The line about the Giants offense is that they’re vulnerable to left-handers. Of their core hitters — Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik, Evan Longoria, Steven Duggar if you want to throw him in — only two are right-handed, and lefties aren’t good against lefties, so ipso facto the problem is that the Giants face too many lefties.
This isn’t to say that Chris Paddack is nothing special — he was MLB Pipeline’s #35 prospect at the end of last year, and his fastball-changeup combination was particularly lethal this afternoon — but he spent his afternoon clearly being better than the Giants offense. There are caveats you can add in, like Posey and Longoria being out of the lineup, but if the offense’s ceiling is “can only beat right-handers who are average,” then that’s going to be a problem.
On the other hand, the Giants did score their first run off a starter this year against Paddack, so maybe there’s something to this lefty-righty stuff after all.
Jokes aside, the Giants managed just two hits, both in the same inning. There was, simply, no trace of feck to be found. This is ostensibly a major league offense, and four games into the season, every fear we had that the team did absolutely nothing to address its offensive issues seems to be coming true. They are absolutely moribund when they’re at the plate, a lifeless, inert shell of an “offense.”
That brings me to our new feature, How Would You Describe The Giants Offense? If you had to pick just one term from the previous paragraph to describe the Giants offense, which one would it be? Vote now, because the poll closes at noon tomorrow!
How would you describe the Giants offense?
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Connor Joe and Michael Reed have struggled the most notably, both because they cost Mac Williamson his place on the roster and because they’re an early litmus test for Farhan Zaidi’s player evaluation skills, but it’s not like they’re the only ones. Neither started today, and it didn’t help at all. It was the veteran lineup who looked bad today, and if these veterans keep struggling, then there isn’t really any hope for this team. Of every Giant who started this game, Pablo Sandoval was the only one who exited the game with a season OPS over .620. That’s...not going to work out.
Speaking of things that aren’t going to work out, Jeff Samardzija! Samardzija mostly looked like a major league pitcher today and was able to maintain his velocity throughout his start, hitting 94 in his last inning of work. He was also extremely lucky. In the bottom of the second inning, the Padres loaded the bases on two walks and a double. Paddack came up and lined a 2-1 slider into right field for what looked to be an RBI single. But Gerardo Parra threw Paddack out at first, which was a good demonstration of (1) Parra’s incredible arm and (2) LOL Padres.
In the fourth inning, a Manuel Margot fly ball turned into a double play when Wil Myers neglected to retouch second base coming back to first. Even in the fifth inning, when Samardzija gave up his lone run of the day, it could have been worse. The run was unearned because, after catching a Greg Garcia line drive, Pablo Sandoval threw high trying to double up Franchy Cordero at first, which allowed Cordero to advance to second and eventually score on a single. But Garcia’s ball was absolutely scorched, and the fact that it found a glove at all was lucky.
Samardzija ended up going 5 innings, and gave up just the one unearned run, three hits, four walks, and struck out two. That lack of control is a worrying sign for someone who’s built his reputation on not walking anyone, and the lack of strikeouts isn’t very encouraging either. Still, one start is one start, and from all accounts Samardzija is healthy, so one start with poor peripherals doesn’t have to mean anything.
The most notable part of the defense bailing Samardzija out is that, otherwise, they didn’t distinguish themselves. The team made three errors this afternoon, one by Eric Kratz and two by Pablo Sandoval, and each of Sandoval’s led to a run. Sure, that seems like a bad thing, but imagine if he hadn’t made those errors. Then we’d have all watched this offense for longer. Really, Sandoval did us all a favor, if you think about it.
There was one other notable thing that happened today, but, well...
I don’t wanna talk about it.