(By E. Chang)
The Week That Was:
Won 1, lost 2 against the Phillies.
Won 3, lost 1 against the Braves.
23-15 for the season.
The Week That Will Be:
2 games at Toronto against the Blue Jays.
4 games at Colorado against the Rockies.
San Francisco loves being offensive. When looking back at our teams, we remember the big guns. The 49ers, for example, have been defined by two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever throw dead pigs and the man that caught them: Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Jerry Rice. The Giants, too, are most remembered by offensive pairings: Mays and McCovey, Clark and Mitchell, Bonds and Kent. But in recent years, the Giants have been led by two different names, and instead of hitting the ball, they pitch it: Timmy and Matt.
Of the major sports, baseball is unique in that it is the only one where the defense possesses the ball, namely the pitchers. In this most recent iteration of the Giants, the version that won two World Series Championships, the starting pitchers have been the Night's Watch on the Wall -- the first and most formidable line of defense. And chief among them have been Timmy and Matt. Well, no more.
Timmy might be done. Yes, he pitched seven scoreless innings yesterday, and I hope he does the same his next time up on Saturday, but dammit, he just might be done. Giants fans have not felt comfortable seeing Timmy with the ball since 2011, and we might not see him at all next year, not in a Giants' uniform, anyway -- this is his last year of his current contract with the team. Matt Cain, on the other hand, is committed to the Giants through 2017. We love Matt. Matt's our horse, he's Mr. Consistent. Until he's not, and he hasn't been this year.
Now we sing the love song of Barry Zito. Barry Zito? Barry Zito. I've spent years cursing his name and now he's got me all giddy. I'm telling you, he's Alex Smith. And then there's Madison. The Mad Bum. The ace of our staff. If Barry looks like he wants to sing you a lullaby, Madison looks like the reason you're afraid to fall asleep. Zito and Bumgarner are the new Lincecum and Cain. Vogelsong is Vogelsong is just pull it together, Vogie, will ya?
There's a changing of the guard on the pitching staff. Slowly, Giants fans are beginning to expect the wins to come from Barry and Madison, while just hoping for something from Timmy and Matt. This can't continue. One has to expect Barry to eventually regress to the mean. Voglesong, it seems, already has. Madison will maintain, but he can't stand alone. The Giants need Timmy and Matt. We're only 1/4 through the season, so it's still early days, but if the Giants are going to play baseball into October, it'll be because Timmy and Matt have fortified that first line of defense. Let's hope they do, because winter is coming, yo.
Et cetera: How bout dem Warriors?!