The fans’ thoughts are easy enough to imagine: The Giants are a disgrace, an embarrassment. It’s one thing to lose, but to collapse like a house of cards — and that’s not a St. Louis reference.
But what are the execs in the offices of AT&T Park thinking?
That maybe they should have signed at least one man who could swing a bat and make contact with a pitched ball? That maybe they’d better plan more bobblehead nights for 2017? That, thank heavens, at least they were unable to sign Zack Greinke?
Yes, the Giants did show something Tuesday night, scoring in the ninth and beating the Rockies, 3-2. Is it really enough to make anyone believe the Giants will return
to the Golden Era of May and June when they had games in which they scored more than the other guys.
After all, the Giants were blanked at Coors. What could be worse than that?
Well, maybe going from eight games ahead of the Dodgers to four games behind, but that’s been cumulative. And understandable. The Dodgers have hitters and pitchers. The Giants have well, that’s a nice home clubhouse at AT&T. Great photos of John McGraw and Mel Ott.
“We’re better than this,” was the message from Bruce Bochy, the star-crossed manager. Not the last six weeks. Since the All-Star break they’re not better than anybody.
In the games players don’t hit into double plays with the tying run in scoring position — that’s a figure of speech, because when you get shut out four times in August as were the Giants, it’s a non-scoring position — the closer squanders a lead in the ninth.
Runs are precious for the Giants. That’s nothing new, certainly. We’re familiar with the sweet torture routine. With a bullpen that at times has been, shall we say, ineffective, the torture now is painful, the results disastrous.
It’s been pointed out that no one person, the closer, Santiago Casilla included, is to blame for this mess, that it’s a unified team effort. Doesn’t that make you feel better?
Nobody plays well every game. As we’re learning a lot of people can all play poorly, and at the most inopportune times. Is this Giants team underachieving since mid-July? Or, despite all the early accolades, was it merely overachieving before the All-Star break?
So much was made of this Even Year nonsense, that after World Series wins in 2010, ’12 and ’14, the Giants were destined to get another championship in 2016. What they needed to get, it’s obvious, was someone who subsequently could get people across home plate.
The five games before Tuesday, San Francisco totaled 10 runs, and four of those came in the opener of the Cubs series. The Dodgers scored 10 runs Monday night alone when they hit five home runs off Greinke. Imagine if he were in the Giants rotation.
Good pitching will beat good hitting. Against the Giants the pitching hasn’t had to be good. Bochy said that getting no runs in the opener in Denver may have been the result of a late flight and then a day game at Coors. Still, situations like that never seem to bother the champions. Weary, sleepless, they keep winning.
The Giants, to the contrary, have kept losing, kept tossing away the championship of National League West, which, despite six games remaining against the Dodgers, seemingly is now out of reach.
Maybe the Giants, out of sorts, out of the lead, can recover enough to get into postseason as a wild card. More likely they’ll continue to flail and fall.
It’s going to be a tough winter in the offices at AT&T, which is only right. It’s been a very difficult summer there on the ball field.