This kind of loss was avoidable, but at the same time, inevitable. The bullpen wasn't going to come through every time, and the Dodgers do have some good pitching. However, while I might be understanding as to why they lost, it is still the case that the Giants were in position to gain another game on the Padres and failed to do it.
San Diego's magic number is 21. Although I still don't think the Giants have much of a chance, I'm going to keep track of it on that thar sidebar.
The plot keeps thickening in regards to next season -- Brett Tomko just might be trying to save his job here. I said yesterday that Tomko would have to be lights out the rest of the year to have a chance, and he took a step towards that with yesterday's performance. He'll have about four or five more starts this season...I'm sure we can all agree that while he showed promise, Kevin Correia can't have locked a spot in the rotation for 2006 by any means.
We all know how much weight Brian Sabean puts on late-season performances:
- Matt Herges locked himself a spot on the team for about a season and a half by pitching great after being traded to the Giants in mid-season of 2003. He pitched horribly in 2004, but was still brought back for 2005 before being let go. Can anyone think of why he might've been brought back if not for that nice run in 2003 late in the season?
- Jason Christiansen is Herges' godfather, in a sense -- he locked himself a spot on the team for about three and a half seasons with the team by pitching well after being traded to the Giants in mid-season of 2001. He missed almost all of 2002, pitched poorly in 2003 and 2004, but was still brought back for 2005 before being let go. Can anyone think of why he might've been brought back if not for that nice run in 2001 late in the season? Is anyone getting a bit of deja vu?
- Dustan Mohr was having a pretty good year last season...that is, until a base-running gaffe and fielding gaffe in late August cost the Giants a game or two, and then there was the "he should've dropped it" ball against the Padres at the end of September. Can anyone think of why he might not have been brought back if not for those incidents in 2004 late in the season?
- Jose Cruz, Jr. was having a decent year in 2003...that is, until slipping in the field in game two of the NLDS against the Florida Marlins, then dropping a ball in extra innings in game three of the same series. Can anyone think of why...oh, you get the picture.
- J.T. Snow was having a fairly poor year last year -- in fact, it was possible that it would've been his last with the Giants, were it not for a ridiculously torrid 2nd half of the season where he was actually as good of a hitter as Barry Bonds (close enough, anyway). Well, here he is again, having a poor year, but in position to put on some heroics to secure himself a job next year as well...which is fine, because I really like J.T. Snow, but isn't fine, because Snow can't hit for power and plays a position where a power hitter should reside.
It's simple. If you come through in the last two months of a season while in a pennant race, you've got a spot on next year's Giants team if you want it, and for perhaps a year or two after that even if you suck. If you make a couple of late-season and/or playoff miscues, you will not have a spot on next year's Giants team regardless of whether you want it, and regardless of how good of a season you were having beforehand.
Not the worst policy in the world, but it's a bit...rigid, I think.