The Giants sold out AT&T Park for the 28th straight game last night. The first couple weeks were rife with walk-offs, comebacks, and thrilling wins. This past homestand? Not so much.
They've teased us a couple times, but we've been spoiled by that ridiculous mark in one-run games, and since they didn't come back against the Reds last night, there's probably one guy who won't come tonight, breaking that streak that dates back through the playoffs last year.
Let's be clear: the pace that the Giants were winning one-run games was unsustainable. But now we expect the magic to happen.
When Miguel Tejada hit a double in the seventh, that was it. Our Giants were going to come back and tie the game, it would go to extras, and pinch-hitter Tim Lincecum would hit an inside-the-park homerun to send us home in the 14th. It's Monday night. It's standard.
But the offense is a little sputtery right now. No one is really hot, and the guys who are supposed to be carrying the offense aren't. Aubrey Huff and Cody Ross keep hinting at getting back to last year's production level, but then they take ugly oh-fers and remind us that it's no longer 2010.
However. The Giants are still defending World Series Champs. And they're still in first place. I'll take it.
Miguel Tejada has been disappointing, to say the least. But it seems like whenever he's on the ropes, he has a game that, for a second, reminds us that he won an MVP award and got 200 hits. Twice. Worth six million dollars? No.
But last night, he hit two doubles, made two fantastic plays at third base, and definitely outshone World Series MVP and World Series ring recipient Edgar Renteria in every respect after the pregame ceremony.
Sure, the Giants lost, but you can't say that Tejada didn't do everything he could last night to prevent that from happening. What I don't want to do is have reach Rich Aurilia/Randy Winn/Aaron Rowand status, where he just never sucks quite enough to outright cut him.
Sometimes you just wish he'd go Milton Bradley on the Giants ONCE. Maybe drop some blatantly racist comments at a press conference, or out of nowhere punch Ron Wotus in the face, or post junkshots on Twitter. Because that would make it easy.
Miggy, if you keep playing like yesterday, the villagers with the pitchforks and torches will go away.
Madison Bumgarner is getting Barry Zito'd is getting Matt Cain'd.
Matt Cain is an elite pitcher. I'll say that with certainty. His record doesn't reflect it because for the first half of his career, the Giants would score 0.7 runs per game when he pitched. Barry Zito then started to give him a run for his money for "pitcher that the offense doesn't like." Granted, Zito gave up an extra run (or two) per game that made it worse, but the Giants still didn't score very often for him.
Now it's Madison Bumgarner's turn. It's at the point where it is now passé to say hashtag #Cain'd on your "Giants Lost" tweets. The correct term is now #MadBum'd. Get with the times.
Bumgarner is 2-8. He leads the NL in losses. It's bad. It's bad because he's good.
It's also bad because, in those 8 losses, the Giants have scored like so: 1, 1, 5, 1, 0, 0, 4, 6, 1, and 0.
That means Bumgarner, in order to even get a no-decision in seven of those games, he has to give up a run or less. Perfect, or a marginally less than perfect. Other than that, you lose. Sorry Madison, that's the big leagues. Or at least the big leagues with the Giants.
The only consolation is that he's throwing well. His W-L record might not reflect it, but the peripheral numbers are there. Low ERA (3.23), low WHIP (1.308), keeps the ball in the yard, decent K/BB ratio. He'll get better. Just keep giving the Giants a chance to win and eventually (hopefully) they will.