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Giants lose ballgame, dignity

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The Giants, folks, just aren’t very good at baseballing.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at San Francisco Giants John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants lost, 10-3. They are almost back on pace to lose 100 games. They are unwatchable.

The record will show that Matt Cain didn’t allow a lot of earned runs. I’ll take it!

ME: How did Matt Cain do?

YOU: He allowed two earned runs, but

ME: [singing loudly] LALALA THANKS BUDDY LALALALALALA

YOU: he allowed six runs overall and pitched just

ME: [singing loudly] LALALA WHAT A WORLD LALALALALALA

But, okay, fine, the record will also show that Cain allowed six runs. While those four unearned runs were sandwiched by some strike-zone weirdness, it’s not as if Cain pitched well, either. He walked the first batter he faced in the game, which scored by law. He allowed a long home run after a rough call turned a 1-1 count into a 2-0 count, but he still allowed the home run.

The worst part is that you can’t really yell at the Giants for sticking with him. They’ve already tried to send him to the bullpen, where he can run around on a big field and give up earned runs with pitchers just like him, but injuries sucked him right back in the rotation. They could unceremoniously dump him with two months left, but nah. That wouldn’t be the best look, and the team isn’t going anywhere. Let him get that standing ovation in his final September start.

I want to give him extra credit because of the four unearned runs. The inning should have been over. Except, was he going to pitch four more scoreless innings? Three more scoreless innings? Most of the possible outcomes were going to be bad.

In this outcome, Cain allowed just two earned runs. Any more details and LALALALA because I don’t care.


Bruce Bochy was thrown out of the game in the second inning, and I’ve never been more jealous of another human being in my life. Bless him.

Dave Righetti got ejected in the top of the ninth inning. I was less jealous of that.


Brandon Belt didn’t pull a Ruben Rivera. But he screwed up on the bases bad enough to make you recall Rivera’s name immediately. You can watch the video here, but it’s not embeddable, and I’m too lazy and indifferent to make a GIF. So here is the story in still images:

Phase I: McCutchen traps the ball

It was an obvious trap.

Phase II: McCutchen holds the ball aloft in an attempt to confuse Brandon Belt

BELT: why is he holding the ball up

BELT: am i supposed to get the ball

BELT: get the ball, brandon, get the ball

BELT: no, that is not correct, i am supposed to run around and touch the marshmallow squares

Phase III: McCutchen says, uh, wait, what is he doing?

That is not usually the windup of an outfielder about to make an outfield assist. That is the windup of an outfielder wondering what the hell Brandon Belt is doing.

Phase IV: Belt is thrown out by 15 feet

I like this shot because it is a desert of infield dirt, with a tiny grass oasis. There is not a base in sight. The base is a mental construct. All there is in this world is dirt. And grass. But mostly dirt. And sadness. Mostly sadness.

Phase V: Belt is recalled to his home planet

“Are you there, God? It’s me, Brandon.”

And I lied about the GIF part because this one gives Belt a chance to speak for all of us:

Yes. That is also what I said. Tonight. Yesterday. The weeks that we’ve wasted. The months we aren’t getting back. That exact phrase.

Postscript: Everyone does that thing where they try not to laugh directly in Belt’s face

Posey’s technique is to bite his tongue. Josh Bell’s technique is to stare straight ahead. Jose Alguacil’s technique is to stare ahead, mouth agape. None of them are doing a great job. It’s hard, man.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Cody Bellinger hit another 3-run homer, his 27th, which means he’s hit more homers than any Giants player has hit in a season since Barry Bonds retired.

Also, happy birthday, Barry Bonds! Get your damned spikes on.


Conor Gillaspie worked the count to 2-0 with the bases loaded and two outs, and then he got his pitch:

Except, is that his pitch? Thanks to the magic of FanGraphs, we can look at the ISO of every 2-0 pitch Gillaspie has ever seen since 2008:

Gillaspie does poorly on balls right down the middle, which is weird, but he generally hits the low balls down the middle.

He grounded out to second weakly, of course. This is because ...

  1. The Giants are awful
  2. The Giants’ bench is awful
  3. You’re awful for continuing to support this
  4. I’m awful for assuming anyone wants to read this
  5. Conor Gillaspie, Friday’s stay of execution aside, has been pretty, pretty bad this season

Even if he singled, the Giants weren’t likely to win. Even if he tripled, the end result would have been roughly the same, so don’t take this as a lamentation of chances missed.

Take it as a way for me to complain for a few paragraphs and stuff a recap that no one — no one — should bother reading. Or writing.

Watch Giants Outsiders on NBC Sports Bay Area.