Let’s start with the good news! Pablo Sandoval is now the owner of a shiny new seventeen game hit streak, which also happens to the be the longest hit streak to open a season by a Giant. The Panda passed Willie Mays on the list with his ninth inning single off Reds reliever Sam LeCure. Pretty snazzy company if you ask me.
Now that we’re done with the good news, on to everything else!
Remember that series against the Reds late last July? Remember how we collectively cursed the souls of every inhabitant of Great American Ballpark? Add Mat Latos’ smug, Children of the Corn looking face to the scenario. Nightmare fuel, yes? That was pretty much today.
A few high (err… low?) lights to illustrate the point.
First, the most distressingly 2011-y of all, Brandon Crawford went down hard diving out of the way of Drew Stubbs sliding hard into second base and was moving pretty gingerly afterwards. Word on the Twitter machine is that he hyper-extended his elbow bracing his fall, but that they believe he’s fine. We better damn well hope that’s the case, because otherwise the middle infield options are quickly approaching “reanimated zombie 1977 vintage Johnnie LeMaster” territory.
Continuing our 2011 vintage Giants theme, in the top of the sixth inning, only down two runs, Melky Cabrera hit a two-out single to give Pablo Sandoval the chance to hit. In the course of Pablo seeing approximately fourteen thousand pitches (give or take) to draw a walk, Melky steals second. Buster Posey then continues the patience-palooza, seeing another absurd quantity of pitches to draw his own walk. Bases loaded, Giants are only down by two. And, well, it’s the Giants, and they lost, so you can probably guess how that inning ended. Ground out, inning over.
The wheels didn’t really came off until the seventh, though. Ryan Ludwick took Matt Cain deep (the cad), and Dan Otero came in to replace Cain. The bullpen was taxed from the double header yesterday, so when the runs just kept scoring, poor Otero just had to wear it. Next thing you know, the Giants are down eight. I don’t entirely remember where those eight runs came from exactly, it’s all kind of a blur of screaming at my television and cursing various Reds I remember throughout history and I might have blacked out for a bit. I think the lack of oxygen from not breathing during Buster Posey’s epic plate appearance the inning before caught up with me. In any event, many runs scored.
The one important thing to note is that at some point in the runs-magddeon the Reds were inflicting on Otero, Joey Votto got hit by a pitch. This was obviously not intentional, as evidenced by the fact that the pitches prior to the one that hit Votto in the backside were all over the place and that really, there’s no history there and why would you randomly plunk a guy with intent in that situation? Votto paused for a long moment after it happened, but was generally classy about it and it seemed to be over. That is until the top of the ninth, when Sam LeCure for whatever reason decided that intentionally throwing a pitch at Buster Posey’s knees was a cool move. Buster scooted out of the way, the umpires delivered a warning, and Buster Posey went on to do what Buster Posey does in that situation, which is to take Sam LeCure deep and trot majestically around the bases. The Giants still lost, obviously, but a Buster Posey dinger is a fine and lovely specimen to behold even in the worst of games, and it continues to remind us all that Buster Posey is not in fact a mere mortal like you and I, but is a far superior being who will eventually be our benevolent dictator. I, for one, welcome our dinger hitting overlords.
The Giants send Barry Zito to the hill tomorrow to face Bronson Arroyo. Have your clownshoes on standby.