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Giants lose, Harper hurt

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Ryder Jones made some great plays at first base, and that was the highlight of the last 80 hours or so.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals Michael Owens-USA TODAY Sports

Look, I don’t know.

The Giants sleepwalked through a baseball game, and I suppose it’s my job to tell you how to care. A terrorist Nazi murdered someone today, and the President of the United States responded with something that translated roughly to, “Look, everyone can take some of the blame, here. Nazis ... people who hate Nazis ... it’s a complicated situation.” I don’t care about the Giants, and neither should you.

But you’re here to read about the Giants.

They’re not good.

That’s not quite fair, considering they’ve won their last two series, both against contending teams, both after sleepwalking through the first game of the series. If they win both games on Sunday, I’ll use a lot of words to describe just how fun they can be if we squint. For now, though, I’m more worried about Bryce Harper than I am with anything to do with the Giants.

(Latest update: A hyperextended knee seems like the best possible scenario. Keep a positive thought.)

I guess we can focus on a couple of nice things. Let’s appreciate Joe Panik for hitting a long home run and reminding us that it would be super swell if the launch-angle revolution stopped at his stop and took him for a ride next year. It’s happened for stranger players.

[polite round of applause]

Let’s appreciate Ryder Jones for playing an eye-opening first base. The play on which Harper got hurt was a brilliant play, but I shan’t include that video for obvious reasons. I’m a squeamish fellow.

I can include this one. And it’s fun.

The book on Jones is that he’s a little rough at third, and he’s not exactly a natural outfielder, which would seem to limit his value. But imagine a world in which he can hit enough to play first and catch baseballs like that. That’s not to say that Brandon Belt just got pipped, but that it would be a fun dilemma to have. What I’m choosing to believe is that this game at first proves that he can play third with continued improvement. Even if we’re talking apples and oranges, Keiths and Brookses, here, it was encouraging to see him lay out for balls that should have been impossible to snag.

[polite round of applause]

Mark Melancon is back, and he didn’t allow a run. Can’t say that I was blown away by his command or stuff, but it was a start. The actual results weren’t important. The particulars of how he looked weren’t important. That he was pitching and collecting outs was important.

[polite round of applause]

Jeff Samardzija threw a quality start, the purest definition, allowing three runs in six innings, walking one and striking out six. Two of the runs scored after the count was 1-2, same as it ever was. Samardzija needs a gyroball for two-strike counts, but we’ve known this for a while.

[polite round of applause]

I don’t know. There will be about seven or eight hours of Giants baseball tomorrow, so I’m not going to pretend like I watched this game with rapt interest instead of dead eyes. I’ll save that energy. Until then, the dude who got the save in the game has some words for you. They’re about 5,397 times more important than him potentially blowing a save tonight, and if I had to choose between one or the other, I’ll choose the words.