With one out and two runners on base in the top of the 11th inning, Buster Posey grounded into a double play. He had a 1-0 count, and he was looking fastball, I’d reckon. He got a fastball. It was down the middle of the plate.
With one out and two runners on base in the bottom of the 11th inning, Kyle Farmer, a backup catcher making his major-league debut, hit a game-winning double. He had two strikes, and he had to protect against anything. He got a 96-mph fastball off the plate.
It’s too easy to draw perfect parallels about from those two at-bats — the Dodgers won because they’re better at baseball, for the most part — but that comparison is so 2017. The Giants had their best player at the plate, looking to add on. The Dodgers had the 47th player on their depth chart up, looking to stay alive. The Dodgers won. The Giants lost. This is how it will be, apparently. This is how it will be.
The Giants blew two saves in this game. The first one was blown by Sam Dyson, who was forcibly removed from another team’s roster because he was so bad at saving games. The second one was blown by Albert Suarez, who was voted Most Likely To Be Designated For Assignment by me for the last five months, just because he wasn’t pitching.
I don’t have any special enmity toward either of them — they’re both pitchers who can fill a role on a decent team, and they’re probably overextended trying to save a one-run lead against what’s apparently the best team of the last 100 years, give or take. It’s just funny that a year after the great bullpen apocalypse, the Giants are relying on retreads and minor-league free agents to save one-run games against their blood rivals.
It’s super funny. Can’t express how hard I’m laughing with each keystroke. The only thing Dyson did wrong, really was fail to hold Chase Utley. Also, it’s funny that Utley is on the Dodgers and apparently as fast as any player on the Giants. This is all really, really funny.
If you’re looking for positives, the obvious one is that Madison Bumgarner was fantastic, mixing speeds and moving the ball inside and outside at will. He was electric, and the Dodgers couldn’t hit him. In five years, you might not remember this game, but you could be watching Bumgarner and being thankful he’s as good as he is. This game gives us all a hint that might be our future if we’re lucky.
The only problem is that Hyun-jin Ryu was just as good. I mean, he wasn’t as good as Bumgarner. But the equation goes something like this:
Hyun-jin Ryu + (facing the 2017 Giants)
And it’s absolutely devastating to watch. They each pitched seven innings. They each allowed a walk, five hits, and struck out seven. Neither of them allowed a run. But Bumgarner was clearly better, from my admittedly biased perspective. Didn’t matter.
Ryu getting to face the 2017 Giants was just as effective. Because the 2017 Giants can’t hit. They have no plan. They have idea what they’re doing. Here’s the strike zone plot from Brooks Baseball for Ryu:
Ryu wasn’t perfect because pitchers are never perfect, but he left balls out over the plate. Swinging strike. Foul. Called strike. Called strike. In play, out(s). The Giants are completely incapable of doing anything against anyone. You might be surprised to learn that this is just the second time in 16 starts that Ryu pitched into the seventh inning, and that’s because you’re new to the sport of baseball, someone played a practical joke on you, and you’re convinced that the Giants are a fun team to follow. I’m so sorry, but, no. It is 1974, and the Dodgers are going to be good forever, and the Giants might not win another game.
Conor Gillaspie hit a dramatic pinch-hit home run again, the second of the last couple weeks, and the Giants lost again, just like they did the last time. This is a team that can’t even capitalize on the random Conor Gillaspie home runs, they’re so bad.
I’ll bet that there’s at least one reader who’s getting mad at me for being so cynical. These sweet, blessed souls have floated to this site like a dandelion spore, hoping that I’ll help them feel better. Friend, I regret to inform you that this team is awful, and they can get worse. They’re expensive and aging. When I open Minor Lines in the morning, I skip over everything and scroll down to see how the 17-year-olds did. The Dodgers are young and improving, rich and assertive, unstoppable and completely aware of it.
The Giants were swept at Dodger Stadium, and I was so very mad at them the whole time. Even when they took a lead into the ninth inning, I was mad and waiting for them to screw up. Even when they took a lead into the 11th inning, I was mad and waiting for them to screw up. When they blew both leads, I wasn’t extra mad. I stayed at the same, low-grade simmer-seeth that I was when they had the lead. It was just the realization of a future I’d already seen before.
The Giants’ starting pitchers threw three quality starts against the Dodgers this weekend. Each one of them pitched into the seventh inning. Over the last two games, they combined for 14 innings and two runs allowed.
They lost every game. They will lose more games before the season is over. Dozens of them. And while maybe none of them will be as miserable as the three this weekend, they’ll be pretty miserable.
The Phillies lost again. They’re just two games ahead of the Giants for the worst record in baseball and the first-overall pick in next year’s draft.
The Giants can do it! We have something to root for. Because it was too much to root for a stray, inexplicable win against the Dodgers. Just one lousy win out of three chances. They’re the ones who get grounders with eyes in the ninth inning, not the Giants. They’re the ones who come back. They’re the ones who find a way to win. The Giants are the ones who find a way to lose.
The Giants have scientists in lab coats figuring out new ways, I’m sure. Bless them, they’re so creative. I look forward to seeing what they come up with. Because this one was Buster Posey making two outs with one swing and Kyle Farmer getting two runs with one swing. That’s not how it should be, you think. And it’s then that you realize that nobody cares what you think. This is just how it is.