There was a LOT to be frustrated about last Tuesday's game, but I am going to pick something you might not expect. You might think I’d pick how the Giants went 3-14 with RISP, or how they had a runner at third with less than two outs a couple of times and couldn’t convert (such as when Uribe struck out in the situation). Or you might think I’d pick how they had 1st and 2nd no outs with the teams fastest player (i.e. Torres) up to bat. And how he somehow managed to hit into such a tailor made double play that he was out by literally a mile, despite his wonderful speed. Or you might think I’d pick how Medders came into the game in the 9th just down by a run and allowed the Pirates’ lead to balloon to 3 runs – it’s still early but if he continues to pitch like that, guaranteed contract or not, he’s a goner. Or, you might think I’d pick the most obvious person to blame, Edgar Renteria, who flat out dropped the most perfect double play feed from a pitcher imaginable – right at his chest, 1,6, 3 (to be) – but no.
I’ll actually pick what directly preceded that. Affeldt was pitching in the 8th inning with the ballgame tied, and he walked the Pirates’ fastest runner – Andrew McCutchen, whom already had stolen not 1 but 2 bases, mind you – on 4 straight pitches. That’s what really burned me. When I was a pitcher in college, we had to run poles – which is running from foul pole to foul pole along the in play fence line – every time as a team we walked more than 2 batters in a game, walked the leadoff hitter, or walked someone we had in the hole 0-2. What Affeldt did wasn’t on that list, but it should be. If I were Rag’s, you better believe Affeldt would be running some poles this morning before the game.
That’s what really burned me, and believe it or not, that’s what really burned the Giants. If Affeldt doesn’t walk McCutchen and actually retires him, the score likely stays tied. If the game stays tied, Brian Wilson pitches the 9th inning (because you always pitch your closer in a tied game in the 9th at home – but not away – because at home the save situation no longer exists at that point. And if Brian Wilson pitches the 9th inning, he probably doesn’t give up two runs. That’s a lot of “probablyeeze,” but the Giants should probably beat the Pirates – often – and certainly on Tuesday Night.