The Giants are 0-1 following yesterday’s 2-0 loss to the Padres on Opening Day. It was mostly predictable, except for Madison Bumgarner’s 9 strikeouts over 7 innings. He looked like at least a convincing version of his former ace self, even if the velocity decline is real. A lot of great sequencing paired with superb command and control.
The lineup, of course, didn’t figure to do too much against the Padres for a few reasons:
1. The Giants are something like 64-77 in Petco Park since it opened in 2004.
2. The Giants have been the worst team by wRC+ against left-handed pitching since 2017, and second-worst since 2016. Second only to the Phillies, mind you, a team that was rebuilding. Their 79 wRC+ since the start of 2017 means the Giants have been 21% worse than league average against left-handed pitching. They stink. Stink, stink, stink. Ned Flanders could roll out of bed and pitch five shutout innings against them.
3. The Giants’ lineup is not formidable anymore. That includes the regulars, championship core, whatever you want to call it. Buster Posey might be able to make it through the season pain free and might even get his timing back, but it doesn’t look like he’ll come anywhere close to hitting double digits in home runs, which seriously calls into question his ability to hit 20+ doubles. Brandon Belt, meanwhile, seems to be permanently stuck in a feedback loop of BE AGGRESSIVE — STAY WITHIN YOURSELF — BUT ATTACK PITCHES — BUT MAKE HIM THROW YOUR PITCH — BUT DON’T BE PASSIVE, but now he’s another year older and last year ended with surgery. The only bright spot seems to be Evan Longoria, whose ceiling is probably still about league average.
Anyway, here’s tonight’s lineup:
RF - Reed
1B - Posey
2B - Solarte
3B - Longoria
SS - Crawford
LF - Joe
CF - Duggar
SP - Holland
No Belt and 38-year old Erik Kratz makes an appearance. Figure another low-scoring affair against the Padres’ Joey Lucchesi.
2B - Kinsler
LF - Myers
3B - Machado
RF - Reyes
1B - Hosmer
SS - Tatis
CF - Margot
C - Hedge
SP - Lucchesi
This is the same lineup as yesterday. Amazing to see Ian Kinsler leading off.
Joey Lucchesi was dominate against the Giants in two starts last season. He struck out 17 in 11 innings and allowed just one walk — oddly, Chris Shaw’s only walk.
Derek Holland had a renaissance season in 2018 (his 109 ERA+ was his best full season since 2013) and it would’ve been even better had he not had to face the Padres. In 24.2 innings against San Diego (his most number of innings against any other team last year), his line looked like this:
Now, you might think this means the addition of Manny Machado guarantees dom, but somehow, in 22 plate appearances against him, Machado has managed just .333 / .364 / .333 — you’re right to think that’s pretty good, but I would’ve expected a much higher slugging percentage. My fear is that we’re going to see Fernando Tatis Jr. have a big night. That might not be such a bad thing. He’s a great young player.
A reminder that NBC Sports is working hard to make it easy for you to watch the Giants (if you have a cable subscription with their channel as part of your package):