Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Rockies 4, Giants 3

I went to a night baseball game last night for the first time in years. I had a good time, despite the final score. A few observations are in order, though:
  • The food prices are pretty crazy, but you can do all right if you stay away from the beer. The beer is just insanely overpriced. $5.75 for Bud Light - I'm pretty sure I could get a 12-pack for that price. If you want, y'know, good beer - that's gonna run you seven bucks, easy. The "grande nachos" I had were $5.25, and were competitive with, say, Taco Bell in both taste and size. I didn't feel too badly abused there.
  • Pac Bell/SBC/Whatever we're calling it this season Park doesn't have bad seats, exactly, but the game really is more absorbing when you're closer to the field. We were in "View Box" seats, which are sort of hung off the upper deck. It's closer than I've ever sat at Pac Bell, and it made a difference. I'm kind of cheap, so I rarely get anything other than the Uecker seats, which made this a nice change.
  • You might think that early August would be a safe time to see the Giants at a night game and not contract hypothermia, but if you did, you'd be wrong. It was cold. Not "Candlestick in April" cold, but very chilly. Gametime temperature was reported as 61 degrees, and by the end of the game I'd bet it was (maybe) in the upper 40's. Note to self: bring a jacket or a blanket or something to night games.

As to the game itself, well, you can read a pretty good recap lots of places. A few moments really stand out, though. Such as that sequence in the fifth inning when newly-promoted catcher Yamid Haad (who looked OK, all things considered) couldn't pull in the foul (which admittedly, went approximately 15 miles into the air and may have contributed to the damaged thermal blanket on the space shuttle) popup by J.D. Closser, followed by Closser slamming a triple; and then a grounder to J.T. Snow by Omar Qunitanilla that should have ended the inning without a run scoring but didn't (I was only 500 or so feet from the play, but I'm pretty confident that, despite what the umpire right over the bag seemed to think, that Quintanilla was out!!1111); and then of course the two run homer that Matt Holliday hit that sealed the game.

I pause to note that, in an uncharacteristic display, the Giants bullpen kept the (admittedly punchless, except see what happened in the fifth) Rockies at bay. That's heartening, although anyone who thinks the Giants have a prayer of a winning record this year is delusional.

Less heartening was the bottom of the ninth, wherein the Giants loaded the bases and brought Randy Winn to the plate with two out. A base hit probably wins the game, and certainly ties it, but Winn grounded to second and that was that. It's actually worse than that, because they had a man on second with nobody out; a man on third with one out; the bases loaded with one out; and then Winn at the plate with two out - and couldn't get the run home. That kind of thing is just frustrating to watch. Presumably, also, frustrating to do, but I can only speak from the fan's perspective here, and it seems like the Giants just aren't getting the job done this year.

On another Giants-related note, a tip of the cap to Marquis Grissom, who was designated for assignment before the game. As this column by Ray Ratto makes clear, Marquis was a classy guy and a heck of a player for a long time. Here's to you, Marquis, and here's hoping you catch on with some playoff-bound team and get another shot at some October glory. The move makes the acquisition of Winn a little less crazy, but I still don't see why an older, more expensive version of Jason Ellison was a pressing need while improving a shaky starting rotation (see the fifth inning for another episode in Brett Tomko's Snakebite Showcase) wasn't a priority. I mean, if I can see the problem, presumably the professionals know it even better, but I'd personally have been willing to see the Giants either get another solid starter at almost any price, or cut the cord on this season and sell off a mess of their vets for some prospects. I think I know why they didn't, and his name is Barry Bonds, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish to dig into.

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