The San Francisco Giants lost to the Miami Marlins, 8-3. That sentence probably checks off a few boxes for you.
- Wasn’t close
- Pitching was ugly
- Lineup didn’t do much
- Glad I didn’t watch (or)
- Why did I watch some of it (or)
- Why in the absolute hell did I watch that whole thing?
All of those are valid. It was close early, and the Giants even had a lead for 200 seconds or so. Other than that, the score wasn’t lying. There weren’t extenuating circumstances. There weren’t oodles of errors. The Giants didn’t hit into six double plays and leave 13 runners on base. The score’s got you. Tells you everything you need to know.
The most unfortunate part of the game had to do with Ty Blach’s struggles, if only because he was on such a nice roll. His three walks, though, are just as informative as the score. Didn’t have his best command. Some balls were left over the plate. The box score’s got you. Tells you everything you need to know.
Also important is the Ty Blach Speed Bump Theory, which I absolutely didn’t invent right now, which posits that his style of pitching guarantees starts like this with some frequency. He allows contact, and that means that some of the balls go through the holes in the infield, and it also means that some of the balls go over the fence. Before the game started, Blach led the National League in home runs allowed per nine innings. I love his sinker like it was my own child’s sinker, but it’s nearly impossible to keep that rate up with a pitch-to-contact philosophy in 2017. There will be speed bumps.
Like this one. Pay attention to the Keys to the Game.
Yeah, well, beats giving one up to Jeff Mathis or something.
It’s impossible to be mad at Blach, who has been the steadiest pitcher on the team all year. It’s very possible to be mad at the lineup, but, man, that seems exhausting. There were a lot of hitters who couldn’t hit Adam Conley. There was an Odrisamer Despaigne sighting just to give us flashbacks. And the result was the Giants scored three runs on 11 baserunners, which is about right. It’s not like they were hitting into tough luck all night. It was a very Giants game, no more and no less.
One of the biggest surprises of the season has been that Blach hasn’t had more of these games, really. With each seven-inning outing, he was making us forget that sometimes the control mavens don’t have enough control to trick the other guys, and it was fun to live in that land of suspended disbelief for a while. Games this are always around the corner, and it doesn’t have to sour you on the overall package.
I grew up watching Kirk Rueter, after all. Pull up a chair, kids.
Everybody is agog with Giancarlo Stanton, and that’s fair. I’ve written my own love letter to him, and it’s one of my personal favorite stories. So read it instead of spending another second here.
However, instead of loving Stanton more, I would like to express my fear and loathing of Dee Gordon. Because for whatever reason, the Giants are completely incapable of getting players with ludicrous speed out, which leaves them continually on base, hopping around and making bad things happen. Gordon is now 9-for-22 against the Giants this season with a walk. That’s a .409 batting average. Annoying, right? Ha ha, that guy.
Except it’s not just Gordon. Billy Hamilton is hitting .393 against the Giants. Three of his nine triples this year are against the Giants. Combined, Gordon and Hamilton are 20-for-54, which is good for a .408 average (and a .463 on-base percentage.)
That is not an enjoyable way to watch baseball. So my advice to Giants pitchers is this: Stop that.
Stop that right now.