And so begins a four-game series in Los Angeles. Nobody wants this, but here we are.
LF — Joc Pederson
CF — Alex Verdugo
1B — Matt Beaty
RF — Cody Bellinger
3B — Max Muncy
SS — Chris Taylor
2B — Enrique Hernandez
C — Austin Barnes
SP Kenta Maeda
Kenta Maeda has 73 strikeouts in 71.2 IP. That’s good!
Kenta Maeda has 24 walks in 71.2 IP. That’s bad!
He’s allowing just 6.8 hits per 9 innings, though. That’s good!
Eleven of the 54 hits he’s allowed have been home runs. That’s bad.
According to this MLB.com blurb, Maeda’s last start began with a 5-run, 36-pitch first inning before he settled down to retire 13 consecutive batters. Look — I don’t watch every game and I don’t remember everything that happened with the Dodgers last week, okay?
Anyway, back to the blurb: “Manager Dave Roberts said Maeda needs to be more aggressive with his fastball.” Let’s hope that happens, because Maeda’s 91-93 mph fastball, while effective, is still not 95+, which the Giants tend to struggle against.
Through 13 starts this season, Maeda’s FIP is a full run higher (4.23) than last year’s full-season total (3.22). A month ago, Maeda struck out 12 Padres in 6.2 innings. In four starts since, he’s posted a 4.87 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 20.1 innings. Maybe he’s just a little fatigued, or maybe something’s up.
Here’s the Giants lineup:
2B — Joe Panik
CF — Steven Duggar
1B — Pablo Sandoval
LF — Brandon Belt
C — Stephen Vogt
3B — Evan Longoria
SS — Brandon Crawford
RF — Kevin Pillar
SP — Tyler Beede
They’re just taking things easy with Buster Posey. He’s expected to catch the next three games of this series.
Meanwhile, Joe Panik has a .343 OBP from the leadoff spot this season (.324 overall), so that has been one positive move. Steven Duggar, meanwhile, is hitting worse in the second spot of the batting order than anywhere else (.491 OPS), except for that one time he went 0-for-3 batting sixth.
Batting order really doesn’t matter, and at the same time, what else can the Giants do?