Matt Cain did not have the good stuff in his 21st start--the Brewers hit the ball hard even when they made outs. The Giants looked a little sloppy in the field in their 100th game and put on, even for them, a remarkably feeble show with the bats. When Cain was lifted after six it was 4-1 Milwaukee and even Ol' Boch new the team was toast. He put in Guillermo Mota, fer chrissakes. Now you all know I like WillyMo, but when the Ancient One (I think he modeled for those Easter Island statues) comes in that means the Giants are (a) losing big or (b) winning big. Plus, he was followed by Jeremy Affeldt and Ramon Ramirez. That's the three lowest rungs on the bullpen ladder. Not that they are bad pitchers--they aren't. And they all pitched beautifully. But down by three with three to play is "out of it" for San Francisco, and that's depressing. Did I mention already what a dull fecking game it was? I didn't? Well, it was a goddamn dull fecking game. I even fell asleep watching it. (That had nothing to do with the three pints of beer I'd had earlier, or the somnambulant stylings of the Chicago-tribute band playing in the city park. I can hear all the concerts from my house. It was a weak night for entertainment. Chicago? Seriously? Do you open, close, and encore with "Saturday in the Park?" I think you'd have to. Yeesh.)
The Giants face their biggest test of the season now that they've reached the century mark. Two more with Milwaukee, then on to Philadelphia and Cincinnati, then home for Arizona, Philadelphia again, and Pittsburgh. That's 18 more games with contending teams (Arizona was kind enough to lose last night and keep the Giants four games up). For the Giants to match last years win total of 92 they will have win 35 of the remaining 62 games, or .565 ball, close to their current .570 pace. If they play .500 ball (31-31) they will finish with 88 wins. That might do it, but it would be awfully tight and the D-Backs would have to help out some. The Giants were 16-12 in May and 17-11 in June. With eight games left in July the 11-7 Giants might find it tough to match those numbers, but this is a tortoise-not-a-hare club, the kind that grinds it out a little at a time. I expect I'll be doing some similar math a month from now, and saying things like "if they can just stay a couple of games above .500 the rest of the way the NL West is a lock."
Vogie today, MadBum tomorrow. GO GIANTS!