Photo by Lola M. Chávez

The first half ends with a bang. An 8-4 win over Arizona featuring grand slams by the starting pitcher (Madison Bumgarner) and the starting catcher (Buster Posey). First time in MLB history.

Otherwise the Giants lost more than they won and stumbled out of first place in the NL West.

Why?

The Giants scored 37 runs during the first couple weeks of July. Second worst in the National League and even that total is inflated by Sunday’s eight-run extravaganza.

Not to minimize the slams, especially Posey’s which came with two out. Said Manager Bruce Bochy: “We’ve been missing that hit; that’s what you’re hoping for from those guys in the heart of the order. With two outs, to get a hit like that, that’s huge.”

Unfortunately, they’re missing a whole lot more: long, silent swings punctuated by the occasional crack when wood meets leather. More like an empty gesture than a hit.

Though the hitters continued to flail, the pitchers returned, pretty much, to form. Having inexplicably imploded, the staff appears to have performed the right rituals and made the necessary sacrifices to appease whatever gods they may have pissed off earlier. Especially Tim Lincecum. Pitching 21.1 innings, he gave up just one run.

Not freaky. Just really good pitching. Too bad. Without runs, the Giants will need a freak show to win.

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Lola M. Chavez

I grew up in the Mission, went to School of the Arts high school for creative writing. Bounced around colleges from SFState, to CCSF, to CCA where I graduated with a degree in photography.

Mark Rabine has lived in the Mission for over 40 years. "What a long strange trip it's been." He has maintained our Covid tracker through most of the pandemic, taking some breaks with his search for the Mission's best fried-chicken sandwich and now its best noodles. When the Warriors make the playoffs, he writes up his take on the games.

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