Matt Moore is still broken, the Giants’ outfield defense is as bad as it’s ever been, and the Giants scored one run against Daniel Gossett, who is the name of a player in a video game that couldn’t get the MLBPA license.
Also, Santiago Casilla threw a scoreless ninth inning.
That’s all you need, right? I ... I can go now. Please let me go now.
Fine. Moore came into the game with a 5.74 ERA. It went up to 5.80. That says a lot about his season. It says a lot about this game. It says a lot about life, really. Because you chose to be here, and I cannot help you with that. You chose to be here, reading about Matt Moore, who was supposed to be the present and future, and is instead haunting this waking nightmare that we find ourselves in.
Gossett also came into the game with a 5.74 ERA. It went down to 5.17. That says a lot about the Giants. Maybe Moore can face the Giants.
MATT MOORE (wearing fake mustache): Hello. I am up from Triple-A minor leagues, and my name is Barkley Tarntam, and I’m starting pitcher against the SF Giants today.
ANDY GREEN: whatever, go get ‘em kid
[three hours later]
ANDY GREEN: [extended whistling noise as he wipes tear from his eye] Bless you and your 21 strikeouts, Barkley Tarntam. Bless you.
That is my only suggestion for getting Moore back on track. Other than that, I got nothing. Which makes me the Matt Moore of offering constructive criticism about Matt Moore.
I would like to go now.
Carlos Moncrief was one of the offensive stars of the night. He had one hit, didn’t score a run or drive anyone in, and he had one of the best stat lines of the night. He was one of the best parts of the game.
Please, let me finish.
Brandon Crawford made a couple of nice plays, and he reached base four times.
There were not ticks. There were not thousands and thousands of ticks all around the park, spreading disease and causing mass panic.
Matt Moore is still broken, the Giants’ outfield defense is as bad as it’s ever been, and the Giants scored one run against Daniel Gossett. Also, Santiago Casilla threw a scoreless ninth inning.
I don’t need your permission to go at this point.
Is this hyperbole?
The worst defensive outfield I've ever covered. Nah. The worst defensive outfield I've ever seen.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) August 3, 2017
No. No, it’s not.
I mean, there’s no easy way to check, but I couldn’t remember a defensive outfield like this, either.
We can look up some stats, though, and get an idea. According to Baseball-Reference, the 2017 Giants have four defensive outfielders who have been worth -.5 dWAR or worse this year:
- Gorkys Hernandez
- Hunter Pence
- Justin Ruggiano
- Denard Span
If Gorkys being on there surprises you, that’s because he looks like Andruw Jones compared to everyone else. But, in general, the Giants’ default permutations haven’t fared well. Don’t forget we’ve seen Chris Marrero, Aaron Hill, Eduardo Nuñez, and even a few innings of Brandon Belt out there. But we’ll stick with the -.5 dWAR criteria.
There have been two different Giants teams in the last 90 years with five different outfielders who met that criteria. The first one was 1999, which had Marvin Benard, Ellis Burks, Barry Bonds, Stan Javier, and F.P. Santangelo. The second one is 2005, with Moises Alou, Jason Ellison, Marquis Grissom, Michael Tucker, and Randy Winn.
I’m a little skeptical of dWAR, and you should be, too. Defensive stats for a year can be a little wonky, and I’m pretty sure Randy Winn and Jason Ellison deserved better.
I’m remembering Barry Bonds, Marvin Benard, and Ellis Burks as being worse. Much worse. So while the 2017 Giants can compete, I don’t think they have the title.
On the other hand:
Barry Bonds, 1999: .262/.389/.617
Marvin Benard, 1999: .290/.359/.457
Ellis Burks, 1999: .282/.394/.569
The Giants made do because it was in their best interests to make do. Those guys hit. If you want to move the goalposts and include offensive bonus points, well, I’ve got some bad news.
The larger point is that if the Giants want to improve this team next year, they absolutely cannot have Span playing center field. He can still hit. He can still run a little bit, even if he’s not running like he used to. But the Giants need a plus defensive center fielder out there, especially with this pitching staff, especially with this new era of uppercut swings and rabbit balls. I like Span — I like all these guys! — but I don’t think this is in dispute.
I wonder what this game would have looked like if Span could have run down Matt Chapman’s double in the second inning. I wonder what it would have looked like if he could have run down a more difficult double from Jed Lowrie.
Man, if only the Giants could get a center fielder like Rajai Davis ...