Monday, August 3, 2009

The PG Beat: Hampton pulls out more times against the Giants offense than a frat boy having sex and not wearing a condom

Kaz Matsui, the biggest ESPN the Magazine "Next" athlete bust not named Darko Milicic, killed the Giants with a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth.

Does the headline make sense? Probably not. But I don't care. This loss doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Let me run down the list of "Why" questions I asked myself after this game was over.
  • Why did Tim Flannery send Edgar Renteria home when it was obvious it was a hard hit ball and Hunter Pence has a cannon?
  • Why do we strike out looking three times when we had a chance to break the game wide open in the top of the sixth?
  • Why did fans automatically think this was an automatic win going into this game?
  • Why does Bengie Molina still bat cleanup when every statistic he has offensively is pathetic?
  • Why can't Pablo Sandoval work the count more so instead of just getting singles, he can wait for his pitch and hit with more power?
  • Why does Randy Winn still play right field when he has a worse arm out there than Sandoval throwing left-handed?
  • Why did those home runs have to go out?
  • Why does Eric from Entourage have to continue to go out with this Ashley girl, and why do I get the feeling that the writers are way overblowing this whole Jamie Lynn Sigler-Turtle relationship?
  • Why did Matt Cain not stomp his hitters' faces in?
Okay, the last two were out of line. I can't get Entourage out of my mind, and the last one I got from Full Metal Jacket. Nonetheless, the rest of those questions are legitimate. The Giants had so much momentum going into this series and they simply laid an egg, plain and simple. It was really just a frustrating game. Everything was set up for the Giants to win this one. They were hitting Hampton, Cain was taking care of business and then...the wheels fell off. After the sixth when we got nothing with the bases loaded, I just knew we were going to lose this game. You don't get opportunities like that in a game more than once. If you don't take advantage of them, chances are, you squandered that only opportunity to do something real damaging to the opposing team.

The lesson learned from this victory? Two actually. One, never come in too cocky into a series with a team that seems to be nearly broken. You come in and take care of business, no gloating needed going in. Fans were gloating and after the Phillies series win, I'm sure the Giants were like "Hey, we're going to steamroll these guys." The good teams take care of business and do it without doubt. That's why the Red Sox own the Orioles and are a great team, while the Giants lose to an Astros team minus-Oswalt and Berkman and aren't one. Until they learn to have that killer edge all the time, this team will never been better than what the stats show: a good pitching team that can occasionally muster up a run and a win here and there.

Sorry, I hate to be pessimistic, but this loss was agonizing for me. I really thought after the first inning we had the right approach in place, but unfortunately, hitting coach Carney Lansford's old "Swing at everything and look at the good pitches with two strikes" approach is really wearing me thin. It's not like I don't expect this. I prepare myself for these kind of offensive outings all the time.

Still, no matter how much I try to psyche myself out for them, they hit hard nonetheless. To quote somebody off of McCovey Chronicles, this statement is pretty accurate in terms of describing this loss:

"That game was like being fed a cake made out of babies, pointing out that you object to baby consumption and then being shot in the balls by the enraged cook." -Alex_Lewis.

Well said Alex. Well said.


Postgame box notes:

Winning pitcher: Mike Hampton (6-8) 6 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO.
Losing pitcher: Matt Cain (12-3) 8 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO.

Giants standouts: Eugenio Velez, 2-for-5. Pablo Sandoval, 3-for-5, 2B (31). Ryan Garko, 2-for-2. Edgar Renteria, 2-for-4, 2B (16).
Astros standouts: Michael Bourn, 2-for-4, 3B (9). Kaz Matsui, HR (5). Geoff Blum, HR (6). Carlos Lee, 3-for-4, 2B (20). Hunter Pence, 3B (5).

Probable starters for next game: Sanchez (4-9) vs. Paulino (2-5).

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