MLB The Show: The Toughest Loss EVER
(originally written 5/5/22)
As a single father, disposable funds are limited, and so I have not yet splurged on the two newest versions of the Playstation. Meaning the most recent MLB: The Show available for me and my PS3 is the 2016 edition. That's fine—I play as the Giants, and the 2016 Giants were largely a quality team.
Today, I was set to battle the visiting Miami Marlins in the second game of a three-game set. I handled them fairly easily in the first game despite some early struggle. In Game 2, Jake Peavy would pitch for me, with lefty Wei-Yin Chen pitching for them.
The first seven innings went as well as I could have hoped for, considering A) I struggle mightily against lefties, B) I struggle even worse against lefties with unconventionial deliveries such as Chen's, and C) I was resting all my regulars besides the Brandons Belt and Crawford.
Peavy dominated the Marlins Stanton-less lineup, breezing through seven innings on something like 52 pitches. Chen was nearly as effective, but I was able to take one of his sliders into McCovey Cove with Belt to take a 1-0 lead (YES! There ARE Splash Homers in this game, even if you have to use replay to see the splash. And even if the ball still bounces and rolls upon reaching the water.)
I had nothing against former Giants catcher Trevor Brown before May of 2022. I even once went out of my way to acquire one of his baseball cards. But now I know why his MLB career lasted exactly 88 games—he's terrible in MLB: The Show.
In the T8th, Peavy cracked a bit, giving up a pair of two-out singles before escaping. With two down in the B8th—in a bit of ironic foreshadowing—Hunter Pence K'd on a pitch in the dirt, but reached first base, extending the frame and allowing me to tack on two insurance runs. Which I never thought I'd need, considering Peavy was on automatic and Miami wasn't hitting jack.
However, Marlins 1B Justin Bour led off the T9th with a homer, then Peavy erratically walked Martin Prado, forcing me to go to the 'pen with one out. Javy Lopez quickly dispatched Ichiro, and I left it up to setup man Sergio Romo to get the final out. Long story short, it didn't happen, and I ended up bringing in CL Santiago Casilla against SS Adeiny Hechavarria with two on.
Casilla got the strikeout...
...but C Trevor Brown did not catch the ball, a fastball belt-high which ricocheted off his stone mitt and into no-man's land, loading the bases. Up next: PH Derek Dietrich, who ripped a first-pitch oppo double to drive home two and tie the score at three. (EXPLETIVES.)
We were unable to go back ahead in the B9th, so cue extra innings. This game dragged on with almost no offense from either side through the 10th, 11th, 12th...on into the 19th freaking inning. Marlins relievers Mike Dunn, Brad Hand and David Phelps teamed up to expose every one of my batting weaknesses—they weren't just getting me out, they were often embarrassing me. (By the 13th, I'd lost nearly all discipline and was lunging at anything that came out of their hands resembling a strike. Which is a recipe for failure in real and virtual baseball.)
I'd burned through my entire bullpen (and due to a game oversight, starter Madison Bumgarner for one batter) by the 19th; Vin Mazzaro, who'd pitched the previous game, should not have been used but there he was on the mound for the 19th inning. Miami knocked him around for three runs, including Bour's second homer. It was 6-3 heading into my half of the inning.
By now, I didn't really care who won or lost, I just wanted the game to end so I could cut Trevor Brown. I got a pair of hits and had runners on the corners with none out for Brown against Miami CL A.J. Ramos. Perfect spot for redemption, right, Trev? Wrong. After falling behind 2-0, he whiffed on three fastballs on the outer half. Couldn't even foul one off.
Gregor Blanco then hit into a game-ending double play, finalizing THE toughest loss I've ever absorbed in any fashion.
The only good from this game: I drew five walks, helping me toward my goal of averaging three per game. And I didn't have to burn Buster Posey or Angel Pagan or Conor Gillaspie, who were all fatigued. But now my relief corps is in tatters (Hunter Strickland and George Kontos threw three innings each, and Mazzaro is not in good shape) and the six remaining guys who played all 19 innings will be on fumes as well.
Until my FAT-32-formatted flash drive arrives, I cannot transfer photos/video from my PS3 to my PC. So please excuse my crude snapshot-of-the-TV-screen and just focus on how futile my Giants lineup was against Miami.
Learn from my mistakes, people.
In a late and close game, DON'T leave your tiring starter in just because he breezed through the early innings. And DON'T employ Trevor Brown for any reason.