Generally I don’t start writing my postgame recap until after the game ends, because I’m a procrastinator and I like to be “inspired” by what happens during the postgame interviews. The beat writers all craft their stories during the games because they’re on deadline, then fill in as needed if the game progresses steadily (or scramble and rewrite if all hell breaks loose in the later innings).
I’m starting this post after the bottom of the 8th ended with Angel Pagan grounding into a double play, and if these first two paragraphs stick around it’s because my premonition (way to go out on a limb, huh?) was right: besides an almost-skirmish in the top of the 8th, the Giants looked nearly devoid of energy at AT&T Park, as they have a little too often over the past few weeks.
But hey, double rainbow! Sure, nobody cared much about those things once it got dark and the D-Backs took a 6-run lead. But the sky did look pretty cool when this game was still in doubt. Plus the Dodgers lost at home to a worse team than Arizona for the second straight night, so it’s not like September 6 was a total loss.
The Giants can’t be stopped on the road these days, effortlessly scoring runs and generally pitching well enough to get by. At home, the Giants have won only one of their past six series (they took two of three against the Rockies on Aug. 10-12), including the three-gamer that concluded on Wednesday night against the Arizona D-Backs.
Trevor Cahill was perfect through 5.1 innings. Trevor Cahill. The no-hit bid lasted a full 6 innings, until Marco Scutaro hit an opposite-field single that started a rally that was heightened by a beautiful single by Brandon Belt with the bases loaded … and then eviscerated by a perfectly double-playable grounder to second off the bat of Ryan Theriot.
Theriot, who replaced Gregor Blanco who replaced Xavier Nady as the Giants’ left fielder. That position remains a problem, but while the offense looked bleak tonight the Giants HAVE been hitting lately. Sure, it was over a period of 22 innings — but over the first two games of this series the Giants amassed 15 runs and 29 hits.
The Giants also allowed 22 runs to the D-Backs over the course of three games. As much as it crushes the optimism center of one’s brain to see guys like Brad Penny come in, with his only chance of success lying in a batted ball finding a friendly glove (he doesn’t strike out anyone these days, but it worked out tonight with a scoreless inning), the starting pitchers combined to do this against the Diamondbacks: 14.2 IP — 23 H — 14 ER. Meh, indeed.
Madison Bumgarner wasn’t horrendous tonight, but for the third straight start since out-dueling Clayton Kershaw in Los Angeles he allowed 4 earned runs and at least 2 walks and 6 hits.
“I didn’t feel that good tonight. I just tried to pitch with what I had,” Bumgarner said. “You have games like that through the year. You just feel like you don’t really have any life on your ball.”
– The most interesting part of this game (unless you were captivated by the pomp and stretch-in-stance of Yoga Night) was the bench-clearing incident after Pablo Sandoval got annoyed with John McDonald tumbling into him during a play at third base. Sandoval didn’t like that McDonald almost hit him in the face with this elbow, while McDonald explained afterward that he just tripped. Sandoval downplayed the whole thing, both when he was asked about what happened…
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…and when he was asked about what went on between he and Gerardo Parra, who Sandoval said is a longtime friend:
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– Three left fielders played on Wednesday night for the Giants. Xavier Nady started there, then Gregor Blanco replaced Nady when Bumgarner was pulled in the 7th, then Theriot pinch-hit for Blanco in the bottom of the 7th. Kind of strange, right?
I asked Bochy about whether Theriot might see some more time in left field, and Bochy alerted us to two things. First, Nady strained his hamstring (nobody in the press box had any idea that he injured himself chasing after Aaron Hill’s double in the 7th, at least based on everyone I talked to). Second, the team’s best first baseman might see some time in left.
“We may have to get creative out there. Could see Belt out there on occasion. Maybe Theriot, we’ll talk about this on the day off,” Bochy said.
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– “I feel like I let a lot of people down,” said Nady, who’ll undergo an MRI tomorrow. Nady said he injured the same hamstring about five years ago. That time it was a partial tear, and he says he feels better this time than he did back then.
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– A lot of Giants fans probably felt the same way as Will Clark after this game. The only difference is most fans don’t have reporters blocking their refrigerator, the valued appliance that holds the oh-so-delicious light domestic beer that makes losses like these hurt a little less. I know Vern Glenn has provided some comic relief this season, but this may be my new favorite short video clip from the Giants’ clubhouse.
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