What was loud at AT&T Park on Tuesday night? The sounds made when the Chicago Cubs made solid contact, particularly Alfonso Soriano’s blast to the top of the left field bleachers, and the boos whenever a San Francisco Giant failed at the plate.
What was quiet on Tuesday night? The clubhouse. The pressbox. The trade front. People talking about the Giants having any chance to win the National League West.
When Henry Schulman asked about Soriano’s home run after the game and how far it went, Ryan Vogelsong said, “I didn’t even watch it. I knew it was gone when he hit it. Does it matter how far he hit it? It went over the fence.”
The frustration evident in Vogelsong’s voice was the most life any of the Giants showed all night.
As fun as things were for the Giants from July 2010 through July 2011, they have been almost as miserable in August of this year. And not just because their payroll manager was accused of embezzling over $1.5 million from player accounts. On Tuesday the Giants lost their seventh out of eleven games against the Padres, Astros and Cubs, and fell six games behind the Diamondbacks with 26 to play. They aren’t getting guys out with two strikes, two outs and runners on base anymore. They aren’t knocking people in when their offense faces similar situations, but that’s been going on for weeks, months even.
Brian Sabean talked to reporters before the game. I missed it, because much of my day was spent tracking the local radio circus (and stay tuned, because I have another tidbit coming soon about a certain host that’s going to surprise a lot of people). However, I didn’t miss anything. Sabean said Gary Brown has no chance of being brought up this season. Brett Pill might (whoop-de-do), but you know the Giants won’t play him until they’re mathematically eliminated — which at this rate, could come really soon.
I’ve had a blast covering the team from a new vantage point, but the last two evenings have not been extremely fun. What do you ask in a situation like this? The Giants can’t hit any Major League pitchers right now, and it looks like they won’t find the ability to scrape together more than 3 runs off anybody the rest of this season.
They don’t look like they believe they can, and the fans are following suit. After last night’s deflating loss, the fans were quick on Tuesday to let anyone who struck out, grounded out or popped out with men on base have it. Especially Carlos Beltran, who’s become the symbol of Giants mojo lost. I’ve heard the fans at AT&T Park boo certain Ginats players in the past, like Armando Benitez and Barry Zito. But I’ve never heard a crowd in San Francisco boo with the frequency that tonight’s crowd did.
Beltran strikes out swinging in the third with two on in the 3rd to end the inning. BOOOOO! Beltran pops out to Aramis Ramirez in foul territory with two on in the 5th to end the inning. BOOOOO! Aaron Rowand strikes out with nobody on in the 7th. BOOOOO! Beltran grounds out with two on in the 7th to end the inning. BOOOOO! Aubrey Huff strikes out with Pablo Sandoval on first base in the 8th. BOOOOO!
The manager has no answers, the general manager has no answers, the players have no answers, the writers who cover this team have no answers. Everyone stands in the clubhouse shuffling their feet, myself included. I hate myself for doing it. Ask something insightful! Ask something clever! Get a response! But this has been a learning experience for me, too. It’s still a blessing to be able to watch baseball games and call it work, but when everybody’s upset and nobody’s saying anything, it’s a lot harder to do this “job.” Hell, as I finish this post the guy who pulls the windows down in the pressbox just let out multiple expletives when one of the windows wouldn’t budge. He sounded a lot like the fans this evening whenever Giants were left on base and Beltran couldn’t get them to budge either.