Christian Arroyo came up to bat in the first inning and singled into left field on the first pitch, and it was a wonderful moment. Here was the Giants’ most touted hitting prospect in a number of years, 21 and with only a couple of weeks experience in AAA, facing off against Clayton Kershaw, who’s spent a lot of consecutive years being the best pitcher in baseball. Arroyo saw a first pitch, get-it-in fastball and smacked it into left field for a base hit. He was happy. His family was happy. Giants fans were happy. Eduardo Nuñez was so happy for Arroyo that he hit into a fielder’s choice, allowing Arroyo to get into the dugout and celebrate with the team. Thanks, Eduardo!
Is it too much to ask that Arroyo will get another 180 hits on his way to a playoff berth and a Rookie of the Year win? Yes, it absolutely is. So I’ll settle for 179 more hits. Going easy on you, Christian. You’re welcome.
Movie executive 1: Imagine if Kirk Rueter could throw 91
Movie executive 2: AND HE’S UP AGAINST PROFESSOR MORIARTY CROSSED WITH MAGNETO
Movie executive 1: What? How is that an appropriate opponent for-
Movie executive 2: HE CAN SHOOT LASERS OUT HIS EYES
Movie executive 1: That’s Cyclops, not Magneto
Movie executive 2: AFTER A ROUGH START HE SETS THE GIANTS DOWN IN ORDER REPEATEDLY ON ABOUT 5 PITCHES PER INNING AND WHILE IT’S ALWAYS IMPRESSIVE TO WATCH A GREAT PITCHER, IT’S ALSO DISHEARTENING AND WHILE HE’S IN THE GAME EVERYTHING FEELS KINDA HOPELESS AND THE SHARP EDGES OF LIFE BECOME JUST A LITTLE MORE DULLED AND THAT’S BEFORE KENLEY JANSEN EVEN COMES IN
Movie executive 1: ...
Movie executive 2: ...
Movie executive 1: So can he shut off his laser eyes or is he just a pure uncontrollable Cyclops ripoff?
Movie executive 2: UNDECIDED.
This is the point where I note that Mike Krukow very earnestly and convincingly said that Ty Blach reminded him of Dave Dravecky, but I never watched him pitch, so I can’t speak to that. I did watch Kirk Rueter pitch, though, and if I’m being honest, at least 40% of the reason I used Kirk Rueter for this comparison is that I like Kirk Rueter.
Still, there are valid similarities between Blach and Rueter. Rueter, in the minors, had a 6.3 K/9 and a 1.8 BB/9. Blach, in the minors, had a 6.2 K/9 and a 1.9 BB/9. They’re both lefties whose specialty is control and inducing weak contact; Rueter was a fast worker, and so is Blach; Blach fields his position well, and so did Rueter. Blach throws harder than we remember Rueter ever throwing, but as pitchers, their styles are pretty similar.
We all complained about Blach not winning a rotation spot over Matt Cain, when really we should have complained about him not winning a rotation spot over Matt Moore or Jeff Samardzija. Stupid us. But he had a good start tonight. It wasn’t great, but considering that he hadn’t fully built up his arm strength and he was limited to 75 pitches, 5 innings and 2 runs against an excellent offensive team is pretty solid and something to be proud of.
It was Blach’s bad luck to go up against Clayton Kershaw, but he didn’t have a bad showing. In the 4th inning, when he gave up the runs, the last three hitters all hit what could have been double play balls. Puig just hit his away from the infield shift the Giants had on, Adrian Gonzalez’s ball only didn’t end up in two outs because Nick Hundley couldn’t handle a low throw home from Brandon Crawford, and Yasmani Grandal did finally hit into the double play Blach was trying to induce. These kinds of innings happen sometimes, but they don’t mean anything more than sometimes balls get through. It was still an encouraging start from Ty Blach, who’s sure likely to be in the rotation for a while this year.
Oh, and there was also Blach’s double:
SURE GLAD I CAN’T SHARE VIDEOS OF BASEBALL HIGHLIGHTS ON A BASEBALL SITE TO BASEBALL FANS.
“I thought Madison Bumgarner was the team’s premier hitter who’s a lefty pitcher who hits righty,” you say. “What gives?” Not to worry, friend. You don’t have to change a thing about your biases.
Bumgarner went up to Blach before game and predicted where pitch location from Kershaw would be. He got a pitch in that spot, hit double.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) April 26, 2017
There was a heckler.
Nobody likes that heckler. There is not a single human being alive who regards the heckler with any emotion kinder than resigned distaste. The heckler yelled and yelled, and was sure he was funny, and every single other person paying attention to the game felt a deep sigh run through themselves each time they heard his voice.
On the one hand, I don’t want to tell anyone how to fan. On the other hand, man, don’t be some idiot heckler whose voice gets on TV. Because literally every Giants fan in his section and every Giants fan watching on TV would be morally justified in spilling that guy’s beer and not buying him a new one.
Eduardo Nuñez started out hot this year, but he’s been in a horrible slump since leaving Arizona (.509 OPS outside of Chase Field!). Does that mean that we cannot celebrate the really fun thing he did tonight? No, of course that doesn’t mean that.
He should have been out but he wasn’t because of his fantastic acrobatic play! Delightful.
Anyway, he was stranded at second that inning and the Giants lost the game by one run. Still, what a slide!
Brandon Crawford Is Good At Baseball, Part 30 million:
Well, this video’s also not available for sharing at this time, because that’s the way you grow the game to kids, but go watch it and then note how the CGI is done well but the physics of the play just make it impossible. C’mon, guys. Show some respect for plausibility. No one can catch that ball. Stop insulting our intelligence.
Crawford, who was already scheduled to be away from the team for three days on bereavement leave, injured his groin in the 8th inning and the team hopes to get an MRI done before he leaves the team for a few days. Let me just say: I am not in favor of Brandon Crawford injuring his groin and I believe other Giants fans would back me up on that.