If you’re interested in analysis about the Giants/Padres series that just concluded, start with this: The Padres are bad. This is not a point of dispute with baseball observers or even Padres fans. They’re 12 games under .500. Their adjusted OPS is 83, well below the league average. Their adjusted ERA is 89, well below the league average. The Padres are bad.
The Giants are worse.
That’s the analysis. The Giants are worse than the Padres at baseball. They’re 4-9 against the Padres this year. They have another series against them in August. The last three games of the season are against them. This isn’t over. You will have to watch more Giants/Padres games.
I mean, you won’t have to watch. But you’re here. So you probably will. Because you’re broken and in search of something. Buddy, I hope you find it.
The Giants are six games back of the Padres right now. That’s remarkable. The Padres are paying more money to players who aren’t on their roster (Matt Kemp, Hector Olivera) than players who are on their roster, and they’re still lapping the Giants.
The Padres are bad, too. Don’t forget that. That Hunter Renfroe cat, who keeps doing things to hurt the Giants? He’s roughly the same age as Bryce Harper, but he’s still figuring the majors out, and his OBP is under .300. Against the Giants, though, he’s a fearsome All-Star. Cory Spangenberg is in his late-20s, and he probably isn’t going to worm his way into a regular gig with a good team at any point, but against the Giants, he’s George Brett.
And don’t forget this stat, which might be my favorite of the year:
Home runs at AT&T Park in 2017:— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 23, 2017
Wil Myers - 5
Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Hunter Pence, Joe Panik (combined) - 4
That, well, that says it all. Those four Giants are probably going to be in the lineup next year, but they can’t combine to out-homer a player who’s had 35 plate appearances in AT&T Park this year. This team is fundamentally broken, and I have absolutely no idea how to fix it.
Still on track for the no. 2 pick in the draft next year, though. Which is nice. The last time the Giants had a season this miserable, they ended up with Will Clark. That’s something that can help you sleep at night.
Not that you can sleep with all that Peet’s Cold Brew running through your system ...
Ty Blach was excellent, except for that one inning when he allowed a month’s worth of doubles.
Other than the paragraph of unfathomably filthy insults, your recap was outstanding, Grant.
Well, thank you, but a month’s worth of doubles isn’t exactly something that’s easy to ignore. This brings us to the nature of Ty Blach.
He will allow hits, sometimes in bunches. This is what he is. As a pitcher who allows contact, sometimes those hits will align in a way that makes his day miserable. Because he doesn’t miss bats as much as other pitchers, sometimes the hits will fall in.
He will allow extra-base hits, sometimes in bunches. Blach has less margin for error than most pitchers, and when he misses in the middle of the strike zone, he’s going to get punished more than most pitchers.
This might seem like criticism. It’s not. This is just what Blach is. This is what he will be, and that’s fine. While I still harbor secret Mark Buehrle dreams, the likely ceiling of Blach is what you see. A pitcher who can make it through seven innings because of his moxie and determination, helping his team immeasurably, while also allowing a lot of hard contact because he was occasionally imperfect.
Blach threw at least seven full innings for the eighth time this season. Kirk Rueter didn’t have as many seven-inning starts in 2001, 2003 or 2004, but that’s roughly the pace that he was on in 2000 and 2002. While I’m loathe to make the comparison based on left-handedness and low strikeout rates, Blach throwing 91 mph is the new 86 mph, considering the league-wide spike in velocity. It’s probably a comparison worth exploring.
Rueter was never worth more than 2.8 wins in his career. Other than his final season, he was never worth less than 0.4 wins in nine seasons with the Giants. That’s not a bad dream for Blach, especially considering that Rueter pitched the Giants to a championship in that Game 7.
It’s not a bad dream at all ...
[Eduardo Nuñez laces a ball into right field]
SCOUT: [writing] Eduardo Nuñez would be the perfect complement for just about any team.
[Eduardo Nuñez stops running on a ball hit into left field]
SCOUT: [writing] He doesn’t have a perfect position, but he’s at least average at third, and he won’t embarrass himself at second or short.
[Eduardo Nuñez realizes that the ball was dropped in left field]
SCOUT: [writing] I recommend that we acquire him, even if we have to give up a solid prospect. He’s a good player.
[Eduardo Nuñez checks his Bank of America app between second and third, making sure a check cleared]
SCOUT: And now to hit send on this email.
[Eduardo Nuñez realizes that he’s almost out and shrieks in terror like Ren before running full speed to third base.]
SCOUT: When I look up, I will continue scouting this game on behalf of my organization.
Or, shorter: Eduardo Nuñez tried to take third with two outs, even though Buster Posey was coming up, and he represented the tying run. It was the last time the Giants would get the tying run to the plate.
Nuñez should not have done that.
Aw, heck, when’s the last time the Giants have gotten the tying run to the plate and then hit a homer? Friday night? That was fun. But they didn’t win this game.
They weren’t going to win this game, either.
Looks like I have about 4.2 million results worth of work to do, so I’ll see you tomorrow.