Thursday, February 23, 2006


Here It Is, The Worst Game of 2005

In the fine tradition of my "Best Games of 2005" post, here's the absolute worst game of 2005, which can also double as maybe one of the worst games in Giants history. Now, the 2005 season was full of awful games, from Armando Benitez's blowup in L.A. in April to the five run ninth inning Cardinal explosion in August to Brett Tomko's final depantsing in San Diego in September. With so many bad games to choose from it's easier to just pinpoint the worst game, and fortunately there was a game so dreadful and brutal that just looking at the box score should send a sharp pain right into the heart of every Giants fan. Seriously, I can't think of a game more perfectly atrocious than this one from a Giants fan standpoint.

The game I'm talking about happened on June 26th in Oakland, as the A's pulverized the Giants to the tune of 16-0. The A's pounded out 16 runs on 24 hits, adding three walks and two home runs (both by Stankeye fave Nick Swisher). The Giants? They squeaked out one measly hit off of Rich Harden and two A's relievers.

How bad was Tomko, the Giants starter? Let's put it this way: the A's were Michaelangelo, and Tomko's ass was the canvas. He was bombed out of the third inning after giving up six runs on ten hits, and relievers Bradon Puffer (!?!) and Jason Christiansen fared little better. It was so bad that Jason Kendall, he of the .321 slugging percentage, smacked three hits, two of them doubles, and knocked in three runs. Noted masher Marco Scutaro had three hits and pretty much everybody in green and gold turned into some form of Joe Rudi or Reggie Jackson at the plate.

If this drubbing came at the hands of like, the Pirates, I wouldn't really care. Giving up 16 runs in a game is embarrassing, but I could move on without it really staying with me. But the fact that it was the A's, our Bay Area rivals, those Moneyball bastards and their fat white elephant burns the soul. In my younger days, I had a pathological hatred of the A's. I hated McGwire, Canseco, the Hendersons. I even hated the crappy players, like Ron Hassey, Mike Gallego, and Mike Oquist. Five years ago this kind of thing would have sent me into full-scale Jack Torrance mode, but as the years have gone by and as Moneyball has changed the way I view baseball, my anti-A's stance has softened and I'm actually at the point where I'll actively root for them against most teams, so I didn't go berzerk and start eating live quail.

Well, this game still blew. What hurt more is that not only did the win give the A's the season series, it gave them the lead in the all-time series since Interleague play began in 1997. Going into the year, the teams were tied at 22 apiece, but came into this game with the A's holding a 25-24 Bay Bridge Series lead. A win would have kept it tied, but obviously the rest is knee-in-the-groin history, and the A's hold a 26-24 lead going into 2006.

The only consolation I have is that maybe this was just some sort of karmic retribution for this game that happened in 2000, when the Giants thoroughly bitch-slapped their Bay Area counterparts by a score of 18-2. Jeff Kent smoked two home runs. Bonds homered, Ellis Burks homered, and even Bill Mueller hit a bomb off some jerk named Rich Sauveur. 18 runs on 19 hits...ohhhh yeaaaaaah. The only positive for the A's was Sal Fasano shattering a window in the box seats behind the bleachers on a home run off Shawn Estes. Look at the box score some more. It helps make the 16-0 castor oil go down a little easier.

Maybe next year we'll get our revenge and retake the all-time series from the A's. Well, we'll have to wait until May. Until then, just to return the smiles to the faces of you Giants fans depressed over the memory of this game, here's the Masturbating Bear:

Man, I love that guy.

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