And yet, it was sort of poetic and just in a way.
If this Giants team beat the Cubs, and somehow wriggled their way to another even year Championship, baseball, as we know it, may have ended.
A bitter loss is the 2015-2016 Warriors not scoring in the final 4 minutes of an NBA game.
A bitter loss is the Seahawks not giving the ball to Marshawn Lynch at the 1 yard line in the Super Bowl.
When the Giants lost Game 6 of the World Series in 2002, and their bullpen melted it hurt for a million reasons, but the primary reason was the bullpen, which had been so good all year let them down at the worst possible time.
When the Giants lost to the Marlins the following season, it also hurt for a million reason, but the primary reason was the defense, which had been so good all season let them down at the worst possible moment.
Those were good teams, betrayed by their strength. And those were bitter losses.
This was not a bitter loss.
This was a good betrayed by its weakness.
Since the middle of July the questions has been: bullpen or lineup, bullpen or line up.
Final answer: bullpen.
Get ready for the Giants to spend an uncomfortable amount (I’m talking baseball-wise) on their bullpen for 2017.
There’s a lot of blame to go around here: one thing I want to highlight…the Giants did not hit a home run in this series. They were one inch away tonight, and they ended up scoring those runs, but no home runs.
The Cubs hit five.
On a positive note: Matt Moore was awesome. Absolutely awesome.
And he will be around for the next 3 years for only 9 mil a year. Just a reminder.
Lot’s of blame being heaped on Bochy for the 9th inning. Easy to do given the results, but let’s remember that this has been going on for months. Really all year, since Casilla started melting down in May.
If you want to blame Bochy, blame him for not committing to a 9th inning guy earlier.
They could not figure it out in September and they brought the unsettledness into October, and, of course, it burned them.
Bochy has been masterful at covering up the Giants’ weakness:
- In 2010 the Giants had a third base problem. By the Phillies series, Bochy figured it out by reinserted Edgar Renteria into the starting lineup, and sliding Juan Uribe over to third.
- In 2012 the Giants had a LF and Tim Lincecum problem, and Bochy figured it out with Gregor Blanco (and X Nady!), and put Lincecum in the bullpen.
- In 2014 the Giants had a LF and Starting Pitcher Not Named Bumgarner problem, and he figured it out.
In each scenario, though, he did not have a bullpen problem.
One of the reasons Bochy is a bullpen whisperer is because he had great bullpens. This was not a great bullpen. The old guard looked old (Romo, Lopez…whose walk tonight was maybe the most egregious of the bullpen sins…Casilla), the young guys did not step up (Law and Strickland sort of did, and Law was derailed by injury, but no one made themselves indispensable), and I wonder if/why Bochy was never able to get over Will Smith’s early struggles.
Bottom line: this bullpen did not perform, and it will get a major overhaul this offseason.
My early prediction: Mark Melancon, 4 years, 70 million.
Jared Parker and Mac Williamson platooning in left to start the season.
Conor Gillaspie: hero.
Joe Panik is back. If nothing else, this postseason was worth it so that Joe could restore his confidence (and the team’s confidence in him).
Buster Posey: still awesome.
Time to start some odd year shenanigans!