The Giants did not win tonight, but Evan Longoria hit two home runs and Buster Posey hit one, too. The Rockies easily scored 11 runs off Giants pitching, but promising prospect Dereck Rodriguez made his debut. Jeff Samardzija did not survive the first inning and will likely land on the DL again, this time with a serious shoulder injury, but... um, did I mention that Evan Longoria hit two home runs and Buster Posey hit one, too, yet?
They also committed four errors. Kelby Tomlinson committed three of them, which isn’t great, and the Giants won’t bury him for them, but as a team they’ve committed the most errors in the National League. The Giants can’t catch the ball. Unfortunately, there might be some idea floating around in the ether that Joe Panik’s return will be the panacea.
They spent some time on the broadcast talking about Madison Bumgarner possibly returning to the team after a single rehab start — a start which Doug wrote about in this excellent post — and framed it as his return will immediately fix the team; but they’re not one Madison Bumgarner or Joe Panik away from being a dominant team. That kind of thinking both overrates the impact these particular players can have, as good as they are, and underrates the impact the rest of the roster can have, as decent as it can be.
But it sounds good and really revs up the hope engines, and there’s something to be said about hope when there’s still [checks schedule] hella games left to play. I guess what I’m getting at here is that, yeah, the dread you’re feeling after another loss is warranted, but this dumb stupid team is still playing a dumb stupid sport where all sorts of weird things can happen, like bad teams suddenly being good.
I expected Dereck Rodriguez to piggyback off a bad start in one of these games, but I didn’t anticipate that he’d come in to relieve Jeff Samardzija after the first inning due to an injury. I did anticipate that Rodriguez would put up this kind of performance, though:
Dereck Rodriguez had 11 swings and misses on his fastball... the most any #SFGiants pitcher has had in a game this season— Ahmed Fareed (@FareedNBCS) May 30, 2018
The kid was painting 95 mph fastballs on the black and throwing sliders that were juuuuust effective enough at Coors Field to get Rockies hitters. He also got his first major league hit — a strong double to right center field. Remember, he’s a converted outfielder, so despite his poor track record hitting baseballs, he’s at least strongly familiar with the concept.
And then he took a 108 mph line drive off his shin and suddenly I’m not thinking about his future starts, I’m thinking about his future. The x-ray came back negative, but it was a scary moment and yet another reminder that baseball is a dangerous sport and the Giants aren’t ever going to have a 100% healthy team at any point this season.
I digress. Congratulations, Dereck Rodriguez, for rewarding the organization’s faith in you and for looking just really impressive right away.
Evan Longoria had his first multi-home run game since 2016. Buster Posey hit his first home run since April 11th, just his third of the season.
The last time Buster Posey hit a home run:
- LeBron James had not yet made it to his eighth consecutive NBA Finals.
- Philip Roth was alive.
- The #1 song in the country was “Finesse” by Bruno Mars & Cardi B
- The “I don’t feel so good” meme didn’t exist.
- I looked really good without my shirt on.
- The Diamondbacks were in first place.
- The Giants had won only 5 of 11.
- Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, and Jeff Samardzija were on the disabled list...
Watching the game was bad enough, so, there’s not much reason to dwell on the many, many, many, many, many, many negatives of this 11-4 loss. It’s enough to say that even though the Giants aren’t talented enough to be competitive, they did acquire enough talent to be interesting. During these rough stretches when they look like their 2017 selves — that is, a collection of players who should consider a different profession — it’s easy to forget that the Giants did definitely try to be interesting this season and have, at multiple points in time, looked very interesting! Just, you know, never really all that great.
As for how they looked tonight, I’ve curated this moving image gallery for your review:
Clearly something is still bothering Samardzija physically. This was his reaction in dugout after getting pulled: pic.twitter.com/NBKuShIWv9— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) May 30, 2018
But let’s focus on the positives. We were able to watch this game. There are people in this world who aren’t able to watch baseball games of any kind or teams of any quality, so we should count ourselves lucky. Every baseball team loses 6 of 7 at some point in the season, has a rough road trip, and runs into extensive injury troubles. Every team has backup players make a bunch of bad plays in a single game. Every team looks like a little league squad in Coors Field.
So far, the Rockies have walked off the Giants and embarrassed the Giants after the Giants embarrassed themselves, which means there’s a good chance they can pull out a win come tomorrow. They still might lose, but I choose to believe that they’re due for a weird Coors Field game wherein Derek Holland gets shelled but they’re still somehow able to score a bunch of runs to stay in it or have the lead late in the game.
Whether they head back to AT&T Park 25-31 or 26-30, they’ll still need to keep going, not just because of contractual obligations, but because they’ll be just a 6 wins in 7 games stretch away from flipping that feeling in the pit of your stomach from “nauseous” to “nervous excitement”.