I've spent time waiting in dentists' offices that was more engaging and fulfilling than last night's turgid display by the two NL West front-runners. The Padres continued their mastery of the Giants by exploiting 12 walks, 8 hits, 1 error, and a perfect night by Grit-Meister David Eckstein, who also had a 2-run hit that broke the collective will of the local lads in the 2nd inning. For the Padres, it was an offensive explosion, highlighted in the 5th when their enormous left-fielder, the 6'-6" 270-lb Kyle Blanks, walked, stole second, and scored on a hit by Yorvit Torrealba. That was the finisher, the clincher, the soul-crushing moment when the Giants knew they had just been doomed by a bottom-feeding offense (.317 wOBA and .699 OPS, both 12th of 16 NL teams) that gives hope to teams like the Astros. I always liked that quote attributed to Earl Weaver about "pitching and fundamentals" winning pennants. Oh yeah, there was that extra part about "three-run homers" but we'll ignore that for now as both San Diego and San Francisco eschew that sort of old-school, esoteric baseball. I got briefly excited when the Panda roped one into Triples Alley, and later when Juan Uribe got the same hit to the same spot, but somehow those clutch, little ball, speed-and-savvy moments didn't turn into game-winning runs.
Here's my message to Matt Cain and the rest of the Giants staff: THROW FUCKING STRIKES. There is only ONE GUY in the Padres lineup that can hurt you! And to the lineup? How about a CLUTCH FUCKING EXTRA-BASE HIT WITH MEN ON BASE?? Is that too much to ask?
p.s. Ah, the Mark DeRosa Saga--what wonderful window into the mind of Brian Sabean. I feel for DeRosa, I'm sure he's frustrated, and he seems like a dedicated pro. But it was Brian Sabean who signed a 35-year old utility player coming off wrist surgery to a 2-year deal to be a "force" in the middle of the lineup. Chew on that one, me buckos.
p.p.s. Did anyone else notice Ol' Boch's brain fart in the 5th inning? Righetti had come out to talk to Zito, who promptly threw 2 balls to the next hitter. Ol' Boch then leapt to his feet and ran on to the field in order to . . . we aren't sure, because the 2nd base umpire promptly ordered him back to the dugout! Kruk and Kuip then commented that after a visit, the pitcher is supposed to complete his pitching to the current batter before a change can be made. Zito then finished the inning--no pitching change made. The CSN camera showed Ol' Boch rummaging around in the dugout for a bit, with the coaches acting like nothing had happened. The big fella had a kind of "deer-in-the-headlights" look before resuming his normal expression, which is kind of like a wise, crafty old deer caught in the headlights. It was a weird and funny sequence that got lost in the rest of the ugliness.