Because it’s not a lot of fun to grouse in every recap, let’s start with something different. Buster Posey hit a long, long home run in Wednesday’s game. It went so far, that it clarnked off the scoreboard in center field. That’s a technical term, of course.
You can watch the play and listen to it here. It was a beautiful home run, even if the Giants lost. It was also reminiscent of one of my favorite homers of 2012.
You hear that? Clarnk! I’ve watched a lot of games at Miller Park. I don’t remember another clarnk. It’s just Posey doing it, as far as I care to tell.
I bring this up because there was not a no-grousing rule at the beginning of last night’s recap. The grousing sort of went through the whole thing, start to finish, and I missed my favorite play of the night.
I will never do anything as well as that. I will never execute anything, with mind or body, that comes close to that perfect form. To jump up from a crouching position and throw something 127 feet with perfect accuracy and blistering speed is a technical feat that I will never understand. That was the making-a-scoreboard-go-clarnk of caught-stealings.
Which is to say that before we grouse, remember that Buster Posey exists. That the Rays and three other teams decided that they would rather have another baseball player. That he’s on the Giants and extraordinary.
It’s been a miserable season. But Posey has been outstanding, and we’re lucky to watch him.
Now back to your regularly scheduled grousing.
The Giants scored three runs, and it felt like they scored four runs. And when they score four runs, it’s almost like they’re doing good things, which means that’s like a normal team scoring five runs. And when a normal team scores five runs, they win a lot.
See, you have to think about this on different levels and use context. Or something.
The Giants had seven hits, and as usual, it seems like everyone gets exactly one of them, spaced out delicately so they don’t accidentally bump into another hit and create a rude logjam on the bases. This is the .250ingest-hitting team we’ll ever watch. That’s a season average. That’s a per-inning average.
Except for sweet, sweet Buster, who’s still hitting .348.
Boy, I can’t stop thinking about how we still get to watch Posey play baseball. In between the deep, extended thoughts about how lousy this season is, it’s all that crosses my mind.
There was more good news, though! It’s not much of an oasis, but it helps.
Regardless of what happens down the road with other pitchers, Bochy said, Blach is staying in this rotation. #sfgiants— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) June 8, 2017
It seems obvious, but it really wasn’t. Even on a night like this, when Blach wasn’t exactly perfect or getting the weak contact he subsists on, I was hoping we got to watch more of him. And it’s on a night like this when that future seems the least secure. As in, every start like this from Blach gets Bochy and the Giants closer to thinking, “Well, maybe Cainer has turned a corner.”
Blach wasn’t helped by his defense, either. Orlando Calixte is a fine outfielder for a shortstop, which is to say, he’s probably not supposed to play nine innings in the outfield every single day. Not unless he’s hitting. He overran a crucial ball in the fourth inning, and then he got a bad jump on a ball soon after that allowed the Brewers to add on.
That’s not to pile on Calixte, who can probably handle a utility gig in the majors. But when you’re experimenting with players learning on the job, there will be hiccups.
It’s a worthwhile question as to why the Giants are experimenting with Calixte, specifically right now, with Austin Slater on the roster. Calixte isn’t much of a prospect, and Slater is at least a fair one. Calixte isn’t much of an outfield, based on the small sample, and Slater is at least a fair one. But Slater was benched after OPSing .397 in his first 13 plate appearances.
Calixte is down to .458 in 28 plate appearances.
Bochy, on what he would've said in spring if told he'd be starting his 10th different LF in June: "I'd say things are not going well in LF."— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) June 6, 2017
Well, yeah. So at this point make the tiebreaker have to do with future expected contributions. That would be Slater. Stop dickering around when a twitchy rookie has a bad three games in a lost season.
Calixte might have a role in that future, but I’d wager that it’s in the infield or off the bench, not in a corner outfield slot. Let Slater play, even if it’s probably not going to make the Giants win any more games this season.