Jeff Samardzija got a break on Tuesday night. Let us not forget that. He allowed the longest non-homer since StatCast became available, and it was certainly the longest non-homer I’ve ever seen. You probably have to go back to some old-timey ballpark to get a better example. Durkens Field was 550 down the lines, but 300 to center, and it was shaped like a pointy demon, it was. Probably.
Samardzija allowed the world’s longest triple and he pitched around it. It was part luck, part skill, and it’s the first part that he hasn’t got a whole lot of this year. He’s showed off the part skill. He just can’t get the part luck. This was exactly that, and he took advantage of the fortuitously placed wall and pitched out of the jam.
It’s possible. He can get a break.
And then an inning later, Gorkys Hernandez absolutely gorked a lazy fly ball in deep right field. The run wasn’t earned, but the loss gets slapped next to Samardzija’s name all the same. I’m starting to wonder about the value of the win-loss statistic, really.
Something that’s curious, though, is that Samardzija was pulled with 89 pitches. He’s been pulled in similar situations, usually when he’s allowed at least a couple of runs, but if Bruce Bochy’s seventh-inning plan was Albert Suarez the whole time, it’s worth wondering if Samardzija should have stayed in the game. Getting an unreasonable number of seven-inning starts is sort of why the Giants have him. Wasn’t that the right spot for the extend-o-Shark?
Not that it matters. Nothing matters. The eclipse has shown me our place in this universe. We are but atoms on a sunflower seed behind the empty salad bar at a closed Sizzler. Nothing matters.
I woulda kept Samardzija in the game, though.
The Giants don’t lead the league in runners thrown out at home, in case you were wondering. They’ve been better than the league average, really. That’s a fun table to play around with, really. There isn’t a lot of evidence to suggest that Phil Nevin is bad at his job.
There’s, uh, some evidence that Nick Hundley runs like a catcher, though. And in retrospect, I would have liked to see Kelby Tomlinson hit with the bases loaded, although that’s partially based on me already knowing the result of sending Hundley. I wouldn’t have been especially excited to watch the Giants needing another two-out hit after unexpectedly getting one.
Considering that the throw wasn’t very good, though, I think it falls closer to the Send Alex Gordon side of the spectrum. It wasn’t going to work out from the very beginning, and it was a bad idea.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the weird game of Denard Span, while we’re at it. He left seven runners on base, yet he hit a rocket with the bases loaded that should have scored three, and he got the two-out single with a runner in scoring position that the team was desperate for. The box score will say 1-for-4 with seven left on base, but we’ll know the truth. And we’ll remember it forever, or until it’s time to criticize him to fill up the word count in a recap, whichever comes first.
He deserved better, is what I’m saying. So did the Giants. So did you! You deserve better. Buy something on Amazon that you’ve had your eye on for a while, go on.
Albert Suarez was a late-inning revelation against the Diamondbacks earlier in the month, and his strikeout rate has dramatically increased since he’s returned to the Giants’ bullpen this season. In a lost season, this is exactly the kind of experiment the Giants should run. Here’s the seventh inning of a one-run game. Impress us.
Before we get to the results of this experiment, I would like to caution everybody not to freak out or make rash decisions based on one bad outing.
Or two bad outings.
Or, heck, it’s not like Suarez has been especially good at preventing runs at all this year. There have been a few bad outings. This one qualifies. The Giants had a one-run lead, and they didn’t when he left.
More experimentation is needed, however. I’m here for this continued exploration of Suarez as a late-inning reliever with his newly minted stuff. It’s possibly that it will flame out, and you’ll be able to see the heat signature from space. Don’t care. He has increased velocity and a curveball that’s flummoxing every other hitter. See where that goes while the Giants are 89 games behind the Dodgers.
It probably won’t work. But when there’s a bunch of milk that’s been sitting out in the hot sun, maybe skim some of the crud off the top and see if it’s delicious cheese. It might give you worms and dysentery! You have a lot of time to rest up, though.
I would apologize, but the analogy might be one of my best. The second half is hereby known as the Cheese Half. Maybe you’ll get some cheese out of it. Maybe you’ll go blind. Lotta permutations out there.
Kyle Crick is in the 2018 bullpen, though. That’s moved from a hypothesis to a working theory. If he returns to his previously erratic form, so be it, but I’m not seeing anything that can happen between now and next April that will change my mind.
THAT’S NOT A DARE, BASEBALL GODS. Just saying.
Oh, man, they took it as a dare.
Looking forward to Jonathan Broxton in the bullpen next year.
But at least I’ll get to wish that Crick had a spot. In a season filled with misery at all levels of the organization, here’s a bright spot. This guy. This guy right here has done better than expected.