The Quiet Goat 

No, my children, this is not one of Aesop's timeless fables. This is a story about the Giants' last two games, sloppy, ugly games that splattered a big squishy splork of mud on the once bright and shiny fender of that long-gone five-game winning streak.

Tuesday night, the alleged goat was Matt Morris, but as I detailed two posts ago, he was far from the only culprit. Last night, the memory most fans will take away is big sweaty Armando Benitez, whose entry music has officially been changed to "Blowin' in the Wind" (Stevie Wonder version).

This is not a defense of Benitez: he walked the leadoff guy. Bad bad bad. Bad Mando! If he were a puppy, his owner would press Mando's nose into the pool of liquid mess he left on the RFK field.

But he had plenty of partners in crime. Chief partner: Ray Durham. His inexcusable error in the third inning, botching a rundown that should have gotten Lowry out of the inning, led to two unearned runs. His error in the ninth -- excuse me, Mr. or Ms. Official Scorer, but that was no hit -- should have been a double play at best, the second out of the inning at worst. But as Hank Schulman noted in this morning's report, the first-and-second situation forced Vizcaino to shade second base, and Zimmerman's ground ball found its way into left field.

Durham's two errors absolutely, positively cost the Giants the game. Add to them Pedro Feliz's inability to plate a runner from third with one out in the fourth, and you have a game that should have been 4-0 entering the ninth. Durham also missed a grounder in the first game, one of the bleeders Morris gave up, which wasn't ruled an error because it got under his glove. But it was a ball he probably should have had.

What Ray-Ray has given with the bat -- 4 RBIs in two games -- he has all but taken away with the glove.

Today's theme: Two Days of Pain, and Pray for Cain.


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