By the time you finish this sentence, six San Francisco Giants will have struck out swinging at a tantalizing curveball by the hand of Zack Godley. I’d call this one a dud, but the Giants were simply dominated. (Brandon Belt swings at the end of this sentence.)
It’s difficult to be objective when (Andrew McCutchen swings through the middle of this sentence) the Giants just keep swinging at a curveball that hardly ever touches the strike zone; and, I get that it’s even more frustrating for the hitters (Hunter Pence dives at this sentence with his swing and misses) because they’re coming up empty and the frustration compounds as the night wears on... but, I need to vent.
YOU. DON’T. HAVE. TO. SWING. AT. EVERYTHING.
I know (Evan Longoria drops to a knee, swinging in missing) there’s a scouting report and I know the Giants organization hates the base on ball (they are dead last in baseball in walks and the strikeout to walk ratio is — 81: 17 just 9 games in — an embarrassment) and I know Godley’s curveball was on tonight, but I’m Jerry Seinfeld asking the key question here:
Every Giants hitter must think, “If it looks like a strike, I’ve gotta swing at it, even if it hasn’t been a strike all night.” (to tie that in with the above video clip: that’s the PEOPLE KEPT RINGING THE BELL equivalent) And a subset of these hitters appear to think, “I know, I’ll trick him by taking fastballs down the middle and hit a pitch he doesn’t expect me to hit.” (Brandon Belt swings through this plan)
The Giants were terrible and yet still managed to score a single run while stranding 10 runners on base. They have been decent at getting people on base, all things considered, (Joe Panik swings and misses) but consider that they’ve been extra bad when the pressure ratchets up a bit. Yeeeeeeeahhhh... Mmmmmmmm... hook me up to the good stuff
After Gregor Blanco's RBI groundout, the Giants are now 7-for-61 with RISP and 0-for-4 tonight.— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) April 10, 2018
Can we do better?
Per the postgame wrap show, the Giants had 20 swing throughs tonight and 8 were by Brandon Belt. Yessssss... oh godley yesssss...
They were truly terrible tonight but still scored a run and had opportunities to tie or take the lead. And they were kept in the game because Derek Holland was not just good, he was great. 8 strikeouts against a demonstrably better lineup and approach to hitting is to be commended, especially when you consider that Holland’s start in LA was a bummer and his career has been a struggle overall for the past three seasons. (Brandon Belt swings through this mild compliment of Derek Holland).
The Diamondbacks are much better than the Giants, of course, and the Giants didn’t approach this season thinking they could position themselves to be any better than 8th-10th best in the National League anyway, so games like this are to be expected. That’s absolutely not to takeaway from the Diamondbacks — they have talent at every position and seem to have really found an identity: just the worst possible uniforms you can imagine, pitchers with shocking stuff, and dynamic offense that’s power, contact, patience, and speed all at once... and their defense is solid, too. They’re a complete team. The Giants are Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford being the only ones to hit fastballs like how they’re supposed to be hit — and then only sometimes — and for several other things to break their way from night to night. To each their own, I say.
But it’s worth noting that the Giants’ pitching once again faced off against a team that, on paper, should’ve scored 8 or 9 runs off them. That’s what would’ve happened last year. Recall your recent Giants history: if the pitching can just figure out a way to keep them in the game, the offense will eventually come around.
Speaking of that: tomorrow’s starter is actually up in the air, making this afternoon’s post about Tyler Beede debuting on Wednesday possibly, completely invalid, which is no worse a waste of our collective time than watching players watch good pitches shoot by them and swinging at pitches they could never possibly hit.
Tyler Beede will start Tuesday, Johnny Cueto will go Wednesday and Roberto Gomez will go to Sacramento.— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) April 10, 2018
I had a whole paragraph about Roberto Gomez, too.