I started writing a recap over my lunch break. It contained this paragraph:
Actually, let’s talk about that last one a bit. [Angel] Pagan is said to be a slow starter, and over the Giants’ brief homestand and the Mets double-header he showed incipient signs of turning it around. But he has yet to get really locked in, and looked absolutely feeble in most of his PAs today. The most telling thing is his complete inability to take pitches; even his one single was a slap at a third-pitch changeup. It may be time to give Pagan some time off, move him down in the order when he does play, and give Gregor Blanco or the surprisingly patient Melky Cabrera an extended look at the top of the order.
Then, you know, this happened. So what the hell do I know? If you want to read the rest of that recap, you’re going to have to wait for the Third Street Kings season DVD, with outtakes and commentary.
But since I already got all the unrestrained glee out of my system during the actual broadcast, I am going to stand by part of that paragraph. Angel Pagan is a little miscast as a leadoff hitter. He’s fast as hell, but he doesn’t walk much and he doesn’t hit the ball on the ground a lot, so his OBP is never gonna be great; it’s a tradeoff for power, which he has. He’d be a great 5 or 6 hitter. Anyway, that’s pretty ungracious of me to talk about right now, because after flailing like a doofus for a few at-bats (I think he took a combined 8 pitches in his first 3), he hit a single and then, of course, he won the game with one beautiful swing of the bat.
Well, half-won the game. Santiago Casilla won the other half. I have long been a big fan of the former Jairo Garcia, even if on occasion he has no idea where the ball is going. He knew where the ball was going tonight. Buster Posey managed to figure it out. I’m pretty sure they were the only two people in the ballpark who did. Zack Cosart, Drew Stubbs, and Joey Votto certainly did not. If Bruce Bochy wants to stick with having a defined closer (and, you know, fair enough), he could do a hell of a lot worse than a guy who throws a 95 MPH fastball with nearly a foot of break.
I dunno. The Giants are still the same club they’ve been to start this season – hitting feebly with RISP, putting garbage-time relievers into high leverage situations, occasionally going into innings of total offensive futility. (6 batters, 15 pitches. Homer Bailey, Cy Young candidate?) But they’re also 10-9 after a rough start to the season, with several key players badly underperforming, and a homestand coming up against the thoroughly dreadful Padres. Nothing like an unexpected win to make you feel optimistic.
All the same, I am thrilled that the Giants won’t be playing in the Great American Shop of Horrors unless they make the playoffs against the Reds. Worry about that when we get to it. Keep winning.