The Diamondbacks are on an entirely different level of talent and ability than the Giants will be at any point in the near future, and their season has begun with them tearing through town and leaving weeping Molinas in their wake. The only shot the raggedy orange and black had against them this week was by playing to the peak of their abilities while playing error-free baseball. So, they had no shot.
But we should be impressed by how the Giants made the Diamondbacks work a little tiny bit. It gave the Giants the illusion of hope which can be a good source of competitive fuel as they try to hang around without a pitching staff and a 98-loss season still pretty fresh in theirs and everyone’s mind. And the series gave the Diamondbacks opportunities to test themselves and make sure their hot start wasn’t a mirage.
Dave Flemming expressed mild surprise that starter Robbie Ray would be left in the game with runners at first and third in the bottom of the 5th after 89 pitches and only a 3-0 lead. He had thrown 21 pitches in the fifth when Flemming brought that up, and reminded us that Ray had thrown 27 in the 3rd and 26 in the 4th already. The reason, Dave Flemming, feels pretty obvious: the Diamondbacks are not only trying to get their pitchers a Pitching Win, they’re trying to prepare them for tougher situations later in the season.
The Giants, of course, don’t have to really worry about later in the season, so they too can take more risks, because, really, who cares? Bring in Sam Dyson and Josh Osich, both relievers with below league average strand rates, to face off against the heart of the Diamondbacks order. Pitch to Paul Goldschmidt, even when it doesn’t make any sense. A bad baseball team can be just as fearless as a good one.
This game felt like 85% of last season’s losses. In the bottom of the sixth, Brandon Crawford fouled a fastball straight back — earlier, in the fourth inning, with the bases loaded, he pulled a ball just foul... and in both situations, there was a chance to make some noise against a team that was beginning to open up a can of offense on the poor, defenseless Giants bullpen... but instead, the threat quietly ended and the other team proceeded to open up that can and simply whomp on the helpless pitchers.
It’s hard not to think about the Giants repeating their 2017 in 2018 after watching them repeat a game that perfectly captured that 2017. Sam Dyson and Josh Osich were on that team, too...
It’s the 11th game of the season and the Giants have no starting pitching and no depth anywhere on the roster, so, it’s not the end of the world that Bruce Bochy has decided to ride or die with Josh Osich and Sam Dyson. There simply aren’t any other options, and even if the Giants make a move soon with either guy, the replacements will at best be as good as either of them.
Josh Osich is an objectively good pitcher because he is left-handed and is on a major league roster. If he was not a good pitcher, then he wouldn’t
Sam Dyson is an objectively good pitcher because he is in the major leagues. If he wasn’t a good pitcher, then he wouldn’t be in the major leagues. That’s simple enough to understand, right?
In conclusion, the Giants should play better over these next four games, lest we presume they’re going to be as bad as they’ve been for a very long time now.
Arizona was briefly flummoxed by a starter they’d never seen, but kudos to Andrew Suarez for not walking a bunch of guys and managing to get through one turn in the order rather impressively. He might’ve deserved a better outcome, but he did throw a strike to Paul Goldschmidt... which, look, even though you all correctly pointed out that the Giants have been the best at handling Paul Goldschmidt out of any other team in the division (and, indeed, the National League), he’s still Paul Goldschmidt, coming into San Francisco absolutely ice cold to start the season. He was primed to go nuts this series and the Giants fed into that so dutifully it’s almost as though they were his teammates.
Oh, anyway, back to Suarez. Seven strikeouts and no walks against Arizona’s lineup is remarkable, but not quite as remarkable as this:
What's the opposite of resting bitch face? Because I think Suarez has it. He always looks like he's smiling. pic.twitter.com/94BISNc8UM— Carmen Kiew (@carmenkiew) April 11, 2018
Dude’s happy. And I’m happy that he’s happy. And I hope he sticks around on the Giants for a while longer. And I hope that while he’s sticking around, the Giants are actually getting better around him. I hope this doesn’t become another Robert Andino situation is all I’m saying...