What started as an ode to Tim Lincecum became 8 innings of scoreless ball by the best bullpen the Giants have ever had. Lincecum may end up being known as the best starting pitcher the Giants ever had by the time he’s done, for moments like tonight’s 1,000th strikeout, which puts him in a group with some of the most dominant Major League pitchers after 5 seasons along with hurlers like Tom Seaver, Bert Blyleven and … Mark Langston? I might need to dust off some rookie cards, Langston’s value is a-rising!
Sorry. 13 innings always make me somewhat delirious, and tonight’s game was an absolutely numbing performance by Guillermo Mota, Santiago Casilla, Brian Wilson, Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez. They had to hold the fort for an inning less than regulation, praying the Giants’ offense would catch up and finally pass them on the way to the finish line. It’s sort of like if the group of really fast Moroccans, Ethiopians and Kenyans waited at the end of the finish line at Bay to Breakers and let a group of girls in vagina costumes break the tape first.
That’s why this post isn’t about Freddy Sanchez, or yet another ode to Nate Schierholtz. The pitching staff waited for the offense at the finish line for almost three hours tonight. They could use a little recognition.
Just so we realize what we’re seeing and avoid taking it for granted: this pitching staff is otherworldly. I want to hug it. Well, not really, but only because I’d get a nasty case of beard mites. But I’d definitely sit next to them in a movie theater without putting the customary seat between us that all guys want (and need in some cases, like when your buddy decided to go on a fast food binge earlier in the day).
Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez and everyone who pitched today besides Mota and Affeldt (and maybe Lopez) are in their primes. Ramon Ramirez didn’t even pitch today. Barry Zito pitched 6 2/3 innings tonight, faced one over the minimum and the only run he allowed was because some poor kid relief pitcher, who was probably scared shitless to follow Zito, allowed one of his baserunners to score.
This is ridiculous. It’s BEEN ridiculous. This offense has been terrible since Bonds left, and the pitching carried them to a World Series win and seems intent on boosting the confidence of the position players by constantly pitching well enough to set up walkoff victories. Don’t forget these guys, because this won’t last forever. In 20 years Giants fans will see a lineup full of mashers and say, “Can you imagine if they had the 2010/11 pitching staff? They’d win 112 games, easy!”