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Jon Lester dazzles, humiliates Giants in shutout win

The Giants were right to pursue this port-sided warrior years ago. He’s apparently pretty good.

San Francisco Giants v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Sometimes, the better baseball team wins.

[looks at watch]

And you’re still here. Well, this should be interesting. On Tuesday night, Jon Lester sawed through the Giants. He reserved some parts for stock, and he used the meatier parts for the entree. The rest of the Giants were offal, but they always are, ha ha, and he cooked them too.

Lester pitched a complete game. He struck out 10 and walked none. He allowed four hits, and we should be happy a run scored. The Giants aren’t as OBP savvy as they’ve been in the past, but even with their 2017 struggles, they still don’t strike out. So when you see a line that reads “9 IP, 0 BB, 10 K,” it’s okay to be impressed.

It’s okay to tip your cap, even. The guy did it in fewer than 100 pitches, too.

It was the kind of start that transcends the narrative of the season. The narrative where the Giants lose and lose often, spiralling into a blackened abyss. They’ve still been beating good teams. This doesn’t have to mean that the fun is over, that the winning will cease, that they’ll never win another series. One of the most decorated, higher-priced pitchers in baseball disassembled them, and that’s fine. It doesn’t have to reflect on the lineup.

The one with Gorkys Hernandez. And Eduardo Nuñez. And that rookie with the .600 OPS. It doesn’t have to reflect on them. Much.

Sorry, no, let’s put it in perspective. A complete game with 10 or more strikeouts and zero walks. How many times has that happened to the Giants?

Twenty times. Six of the guys who did it are in the Hall of Fame. Another one probably should be, even if his brain is filled with diarrhea and rejected Dilbert comics. CC Sabathia has a better case than you think, and Adam Wainwright and David Cone are in the Hall of Nearly Great, at least. One of the pitchers will eventually make the Hall as a broadcaster, too. It’s an impressive list. And now there’s Jon Lester. He belongs.

There will be more of these starts if current trends hold, of course. Batters are striking out more often, and while the Giants have been behind the curve, they’re still striking out. For now, though, this is an anomaly. That’s how impressive the start was.

[looks at watch]

I mean, I think I get to take most of the night off. That’s the story. That’s all you need to know. The Cubs were better than the Giants. You knew that going in. Those suspicions were confirmed. The hopes are that the Giants can hit the pitchers who aren’t Jon Lester having an out-of-body experience. I’m not sure if I would give them great odds, but I’d give them better odds than tonight.

Is it time to worry about Johnny Cueto? This novelty toy from the ‘80s reads “Concentrate and ask again,” and when I shake it again, it reads, “Reply hazy try again.” But probably not. He’s probably fine.


On the opt-out-o-meter, he’s still way over on the opt-out side, at least. If the Giants don’t want to pay him, the Dodgers still will, and, oh, now I have your attention. Probably fine. But let this be a reminder that the best laid schemes o' shimmies an' men often go awry when there are blisters involved.

That’s probably the worst of all blisters other than the one on the table-of-contents finger, but seriously folks, I’m just filling out a recap for a loss you’ve already forgotten about.

It’s not an excuse, per se, but it makes a lot more sense — and is a lot less freaky — than mystery soreness in the elbow and shoulder. It’s probably directly related to the time he missed in spring training, if I’m playing amateur digitologist.

That doesn’t mean that blisters aren’t nagging, pernicious monsters. Rich Hill can’t stop missing time because of them. But if you’re asking me to choose between a pitcher saying, “I can’t feel my thumb and my elbow is making this high-pitched humming sound that makes it so that I can’t be in the same room as a dog” and “ayup, blisters,” I’ll choose the blisters.

At least all of the three home runs were solo home runs. Now you know what that feels like, suckers!

It probably feels pretty good, just like last night. Oh, well. Down the hatch.