Finally, a right handed starting pitcher. That should make it a lot easier for the Giants to — oh, it’s Ross Stripling. He’s really good. In 4 games against the Giants last year (just one start), he struck out 11 in 11 innings and didn’t walk anybody on his way to a 1.64 ERA.
His curveball is really impressive —
And seems setup to befuddle the Giants tonight. Stripling will be going against Derek Holland and the rest of the Giants with this lineup:
Bellinger seems unfazed by left-handed pitching. His grand slam off of Bumgarner was a no-doubter. That would seem to be a problem for Derek Holland, but Holland was so good against left handed batters last season that Bellinger might actually not hit a home run tonight. Lefties season line against Derek Holland? .168 / .252 / .189 (.440 OPS). He also didn’t allow a home run to a left handed batter in 2018 and has allowed a total of 18 against all lefties he’s faced (1,216 plate appearances). So, you can see why Dave Roberts really tried to load up on righties.
Holland had a respectable 3.92 ERA against the Dodgers in 4 starts last season (6 appearances), striking out 23 in 20.2 innings. But he did walk 15 and allow 20 hits (12 of which were extra bases, mostly doubles), meaning his FIP was definitely greater against the Dodgers, but I don’t feel like trying to calculate his FIP split.
The Giants nearly rallied to win last night’s game and for the second game in a row showed the league that the small thermal exhaust port that could lead to the Dodgers’ undoing is right there in its bullpen. They’ve scored four runs against starting pitchers and the rest against bullpens. Here’s Bruce Bochy’s latest attempt to change that up.
Ah yes. Steven Duggar, a fantastic centerfielder, slides over to right field to make way for veteran Kevin Pillar. It’s the sort of move that might be frustrating if it wasn’t so obvious that the Giants need to keep trying new combinations until something clicks. That outfield is still really shaggy and until it gets going, experimentation is required.
Duggar has a bunch of minor league innings in right field, so this is no big shock to his system, while Pillar has almost exclusively played center as major leaguer. Doesn’t mean the defense will be perfect out there tonight — he’s played exactly one game at Dodger Stadium, and that was last night — but it should be really good.
Offensively? We’ll see! Last year, the Giants were one of the worst teams in baseball against the curveball, Stripling’s best pitch, but Pillar was actually pretty good against it (+4.9 runs) and for his career, at least an average hitter when facing a curve (+3.9).