August 25, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants right fielder Marlon Byrd (6, left) is congratulated by first base coach Bill Hayes (58, right) after hitting a single during the seventh inning against the Chicago Cubs at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The song the San Francisco Giants have me singing right now is Doom, Gloom, Agony and Despair. Never heard of it? It’s a mash up of a couple of old country tunes. The way the Giants played last night, a country song is the only kind of song with fitting lyrics. Doom, gloom, agony and despair.
I thought we were going to see a different Matt Cain. I pointed out, in an earlier post, that Cain hasn’t been very consistent. I believe I may have misspoke. He’s consistent, all right, it seems like every game he’s started, he gives up a bunch of runs for a couple of innings, and then he’s brilliant. Glimmers of the Horse.
Last night was a little different, because his first couple of innings were absolute 1, 2, 3 shut down innings. Lights out. Three ground outs in the first inning. The trifecta in the second inning–a ground out, a fly out, and a strike out.
When the Cubs came up for their third at bat, they led-off with a base hit. Uh oh. I got a little furrowed brow, it deepened when, with their pitcher at the plate, the base runner made it to second base when a pitch, ruled a passed ball, got by Buster Posey. The base runner moved to third when the next pitch went wild. My brow furrow turned into a full-blown scowl.
Just when I started to consider Botox as an option, Cain struck out the pitcher and I relaxed. A little. Until Cain walked the next guy. We needed to catch a break, and we did.
Their lead-off man was up next. He hit a slow bouncer to third, Matt Duffy, who, in a perfect choreograph of motions, threw the ball home and Buster tagged the runner out, leaving runners on first and second with two outs.
Just when I started thinking we’ve got this–we’re just one out away from a clean getaway, their next batter smacked one right out of the yard. They just don’t make them uglier. Well, yeah, I guess they do–the bases could have been loaded.
Before the Giants came to the plate in the sixth inning, they were down eight runs in a shut out. Kelby Tomlinson spared us the doom of a shut out with a base hit that scored on Brandon Belt‘s ground out.
Andrew Susac went even further in the eighth inning—hitting a bases clearing double that got the Giants back into the game.
Duffy led-off the eighth inning with a base hit, Belt followed–reaching on a fielder’s choice that got Duffy out at second, Juan Perez singled and Marlon Byrd drew a free pass to first. The bases were loaded when Gregor Blanco hit a single, scoring Belt. The bases were still loaded, then, when Susac hit the double that cleared them, making it a four run inning.
All the Giants needed in the bottom of the ninth was three runs to tie, four to go home.
Belt hit a single in the ninth on two outs, advanced to second on defensive indifference and took third on a wild pitch. That’s where the game ended–with Belt on third and not another base runner in sight. Gloom. Despair. Agony. The final score was: Giants 5, Cubs 8
Tuesday night’s game was really important for two reasons: call me Captain Obvious, but we need to start winning more games, and we need to win each series. The other reason it was so important is because I thought it would give us an idea of how Cain is doing. I still can’t tell.
After the game Cain said in an interview that he gave up two bad pitches and it ended up costing us. I don’t know about you, but I think there’s a little more to it–the runners that were on board when he tossed each of those pitches didn’t get there by divine intervention. Call me crazy–some of you already do–but I think Cain is responsible for putting them there. I know he’s going to give up hits and walks here and there. If he didn’t, he would have a perfect game every outing.
It’s not just Cain, though. The clubs we’ve been up against lately seem to be hitting home runs every time. Is it just me? What do you think? I’m going to have to do some research and find out what gives.
All I know about the long ball is this: we need to start hitting more and giving up less. That’s why they call me Captain Obvious.
The Giants are still the greatest team in the MLB. #WeAreGiant and don’t you forget it.