It was the top of the ninth and Pat Burrell was dug in against the Dodgers’ Jonathan Broxton.
Broxton deals, and Burrell rips a laser to left that sails over the fence for a solo home run.
In my living room, I just shake my head and throw up my hands in disgust.
My wife looks at me puzzled.
“That was a Giant who hit that home run, right? So why are you upset?”
I tried to explain it was because the Giants had just allowed the Dodgers to score a second run a half inning before. But she didn’t understand, and I was in no mood to explain it her.
But I’ll explain it now.
When Santiago Casilla entered the game in the bottom of the eighth and the Giants trailing 1-0, I said “OK, guys let’s keep it a one-run game because that chump Broxton is in the bullpen and we can get a run off that Bozo.”
OK, I actually didn’t say anything because there was no one in the room at the time and that would be weird. But I thought it, loudly.
Then Casilla walked Kemp, allowed him to steal second and then score on a double to James Loney. Casilla was able to get out of the inning with no further damage, even though it took him a gazillion pitches to do the job. But in the end, that one run was enough. The Dodgers beat the Giants 2-1 on opening day.
Tim Lincecum took the loss, but I’m pinning this one on Casilla.
Actually, there was plenty of blame to go around.
The Dodgers scored their first run in the sixth without the benefit of a hit.
Lincecum walked Kemp, but then got Loney to roll a grounder to short. Even though the ball was not sharply enough for a double play, Miguel Tejada hastily tried to turn one. His errant throw shot past Freddy Sanchez into right field, putting runners on the corners.
After Lincecum hit Juan Uribe with a pitch (I had some mixed feelings there about that), Buster Posey tried to catch Kemp napping off of third base. But his throw was behind Kemp, allowing him to score.
The errors were not a byproduct of a lack of range or ability, but a result of the Giants trying to do too much. Those errors were as much mental errors as physical ones.
And then the offense struggled to mount much of a threat against the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.
Ah well. A 2-1 loss. It’s not like Giants fans are not used to that.
A friend of mine once said the problem with baseball is that the season is too long and there are too many games. So many games, that a single result is not all that important.
But I feel that’s what makes baseball great.
A win can put a smile on your face for 24 hours. But even after a loss, you know that tomorrow can bring renewed hope.
So we’ll go with that, and try not to lament the fact that the Giants’ aspirations of becoming the first team in MLB history to go 162-0 have gone up in smoke. Guess, it’s something to aim for next season.