Once the Giants have been eliminated from the postseason, my rooting interests naturally change. With this year’s team, whether they win or lose bears no importance to me. They’ve already clinched a losing season, so any more wins they accrue isn’t going to make this season feel like any less of a waste. There are so many terrible teams beneath the Giants that draft position isn’t something that I’m thinking about. The difference between the 11th pick or the 9th pick probably won’t be that significant.
What I am rooting for mostly comes down to individual performance. I want Aramís García to keep hitting. I want Austin Slater to hit for power. I want Ray Black to throw baseballs really fast. I want Hunter Pence to do good things.
Above all else, I don’t want the Giants to get no-hit. I don’t want their shame to be brought to national attention. Every time the Giants return to St. Louis, I don’t want to see highlights of Miles Mikolas pantomiming eating chips and salsa as his team runs out to bounce around him and Tyler O’Neill has his shirt off again for some reason.
It took four entire innings for the Giants to get their first hit: a double off the bat of Nick Hundley. It took until the seventh for the Giants to get their second hit: a two-run dinger off the bat of Brandon Crawford. The Giants apparently took offense to Bryan’s article because they refused to hit a single single until the eighth inning.
Even if the Giants were outscored by five runs, it still felt like a win to me. Thank you, Nick Hundley. Thank you, Brandon Crawford. Thank you, Hunter Pence. Thank you, Gregor Blanco. Thank you, Chris Shaw. Thank you for ensuring the Giants didn’t get no-hit.
Of course, the Giants did not actually win the game. According to the rules of baseball, they would have had to score more runs than the opposing team for that to happen, and the Giants are not adept at scoring runs.
Aside from the Giants not being no-hit, there wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about. Andrew Suárez had a good start though he only lasted five innings, and one of the runs he gave up came from a single by Miles Mikolas that went right down the line.
Ray Black had another rough outing, but he also had some things go against him. Black walked Jed Gyorko to lead-off the inning, and then he gave up a single to Yadier Molina. On the next play, García lobbed a ball home on a safety squeeze despite Hundley telling him to throw to first. It wasn’t a guaranteed out at first. Harrison Bader, who bunted the ball, is a speedy boy and Joe Panik was playing close to second. Black gave up another run because Evan Longoria vacated his position to cover third during a steal and the ball went right to where he was standing.
Steven Okert continued his scoreless 2018 campaign. Sure, he’s only thrown to two batters in this series, but those batters were Matt Carpenter and Matt Carpenter. He got an MVP candidate to pop out twice and the second time came with runners at second and third with one out. The Giants may not find room for a LOOGY on their 2019 roster, but his quest for a 0.00 ERA is something to root for at the very least.
When John Brebbia started the eighth inning, he looked like this:
When the eighth inning was over, he looked like this:
“Brebbia” is not, apparently, a foreign word for “abbreviated” because Brebbia takes a full Baez between pitches. Though I suppose when you consider that the Cardinals only had a 99 percent win expectancy when Brebbia entered the inning, you can forgive him for taking his time. Every single one of those pitches were absolutely vital and important. It was crucial that Brebbia’s hat was properly placed on his head.
It wasn’t just the time that Brebbia took between pitches. It was also the Cardinals trying their absolute hardest to get Hunter Pence out as he tagged up from second on a Joe Panik fly ball. As Pence slid into third base, he perhaps came off the bag for a split-second. It wasn’t entirely clear. So first, the Cardinals deliberated about whether they should review the play. Then, whether they thought they did or because they thought they needed more time, they appealed at second base, then they reviewed the play. After a couple minutes, it was revealed that no, Pence did not come off the bag, and the Cardinals spent four minutes trying to get an out with a one percent chance to lose the game.
Not to be outdone, the Giants responded to the Cardinals’ display of everything wrong with baseball by apparently throwing at Tyler O’Neill. O’Neill, of course, hit the walk-off home run yesterday and in part of the celebration, his teammates ripped off his shirt to display his rockin’ bod and killer tats. The Cardinals are still playing for something and walk-off home runs are exciting. They celebrated accordingly.
I’m not certain the Giants were throwing at O’Neill, it may have just been a backup slider that missed up and in, but the Giants have retaliated in such a way as recently as this year. Throwing at O’Neill would not be out of character for them.
Throwing at someone is stupid and craven because fastballs thrown at high velocities can result in things like facial fractures, concussion, and death. If Kelly did intentionally throw at O’Neill, I’m not sure how you defend this. “The Giants may be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but at least they’re willing to risk seriously injuring another player for expressing joy.”
If the Giants are that upset about getting beat, maybe they shouldn’t have given up a monster dong to a guy with a lower contact rate than Andrew Suárez in the first place.