The Giants can be eliminated from playoff contention tonight with either a loss or Rockies win, but “1” is not the team’s most tragic number. It’s 125, for that is the number of home runs the Giants — Baseball’s Giants — have hit this season. It’s the second-lowest total in all of Major League Baseball, just 3 ahead of the Marlins and three behind the third-worst team, the Detroit Tigers.
30 home runs separate the Giants and the Cubs, and the Cubs have the 23rd-most number of home runs. Every team beneath the Cubs is either actively and opening rebuilding or are the Pirates or Rays. Sure, the Giants won three World Series without hitting a single home run, or even scoring more than 1 run a game, but they’re in bad company all the same. Truly tragic, given that the team tried so hard to not be any of the teams with which they’re now associated.
His FIP is an astounding 2.02 (ERA 2.49 in 71.2 innings pitched) and he has an 81:15 K:BB ratio, which is similarly fantastic. He doesn’t throw above 92 mph — he’s a sinker (averages 91.6 mph), slider, curveball pitcher and what’s probably led to all the success is the huge increase in spin rate for the latter two pitches in that arsenal. He’s getting career high whiff rates on the slider (48.3%) and curveball (57.8%) as a result. If the Padres have a lead after 7 innings, the Giants are totally boned. We... we probably already knew that, but now you know why without even having to watch the game.
What I did not do then but will do now is point out that right behind Stammen in FIP is Will Smith at 2.05. Smith’s xFIP (that is, based on the available data, what the expected Fielding Independent Pitching average should be) of 2.67 is 10th in baseball (reliever minimum 40 innings), 10 spots ahead of Stammen. So, take that, Padres!
Oh, but they still have Franmil Reyes, who’s slashing .356. / 396 / .511 (.907 OPS) in September (48 PA). Now, that’s on a .412 BAbip which suggests his results have been a little bit lucky, but just as likely, it probably means he’s hitting the crap out of the ball.
Chris Shaw starts again and so does Aramis Garcia. No Brandon Belt. pic.twitter.com/dlvBjcTciO— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) September 17, 2018
Yes, that’s Aramis Garcia playing first base and batting eighth. The Giants are trying to “shake things up” and with Brandon Belt’s season possibly over, they’ll try out some people over there to see who can fake it best. Nick Hundley is definitely in the Giants plans for the next few years, so it’s good that they’re giving the 35-year old as many reps as possible, especially against his hold team. And batting fifth? Sure, why not.
Hundley’s .659 OPS in 39 plate appearances this month isn’t much worse than the rest of the team’s performance and that 13:2 strikeouts to walks ratio is such that you definitely don’t want him batting eighth where he’s likely to see fewer pitches out of the strike zone — you wnt to give that opportunity to your developing rookie who’s trying to get a handle on major league pitching.
It really is just arranging deck chairs at this point. Let’s hope this lineup scores a dozen runs!
Series opener vs. SF at 7:10pm tonight with Bryan Mitchell on the mound!— San Diego Padres (@Padres) September 17, 2018
Here’s the full lineup: pic.twitter.com/TMecmVAEzZ
No Francisco Mejia, the top prospect the Padres acquired at the deadline from Cleveland for two relievers, but the opening trifecta of Wil Myers, Franmil Reyes, and Hunter Renfroe is formidable. Go get ‘em, Andy.
Andrew Suarez (6-11, 4.30 FIP) has allowed 3 runs in 12.2 innings against the Padres this seasonm, but in his last 12 innings overall (his past 2 starts), he’s allowed 8 runs. That sample’s skewed by Trevor Story’s 3-homer game, but the point remains that he’s had flashes of shakiness after seemingly righting his ship after showing flashes of shakiness. It’s an up and down rookie campaign you’d expect from a rookie, but the Padres overall have been a little bit better against left-handed pitchers than right-handed pitchers, so he’ll have his work cut out for him tonight regardless of how he’s done recently.
Bryan Mitchell (1-3, 6.56 FIP) has been terrible in every way. In his last 7 starts (32.1 innings), he’s allowed 20 runs (5.57 ERA), 33 hits, walked 22, and struck out 19. This should be a great opportunity for a normal team, but these are the Giants, and they don’t do normal.
Can we just admire for a moment all those round numbers in these teams’ records? 60... 70... 80... 90... ::chef’s kiss::