If you expect nothing, it’s impossible to be disappointed. That’s a huge lie, of course. For San Francisco Giants fans, disappointment is not merely just around the corner, it lurks in every corner. Even so, it’s hard to beat one’s breast too much over yesterday’s season opener. Indeed, how far off was it from reasonable expectations? Viz:
- Barry Zito pitched okay. He had five innings to dazzle the crowd and the Padres, and while he didn’t do that, it’d be unfair to say he disappointed. He gave up three runs, two earned-more on that anon-walked a couple, struck out a few, and looked ridiculous at the plate. His ERA is 3.60-he’s right on course.
- Jake Peavy did all the dazzling. The Giants couldn’t touch him. One solid hit, maybe. Their hitting, such as it was, came off the bullpen: two hits in one inning against Cla Meredith, the spiritual brother of Montá Ellis of the Warriors. Whee.
- Barry Bonds, after a fence-busting exhibition season, hit zero home runs in three whole at-bats-the fraud! What he did do, though, was fun: plopped a little ground ball toward where the shortstop should’ve been if he hadn’t been on the wrong side of second base, past the third baseman, and into left field for a box-score base hit. He then stole second, and it wasn’t close. And when Khalil Greene’s throw on Ray Durham’s grounder got past first base, Bonds attempted to score from second... and was thrown out by three continents. Vintage Barry, in some ways.
- Speaking of vintage, how about Pedro Feliz? With the Padres’ lead hardly being insurmountable, he booted an inning-ending double-play grounder that eventually led to a run-stupid error at a bad time. Later, amid all the talk about how he’d worked so hard all spring to be more patient and selective, he struck out on a 3-2 pitch-instep-high and almost in the lefthanded batter’s box. How is this not Vintage Pedro?
- Amid all the talk about he’d worked so hard all spring to be more patient and selective, Lance Niekro looked really bad in the process of striking out as a pinch-hitter for Zito in the fifth. With the Giants down 4-0, Ryan Klesko, making his Giants debut, later grounded into an easy, inning-ending double play with two aboard.
- After Kevin Correia gave up a leadoff triple late in the game, Jonathan Sanchez came in, dominated one hitter... then, just after I said “wild pitch” aloud, he threw one. How could one not see this coming? He’s a Giant.
- Fox Sports Net Bay Area, for reasons I fail to comprehend, has seen fit to add Cammy Blackstone to the team. Her job, like Kim Yonenaka’s before her, is to bustle through the stands and find pointless things to talk about. Now, I thought Blackstone was reasonably amusing when she was with KNBR years ago, though I became weary of her on-air drooling over Jeffrey Leonard. And since Leonard was there for Opening Day pregame ceremonies, along came Cammy, and more drool. I’d rather watch dot-racing. Admittedly, though, it was kind of funny-”ha ha” funny? You be the judge-when she was interviewing a fan, and when he didn’t respond quickly enough, said, “C’mon, we haven’t got all day.”
- Graham Chapman was right: anon is a stupid word.
All that said, how despondent can Giants fans be after yesterday? C’mon. This is nothing. One 7-0 loss does not a season make. A hundred 7-0 losses a season makes. Or, to paraphrase that adage that many managers over the years have paraphrased while taking credit for it themselves: Look, in any given season you’re gonna win 30 games and you’re gonna lose 80 games; it’s what you do with that other 62 that’s important.