Welcome to the 2019 season! It’s a beautiful day for baseball, a beautiful day to embrace the hope of a new season. The Giants have yet to play, so anything’s possible. They have a nice record at the moment.
It would be a shame if something happened to it.
#SFGiants lineup— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) March 28, 2019
1. Steven Duggar CF
2. Brandon Belt 1B
3. Evan Longoria 3B
4. Buster Posey C
5. Brandon Crawford SS
6. Connor Joe LF
7. Michael Reed RF
8. Joe Panik 2B
9. Madison Bumgarner SP
Say now, that’s a lineup. That’s really something. There’s uh... there are certainly a collection of names there, both familiar and not. Actually, let’s not dwell on the outfield, such as it is.
The Giants entered last September 68-68 and went on to win just 5 of their final 26 games. It was awful. There weren’t even good jokes to be made or memes to be had. We weren’t watching exquisite torture, just bad baseball. Player after player simply overmatched.
I really think we should forget about that.
Which means that no matter what happens today and over the next three days has no connection to last September. It’s a new year and there’s a new set of eyes on the problems ahead. And, oh baby, do there figure to be problems ahead.
But just for now, just for the next... hour... let’s not think about Madison Bumgarner’s declining fastball velocity, let’s see a healthy Buster Posey out on the field. Let’s see if a slimmer Joe Panik really does have the bounce back the underlying numbers suggest is coming. Evan Longoria might not be a top 30 player anymore, but he’s got something to prove and he still has slugging power. He had an .838 OPS in 9 games at Petco last season (11 hits in total, including 2 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs).
The Giants will be facing LHP Eric Lauer, who didn’t allow a run in 10 spring training innings, while striking out 12 and walking only 3. He also only gave up 2 hits.
Last season, Lauer faced the Giants 3 times and in 16 innings, struck out 14, walked five, and gave up 19 hits (1.50 WHIP) and 7 earned runs (3.94 ERA). The Giants, of course, will be attacking the lefty with their mostly left-handed lineup, an unfortunate by-product of the team being unable to make any significant moves for some reason this offseason.
Although, if they had landed Bryce Harper... they still would’ve been heavily left-handed.
Your #SDOpeningDay lineup features Manny Machado making his #Padres debut, @tatis_jr making his Major League debut, and @e_lauer10 on the hill for the first time to start this season! pic.twitter.com/AuQuMlRVQi— San Diego Padres (@Padres) March 28, 2019
Alex Pavlovic reported that Will Smith has been named the closer, but we’ll see how that holds up if the Giants have a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth with Myers, Machado, and Reyes due up.
Much like last season, there was a news dump around the time the lineups were posted. The fates of a few waived players who weren’t among this morning’s trio of Mac Williamson, Tom Murphy, and Alen Hanson were decided:
* Steven Okert went unclaimed, cleared waivers, and was reassigned to Triple-A. He gave up five home runs in 8.2 innings to go along with 14 hits. He did strike out 13, though.
* Originally a waiver claim from the Marlins, Merandy Gonzales was claimed by the Cardinals. He recorded 1.2 spring training innings with the Giants and Marlins but couldnt’ catch on with either team.
* Jose Lopez was reclaimed by the Reds, whence the Giants had claimed him back in February, just before Spring Training. He allowed 5 runs in 3.1 spring innings and had a 3.00 WHIP.
If you can’t watch the game on TV, you might be able to catch it on your phone via NBC Sports’ My Teams app — and provided you already have a cable subscription.
If you do, then you can watch former site contributor Carmen Kiew on the Triples Alley post-game show which appears to be replacing Grant Brisbee’s old show, Giants Outsiders.
Otherwise, if you haven’t tried it, listen to Jon Miller call a baseball game on the radio. It’s sublime.