An embarrassing day, that’s what that was. Their goofy, mediocre, pear-shaped pitcher got suspended for 100 games for taking illegal stimulants designed to burn fat. More on him later, but first:
Let’s pursue bunts … together.
Let’s chase errant throws from third basemen … together.
Let’s avoid hitting home runs … together.
The San Francisco Giants tried, they really did. They put so much effort into hiding their many flaws. This was a 1-1 game in the 6th inning. But once the leaks sprung, error by error, it was only a matter of time before the waterbed flooded the bachelor pad, as they say.
Barry Zito has probably owned a waterbed or two in his day, and today wasn’t his fault — not completely. 12 baserunners over 6 innings looks ugly, but the 2 doubles, 6 singles and 4 walks weren’t killing the Giants. Actually, Zito walked Juan Uribe, which is pretty embarrassing, too. A “quality start” for a 5th starter is just fine, but the Zen Scrambler wasn’t without his faults on Monday night, either.
The only perfect thing about that game was how well it illuminated what this Giants team has become: a starting rotation and*
Here’s the positive: watching this team could help several of the younger fans realize you can’t take fundamental baseball for granted. A sharp grounder to second base can be an adventure. For an overwhelmed infielder, fielding bunts can look harder than snowboarding for the first time down a black diamond run. Sometimes pitchers are in the bullpen not because they’re highly-tuned specialists, but instead because they’re not good enough to start, they’re healthy, and there were job openings. Crisp, cleanly-played and pitched baseball is not a given.
Here were some of the fun problems that showed up today:
- Conor Gillaspie throws like Ken Dorsey with a torn labrum.
- Ryan Theriot makes Mike Fontenot look like 1989 Robby Thompson.
- Brett Pill plays left field as if he’s expecting to step on a sprinkler at any moment.
- The Giants need to seriously consider resting Buster Posey more often, regardless of Pablo Sandoval’s DL stint.
- Aubrey Huff came back and flied out on the first pitch he faced. Nice that he could come back from his troubles and fit in so quickly with the rest of the boys. It’s like he never left!
- 33 errors in 25 games, and this isn’t from a defense you’d call “rangy.”
At least there weren’t any misplays by Angel Pagan, unless I missed that. Certainly a possibility.
Watching this defense has progressed from a painful experience to a comical one, and chasing bad throws around Dodger Stadium brings as much in the way of maniacal laughter and jeers as a substitute teacher accidentally farting in a class full of fourth graders. But like Nyjer Morgan’s antics, the defense is a convenient distraction from an offense that somehow hasn’t improved since 2011.
The Giants haven’t hit a home run in 60 consecutive innings. The last one came from Sandoval. For a team with the 4th-worst BB% in the Majors, that means praying for a lot of singles, doubles, triples and productive outs. And can you grab some MegaMillions tickets while you’re at the corner store?
If the Giants had played a solid game, scrapped a few runs together and won 3-2 tonight, the hopefulness would outweigh the embarrassment. But now they’re a team that can’t hit or field, with a vacated reliever whose agent is blaming his client’s consumption of children’s cough syrup for his positive Clenbuterol test.
When Mota was asked how this could happen, here was his response (also seen in the video below):
“Because I’m a children!”