Earlier this afternoon, MLB passed judgment on the Hundley-Puig dust-up with Hundley receiving a fine and Puig a two-game suspension plus fine and we (or, at least I) thought the matter had been settled. Oh, stupid me.
The Giants placed Dereck Rodríguez on the disabled list tonight ahead of their 3-game series in Cincinnati with a Grade 1 hamstring strain. You might’ve heard that the Giants had shuffled their rotation around a bit to skip a fifth starter for this series — well, Casey Kelly goes from extra innings innings chewer to temporary fifth starter and, definitively, tomorrow’s starter against the Reds.
Rodríguez hurt his hamstring running out of the dugout to defend Nick Hundley against Yasiel Puig and was one of the first players to arrive on the scene:
Who was the first Giants player off the bench in the scrum? Derek Rodriguez ... by a wide margin. pic.twitter.com/XJJyjPFfGA— LOLKNBR (@LOLKNBR) August 15, 2018
As you can see, his hamstring went from cold and sitting on the bench to cocked and loaded to leverage a punch against anyone who came at him. That’s an easy way to strain.
Based on this medical journey from my coffee table, a Grade 1 strain is just learning to write sentences and can read short books independently. Also, no naps at Grade 1. I’m sorry, that’s a student in Grade 1, not a hamstring in a human body. Ahem.
A hamstring strain is a common leg injury involving a tear in one or more of the hamstring muscles. A hamstring strain can range from mild to very severe involving a complete tear of the hamstring muscle.
Thank you, physioworks.com.au.
Now, you might see the word tear and freak out, but rest assured, tears are common in the human body. All strains are tears but not all tears are strains. Some are bitter or for fear or from heaven. Why am I doing this? The Giants just lost their second-best starting pitcher as they head into a crucial series (they’re all crucial at this point). He’ll be fine, eventually, but the Giants won’t be, immediately anyway, but also, possibly, eventually.
Maybe it should’ve gone without saying that Rodríguez is having a stellar year, striking out 65 in 80 innings on a 2.25 ERA and 3.08 FIP as well as being the inspiration for this striking new t-shirt, but I reconsidered midway through this post: the Giants just lost their #2 starter for at least two starts with only 40 games left to play.
While you’re at it, please go check out Kerry Crowley’s fantastic story on how the Giants landed Rodríguez in the offseason. It’ll lessen the pain of tonight’s news.
I suggested that the Dodgers got the worst of today’s decision as Puig is at least as important to their offense as Hundley is to the Dodgers’... well, Rodríguez is more important than Hundley and will miss at least two starts, and all he did was run onto the field.
In last night’s recap, I said that by virtue of McCutchen’s 3-run home run to tie the game in the 8th inning, the Giants had escaped any sort of comeuppance for fight... but I was so wrong. So, so wrong.
Going from Rodríguez to Kelly is a huge downgrade and whatever performance you want to hopenosticate for Kelly, it’s doubtful he’ll be able to replicate Rodríguez’s durability. He went 7 innings in each of his last three starts. Only Madison Bumgarner has gone deeper into games this season. Suarez last completed 7 innings at the beginning of July and Holland has pitched into the 7th inning only a couple of times this season.
A tiring bullpen is about to get a bigger workload, which means they’re about to give up more runs per game, on average, which means that the only way the Giants will weather this latest setback is by scoring more runs.