There are reasons the Giants lost. We will discuss these reasons. Some of them have to do with fielding. Some of them have to do with pitching. But I'd like to start with the hitting.
About three weeks ago, the Giants scored six runs against Kris Medlen and the Braves. Since then, here's the distribution of runs scored by the Giants:
Five runs: four games
Four runs: two games
Three runs: two games
Two runs: five games
One run: six games
No runs: two games
The Giants scored one run on a day when Clayton Kershaw didn't have his best stuff. Most of the time, when the Giants can't hit Kershaw, it's because he's Kershaw. He's good, you know. A real up-and-comer. But today the Giants didn't hit Kershaw because they're the Giants. That was really cool how they were leading the league in adjusted offensive statistics for a while. I took a screen shot of the Giants' offensive dominance when it was happening because I had a sneaking suspicion they were going to do this.
The Giants can't hit. What Bochy does, what the fielders do … these things certainly matter. But in 17 out of the last 21 games, the Giants scored fewer runs than the league average. And in the other four games, they were .9 runs above the league average. This is a stunning stretch of miserable, and it leads to games like last Saturday, in which the Rockies walked off because Jeremy Affeldt walked Todd Helton, or today, in which a catcher playing first base made a crucial non-play before he made a crucial error. These things stick out because the Giants can't hit. If they could score more than a run in Coors Field, Affeldt walking Helton would get an eye roll.
It all starts with the feckless, feckless offense. The frustrations that follow -- hanging sliders, dunderheaded fielding, bizarre managing -- are because the Giants can't absorb any mistakes like a normal team right now. It's why they're seven games under .500.
When the Giants slipped seven games under .500 in 2008, Franquelis Osoria got the win. Eugenio Velez led off and Aaron Rowand hit cleanup. Emmanuel Burriss came out on a double-switch with Brian Bocock.
In case you were wondering.
Now we get to talk about the Giants' right-handed lineup against Clayton Kershaw. It didn't work. This is because the right-handed lineup never works against Clayton Kershaw. Lefties, righties, middlies, it doesn't matter against him. He abuses everyone.
Yet again and again and again, Bruce Bochy puts Brett Pill or Guillermo Quiroz or the Ghost of Charlie Hayes in the lineup against Kershaw. The average Kershaw start against the Giants is 7.1 innings pitched and one run allowed. Bochy isn't exactly building a better mousetrap out there.
It's probably time to start focusing on the defense, then. Because Joaquin Arias made a blunder at short, and Buster Posey made a blunder at first, and the Giants still didn't score more than a run. This is what happens. Of course, Quiroz had to get a double that led to the only run of the game and ruin what should have been an indisputable point. But against Kershaw, Bochy sits the lefty who hits lefties to play the righty who can't hit, and it makes the defense substantially worse.
Posey isn't always going to make the game-deciding non-play/error, but he's pretty bad at first. He should play there when he needs to rest, not as a part of some rook-to-E58 move that isn't going to work in the first place.
Before I get to the notes about Yasiel Puig being a water balloon of testosteronal rage that burst in the ninth inning, it's worth recapping what happened. Sergio Romo got a save on Saturday night, and he mocked the Dodgers' stupid hand-goggles thing. Then Puig freaked out when he scored and barked at Sergio Romo. Now the notes:
1. The Dodgers' stupid hand-goggles thing is stupid, and it deserves to be mocked.
2. When a closer does something like that, though, it's fair game to shove it in his piehole when he blows a game
3. Romo is chirpy and dancy, even by closer standards.
4. The people most upset by Puig's barking are probably the people who wanted to garrote Casey Blake a couple years ago for basically doing what Romo did.
5. I hope Puig is eaten by a shark over the All-Star break.
6. Romo shouldn't be so chirpy and dancy when the Giants suck.
7. The Dodgers' stupid hand-goggles thing is stupid, and it deserves to be mocked.
It goes around in a circle from there.
There was an intentional walk to load the bases in the ninth inning, and it ended with a bases-clearing double. This would seem to qualify for the "Bochy vs. Logic" series that we've been running this season.
Except, when the pitcher is a control freak like Romo, and the next hitter on deck is a slider-averse hitter like Juan Uribe, I get it. The argument against intentional walks to load the bases is that they put the pitcher at an extreme disadvantage if he falls behind. But Romo holds hitters to a .197/.285/.300 line after he falls behind 1-0. After getting behind 2-0, he holds hitters to a .156/.369/.299 line. He doesn't care if he gets behind in the count. That's the kind of pitcher who can handle an intentional walk to load the bases.
Oh, another kind of pitcher who can handle an intentional walk to load the bases is the kind who doesn't hang sliders on a clothesline with the bases loaded in a tie game.
When Clayton Kershaw hit Buster Posey with a pitch in the bottom of the seventh, it would have been incredibly interesting if he charged the mound. I don't have anything against Kershaw (other than the obvious), nor do I think Posey should have charged the mound. Just saying it would have been interesting for the next 10 years.
Chad Gaudin out-pitched Kershaw, and the Giants still lost. Everything about that sentence is representative of the Giants' descent into irrelevance.
Since the Giants took two of three from the Rockies in late May, the Giants have played 13 series. They've won two. If you were wondering why you were so annoyed with baseball, that'll do just fine