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.”
Baseball is funny. And yes, if you had a nickel for every time I said that this season you could buy a few double-doubles and have yourself a nice midweek meal.
But baseball is, indeed, funny, and I mention it regularly because I’m reminded of it regularly.
The odds were that the San Francisco Giants would take one game in their three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Giants are clearly the worse team, and they’re on the road — the odds are stacked against them. But baseball is still baseball, and the odds dictate that you expect them to win at least one game.
So lay the three games out ahead of you, pretending you don’t already know the outcome of Tuesday’s series opener. In Game 1 you have the Giants number one starter — who is perhaps not an ace anymore, but still a really good pitcher — against the Brewers number five starter. Games 2 and 3 bring you the Giants number two and three starters — who are really more like fours and fives — against the Brewers top two.
Which game are you picking as the token one for the Giants to win? There’s a pretty clear winner: Johnny Cueto vs. Eric Lauer. That’s the game the Giants will win.
But no. Like I said a few paragraphs ago, and yesterday, and the day before, and every day since I was able to form sentences, baseball is weird. And so the Giants lost that game, and instead won their Jeff Samardzija vs. Brandon Woodruff matchup. Because baseball.
Strictly from a pitcher matchup, Samardzija vs. Woodruff isn’t one-sided. A slight edge to Milwaukee to be sure, but just a slight one. But add in how much better the Brewers offense is than the Giants, and suddenly things get lopsided. Or rather, things should get lopsided.
The first inning reinforced this thought. Woodruff set down the Giants in order, and Samardzija allowed a two-run home run to MVP Christian Yelich. Have you heard that Samardzija occasionally has issues with the long ball? If you had a nickel for every time I pointed that out, you could buy a six-pack of Sierra Nevada to go with those double-doubles.
But it’s also true, and you thought we were in for a long night of Samardiza allowing dingers and the Giants being bad. Turns out you got neither. Ha. Joke is on you.
Samardzija settled down after that, albeit with three warning track scares, and made it through 6 innings without allowing any additional damage.
On the other end, the Giants began to chip away at things. They mounted rallies in the second and third, though couldn’t find the big hit. Then Pablo Sandoval led off the fourth inning with a home run — his first of the year — and the party was underway.
The Giants scored in every inning from the fourth through the eighth. Brandon Belt had a two-run homer. Brandon Crawford poked a double just inside the third base line to score two runs. There were a handful of RBI singles and the route was on.
The Giants won 8-3, winning the game they were supposed to lose after losing the game they were supposed to win.
Like I said, baseball is weird. And this weird team playing this weird game is now 25-30.