This was one of those “maybe it’s not our year” kind of games for the Giants. Perhaps they’ll prove us wrong; after all, it’s not like the 2010 or 2012 squads were demolishing the competition at this point. But when Brandon Belt starts feeling concussion symptoms again, and the team somehow only scores two runs in the first four innings despite collecting nine hits and it seems totally normal, well, you might be an also-ran.
Sorry, usually this site is full of optimism and perspective (hey, stop smirking!), but today was a tough one. Belt, who went 3-for-7 with a homer in his first two games after coming back from his concussion, sat out yesterday’s game. Bad sign. How could his headaches not be related to his first concussion?
Well, it turns out that it was the Brewers team doctor who said the symptoms weren’t concussion-fueled, and what the hell does he care? “Hey, go on out there and face our pitchers, kid! I’m sure that four-strikeout day you had on Wednesday night was just a little bit of bad luck.”
(Poor Belt. This was supposed to be his year. 25 home runs, perhaps even a Gold Glove … and now we’re left to hope that this brain injury isn’t a long-term thing.)
Madison Bumgarner lost his second complete game of the season tonight. Billy Butler — one of those bros who proves that one doesn’t need to look like an athlete to play baseball at a high level — hit a long home run in the first. But Bumgarner held Kansas City to only one hit over the next four innings, and the Royals took the lead in the sixth thanks in part to two errors on the same play by a couple of infielders who the Giants didn’t plan on being infielders when the season started — Michael Morse and Matt Duffy.
If the Giants are squandering decent Bumgarner road starts, what’s there to look forward to? At this point, we know the starting pitchers are going to probably keep this team in the game, and the bullpen is top notch. What’s missing is an offense that can score — broken record and/or skipping CD alert — four runs per game.
— It didn’t look good for the Giants when they got a double and a single to start the second inning and didn’t score. “That is very, very poor situational baseball,” said Dave Flemming.
— Then Nori Aoki had two assists in the third inning. Not the greatest game for Tim Flannery, although it can’t be fun coaching third base for this team when they stop hitting home runs.
— The Giants had two extra-base hits, and both were by Arias. When this team doesn’t hit home runs … ah hell, it’s Friday. You have to be getting sick of me writing this stuff every day.
— Brandon Crawford went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Something tells me a normal player would’ve been on the DL with whatever Crawford is dealing with, but he won’t let that happen.
— I’m on a flight to Portland, and I’m not sure when my gogo wi-fi will go away, so bye-bye! The next Giants recap will probably appear sometime between tomorrow and Tuesday.