Look, I’m going to write the same damned thing every night for the next two months, give or take. So bookmark this page if you need it, because it’s not going to change much. With every game, every dumb loss, I’m going to pretend like there was a positive buried in it. It doesn’t matter what the specific positive is. All that matters is that I tried.
In this game, Matt Moore pitched well.
He reminded you why the Giants traded for him.
He pitched like someone worth sticking with, even after the weirdness of this season.
He went up against the best lineup in the National League, and he stymied them, for the most part. Everything was working. Moore had a fastball and a curveball, and he had just enough command to make the Dodgers miserable.
If you’re moping around, saying that you don’t care because the Dodgers are going to be good next year and the Giants aren’t, I can understand that. But the Giants were supposed to be good this year. They weren’t. Baseball can happen. Maybe it can happen in reverse. For both teams. And if the Giants have a hope to be good next year, they’ll need Matt Moore. They sort of built the rotation around him, and it made sense when they did it. It’s like Dave Matthews when I was in college. Made sense at the time.
The Moore that I watched tonight was a pitcher who could help a contending team. I don’t know if enough of his neurons have connected enough to make that a reliable thing next year, if his muscle memory will allow it, but it’s at least understandable. Before you compare this to the random good Jonathan Sanchez start toward the end, note that Moore reached a much higher ceiling than Sanchez before he was 25. Moore got Cy Young votes back in the day. The comparisons are funny when needed, but they aren’t perfect. I’d take the promise of Moore right now over the promise of Sanchez after his no-hitter, and it’s not that close.
Okay, maybe it’s a little close. But still.
In five days, I might be in this same spot, complaining about Moore, but he pitched well. He pitched extremely well. And I was excited to watch him.
When the apocalypse hits, you will have the right to blame the people you think are responsible. Political people. Famous people. Family. Friends. Heck, I don’t know, do what feels cathartic. But don’t forget to stop and enjoy the gummy bear you find under the couch. It might not nourish you or keep you alive, but for those brief moments while you’re chewing, enjoy the tang and the sweetness like you’ve never experienced it before.
Maybe it’s a magic gummy bear, though. Maybe it will give you wings and let you fly away from there.
Heck, I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore.
But Matt Moore pitched a fine game. When you’re not really caring about wins or losses, at least not in a concrete way, take what you can get.
Should Matt Moore have started the seventh inning? It’s an interesting question. And I don’t have a good answer. But I can answer a question with a question! That question is this: Do you trust literally anybody in that Giants bullpen to pitch as well as Moore pitched for the first six innings?
I did not. Not Gearrin, not Strickland, not Dyson, and certainly not Kontos. So I was okay with Moore forging on. He looked great, for the most part.
And then he walked the leadoff hitter. I’d yell about the Giants needing to pull him right there, but, well ...
BOCHY: [makes arm gesture]
UMPIRE: Alright, bring in the lefty.
BOCHY: No, I’m calling in someone from their bullpen. Jansen.
UMPIRE: You cant d
BOCHY: [yelling to Hunter Pence] No, I want Jansen. I don’t care. He can warm up out here. Just tell him. Look, I’m telling you, I don’t care, get Jansen.
If that’s off the table, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a correct answer. Moore pitching well, but walking the leadoff hitter, or someone fresh from the Giants’ pit-collective of eternal doom? Dunno. Coin toss!
Moore allowed a walk and a double, putting the tying run in scoring position, and Bochy went to his bullpen. George Kontos got Yasiel Puig to ground out, and bless him for that. Both pitches were on the edge of the strike zone.
Then Chris Taylor came up.
Chris Taylor has been better than every other Giants hitter this year, including Buster Posey, and that’s something worth remembering when you’re yelling for this person to be fired or that person to be fired. The Dodgers are winning games because of someone Mac Williamson’s age who didn’t have an ultra-compelling track record in the minors. Did the Dodgers fix him because they’re brilliant? Did they get lucky? I don’t think we can answer that yet.
Until we can, here’s some advice: Don’t throw him a cutter down the middle of the plate.
That tied the game. The Josh Osich came in, and, well, I gotta tell you, that didn’t end well.
Don’t leave breaking balls up. Don’t leave pitches there. Don’t pitch. Just don’t pitch. Give up. Never pitch.
If I had unlimited time and a staff of interns, I would love to plot the pitches up in the zone that the Giants have missed/hit and compare them to the pitches up in the zone that their opponents have missed/hit. I’d wager it’s unbelievably revealing, proof that the Giants are five steps behind their competition right now.
As is, the Giants went to two relievers, and the game was over within about 10 pitches. That’s how it works these days.
After Kontos left, Kyle Crick came in and blew fastballs by Dodgers hitters, striking out two and allowing just one runner. If you’re going to guarantee at least one hanger in every plate appearance from a Giants reliever, at least make it a 95-mph hanger, or a hanger that’s backed up with a 95-mph fastball.
Pretend that you’re a scout and you’d never heard of Kontos or Crick before tonight. Who are you writing up? It’s probably about time for Bochy to approach his bullpen like that, looking at current stuff and stats instead of previous successes and familiarity.
That’s the thing about a season like this, though. Bochy can experiment and come to slow realizations. He’s afforded that luxury, and maybe we’ll see Kyle Crick in high-leverage situations soon.
Until then, I regret to inform you that the Dodgers lengthened their lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. I’m so sorry, but there was nothing that could be done. The losses will continue until morale improves.
If you’re in the mood to follow a Good Dodgers Fan™, you should follow Hector Diaz. He’s good people. And he made these:
That’s the only recap you really needed. Thank you, Hector. Thank you so much.