Hay, remember when the Giants played five games of baseball last week? You don’t? Boy, do I have an article for you!
The Giants started out the week splitting a two-game series with the Blue Jays, and then dropping their first game in Arizona. It would have been easy to assume that they’d squeak out one win over the weekend and then head home, making us all think, “Well, it could have been worse, I guess.” But instead, they rallied against the Diamondbacks and took both Saturday and Sunday’s games, finishing off what turned out to be a perfectly pleasant week of baseball.
“Perfectly pleasant” might not be the highest praise possible, but it is praise, and the post-2016 All-Star Break Giants can’t be choosers. Take the praise, guys. Trust me.
Most memorable thing that happened: Shaun Anderson made his major league debut
YOU: Is this just the most memorable thing because you interviewed him and therefore felt a personal stake in the matter?
MY LAWYER, WHO IS APPARENTLY IN THIS BIT: Objection, leading the witness
THE JUDGE, WHO IS NOT A REAL JUDGE AND WHOSE ONLY LEGAL EXPERTISE COMES FROM FOUR HALF-REMEMBERED EPISODES OF LAW AND ORDER: Uh, sustained?
Like any young baseball player, it’s possible that Anderson doesn’t amount to much in the majors. He could be injured or ineffective, and don’t kid yourself: both of those are extremely real possibilities. But if that happens, we’ll always have this one game as a fun one before reality kicked in, and if it doesn’t happen, this will be Anderson’s first step to something greater. Either way, memorable!
Also, great flow out on the mound. Very important.
Best win: May 19, 3-2 over the Diamondbacks
The Giants offense looked hopeless. Diamondbacks pitching retired 18 Giants in a row before a two-out Mac Williamson walk in the 9th inning, and then they retired one more in a row after that to send the game into extras.
Well, not exactly. Arizona came very close to winning the game off of Sam Dyson in the bottom of the 9th, which would have meant that the game did not get sent into extras, but the problem they encountered there is, Brandon Crawford happened:
▪️Bottom of the 9th— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) May 20, 2019
▪️Winning run on third base
Brandon Crawford saves the day. #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/bTzFyFtSP1
Pablo Sandoval would do the rest, hitting a leadoff home run in the top of the 10th, and then Will Smith would be the final Giants reliever to have a scoreless outing. Trevor Gott, Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, and Sam Dyson all avoided giving up runs, and because of that, the Giants were able to wait until the 10th inning for Sandoval to homer. But the thing to focus on here is how the Giants leaned on their one true strength, with the ‘pen going 5.1 innings, striking out 7 and walking just one, giving up one hit and no runs.
If the Giants can use their bullpen as a weapon like they did on Sunday, they probably won’t be a playoff team, but they should at least be entertaining. And that’s why we watch baseball! It’s about the journey, not the destination. The real World Series championship is the friends we made along the way. In the end, the true winner is-
I’m sorry, I got caught up there in a wave of sarcastic cliché. Just barely broke free. We’d have been here for hours.
Worst loss: May 17, 7-0 to the Diamondbacks
Bruce Bochy got ejected for arguing a bad call, which kept him from watching the last few innings of a lifeless baseball game: https://t.co/EtGuDbyl4Z— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) May 18, 2019
Some losses make it tough to hold on to that last sliver of hope that an ineffective team is gong to turn it around and be anything other than what it seems to be. Tonight's 7-0 #SFGIants loss to the #diamondbacks, in which Bochy was tossed, was one. https://t.co/I2iv9UHCya— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) May 18, 2019
I've covered the Giants for 16 seasons. Tonight's 7-0 loss in Arizona was one of the emptiest games I've seen them play.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) May 18, 2019
Now, I actually missed the game. But on the other hand...
MVP: Pablo Sandoval
Sandoval homered three times over the five games the Giants played last week, including pinch hit homers in two straight games, including the game-winning pinch hit homer yesterday. It was easy to rag on the Giants for keeping him around after Spring Training — “Oh, Zaidi is just throwing Bochy a bone,” we’d say, or, “This team’s Pablo Sandoval fascination is bizarre, and exactly what Bobby Evans would have done,” which is emphatically not a compliment.
How has Sandoval responded? He’s currently hitting .301 with an OPS of 1.001. Apparently he’s good again? Sure, baseball, why not? Pablo Sandoval is good again. We’re on board, even if Red Sox fans are annoyed by it. No, especially if Red Sox fans are annoyed by it.
LVP: Grey Worm
Look, it just doesn’t make any sense. After all that...
Oh, wrong place for this. Sorry.
LVP: Derek Holland
On the 14th, Holland pitched a scoreless inning, walking two and striking out one. It was a nice break that he didn’t allow any runs, but his peripherals didn’t portend success. And he found that not-success three days later, walking one, not getting a single strikeout, and giving up four runs in one inning to take a bad game and make it a non-game. Holland’s been bad all year, even putting aside his comments about the front office, and this week was more of the same.
There might have been players who had worse weeks than Holland, but considering that the Giants are bringing up another pitcher today, and that they’re already short on position players so they’re not likely to get rid of one, there wasn’t really a player who had a worse week at a worse time.
The four games of the Aaron Altherr era plus yesterday were a mixed bag. Mostly the bag had good things in it, like wins. It had more wins than not-wins! But the Giants were also outscored by 6 runs on the week, and while it’s lovely that they were able to Dustiny their way to an over .500 record on the week, it’s not something they’ll be able to do all year.
Still, no use in worrying about the crappy future when we had a not-crappy present. All hail the 3-2 week! Wins are fun, and the Giants had more wins than losses. As of this writing, they’re a .500 team in May. Could be worse, folks. Could be worse.