In Friday night’s game, a battered prodigal son got the big home run, the slow-footed superstar used his feat to steal home in front of everyone except the official scorer, and a beleaguered starting pitcher set about proving his worth once again. There were a couple of twists and turns, but for the most part, it was an eminently enjoyable Giants game.
In Saturday night’s game, all of that stuff happened, but for the other team. More or less. Instead of Buster Posey quasi-stealing home, the White Sox had a player hit for the cycle for the first time since 2000.
Take a moment to think about 2000. It wasn’t that long ago, but it was a land in which there were several teams clinking ice cubes around in their glass at Club Hopeless. The White Sox hadn’t won a single postseason series since 1917. The Red Sox had a famous curse. The Cubs didn’t, but someone retconned one about a billy goat, and it didn’t matter because, goodness, look at the Cubs and how horrible they were. Now it’s just the Padres, Mariners, Astros, Natspos, and a couple other teams. We were all so innocent back then.
Anyway, that’s how long ago it was that the White Sox had a player hit for a cycle. They’re having fun tonight.
As for the Giants, they did absolutely nothing. Here, try ranking the best moments of that game:
- Nick Hundley’s home run
- The play where Brandon Crawford dropped a ball and recovered to make a smooth play
- Buster Posey’s infield hit?
- Orlando Calixte’s bloop hit?
- Kelby Tomlinson walked!
- Ryder Jones hit a foul ball that was almost a double, I think
- Free sandwiches in the clubhouse, provided by the hosting team
- There was only one error
- Nobody was bitten by a wolf spider
In Friday’s game, the story was how bad the White Sox were. Like an idiot, I wrote this:
It’s okay, White Sox. You’ll see the other half of the mirror’s reflection before the series is over. Don’t take offense.
And look at that. The Giants gave up home runs — six of them, tying both a franchise record and the team’s total for 2017 — and they allowed balls into the gap and more balls into the gap. The only thing that worked for the Giants in this game were the things that didn’t work, and while I know that reads like a college freshman trying to be super deep, it’s all I got.
I can’t even write up Jeff Samardzija’s start because Bryan did it already.
1) Jeff Samardzija is annihilated. Literally annihilated right there on the field, and Yasiel Puig pours his ashes into the nearest toilet.
(2) Jeff Samardzija is an unstoppable power pitcher for 5 or 6 innings and then he gives up 4 runs on 2 home runs and that’s all she wrote.
(3) Jeff Samardzija gives up 2 home runs amidst loud, loud contact and the Giants’ offense tricks us into thinking they’ve got a shot but they still lose 6-4.
(4) Jeff Samardzija pitches 8 scoreless innings, Mark Melancon blows the save.
(5) Jeff Samardzija pitches a shutout and the Giants win the series, but it doesn’t matter because the Giants will still be 11-18 and the worst team in the league.
While those specific selections are ... very on-brand for Bryan, the overall point is something that’s made me jealous since I read it. Samardzija can dominate. Samardzija can get blown up. Or Samardzija can pitch pretty well, all things considered, except, jeez, he sure seems to allow a bunch of home runs at the worst possible time. Not like there’s a good time to allow a bunch of home runs. Which is the point, I suppose.
In this game, Samardzija allowed a bunch of home runs, but he wasn’t screwing up enough for Bruce Bochy to turn to his bullpen right away. “Oh, there goes Samardzija, back on his bullshit,” Bochy said, probably, while throwing his gum. Innings were eaten, the leavings were turned into compost, and from this, a new disappointing season will grow.
I’m still a fan of Samardzija on this particular baseball team, but it’s thoroughly possible that this is the most White Sox start he’s had since leaving the White Sox. There weren’t a lot of people on the South Side who were muttering things like, “Man, how did we let this cat go?” That’s the guy they remember. It’d be like if the Marlins signed Jeremy Affeldt before a series against the Giants, and he immediately twisted his ankle by stepping in a pile of kitty litter. Yes, that guy! I remember that guy!
Anyway, the Giants lost by a bunch, and they’ll play again tomorrow. Tune in tomorrow! You know you want to. I can’t imagine anywhere else I’d rather be, really. September baseball fever. Catch it.