There was a time when I was still hopeful that the Giants could finish .500. If I had to point to a specific date when it still seemed possible, I’ll go with June 2, when they were on the road against the Phillies. The Giants waxed them, 10-0, and they moved to 23-33. Sure, they were just swept by the Nationals and the Cubs, but they could still win against the bad teams, like the Braves and the Phillies. They weren’t that bad. They could still win as many games as they lost.
It turns out that they were that bad. And then they were worse. The Giants will not finish .500, and we know this before September even arrives. The only solace is that the Dodgers didn’t win their 100th game before the the Giants lost their 82nd. It’s the little things.
In this series, the Giants walked 15 times. Not one of those walks scored. That’s against the rules of baseball, and we should boycott until Manfred wakes the hell up. There wasn’t even one walk that pushed a runner into scoring position before a bloop single. A walk that led to another walk that led to a single. A walk that was forgotten until three batters later, when there was a surprise double. None of it. Every walk was a failed plate appearance, even when they were brilliant, hard-fought walks.
In this series, the Giants were 3-for-21 with runners in scoring position. One of those hits was a bunt single from the pitcher. Another one was a hit with the pitcher on second, which couldn’t score him. There were 21 at-bats with a runner in scoring position in a three-game series, and they produced exactly one run batted in.
On this road trip, the Giants were 4-for-33. You’ll notice that there’s an extra hit compared to the last tally! That was the hit when Nick Hundley purposely stopped between second and third base to let Pablo Sandoval score. So out of the 33 at-bats with a runner in scoring position for the entire road trip, there were two runs batted in.
On this road trip, the Giants won one game and lost five. They’re now 20-36 against the NL West, which is even worse than their overall winning percentage. They’re even worse against the Padres, Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Dodgers than they are against the rest of baseball, if that makes you feel better. Which it doesn’t.
It’s my personal opinion that this series and road trip were no good.
Before blaming everything on the BABIP gods and the poor luck with runners in scoring position, please reconsider. In this particular game, the Giants’ no. 3 hitter was nearly 300 at-bats into the season, and he hadn’t hit a home run yet. Pete Rose used to bat cleanup toward the end, when he was going entire seasons without hitting home runs, but he was also the manager.
While Gorkys Hernandez has had a fine three months, his spot in the lineup was a roman candle shooting up in the sky to remind everyone that the Giants are helpless against left-handers. Doubly so with Buster Posey hurt. Jarrett Parker isn’t in the lineup against left-handers, which is smart. Pablo Sandoval is turned around. Joe Panik, Denard Span, and Brandon Crawford are weakened. The Giants can’t even count on Austin Slater in this situation. They have to count on Kelby Tomlinson (two singles and a walk) and Ty Blach (single, double) to account for two-thirds of the hits.
At the risk of spilling secrets, I spend a lot of my time during the day on an exercise bike that has a desk attached. This is so I don’t die. But after a few hours of this, my butt hurts, and I have to stop. So when the Giants and Padres are ready to kick the game off, I’m either on a couch or lying down in a bed, the embodiment of sloth, and I sink lower and lower and lower into whatever is supporting me, as the sun shrinks and shrinks and shrinks away from the windows behind me. It’s a perfect petri dish for becoming unconscionably annoyed.
This game didn’t disappoint, then, because it wholly disappointed. This was a very, very bad baseball game. It came at the end of a very, very bad road trip against two teams that are going to finish ahead of the Giants, even though the preseason predictions assured us they weren’t.
Ty Blach was fine. He deserved better.
The middle infield was fine. They deserved better.
That's a hell of a play by Joe Panik. Ty Blach enjoyed it. pic.twitter.com/bNM2WsoTKC— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) August 31, 2017
Crawford hurdled Tomlinson to get a throw off. Infield defense is the strongest part of this team. pic.twitter.com/MN6FZn8hm7— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) August 31, 2017
If you wonder why I embed these tweets in my recaps, it’s because Alex Pavlovic works for a rightsholder, and he’s not going to get his account suspended for posting those. Whereas I’m but a humble baseball fan who works tangentially for that rightsholder, and I will get my account suspended. And also MLB videos don’t work well with SB Nation’s CMS, and that’s if they put them up quickly. And also I’m lazy.
Anyway, the Giants were terrible, and those plays were fun, but the Giants were terrible. They will be terrible tomorrow, most likely. Did you see that a minor leaguer is coming up to debut against them on Friday? Oh, heck yes, good times.
If I had to describe this season in a sentence, it would go like this: The Giants are so terrible, they’re constantly losing to the Padres, who were trying to be terrible before the season started.
At least Niners season is starting.
Go to bed.