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Giants at Brewers, 9/9: Getaway Day

Madison Bumgarner tries to get his sixth win against Zach Davies (RHP).

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

There’s only one more road trip left in the season, but before that comes around, the Giants will drag their sorry butts to the plate one more time and try to win a single game in the finale of this series and six-game road trip. You have to love their chances of losing this one because that’s the only thing they’re good at now. Oh, and striking out. Losing and striking out. And soft groundouts.

Okay, so, the 2018 Giants are good at losing, striking out, and hitting soft groundouts. Those are the only things they’re good at... and not drawing walks. Losing, striking out, hitting soft groundouts, not drawing walks, and hitting into double plays. And that’s all they’re good at. Not one more thing — oh, and not getting crucial outs late in the game from their bullpen. They used to be good at the opposite, but now they’re not. Losing, striking out, hitting soft groundouts, not drawing walks, hitting into double plays, and not getting crucial outs late in the game from their bullpen. Well what are you looking at? What do you think, I’m some kind of a jerk or something?!


Madison Bumgarner’s previous start of this road trip was rough and bad and in Colorado. He allowed three home runs for the seventh time in his career (and he has had one of those games once a season since 2014) and, again, it was in Coors Field, so that trifecta wasn’t the worst part of it. What was worrisome or troubling was that it continued a string of rough starts from Bumgarner where he didn’t quite look like himself.

He just doesn’t quite look like himself, even if that old version of him is gone. He’s struggling with his fastball and cutter in ways he hasn’t before. The Colorado start raised his ERA from 2.68 to 3.07, which, again, Colorado, but his FIP is a career-high 4.08. That fastball isn’t breaking 91 mph very often and he’s working largely on the outer half of the strike zone.

Most of the time this season, he’s struggled but made it work. Can’t struggle with your stuff in Colorado. Might not be able to do it here in Milwaukee against a very strong lineup that hits home runs.

Zach Davies is making his second start since returning from a nearly four-month stint on the disabled list with an inflamed rotator cuff. Brooks Baseball stopped charting a fastball for him this season, so he appears to be a sinker, cutter, changeup, curveball, slider pitcher, but by the percentages, 55% of the time, he throws the sinker. So, yeah, he’s a sinkerballer.

Last Monday against the Cubs in Milwaukee, he struck out 7 in five innings of work, allowed 1 run, walked 1, and gave up only 4 hits. His only scoreless start this season was on April 18th (his fourth start of the season). Otherwise, he’s allowed at least one run in every start of 2018.

In fact, in 76 career starts, he’s allowed 0 runs (earned or unearned) just 9 times. This would, again, seem to be a favorable matchup for the Giants’ lineup. But they have clearly demonstrated that there is no such thing as favorable.

The Giants set a San Francisco era record for most consecutive losses to begin a September (0-7).