It's not just that the Giants haven't won a lot this spring. You know better than to care about Cactus League results. You know that when Ydinax Quizto singles off Rudge Thickum in the bottom of the ninth to take an 11-10 lead, it doesn't teach us anything about how the major leaguers will play in three weeks. You don't care, it's only spring, stop it.
It's not just that the Giants haven't won a lot this spring. It's that the starting pitching hasn't given us a glimmer of a shred of a speck of a fraction of hope in any capacity. On Monday, Tim Hudson allowed 10 hits in 4⅔ shaky innings. His sinker was good until it wasn't, and hitters were waiting for it when it sailed over the middle of the plate. If you think this is much ado about nothing, well, you're probably right. I don't remember what the Giants looked like before either of the last two seasons, which means I wasn't thinking about whatever happened in spring at any point after spring was over.
Still, it helps/hurts to look at a simple game log of the top six starting pitchers this spring. If you want to add Yusmeiro Petit in to make yourself feel better, go nuts. I prefer to go with the first six for maximum effect:
There are bullpen sessions that aren't included. Both Cain and Bumgarner have worked against minor leaguers, possibly in an effort to keep them away from NL West rivals, possibly to let them work with a minimum of stressful situations. Still, that's a cool 6.67 ERA, and there hasn't been a lot of stretch-out in these starts. The season starts in a week, and only two starting pitchers have made it into the sixth inning.
The season starts in a week, and only two starting pitchers have made it into the sixth inning.
Suddenly, the plan to keep two long relievers sure makes a lot of sense. Even if Vogelsong won't start, he'll pitch. Even if Petit won't start, he'll pitch. The Giants will be scoring so many runs, they'll always stay in the game.
There really is only one October, but there's also only one March and it's awful. It never ends. It lies to you. It's pointless, but it's the Arby's sandwich on the desert island. It's all we have, so we trick ourselves into appreciating it. I don't care about the losing, though. I don't care about Joe Panik's struggles or Norichika Aoki pressing. I don't care about the various struggles of key bullpen cogs.
But this offseason, most of us fretted and worried about the starting pitching. So far this spring, the starting pitching has been abysmal, except on those rare occasions when it's been eh-whatever. How can you not be worried? Spring training doesn't have to mean anything, but I'd like to convince myself it does whenever it suits me.
It could be worse.
Jon Lester may have his pitch count "restricted" in Opening Day start according to his manager, Joe Maddon. pic.twitter.com/bIWORaz9di— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) March 24, 2015
There could be worries about the pitching and the new pitcher who is even more expensive than Barry Zito ever was could be suffering from a dead arm. Add that to the combustible mix up there, and you have reasons for weaponized panic. As is, it's just a light dusting of panic. Look at those outings up there. Look at how they make you wrinkle your nose.
The Giants could get it together before Opening Day, so I will close with this advice: If I were the Giants, I would get it together before Opening Day. Think about it, Giants, and get back to us. Here's hoping this is just a veteran team that knows better than to give a damn about this stuff.