I really like Alex Wood. I think he’s awesome. I’m happy he’s on the San Francisco Giants, a team I watch roughly 162 times a year due to ample doses of emotional attachment and employer obligations.
You probably weren’t expecting me to start a recap for a game that the Giants lost 8-1, in which Wood saw his ERA balloon by more than a full point, with those words.
But it’s true, and I was reminded of it on Tuesday, even as Wood allowed 7 earned runs and failed to make it out of the fourth inning.
Let me tell you why. Scratch that. Let me let Wood tell you why.
Alex Wood: "Just one of those days where you kind of feel like shit and then you are shit."— Mark W. Sanchez (@MarkWSanchez) June 2, 2021
In general I try not to get particularly annoyed at players for not playing well. If you do something silly and reckless that is easy avoidable, such as hold a grudge for no real reason at someone for a few years and then throw a fastball at their body and challenge them to a boxing match, I’ll get annoyed. But if you just played poorly?
Or, since I’m apparently using Tuesday quotes by athletes to tell today’s story, here’s Venus Williams at the French Open earlier in the day.
That’s kind of how I feel when I’m being a fan. I can’t do it, and you look like you’re trying hard, so who am I to get irritated at you for not doing it, but getting a whole helluva lot closer than I could? Seems weird.
I don’t mean to make this recap about me — don’t make the story about you was a Day 1 lesson in the journalism classes I never took — but ... look around at the game. You really want me to talk about it?
Didn’t think so.
Anyway, while I don’t really get annoyed at players for not playing well, it’s still sometimes annoying. It’s like when you go to someone’s home and they keep it at a drastically different temperature than you do. You’re not annoyed at the person, per se, but you find the whole situation annoying and bothersome.
And that’s how I was feeling watching Alex Wood pitch to a lineup comprised almost entirely of hitters having below-average seasons, and giving up runs like baby-sized candy bars on Halloween. Not annoyed at him. Just annoyed.
And then Wood said that and it cut so deeply to my very being that I found myself no longer annoyed by the outcome of the game.
The Giants lost to the Los Angeles Angels, a much worse team. So what. The Mets lost to the Diamondbacks today, too. The Brewers lost to the Tigers. The Giants lost, as happens a few times a week to every team, and they lost because the most impactful employee of theirs on that given day felt like shit and performed as such.
Who among us?
One thing I’ve greatly enjoyed about the Giants this season is their accountability and honesty. Wood didn’t make excuses, nor did he vow to work tirelessly to exorcise whatever demons had corrupted his breaking ball. He just said he didn’t have it. Anthony DeSclafani, earlier in the year, took himself out of a game that he was cruising in because he didn’t feel like he was at his best. Players are platooning and pinch-hitting for each other based on matchup, and they’re all smiling about it and growing mustaches together.
Mind you, the whole being 13 games above .500 and in first place in a division with two historically great teams in it thing helps. Maybe the demeanor would be a touch different in less rosy circumstances.
But for now I’m enjoying it.
Anyway, the Giants lost 8-1. They were done in by a 5-run third inning in which Wood walked two batters, including the opposing American League pitcher (who already had a hit on the day), hit someone, and got removed from the game. Donovan Solano had what was generously scored as a fielder’s choice when he bobbled what should have been an inning-ending double play, and it cost the Giants four runs. The Angels scored a quintet of runs while registering just a pair of hits.
The Giants offense never got going, as they had just 6 hits and 1 walk. An RBI single by Solano, in the eighth inning of a game that was already 8-0, was all that kept the Giants from getting shut out.
You might be reading this recap thinking that it was all good news at the ballpark, but sadly you would be wrong, as Mike Yastrzemski exited the game after his hand violently collided with the bricks in right field while attempting to make a catch. X-rays showed a thumb strain on his glove hand.
Right thumb sprain for Mike Yastrzemski. X-rays were negative.— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) June 2, 2021
Hopefully he doesn’t have to miss much, or any time. Good time for an off day.
Enjoy it, Giants.
And hopefully you feel less poopy, Alex.