Outfielder Matt Kemp played the villain today, helping the Dodgers close the NL West gap to one game. The Dodgers would only need Kemp’s two-run homerun in the first inning, but they got plenty more, including a sacrifice fly from Chad Billingsley, and RBI doubles from Jerry Hairston Jr., Hanley Ramirez, and that Kemp character. In total, the Dodgers put up eleven runs while the Giants barely put up a fight.

This shutout by Dodgers was the 4th biggest since 1958 and the biggest in San Francisco since June 21, 1997, when  Tom Candiotti and Darren Dreifort combined to blank Barry Bonds and his underlings. This was also only the fourth time the Giants have been shutout this season, the first since June 20th.

While it doesn’t happen often, this shutout is especially disheartening, given the rivalry, the NL West race, and the Giants seeming refusal to match the Dodgers in trade deadline blockbusters. The frustration was palpable.

Still, believe it or not Giants’ fans, it could be worse. There are plenty of things more frustrating that being a Giants’ fans. What are they? Well…

I don’t even know what a San Jose Earthquake is, and I’m frustrated just thinking about their inability to capture the cup, or green jacket, or whatever.

I can’t imagine the horror! But we can’t blame Karros. He’s a product of our society. With hair like that, he was probably never properly socialized. I mean, the hair does all the talking for him (H/T Thomas Todd of GiantsPod.net for that joke).

Truer words, Ray. Truer words, indeed. Really, Giants’ fans, there isn’t much to be upset about. Sure, your team was disembowelled at the hands of Matt Kemp and company, but the Giants are still leading the west with plenty of baseball to be played (for better or worse).

Of course, in baseball, there is little time to dwell on the negative. When one game ends, another begins. As Bruce Bochy noted, “In this game, you have to put them behind you. You have no choice.”

But, then, in the grand scheme of things, as Wendy Thurm of Hangingslider.com and Fangraphs.com points out, this loss means very little. 

Pity-parade officially rained on.

Missing a Pablo?

“We need a spark somewhere, somebody driving in a run or doing something,” Bochy said. “We’re missing that the last couple of days.”

I can’t help but to think that Bochy was referring to Pablo Sandoval here. Sandoval’s injury has left the team with an offensive void that they have yet to fill. But the bigger void left by Sandoval’s absence is an emotional one. When asked about Sandoval following Wednesday’s loss to the Padres, Lincecum intimated that the team missed Sandoval’s “energy.”

With Sandoval going on the DL today, the Giants desperately need a player to fill that void. Perhaps Marco Scutaro is the man to fill it.  When speaking of Scutaro, Zito noted that he is “a great guy” who “keeps everyone loose and having fun.”

Here’s Zito’s full post-game interview via Ryan Leong:

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Bochy on Zito 

This was probably one of my favorite Bochy press conferences. For one, he seemed more talkative than usual. But the most enjoyable part was listening to Bochy describe Zito’s performance. Bochy thought Zito pitched “okay,” and gave Zito credit for keeping the Giants “somewhat” in the game. Easy with the praise, Bruce. You’re gonna give Zito a big head.

Here is Bochy’s full press conference via Ryan Leong


Matt Kemp on getting boo’d Giants’ fans

“I think it’s funny,” Kemp said today. “It’s cool. They used to not boo me and didn’t know who I was. Now they’re booing me and saying ‘you suck.’ I like that stuff. It is what it is.”

Kemp is really a gregarious character. Prior to yesterday’s game, Kemp was standing just outside the dugout, engaging Giants’ fans in friendly banter. So, while there are plenty of reasons to dislike Kemp, I still think he’s good for baseball.

Here’s his full interview via Ryan Leong:

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