I know not everyone is a fan of games streamed on Facebook live. As a writer (and a lazy person), however, I love it. At my disposal, I have tens of thousands of baseball minds that would put Jeff Long, Jonathan Judge, Harry Pavlidis, and Ben Lindbergh to shame. I barely even have to watch the game because I can let these intellectuals do my analysis for me.
Truly, this opportunity to bring a stadium’s worth of baseball minds is a great advancement for America’s past time.
It’s already helped to bring the game overseas.
After a good win last night, the Giants had their work cut out for them.
Yes, old friend Mike Leake was on the mound for the Seattle Mariners, and he had been good not pretty bad lately. Over his last four starts, he had only given up 15 runs over 21 innings, and—wait that doesn’t seem good not pretty bad. That’s bad not pretty good. Maybe Mills meant, “Mike Leaks is good. NOT!” But others agreed that Leake was going to bring it today.
He was right, Leake got... zero strikeouts for the first five innings? That can’t be right. William said Leake was going to get some strikeouts today. He ended up with two, and they came at the most inopportune moment. The Giants had runners at second and third with one out, and Leake got consecutive strikeouts to get out of the jam. Alen Hanson struck out on a slider that almost hit him in the leg, and Andrew McCutchen struck out on a pitch a foot outside.
Even without the strikeouts, Leake still pitched well. He only needed 51 pitches to get through the first five innings, but that might have been because the Giants were being impatient.
Indeed, the Giants were very impatient this evening, and the offense continued their struggles. The Giants didn’t get Leake out of the game until the seventh inning when Brandon Crawford dumped a Texas leaguer that Denard Span couldn’t catch.
I thought that name sounded familiar!
The Giants eventually tied it off Juan Nicasio. Hunter Pence continued his BABIP-fueled, clutch streak with a broken-bat liner to right that Mitch Haniger booted.
And he’s not going away either! Nothing will take Pence away from the Giants. Not the aging curve and certainly not the fact that Austin Slater is clearly a better option to start in left field. Nothing!
In the next inning, the Giants got their lead-off hitter on when Doublin’ Steven Duggar hit a single. The people of Facebook wanted Bruce Bochy to bunt, but Bochy let Hanson, McCutchen, and Chase d’Arnaud hit. They did not get the run in.
In the bottom of the inning, Tony Watson walked the lead-off hitter, and Gordon bunted him over to second. Bochy brought in Sam Dyson, who very nearly threw an immaculate inning last night, but he gave up the lead on the first pitch.
See Bochy? I don’t care what your nerdy run expectancy tables say. Bunting is good now. It worked this one time, so that means it will work all the time.
Of course, the Giants couldn’t do anything against Edwin Diaz. He struck out Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, and Pablo Sandoval. Thus, the Giants lost despite outhitting their opponent and only giving up two earned runs. This was the twelfth time the Giants have failed to score more than three runs in July. They have played 19 games.
It’s especially aggravating when you remember that the Mariners’ offense has somehow been worse than the Giants’.
Derek Holland had a bit of bad luck. He gave up his first run after Nick Hundley threw the ball into center field trying to catch Dee Gordon stealing. Gordon later scored on a sacrifice fly. Gordon tried to steal off Holland again in the third, and Holland got called for a balk on his pick-off move. Was it a balk?
The people have spoken. No balk. Holland’s move is iffy because he lifts his front leg as if he’s going home and steps toward first at the very last moment before going home. It was kismet that he would get called for a balk with Shawn Estes doing color commentary for the game because it was the exact move Estes got called for when he was pitching.
Shawn Estes is the guy you talk about all the cute boys with, Samuel.
Holland made a mistake to Ryon Healy and gave up a solo home run, but that was the worst of it. Holland finished six innings with just three hits and a walk. He got just four strikeouts, but his first of the game was the thousandth of his career.
As frustrating as this loss was, it pales in comparison to Brandon Belt leaving the game with a leg injury. At the time of writing this, the severity of it hasn’t been revealed. Belt apparently injured his leg running out a ground ball. It was a weird injury because he wasn’t struck by a baseball.
He needed help to get off the field, and the way things are going for the Giants, one would figure he’d be out 6-to-8 weeks.
Hyperextended right knee for Belt. Out minimum of 2-3 days.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 25, 2018
Fortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case. This could have been a lot worse, but with Evan Longoria coming back, and Joe Panik to follow him eventually, someone else must be offered as tribute. The baseball gods won’t allow the Giants to have a full, healthy lineup at any point this season.