For once, it wasn’t Paul Goldschmidt who beat us. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
People like to snivel when the home team loses, but I’m going to say this anyway: Baseball isn’t solely about winning. If you say that after your team has just been eliminated from post-season competition, then don’t bother, at least don’t say it to me. If you’re saying it, though, after a tough loss, which has plenty of highlights in it, and elements which demonstrate growth, then you accept the final score as being the price you pay for forward progress and philosophize away.
Take last night’s game, for instance, that the San Francisco Giants lost in ten innings, to the Arizona D-backs, 6-5. After Morse’s electrifying, two-run, two-out double in the fifth, giving the Giants their first lead of the game, I was certain that this game would end up in the win column for the Orange and Black, some way or another.
The game had all of the components of a victory: starting pitching that was solid, if not spectacular, offense that was tenacious, and the sense that after coming back from a 4-1 deficit, that this one belonged to the Giants. Pagan had another multi-hit game (he leads the majors with eight), Morse came through yet again with the second of his two doubles, and Ryan Vogelsong was making some excellent pitches, giving me hope that he is regaining the form that elevated his game in 2011-12.
zApr 9, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (44) is greeted at home plate by Gerardo Parra (8) and Eric Chavez (12) after Goldschmidt hit a first-inning home run against Tim Lincecum. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports
The fact that the D-backs were able to stage a late-game rally-not once-but twice, just emphasizes what I already knew: that the Snakes are a formidable force with which to be reckoned. I posted “Know Your Enemy: Arizona Diamondbacks-I Don’t Trust Those Snakes” just before the season opened, and I warned that Arizona may have taken a back seat to the Dodgers in terms of off-season movement, as did all of baseball, but that didn’t mean that the D-backs were going to slither into the woodpile somewhere and watch the division race from there.
No, Paul Goldschmidt is not the only snake in the grass on this team. They’re all a bunch of vipers and I respect the living daylights out of them. Therefore, I want to focus on the way the Giants scored once in the second, once in the third, once in the fourth and twice in the fifth, to take the lead. That is perseverance. The next step to work on is to not let up, and keep on pounding the scoreboard, but that does not detract from last night’s successes.
I want to vent at Pablo Sandoval also, but I can’t kick a guy when he’s down. He hasn’t gotten his hitting stroke yet, and his throwing error in last night’s game cost dearly. But Pablo will deliver and probably when we least expect it. I know it’s been said, but if the Giants can be this successful with the Panda not in attendance, imagine what they will be like when he gets back.
Speaking of successful, the Giants have won six of their fist ten games and that projects to 97 wins over the season; that’s good enough to get into the playoffs. San Francisco had the best record in the National league last year against the NL West and they’re on that path again. By the way, it’s the same path that leads to the World Series.
Apr 4, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) talks with San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (32). Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports