While the urge is to copy and paste any of my “Matt Moore is super important to the future of this team, everyone” monologues from this season, let me see if there’s another way to put it. Start throwing me some scenarios.
Would you rather have a still-broken Matt Moore and a Giants team with a chance of .500, or would you rather have the Giants with the record they have now, but with Moore finishing strong?
Give me Moore finishing strong and looking like a viable option for 2018. The Giants finishing at .500 was probably a dream scenario back of mine in June or July, but at this point, 80 losses, 90 losses, 100 losses ... I just can’t care. It’s like ordering pizza every night, eating half of it, leaving the other half in the box, and dumping the box on the floor. After the fifth or sixth box, there isn’t much stopping you from the 14th box, and that’s sort of an easy path to 48 boxes and regular visits from government agencies.
If you’re going to have a dozen pizza boxes, in other words, at least have something that makes you think you’re going to snap out of it. Matt Moore is that number that your worried relatives keep telling you to call. Maybe it’ll work.
Man, that got weird. Next one.
Would you rather have Matt Moore looking like he was figuring things out or Matt Cain looking like his old self?
Ooh. That’s a good one. Can you imagine having a discussion about picking up Cain’s $21 million option right now? It would be a fun one. And I would love to have our old friend back, the horse, the fellow who was so consistent and watchable for so many years.
But in that scenario, the Giants would have a $21 million pitcher who would be 33. He would be coming off bad seasons in four out of the last five years. There would be no way to feel comfortable about that
If Moore can pitch, he would be under contract for $19 million over two years. And he’s just 28, with a recent history of success. He has better stuff, too.
So while the undertow of nostalgia keeps trying to suck me under, I’ll take a hopefully fixed Moore every time.
Would you rather fight one Randy Johnson-sized Matt Moore, or two Matt Moore-sized Randy Johnsons?
That’s not how the hypothetical question goes. Both of those scenarios would leave me in the hospital. See, it’s 100 duck-sized ...
On a scale of 1-to-10, with 10 being so freaking pumped, how excited are you that Moore is pitching like this?
This is his second straight 7+ IP quality start. His last one had a traditionally peachy K/BB ratio, whereas this one had just the limited hits, four strikeouts, and four walks. So I’ll go with a 5½. Just excited enough to be curious. Not excited enough to start drawing conclusions. But I will continue to point out just how important this Matt Moore cat is to the hopes and dreams of the Giants if they’re going to contend in the future.
Or, if you’re extra-cynical, which you’ve earned the right to be, he’s pretty important to the Giants’ hopes of making a trade that can help with the rebuilding process. If Matt Moore is in full form next year and the Giants are still lousy, hey, that’s still something.
But I’ll look forward to him pitching well. I’ll settle for him not being a complete and utter mess. This is why the Giants were right to stick with him this year. Confidence is being built. I’ll use the passive voice on that because it applies just as much to me as it applies to Moore or Bobby Evans. We’re all building confidence on the guy, here.
(Not to be a downer, but the Phillies have scored fewer runs than the Giants this year. The Giants.)
For the second time this month, the Giants hit two home runs in the same game at home. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but they did it just once in June and once in July.
This fact sounded a lot more fun in my head.
If Matt Moore is important to the Giants’ future, Brandon Crawford is incredibly important. Super important. Incredibly important. Dare I write it?
Yes. I’ll allow that kind of talk. Crawford with a slick glove and a .280 on-base percentage is still useful in the right lineup, but it’s not what the Giants signed up for. So if I’m putting together my dream Crawford-is-back performance, it’s going to have some of the following:
- Opposite-field power
- Line drives and hard contact
- Better luck than he’s had this season
- Better at-bats than he’s had this season
- A little patience
Yep, this one ran through the checklist, then. While it’s obviously hard to draw too much for one game — remember Michael Morse hitting an eight-inning home run to beat the Dodgers and drop them to 10-12, with the Giants just two games behind? — I’m always here for signs that Crawford is shaking off the funk. He’s been so consistently bad in every month since April, with an OPS that’s ranged from .500 to .683 (.586 since June 1), a glimmer of hope is most welcome.
Crawford has been the one Giants hitter without a single hot streak of note. Hunter Pence has had a couple of them, and he’s in the middle of one right now. Jarrett Parker had the week when he came back, and he’s a doubles machine lately. Panik, Belt, Span, Posey, heck, even Christian Arroyo was hitting .278 at one point if you want to go really deep. But Crawford has been unable to string more than two games together. His best 10-game stretch after April might be after he came back from the DL in May, when he hit .297 for 10 games. Other than that, I can’t really find one. Here, you try. It’s bad.
Line drives and hard contact, then. An opposite-field homer. A fly ball that the center fielder can’t catch up to. Signs of life. I’ll take all of it and eagerly wait for a sequel tomorrow.