The Giants have played 97 games this season. That means by the time they’ve reached their 100th game of the season, they won’t have won a single game started by Madison Bumgarner. There’s a lot to unpack there. Don’t unpack it. Just leave it there, hanging, something between a two-sentence explanation of the entire season and a non-sequitur
Bumgarner pitched well, again. He looked like the Bumgarner of old, again. All things considered, this is all you should care about. I know I keep writing that over and over, but watching Bumgarner look like a contributor for 2018, like nothing ever happened, is the only thing that will matter in three months, when we shovel dirt on this gasping, twitching, barfing season. You won’t remember the times he pitched well, but got absolutely zero support.
Until you close your eyes at night.
The Padres hit two home runs, and the Giants didn’t. That was also the story of Bumgarner’s first start off the disabled list. That was the story of this game. Heck, that’s the story of this year.
The Giants have out-homered their opponents in 26 games this year.
They’ve hit the same number of homers in 27 games this year.
They’ve been out-homered in 44 games.
I don’t remember the 26 games. But it feels like I remember every last one of those 44 games. That’s not to say that the home runs aren’t Bumgarner’s fault, or that he pitched an otherwise perfect game. They were mistakes. Giants pitchers aren’t allowed to have mistakes.
Because I hate myself, I took a spin around FanGraphs tonight to see where the Giants ranked in their park-adjusted metrics.
- Offensive WAR (30th out of 30 teams)
- wRC+ (30th)
- wOBA (30th)
Dead last, even after you account for AT&T Park. The Giants had six hitters with All-Star experience in their lineup on Thursday night. They were beat by Cory Spangenberg and Hunter Renfroe. That’s not to make fun of them — they hit baseballs so hard, the balls traveled over the fence. It’s just to suggest that the Padres are doing more with less. The entire Padres lineup will earn about a third of what Hunter Pence will earn this year, and they still whomped Madison Bumgarner while the Giants were flailing against Jhoulys Chacin.
Is this a bitter recap, well, guess what, it is. Thursday night Padres games have a way of doing this to me.
I come to you, gentle reader, without answers. I have no solutions. The Giants have four hitters I’m eager to watch again next year. They have another one whom I adore, but I’m not eager to watch again, but he’s making so much, he’ll start, and, okay, fine. At least I like the guy.
That leaves three spots with which to fix everything. That’s not enough. There need to be more spots. So I look at the first part again, and there are four hitters that I want around for a while. But after the big contract to one of the outfielders, that leaves three spots with which to fix everything.
And now I’m shaking like a robot trying to process a paradox. Great. Just great.
This lineup is on pace to score 626 runs this year. That’s fewer runs than the 2009 team, with Bengie Molina hitting cleanup. That’s fewer runs than the 2013 team, with Joaquin Arias, Tony Abreu, Hector Sanchez, Nick Noonan, Juan Perez, Guillermo Quiroz, Roger Kieschnick, Brett Pill, and Jeff Francoeur combining for more than 1,000 plate appearances.
It’s more runs than the 2009 Giants, though, and that team won the World Series the next year. So there’s hope!
Just not tonight. The Giants can’t beat the Padres, and it makes my occipital lobe hum until all the wine glasses break. This team is so bad. So bad. And I thought they were going to win 90 games.
Instead, the Giants have played 97 games this season, and they’ve won 37*. Of those 37 wins, none of them were started by Madison Bumgarner. This has been your 2017 Giants update.
* The Dodgers have won 37 games out of their last 47. But who’s counting, really?
I like Kyle Crick, and I think he should be used in high-leverage situations for the rest of the season.
Duane Kuiper sneaking up on a fan to give him a foul ball was easily the highlight of the night. Also, Kuiper would lead this team in home runs.
Denard Span, Eduardo Nuñez, and Gorkys Hernandez each had two hits. There’s a chance that only one of them will be around on August 1, and it’s the one who will probably stop hitting eventually.
This could get worse before it gets better.