If the Giants’ season weren’t already beyond the frivolity of winning and losing, Dereck Rodríguez getting Cain’d would stand out as a grave injustice. Wins and losses don’t mean anything for pitchers, and they especially don’t mean anything for the 2018 Giants in September. Would a win have made you feel any better? Maybe a little, but it wouldn’t last. You wouldn’t wake up the next morning with an extra spring in your step because the Giants won last night and maybe, just maybe they’ll have a shot at this thing.
Losing, on the other hand, doesn’t feel good, but it also doesn’t hurt. All that’s there is an absence of feeling. A great nothing. Baseball’s a metaphor for life in that way.
There’s nothing that could be done to the Giants that hasn’t already been done before. They had lost eight straight before tonight. What’s a nine-game losing streak to them? What is dead may never die.
The Giants are just playing baseball now. Savor it. In two months, there won’t be any baseball. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but this team is better than no baseball. We’ve only got a few weeks left with these knuckleheads, so enjoy it while it lasts.
And I would very much like to watch my favorite baseball team play incredibly poor baseball in their own ballpark without having to hear the racist, mouth-breathing drone that is the tomahawk chop. Knock that shit off, Braves fans.
Anyway, this is a game you’ve seen before. Dereck Rodríguez pitched well. The offense didn’t do anything. Hunter Strickland screwed up. These are things you expect from the 2018 Giants. There really weren’t any surprises here.
The things that truly need to be preserved from this game are as follows:
· Tony Watson utterly embarrassed MVP candidate Freddie Freeman
· Ozzie Albies is a treasure
On the first pitch of the at-bat to Freeman, Watson threw him a slider that caused the synaptic connection between Freeman’s brain and his body to sever. He knew he shouldn’t be swinging, but his body couldn’t help itself.
This isn’t quite Sergio Romo making a hitter’s pants fall down, but any time a Giant can make one of the best hitters in the league look silly, it’s worth making a GIF.
Ozzie Albies coaxed a two-base error from Gorkys Hernández because he took a wide turn around first. Gorkys tried to throw behind him but that’s exactly what Albies wanted. As soon as Hernández let go of the ball, Albies took off for second. It was such a cunning ploy that I wasn’t even mad when Gorkys gorked the ball into the stands.
Albies eventually scored which ultimately doomed the Giants. You see, that was the Braves second run and for the Giants to beat them, they would have had to score plural runs.
The Giants got their only run precisely because the Braves were confident they could prevent the Giants from scoring. In the third inning, Gorkys Hernández singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, and stole third. With one out, the Braves brought the infield in even though it was still within the first third of the game.
Against a normal team, bringing in the infield would give a slight chance of preventing that run from scoring with an increased risk of a big inning. But the Giants don’t have big innings, so the Braves felt comfortable taking that risk. They brought the infield in and Austin Slater hit a slow chopper that would have gone straight to a third baseman playing at normal depth.
With the way that ball was hit, it’s not a given Johan Camargo would have ceded the run to get the out at first. Probably, he would have, but he also would have had a shot at home. What’s more likely is that Hernández wouldn’t have gone home. The Giants may not get a lot of practice at it, but they’re pretty good at not screwing up on the basepaths.
The Giants deserve some credit for that run though. Gorkys had to steal third to set that run up, and despite being decent at avoiding TOOTBLANs, the Giants have not been a good basestealing team. Their attempts to take an extra base have usually led to an extra out, but this time, it worked out.
In the bottom of the second inning, Sean Newcomb struck out Brandon Crawford with a middle-middle 95 MPH fastball prompting Mike Krukow to utter the phrase, “He just grunt one by ya.” This is one of those magical misspeaks that I can’t help repeating to myself like “They is” or “Dag Yabble Got ‘Em.”
I don’t know what he meant to say, but I understand exactly what he meant. Language is this stupid, beautiful thing where if I use too many pronouns and dangle a modifier you don’t know what the hell I’m trying to say, but if I just make up a word or completely redefine an existing word, you’ll understand my meaning perfectly.
“He just grunt one by ya.”
Ah, so he grunted in exertion as he threw a fastball causing the batter to swing and miss.
“Austin Slater chorped it through, and Hernández gorked home.”
I see, Austin Slater hit a chopper through the infield, and Gorkys Hernández scored.
“Dereck Rodríguez gave up a single to Freddie Freeman, who advanced on a wild pitch, and when Kurt Suzuki singled, Freeman rounded third, and he gave up a run.”
Wait, who gave up the run?