It’s Andrew Suárez’s 26th birthday today, and so let’s all wish him a “Happy Birthday!” by trying very hard to get through at least the first few innings of his 26th start of the year.
Hey... 26th start on... his... 26th birthday. How about... how about that?
Oh, and yeah, no pressure, but while you’re making personal history — he was born in 1992, which means he was born after both original GHOSTBUSTERS movies, the entire BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy, and POINT BREAK — you also need to prevent tying Giants history with a 10th-straight loss (done previously in both 1985 and 1996). The Braves are really good and your team is really bad so, uh, no pressure there.
Tonight's lineup vs. Atlanta— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) September 11, 2018
First pitch - 7:15 PM PDT ⚾️
Stream live: https://t.co/rMkjmZm0JN
https://t.co/qtuPE8bUs9 / https://t.co/VEBVLos8kw
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Andrew Suárez (6-10, 4.24 FIP) had a bumpy August (4.41 ERA, 32.2 innings pitched), but over the course of his last seven starts, he did manage to mix in back-to-back 7 inning, 0 runs allowed affairs (against the Rangers and Mets, but still). He allowed 3 home runs and 5 earned runs in his last start in Colorado, which isn’t the worst thing for a pitcher of any age to accomplish.
He’s pitched extraordinarily better at AT&T Park than on the road (3.07 ERA vs. 5.73), but he’ll be going up against a Braves lineup that’s the best in the National League against left-handed pitching (110 wRC+).
Apparently, Mike Foltynewicz (10-9, 3.34 FIP) had been tipping his pitches at the beginning of the season —
Folty--Tipping Pitches (arm swing stutter/96mph Fastball vs smooth arm swing/84mph Slider). pic.twitter.com/4gY1rlYKsa— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 5, 2018
— and this is why the Giants were able to score six runs off of him in 5 innings back in May. He’s certainly performed a bit better since that game, but over his last 15 starts (3.17 ERA in 88.0 innings, 99 K: 30 BB), he’s gone more than 6 innings just three times. Now, that probably has more to do with third time through the order penalties and the Braves being able to rely on an above average offense and solid bullpen, but he has not been remade into a top of the league-level rotation ace.
He’s, uh, he’s still really good and the Giants’ lineup is still, uh, pretty rough. This will be only his second start at an NL West stadium this year.
Even if the Giants do match their record for most consecutive losses in the San Francisco era, just remember they’re only a few veterans and a couple of bounce-back candidates away from being an 81-84 win team and, with a little luck, those 81-84 wins could swing an extra three or four games in their favor to keep them in playoff contention for 2019. Don’t be afraid to dream.