It’s the time of the season when it’s common to turn on the TV and realize that both baseball and basketball are on. It created quite a conundrum in days of lesser technology, when networks had but one measly station to work with (can you imagine? how did people survive?).
Now every major network has a secondary and tertiary station, or an app for extra content, or both.
On Monday night, for example, the San Francisco Giants were relegated to NBC Sports Bay Area+ which, despite that misleading “+” in the name, is not actually a better version of NBC Sports Bay Area. The ratings-favoring Golden State Warriors were on the primary NBC Sports Bay Area station, forcing you to find where the silly little extra station was in order to watch the Giants game.
I hope you failed. I hope you failed miserably.
I hope you scrolled through your TV, trying to find NBC Sports Bay Area+ and failing. I hope you called your provider to ask them about it, got put on hold, and gave up after 15 minutes of royalty free music that you’re pretty sure you’ve heard emerging from an incognito browser. I hope you decided heck with it, if they want to take the Giants off of NBC Sports Bay Area, you’ll just watch NBC Sports Bay Area anyway.
Because then you would have watched Steph Curry instead of the Giants. You would have seen Curry score 53 points, which is 53 more than the Giants did. You would have seen him make roughly 109 highlights, which is 110 more than the Giants did.
You would have been entertained.
But if you succeeded in your quest to find NBC Sports Bay Area+ (or if you’re like me and watch on MLB TV which is boring for the sake of this particular narrative), then you instead wasted your time watching the Giants futilely attempt to hit the baseball, not unlike me when I try a batting cage every year on my birthday and think, “oh yeah, I can totally hit a 50 mph baseball” and then proceed to tear my pectoral muscle.
The Giants had just two hits all night, courtesy of singles by Buster Posey and Donovan Solano. They had just two walks, both drawn by Austin Slater. They had a mere three plate appearances with a runner in scoring position.
And for the second time this year, they failed to score.
Hard to win when you do those things and indeed, the Giants lost 3-0.
The unfortunate part — or the encouraging part, depending on how you butter your toast — is that it marred what was a very strong pitching game, yet again. Aaron Sanchez allowed just 5 baserunners in 5 innings, though one of them was a two-run jack by Jesse Winker. He looks like a high quality back of the rotation starter.
He likely would have pitched a sixth or seventh inning had the offense been competent, but was lifted for a pinch-hitter after just 66 pitches.
Jarlín Garcia, Matt Wisler, and José Álvarez combined to allow just 1 run in 4 innings, while striking out 6.
It was no small feat, holding Cincy to 3 runs. It was tied for the Reds second-lowest mark of the year, and well below the 7.3 per game they were averaging entering the game. And while the pitching was what stood out, the defense helped make life easier on the arms.
The Giants looked like a good pitching team and a bad offensive team, which is the opposite of what we expected them to be. The glass half full approach is that with some positive regression to the mean, this team could be pretty damn good.
The glass half empty approach is that ... well I just set up a freshman writing course level parallelism, you can fill in the damn sentence yourself.