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Hypothetical recap: Johnny Cueto shimmies, Austin Slater homers, Giants win a game of baseball

Hey, that was a nice change of pace.

St Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With the MLB season suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are no baseball games and limited baseball news. So I’m creating a hypothetical season — complete with news and recaps — until baseball resumes. All news and recaps will have the hypothetical tag, so you can at least know when you’re suspending reality. And you can click “hypothetical season” above the headline to see everything that has happened in this “season.”

Longtime listeners probably know that I adore watching Johnny Cueto pitch. Loved watching him on the Cincinnati Reds. Loved watching him on the Kansas City Royals. Loved watching him on the San Francisco Giants.

He’s just fun. Even when he’s having an average or mediocre game, he’s fun. He’s stylistic. It’s like watching Steph Curry — even when Curry misses the shots, you’re entertained.

As the president and CEO of the Steph Curry Fan Club, I apologize for making comparing anyone to Curry. Please don’t report me. Please rescind my prior paragraph from the record. Thank you.

Anyway, Cueto was good on Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies. Not great — we’ve seen better from him, even in this short season — but he was good. And because he was good, the Giants won. And because the Giants won, you were/are happy, as well as entertained.


Here was Cueto’s line: 6 innings, 6 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, 2 earned runs. He could have pitched the seventh easily, but hey, they’ve 13 pitchers on the roster, let’s not get carried away stupid.

More importantly, Cueto shimmied, shook, danced, swayed, wobbled, and any other number of cool, undulation-adjacent verbs. I’ve written enough love songs to Cueto’s pitching aesthetic that I’m not going to ramble on long here, just know that it was delightful, especially after Logan Webb got destroyed on Tuesday.

Offensively, the Giants were also better than on Tuesday. Low bar is low. They tied the game at one in the bottom of the fifth, when Darin Ruf hit a double, and Hunter Pence singled him home. Then Austin Slater did the biggest damage, roasting a ball towards the artist formerly known as triple’s alley. Slater’s opposite-field line drive carried and carried, and just made it over the fence for a two-run dinger. It may have been the first home run of the year that wouldn’t have been a homer in the old park dimensions.

It gave the Giants a 3-1 lead, and for the first time all night, they were making hard contact against Kyle Freeland.

They wouldn’t make much more, but enough damage was done. The bullpen gave back one of the runs — ruining Dany Jimenez’s perfect 0.00 ERA (all good things must come to an end — but that’s the beauty of two-run leads. You can give one of them back and still win.

And the Giants still won, 3-2. They’re 10-14.