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Giants play as hard as they can only to get swept extra hard in Colorado

The Giants can’t help but be overmatched against every team, but they still have to play the games.

San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies
Colorado’s “Slap Hands” was 4-for-8 with 3 home runs in the series.
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Giants were swept by the Rockies in a four-game series for the first time ever, but given the state of both teams, it’s not really that shocking. When Ty Blach’s solid start ended after a pair of home runs to give the Rockies the lead in the seventh inning, I definitely considered the possibility that the Giants might tie the game only to lose it in the bottom of the ninth or in extra innings. That’s sorta how things have been going this season, but more importantly, that tends to be how things go in Coors Field.

Instead, we got an inert player dead cat bouncing to give the Giants a 2-run lead in the ninth inning. It was at this point where I (and probably most of you) figured the Giants would still lose this one, only it would be much more dramatic than the aforementioned scenario (which would have mirrored Friday night’s thrilling loss). Actually, there was a brief moment where I had the thought, “It is hard to sweep a Major League Baseball team.” But at this point in the organization’s talent cycle, the Giants are a Major League Baseball team in name only.

These players might be trying their hardest to win because they have pride and they don’t want to let their teammates down, but that doesn’t mean their best is good enough. Or even good anymore. Every game of this series featured a brain fart or misplay that are hallmarks of bad teams and undisciplined players. Today featured two baserunning gaffes by Span in the first inning alone. Gorkys Hernandez, still on the roster, appeared to sing a sonnet to a Nolan Arenado hit he fielded, seemingly turning that double into a triple. But these are just minor gripes in the grand scheme of things. The Giants are so bad.

It’s surprising and unsettling that all of their good players are average or below average now and that might be different next year, but it seems unlikely that all the players they were counting on this season who’ve instead let them down will be better in 2018. The Giants can’t help but tank this season.

It’s like the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where the Enterprise is trapped in an asteroid field, bombarded by deadly radiation. They soon learn that the more power they pour into their shields, the more powerful and deadly the radiation bombardment becomes. Eventually, they learn that the only way out is through. The Giants need to embrace what they are now.

The four worst teams this century have been the 119-loss Tigers, 111-loss 2004 Diamondbacks, the 107-loss 2012 Astros, and the 111-loss 2013 Astros. Through 71 games of those respective seasons:

* 2003 Tigers: 18-53

* 2004 Diamondbacks: 27-44

* 2012 Astros: 29-42

* 2013 Astros: 26-45

* 2017 Giants: 26-45

That Tigers team was, if I recall correctly, in a Brewster’s Millions situation. Or maybe it was The Producers. Those two Astros squads were in the midst of a computer-generated rebuild involving creative destruction of an organization and fanbase to setup a successful long-term future. That 2004 Diamondbacks team had a TV broadcaster in his final half season managing a squad of aging veterans 3 years removed from a stunning World Series win. You can figure out which scenario best fits the 2017 Giants, but whichever path you choose, figure that none of them end with the Giants being a playoff team before the end of the decade.

It’s not all about the Giants being unwatchable dreck, they also have comically bad luck that’s worth a laugh or three.

  • Buster Posey scorched a line drive up the middle in the first inning with a runner in scoring position. Unfortunately, Bochy had put Brandon Crawford in motion to avoid Posey’s penchant for grounding into double plays — except this caused Posey to ground into that very double play, only harder.
  • Ty Blach’s only two glaring location mistakes cost him the chance for a win. Otherwise, he pitched like Kirk Rueter, keeping the Rockies’ hitters off balance, taking the sting out of their bats. Bochy had him start the seventh inning after already having thrown 92 pitches. Maybe Bochy didn’t want to use too many relievers given that the Giants still have 4 in Atlanta, but 6 innings of 1-run ball from soft-tossing Ty Blach in Coors Field is free money. It’s hilarious that he doubled down, lost, and the Giants lost harder.
  • They threw record money at a closer who has a bad elbow who can’t pitch consecutive days and will have to be shut down at some point this season or next and he’s had only 14 save opportunities in 71 games/2.5 months. In any given appearance, he’s a combination of rusty and hurt. The Giants tried to fix their bullpen mess and somehow made it worse.

If Baseball is still a metaphor for life, then this is my nightmare: trying your hardest, playing to the top of your intelligence, and still utterly failing. The difference here is that baseball teams are immortal, and we are not.

On this Father’s Day, the Giants finally learned the identity of their biological father. Nolan Arenado is incredible. He absolutely owns the city of San Francisco and certainly the entire organization. Drafting his brother didn’t protect the Giants from his destructive power. That worked out about as well as negotiating with terrorists does.

A walk-off 3-run home run (something the Giants, as a team, are mostly incapable of doing) to complete the first ever 4-game sweep of the Giants that also completes your first cycle is a complete humiliation of the opponent. If the Giants had any heart, Arenado would’ve ripped it out and fed it to Todd Helton’s sentient goatee, which lives underneath Coors Field.

The Rockies are living in the spotlight of one of their best seasons in franchise history. They have drafted and developed wisely, and the Giants will hope to be as lucky over the next 10 or so years. Sure, the Giants have three titles over the past 7 years and that’s precisely because they had that level of luck in the 10 years before that, but if everything holds, talent-wise, the Giants will never defeat the Rockies again.

Congratulations to Hunter Pence for hitting his first career pinch hit home run. Leaving Pence on the bench certainly strengthens the bench and the outfield defense and the everyday lineup and at this point in his career and injury-aided decline, pinch hitting probably makes the most sense for him going forward. Given the state of the Giants offense, of course, that probably guarantees him only about 100 more at bats for his Giants career (his contract expires after 2018).

I considered pre-writing this recap before going to bed last night, and then making this a more humorous post by correcting whatever the precap got wrong. But then our pipes backed up into the bathtub and shower and staring down at that surprise poop made me realize that I wasn’t going to accomplish what I had hope. It was a metaphor for the 2017 season.

There wasn’t a GameThread posted on this site today and I did not get one message about it. Maybe nobody watched.

Happy Father’s Day!