, WE HAVE TO GO BACK.
Which brings us to Rich Hill. Who’s basically Barry Zito after a government experiment. And if you laugh at the idea of Barry Zito every being that good, remember that it’s far, far, far, far more logical for Zito to be thriving in the major leagues right now. Zito was getting Triple-A hitters out last year when Hill was screwing around against Sean Burroughs and the Bridgeport Bluefish. And now he’s the best player on either roster, apparently.
Yeah, but at least the Dodgers traded Justin Turner to get their super-duper trade acquisition. Probably. We’ll research that later.
Did Hill leave any pitches up?
Well, yeah, of course he did. Starting pitchers throw dozens of pitches every game. Go back to the best Madison Bumgarner postseason start you can think of, and you’ll see pitches that missed a little. Get-it-in fastballs and steal-a-strike curves.
Still, look at this little cluster of fail-planets orbiting right in the middle of the plate:
Let’s see, according to the legend, that’s two balls in the middle of the strike zone that became hits. There were more outs in the middle of the strike zone than hits. There were far more called third strikes.
There were five warning-track outs in the game, did we mention that?
That’s not to say that Hill didn’t pitch well. He did, you saw it. His curveball is freaky, and he’s doing different things with it, sweeping it and taking it more over the top when he needs to. It makes the fastball look like it’s coming from Aroldis Chapman.
But in a 1-0 game, you get to yell at things. The Dodgers got a home run off a bad pitch, and the Giants couldn’t do anything like that. No, see, the Giants are awful now. They ended the first half with the best record in baseball, and they’ve played 12 different series since then. They’ve won one of those series, and it took seven hits from Brandon Crawford in a 14-inning game to get that series win. They’re 11-25 since the All-Star break.
Did you know that the worst stretch for the 1962 Giants over 35 games was 18-17? Now that was a consistent team. The 1971 Giants had a couple 15-20 stretches, and the 1987 Giants had a 13-22 in the middle of their June swoon. The 1989 Giants had a 16-19 stretch, which was also the worst run for the 1997, 2002, and 2010 Giants, all. The 2000 Giants started the season with a 16-19 record like a bunch of dingbats. You could probably guess that the 2003 Giants didn’t have a particularly awful 35-game stretch (17-18 was the worst), considering they led wire-to-wire, and that was the worst stretch for the 2012 Giants, too.
Only the 2014 Giants compare. From June 9 to July 20, the ‘14 Giants went 12-23. They frittered away the division, and they were lucky that they drafted Matt Williams and put a parasite in his brain before they left.
That’s where the Giants are. If they make the postseason, this is the worst stretch of baseball any postseason-bound Giants team has played since moving to San Francisco. Because teams that make the postseason usually aren’t this awful, this clumsy, this incapable of doing anything to remind you why baseball is supposed to be fun.
This team also tied the mark for best record over a 35-game span since moving to San Francisco, matching the ‘62 team with a 26-9 record. This team. This dumb, dumb team did that.
So maybe there’s hope?
Nah, just messing with you. See you back here tomorrow night. The Giants will also have one of those lefties that was experimented on by the government, but it was Jonathan Sanchez, and all the Captain America super serum was stale. Smelled like fetid yogurt. But they tried it anyway, and I’m sure it will work out