I wrote about perspective in this morning’s BP, noting the triple play, walk-off balk and the many other rock-bottom moments of the second half of the 2016 season. It was supposed to be taken as perspective about how much worse things could be. It wasn’t supposed to be taken as a challenge.
However, the Giants didn’t get that part of the memo, as they went hitless through five innings and looked like they were going to get no-hit completely. Thankfully, Nick Hundley ended both the no-hit and shut-out bids by hitting a home run to center field in the sixth inning, his ninth on the season.
Seven Giants reached base, two only because they were hit by a pitch and one walked. One Giant trotted around the bases, two were thrown out trying to steal, and four were stranded. The offense continues to be incredibly lifeless. To the point where it doesn’t even matter that the pitchers had a bad game tonight. Even if they’d only given up two runs, that is a now a death sentence with this offense.
But, Johnny Cueto did struggle tonight. His velocity was down from the start and he never quite looked right. Then things started to fall apart in the second inning. The Brewers weren’t necessarily hitting the ball well but they were hitting it to trouble spots, making it difficult for the defense to get plays going in time.
A double, single, single, sacrifice bunt and another single scored three runs for the Brewers. Christian Yelich attempted to stretch his single into a double and was thrown out for his trouble to end the inning. But the damage was done for the whole game because the Giants don’t know how to hit the ball.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to see a lot of it because Brian Wilson was being interviewed by Amy Gutierrez. Wilson said he is glad to be associated with the team again, saying he looks forward to bugging Kruk & Kuip in the booth and putting on a uniform and pretending to be Brandon Crawford. And he could do it, too, he’d just need some hair gel since his hair is now at Crawford’s length. He is also currently playing shortstop with his softball team. The team has no idea who he is.
Brian Wilson’s look? Unauthorized Marvel character Broey Stark pic.twitter.com/NoJN1MJuzq— McCovey Chronicles (@McCoveyChron) July 29, 2018
Wilson was there because they had the Wall of Fame ceremony for him, Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong before the game.
It was good to see Wilson, and then Matt Cain, who showed up in the booth with Kruk & Kuip in the bottom of the third. He transitioned well into doing commentary on the inning, where Cueto gave up another hit but got out of the inning smoothly.
The nostalgia of the interviews helped make up for the fact that the current Giants were unable to hit a baseball. Though it was fitting that Cain was in the booth, as he knows very well what that is like. Cain discussed how hard it was to come back for this game, with it being the official close to his playing career, which absolutely did not make me tear up. Nope, not one bit.
The nostalgia was turned up more with the presence of Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain, with the broadcasters reminding fans of the 2014 World Series. And really, the nostalgia was the only redeeming quality of this game.
After the Cain interview, the Giants came out in the top of the fourth and Cueto gave up another run. He had been struggling since the game started an the Giants were already warming up Ty Blach. Which told you pretty much everything you needed to know about how the rest of the game was going to play out.
Cueto exited before the fifth inning, where Blach came in to take over. The difference between Cueto and Blach was that Cueto’s many hits allowed weren’t on hard contact, just good location. Blach’s many hits allowed were a mixture of both. A home run to Yelich, then three singles in a row to allow another run, making it 6-0.
And you’re not reading this anymore, right? How could you possibly still be reading this? This game was awful.
Anyway, Blach got the first strikeout of the night after that. In the fifth inning. Which is not ideal. He got into trouble again in the eighth, allowing two base-runners (one on an error) before being pulled for Ray Black with no outs. Black struck out his first batter, but then walked Hernán Pérez with a wild pitch that allowed Eric Thames to score his third run of the night to make it 7-1.
Did he need to steal home with a five-run lead? Probably not, but what does it matter?
There wasn’t much more to care about in this one. Even Jon Miller and Dave Flemming had moved on to talking about wine while the Giants were batting in the eighth. It was a true dud. Which was unfortunate, given the high spirits coming into it after the Wall of Fame ceremony.
Naturally, this game came after Bruce Bochy was quoted as saying they really needed to turn things around on offense in an urgent manner. It was like the team got together and decided to deliver a vehement response of “Nah.” by nearly getting no-hit.
I usually like to end recaps of losses by pointing out some bright spots. But, aside from Nick Hundley’s home run, there weren’t any.
This was the most boring loss of the year, in my opinion. The defense was uninspiring, the pitching was bad and the offense was nearly non-existent. There isn’t a lot to root for about this team at the moment. They’re 2-6 since the All-Star break and sitting two games below .500 and slipping farther and farther down in the NL West standings.
Things even managed to go from bad to worse after the game was over:
Johnny Cueto says he feels pain every time he throws a pitch. The same pain he felt before going on the DL. He’ll meet with the doctors tomorrow.— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) July 29, 2018
The best thing you can say about this game is that it was short. Blessedly short. Go enjoy your Saturday night. If you sat through this whole game, you earned it.