The Padres tried to lose, I promise they did. Trevor Cahill was all over the place. The Giants — the Giants! — were hitting him hard. They were messing up in the field, futzing up simple rundowns. The Giants were up 4-0, and it felt like they should have been up 7-0. When they were up 6-2, it felt like they should have been up 9-2.
And when Conor Gillaspie tied the game, it felt like they should have walked off.
If the Padres protested, then let them take it up with the league. If the Giants aren’t awarded the win after arbitration, who cares? Have the walk-off celebration anyway. Dump the Powerade, throw the helmet up in the air, and have a grand ol’ time. Then leave the field, even if the score is tied. Now that’s an ending we can get behind.
A-ha, except the Giants are apparently living in the future world of 17776, where time isn’t rationed and the binary set of wins and losses don’t really apply like they used to. The Giants steadfastly refused the Padres’ offer of a win. They had designs on something a lot messier, a lot more confusing. The art was in the journey, not the end result.
Also, the Giants sucked. That was part of the story of this game, too.
The good news is that we can’t feel anything anymore, so we’ve already moved to that acceptance stage. Like, I can laugh at that 14-hour game against the Mets that ended with us waking up to find out the Giants signed Jeff Francoeur. That was very, very funny in retrospect! This is like that, except I don’t even need the passage of time.
Idea: a Pink Floyd tribute band, except instead of “Comfortably Numb” they sing “Actually Laughing.”
So Brian Sabean has been repeating a truism for years:
Brian Sabean frequently cites the Giants' need to score four runs as their daily minimum requirement.
That was from 2010. This is from 2014:
“So all of a sudden, if you’re able to have an offense where it’s not too much to ask to score four runs a game — because you’re probably going to give up less than that — you can win.
And two weeks ago:
And this is so redundant it’s ridiculous, but it applies to what we’re taking about: the magic number is four. When we figure out how to score four or more, in most years, if the starting pitching is in check, and the bullpen is competent enough, you should win your share of games. It’s uncanny. The stats don’t lie in that regard.
Well, the Giants scored four runs before the Padres got a hit. And they ...
... didn’t win.
They’ve lost three games this year in which they’ve scored nine runs. That’s the most since the 2004 Giants.
The 2004 Giants scored nine runs in 24 different games.
The 2017 Giants have scored nine runs in eight games.
The 2017 Giants are 5-3 when they score nine runs.
Instead of writing a narrative that pretends there’s something to salvage from this sordid mess, I’ll just list The Most Disappointing, Sad Moments of This Disappointing, Sad Giants Game.
1. Cory Gearrin walking a reliever on four pitches in the sixth inning
Ah, the most disappointing, sad moment of them all. This was the moment when I realized the Giants were going to lose and lose embarrassingly. The run scored, of course, to tie the game. And the Giants never scored again. Not talking about just this game, either.
This was the second time in three games that the Giants walked a pitcher. The pitcher scored both times. If you’re looking for a list of Giants walking their opposite numbers, here’s one since 2000. The last time a Giants pitcher walked a reliever was in 2010, when Denny Bautista walked Hung-chih Kuo. The time before that was when Adam Eaton (the pitcher) walked to set up the Ryan Spilborghs grand slam.
Don’t walk the reliever.
Absolutely no good can come from it.
2. Jeff Samardzija is terrible at pitching again
Eno Sarris wrote a great piece for FanGraphs that you should read. The title is “Is Jeff Samardzija Being Too Predictable?” It had a lot to do with sliders and what he does with one strike.
The headline would fit for this game, though, with the fastballs down the middle. Apparently, people can hit those.
3. HECTOR SANCHEZ, CUT IT OUT
Seriously. Stop. It’s not funny. I’m tired of digging out the stats.
Hector Sanchez never hit four home runs in a season while he was with the Giants. He has four home runs in 18 plate appearances against the Giants this year.
Hector Sanchez had two home runs at AT&T Park while he was on the Giants (296 PA). He has three home runs at AT&T Park against the Giants (15 PA).
Alright, it’s a little funny.
4. George Kontos, although, look, I get it
He was tired. Four games in five days. The slider takes a lot out of the arm, and Kontos throws a bunch of them. He looked gassed. He was gassed. I felt bad for him.
On the other hand, Kyle Crick has thrown six innings all month. That’s not hyperbole. Six innings since the end of June. Sooooooooo, maybe that was the better option?
Except Crick threw 34 pitches on Thursday night, so it’s understandable that Bochy didn’t want to use him
The real problem was Samardzija not getting through five innings, but, really, that’s like the only thing you can’t complain about with him. He almost always gives his bullpen rest.
5. Death birds
Time was called because Denard Span was running away from some seagulls.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) July 22, 2017
Span vs. Seagulls is an incredible battle. pic.twitter.com/wsbJi1KIly— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) July 22, 2017
Stop that, death birds.
6. The guy who interfered with a ball in play, even if it didn’t affect the game
Reminder that this needs to be placed on every front row seat down the line before every game:
7. Conor Gillaspie, you beautiful bastard, for giving us false hope
Before we go, I would like to get at least one “Literally Conor Gillaspie” from the studio audience.
After two quick outs in the ninth inning — we’re talking seconds for each at-bat — the dumb Giants were going to lose a dumb game, and we had all made our peace with it. I had made my peace with the Giants losing when they were up 6-5 and Cory Gearrin walked Craig Stammen. Then there was a walk from Buster Posey ...
... and a nice piece of opposite-field hitting from Brandon Crawford, and suddenly Gillaspie represented the tying run, but, really, what were the odds that he was going to OH MY SWEET G
Literally Conor Gillaspie. Some benchies come and go, like so many Steves Scarsone, without making a lasting impression. That’s because Gillaspie has stolen all of their moments. He is a time thief.
The Giants lost, of course.