Heading into Saturday’s action, the San Francisco Giants hold a one-game lead in the National League West. The half-glass-empty pessimist is probably bemoaning the fact that the Giants are quickly losing their grasp on the division. On the other hand, the glass could be viewed as half full by those who point out that, after all this losing (11 times in 13 games since the all-star break), they’re still in first place.
It’s kinda like how one might view Friday night’s triple play that ended the Giants’ rally and best hope of getting back into the game against the Washington Nationals: it’s either a sign that everything is going wrong for the Giants and they’re not going to pull out this funk, or that it to be had the absolute bottoming out from which the Giants will bounce back. (Pardon all the clichés, but it’s getting difficult to find new ways to write about the Giants’ woes.)
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You probably are aware of what happened, but in case you’re not, I’ll explain it to you through how I experienced it…
Rather than watching the game, I was following it on the MLB app’s Gameday, which is basically a digital representation of the game action from the catcher’s viewpoint. In the bottom of the 8th, Brandon Crawford was up to the plate with no outs and the bases loaded. Seemed like a reasonably good opportunity for the Giants to potentially erase their 4-1 deficit, yeah?
Then an inside pitch is depicted on the screen, as a blue dot—red dots are strikes, green dots are balls, and blue dots are balls in play. An initial description of the play read “in play, out(s).” Considering the location and Crawford’s swing, I feared a lineout to first base. Then I feared a double play. But I didn’t fear anything worse than that.
It usually only takes a few seconds for Gameday to update with a full description of the play. But more than a minute passed, and no updates. It wasn’t a failure of the app or my phone, because I checked other games in the meantime and was getting up-to-the-second updates for those. Instead, by my estimation, the complexity of the play took forever to be inputted, because, really, who’s ready to type up the first-ever 3-3-5 triple play in the history of Major League Baseball??????
That’s how badly things are going for the G-men. When things are looking promising, Murphy digs deeper into his law bag to make sure the Giants continue losing.
Because I see the glass as being half full, I’m going to consider that to be the Giant’s U-turn point. Really, the timing is perfect: the newly acquired all-star, Eduardo Nunez, will be making his first start today, and Hunter Pence says he is ready to go and is expected be back in the lineup for the first time in two months.
So, a day after boiling oil was dumped on the Giants just as they were dragging their parched bodies to the edge of a desert watering hole, they just might wake up from a two-week nightmare and find themselves ready and able to win ball games again.