“You move on because you have to.”
Bruce Bochy, the philosopher, said that Saturday. And later, when the Giants were smacked around by the Cincinnati Reds 10-2, you sensed the only place they were moving was down.
It was so bad, Bill Hall, who had been waived Friday by the Houston Astros and signed Saturday by San Francisco, was put in the game — and walked.
You wondered if maybe Jeff Kent, in attendance as part of Legends Day, would agree to suit up for the next two weeks. Or two years.
But these are the Giants, who have made logic look as silly as a right-handed batter against Brian Wilson.
Come Sunday, and the team whose best pitcher (Tim Lincecum) can’t get the ball over the plate, whose young star (Buster Posey) can’t get behind the plate, whose best hitter (Freddy Sanchez) is out with a dislocated shoulder, falls behind to those Reds 2-0.
You’re thinking what everyone is thinking. 2-0? It might as well be 22-0. But, to borrow a slogan that has become a reality, there’s magic inside.
“We’re still in first place,” Aubrey Huff said.
Indeed. Huff had three hits, Nate Schierholtz broke a tie with a sacrifice fly, and the Giants, who hadn’t scored more than two runs in any of the three previous games of the series against the Reds, won 4-2.
“As bad as we’ve been offensively,” Huff offered in words which had become litany, “this attests to our pitching. If we hit a lick ...”
If they hit a lick, they would be the Reds or the Philadelphia Phillies or the Boston Red Sox. If they hit a lick, they wouldn’t be 13th in the National League in batting, ahead of only the Pirates, Padres and Nationals. If they hit a lick, you’d still have your fingernails and, perhaps, your sanity.
“I hurt for these guys,” said Bochy, the ablest manager west of the Atlantic shoreline, of his players when asked if he ever gets as depressed as the paying customers over the daily woes. “These guys are people you don’t replace easily.”
No, they have been replaced, at least literally.
Most of the infield the Giants used Sunday was unimaginable Opening Day: Miguel Tejada at third, Brandon Crawford at short, Emmanuel Burriss at second. Toss in Chris Stewart catching, and it’s a “Where did they come from?” sort of moment. Huff at first base is the only one who appeared in last year’s World Series.
The important thing is they do just enough at the plate, and on defense they do plenty.
If there’s a worry, it’s Lincecum. Seven runs in four innings from your No. 1 starter is hardly reassuring to a team dependent on its staff.
Mike Krukow, who went from the mound to the broadcast booth, said for Lincecum, it’s mechanics. His release point is wrong. The ball is going in every direction except the proper one.
So the ace is looking anything but, and the Giants have scored fewer runs than any team in the league except San Diego. Sounds like a recipe for, well, disaster is a bit strong.
Except they keep winning. It makes no sense. It does, however, make a great story.
Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on www.artspander.com and www.realclearsports.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.