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Matt Moore made doormat by Dodgers

The enigmatic pitcher really made it a rough night for his teammates and for those of us who just wanted to relax and watch a ballgame without having to solve a riddle or, you know, watch a totally garbage performance.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
Nick Hundley helps Matt Moore recover from his terrible outing by having them both pretend they’re scoring runs against Matt Moore.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re reading this, I hope it’s because you only watched the Warriors play tonight and only care to grab a quick recap of a random May game for a bad baseball team. If this is you, then here you go:

  • Christian Arroyo was fantastic tonight: 2-for-4 with a couple of diving stops at third base and a truly slick and exciting barehanded play in the bottom of the 8th inning.
  • The Giants won their 6th replay challenge of the season. They are now 6/9 in that category. It stopped a Dodgers rally.
  • And because, as my colleague Doug Bruzzone has pointed out, Major League Baseball doesn’t make it easy to share videos, here’s a photo collage of how the Giants scored their first two runs:
  • The Giants scored 5 runs.

Okay, now you can leave so the rest of us who chose this game instead of the Warriors can “talk” about it.

Okay, those people are gone now, right? They’ve left? Good.


I’m actually glad they’re gone.


The Giants were nuked not from orbit tonight, but from within. There was no elegant death or dignified end of life. This was the “found hanging in a hotel closet with his pants” down kind of dead. Lots of pitchers not knowing where their pitches were going, a lot of free baserunners for the Dodgers, and ultimately, just a total implosion by a bad baseball team.

Steph Curry had 22 points in 30 minutes tonight, but instead we watched Cory Gearrin hit Justin Turner with the bases loaded and on his very first pitch in relief tonight to drive in a run.

David West had 7 assists in 18 minutes off the bench tonight. The Giants scored 5 runs on 7 hits in the first 3 innings, then had 5 hits the rest of the night.

The Warriors are averaging something like +18 points for their 5 playoff victories. Giants pitching walked 9 hitters tonight.

The Warriors celebrated the 10th anniversary of their history-making We Believe team (for those who don’t know: that team, led by Baron Davis, and an 8-seed, knocked out the 1-seed Dallas Mavericks that year). The Giants’ latest callup, Bryan Morris, gave up 4 hits, 1 walk, and 3 runs in his single inning of work.

The Giants were up 4-0 and lost 13-5. It was as bad as it looked and it probably doesn’t warrant much more discussion. That it happened against the Dodgers certainly gave it a bit more sting than the previous bad losses, but not much more than usual. After all,

One game does not determine the fate of an entire season, of course, but one game can serve as a perfect encapsulation of an entire season. Are the Giants a “get blown out every night like a bunch of poets on the roster of a rec league softball team”? Probably not. But they’re very easily “the part of the split squad that gets its ass handed to it by the real team every day of Spring Training”. They’re an elite squad of suck.

There will certainly be good moments, flashes that will make you think, “Hey, maybe they will string enough of this goodness together and turn things around”, but that abstract thinking will never become reality. The Giants are in the toilet, and their only way back to respectability in the minds of those who follow them is in the hope generated by a new season. 2018.

The Giants will be the less talented team every single time it takes the field for the rest of the year. You might think that’s hyperbole, but it isn’t. Take a look at what they have and what they need to have happen in order for them to be competitive in the standings. It’s too tall a mountain already, and only a bad team finds itself in this bad a position this early in the season. There will be good players putting up strong numbers, of course — the Giants do have a modicum of talent, after all — but don’t make that your crutch. Barry Bonds was on a lot of bad teams.

You can tell by the smell score that Matt Moore was total garbage tonight, and overall, his start to the season points to why Tampa Bay was okay with trading him last season. While he remains a talented pitcher, he has quickly become the Giants’ most confusing, enigmatic pitcher.

I’d venture that we’ve figured out Jeff Samardzija: he’s a power pitcher who gets his power used against him quite often, like a Mortal Kombat character whose weakness is that his extreme power can easily be deflected back at him by something as simple as a jump kick. He has value, he’s obviously talented, and he can be effective. But he’ll never be the guy you count on when you absolutely need a shutdown performance.

Matt Moore, on the other hand, he teases... he tasks you, the scout at home... he tasks you and you would have him be that shutdown guy. Because we’ve seen him do it, already. We’ve even seem him do it against what is basically this year’s Dodgers team, only we saw him do it last season. But last season was last season.

Look at the start to this one:


Matt Moore allowed 11 baserunners tonight. 9 of them scored.

What does it mean, you wonder? Is he bad? Did the Giants swing and miss on the eval? I still believe they got this one right, and they thought they could tamp down his Mooreish tendencies to make him something greater than the Rays edition most of baseball had seen prior to the trade.

Look at almost-as-bad stretch Moore had at the beginning of last season:

When Matt Moore’s going bad, he’s walking everybody — the pitcher, the catcher, the umpire, you, me, everybody. But he’s got power stuff and an occasionally powerful curveball and when he mixes up his sequencing and mixes speeds on all his pitches, he can be stellar. Never, ever will he be a Madison Bumgarner-level ace, but a quality #2 or #3 starter is clearly there.

I’m no pitching coach, but since I couldn’t take my eyes away from the horrors unfolding on my TV, I was able to notice that Moore’s front was flying open as he was landing. If this is a simple mechanical tweak — if he just needs to finish his pitches — then expect a quick turnaround here. Until then, Matt Moore is going to be a massive liability.

What’s this? The Giants still have a chance to win the series tomorrow? They’re facing, hmm, let’s see... a... major league pitcher and they’re countering that with... Jeff Samardzija. So, you know, it could go a few ways:

(1) Jeff Samardzija is annihilated. Literally annihilated right there on the field, and Yasiel Puig pours his ashes into the nearest toilet.

(2) Jeff Samardzija is an unstoppable power pitcher for 5 or 6 innings and then he gives up 4 runs on 2 home runs and that’s all she wrote.

(3) Jeff Samardzija gives up 2 home runs amidst loud, loud contact and the Giants’ offense tricks us into thinking they’ve got a shot but they still lose 6-4.

(4) Jeff Samardzija pitches 8 scoreless innings, Mark Melancon blows the save.

(5) Jeff Samardzija pitches a shutout and the Giants win the series, but it doesn’t matter because the Giants will still be 11-18 and the worst team in the league.