Angel Pagan

Giants Havanibal in Miami

Long, odd, fun game on Thursday night. Pretty much the perfect introduction to Marlins Park, which is nowhere near as awful or offensive as some make it sound. Sure, it’s garish. Some have even called it “tacky.” But why is that so horrible?

There’s no real defense for the sculpture, but aquariums are fun. I might even get an aquarium someday, maybe on the same day I start taking guitar lessons, become a trained saucier and learn Spanish — sure I took it in high school and college, but I’m really going to get fluent this time!

There are plenty of ballparks out there for people who need their baseball surrounded by brick and forrest green. Worrying about one green solarium built by hallucinating ichthyologists 3,000 miles away isn’t worth the effort.

— After the 9th inning ended, it was hard to remember that Thursday’s game was once tied at 1-1 heading to the top of the 6th. It’s not too often that two teams combine for 13 runs in the 7th and 8th innings.

— Even more difficult: imagining the Giants scoring 5 runs against Anibal Sanchez over 5.1 innings.

— Melky Cabrera leads the Majors in hits with 67, and even though he has only hit 2 home runs he’s 7th in total basis because of the 13 doubles and 5 triples, which ties Cabrera for the league lead in triples with … Orlando Hudson???

— Ryan Vogelsong really needs to ratchet up the intensity during the days when he starts. Actually, Vogelsong came close to burning a hole in through dugout rail by staring at it at one point. Don’t laugh, it can happen at Marlins Park.

— Vogelsong wasn’t in control of this game like he was on Saturday against Oakland, but he sure is great at avoiding big innings. The guy’s strikeout-to-walk ratio isn’t pretty, but in 38 starts he’s allowed four earned runs only four times and never more than five runs in a game.

— Two more walks for Gregor Blanco, five on the day for the team. Blanco is no Kenny Lofton, but for a short time he’s done an alright impression of the 2002 Lofton who came to the San Francisco Giants. Except Blanco is faster than Lofton was at age 35.

— Giancarlo Stanton hit a home run that was originally estimated at 434 feet was listed at 458 feet on ESPN’s home run tracker. How come the ESPN tracker added 24 feet to Stanton’s homer and took away 6 feet from Buster Posey’s home run in Milwaukee that clanged off the centerfield scoreboard? It’s a conspiracy, I tell you! Scott Cousins is a Physics professor!

— Even Brandon Belt’s biggest fans are turning on him on Twitter now. Jon Miller wasn’t too complimentary during an at-bat I heard during the 2nd inning, either. Miller went on for a bit about Belt’s strikeout numbers before Belt struck out swinging.

— Remember when nobody could slide into first base without being chastised by announcers who cried about how running through the bag is a faster method? Now that fewer people do it, it’s seen as a great hustle play. Angel Pagan did it perfectly on Wednesday in Milwaukee, down by a bunch of runs no less, and he’s looking pretty good right now in the eyes of just about everyone (especially Bruce Bochy, who saw Pagan get dirty a day after Emmanuel Burriss didn’t run out a pop fly that landed fair).

— Burriss (sigh). Not running out that pop fly was like an unattractive guy on The Bachelorette telling the girl that he has herpes and lives with his parents. Not that I watch that show, but the premise seems fairly easy to understand and I’ve read a lot of Bill Simmons over the years.

— After starting out his Giants tenure with an awful Spring Training, Pagan couldn’t get his average over .200 — until his 11th game. Then his OBP stayed below .300 — until May 12. Now the only complaint about Pagan is that he takes consistently bad routes defensively. He’s having a pretty great contract year, too…

— But not as great as Melky, who looks like a trimmer Tony Gwynn this year. He was smashing the ball everywhere in March, and he hasn’t let up since. Actually, he hasn’t let up since July. Cabrera’s also the smartest baserunner the Giants have had since Barry Bonds; the way he scored the Giants’ first run on that bloop single by Pagan, which wasn’t that far beyond over the head of the speedy Jose Reyes, was brilliant. Considering that the Giants handed Kansas City a headcase to get him, this could turn out to be the best trade Brian Sabean has made since dealing Armando Rios and Thursday’s winning pitcher to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jason Schmidt in 2001.

— Doesn’t it seem like all these offensive outbursts from the Giants occur on the road? We’ll take a look at that later today.

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