Over the past few games, it’s been about the pitching.
Madison Bumgarner struck out 11 last night and Drew Pomeranz did the same the night before him. Even Sunday’s walk-off loss featured a solid six inning performance from Shaun Anderson and the Giants allowed just three runs in 10 innings. After the Giants hit the ball all over the yard in the bottom of the first inning, scoring two runs in defiance of their season to this point, it sure did seem like today was going to be about the hitting. Maybe — finally — there was going to be some league average contribution from the bats, and combined with solid pitching, the Giants could start to be... presentable or at least capable of providing us with some hope?
But it wasn’t meant to be. The Giants reminded us very quickly that they are who they’ve been all year. Mostly bad with some flashes of not bad thrown in to keep us off balance.
Jeff Samardzija’s day ended with six strikeouts and five runs after five frames and 96 pitches, so he wasn’t able to complete the 11 strikeout trilogy — but, he did give up the first grand slam the Rockies have ever hit against the Giants in San Francisco (Candlestick and Multi-named Oracle Park combined). Carlos Gonzalez’s replacement, David Dahl, had a career-high 5 RBI-game.
I mean, that was impressive blah, blah, blah [insert fake, yet genuine sounding, praise here followed by a fart noise].
The good news is Samardzija won't have to face Arenado with the bases loaded. The bad news is it's because the guy in front of him hit a grand slam.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) June 26, 2019
Since the addition of Alex Dickerson to the lineup, fans have been anxiously watching that Wild Card race, clinging to a flickering playoff hope of that second NL Wild Card. Okay, no, they haven’t actually been doing this, but after last night’s affair, the Giants were just 6.5 games out before first pitch. Maybe some fans actually new this and had that flicker. It’s not impossible! Just... you know... highly unlikely.
In today’s game, it was Pablo Sandoval who handed fanned that flicker of hopelight at the end of a pitch black tunnel of rebuilding. He had the two hardest hit balls of the day per good ol’ exit velocity and the actual hardest hit ball of the day — a double in the first inning that shot off the bat at 114.7 mph — that was also the highest exit velocity off a Giant bat this season. Was it as impressive as the second hardest hit ball of the day — this home run? I’m not so sure.
In any case, Pablo Sandoval’s bat was not enough.
After the Giants grabbed a 2-0 lead off of German Marquez in the bottom of the first, it was all Dahl vs. Oracle Park. Jeff Samardzija couldn’t find the strike zone in the top of the third, walking Tony Walters to lead things off. He’d give up a single and another walk which combined to load the bases against Dahl. Then he found himself in a 3-2 count... then he grooved a fastball right down the middle.
Samardzija and Marquez both made a good number of bad pitches that professional hitters in either dugout punished them for, but the Rockies’ punishment was just a little more severe. The Giants compounded the problem by some dunderheadedness on the basepaths.
In the bottom of the fifth, Mike Yastrzemski attempted to get a rally going with a lead-off double. After Panda struck out, Yastrzemski… improvised?
He tried to freaking steal third with Dickerson at the plate.
Don't know what Yastrzemski was doing trying to steal third with one out, down two runs and one of the team's hotter hitters at the plate. He can score on almost any hit to the outfield and you're not playing for a sac fly there. #SFGiants— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) June 26, 2019
Of course, he was tossed, handing the Giants two outs when a man was IN SCORING POSITION.
the innuendo machine broke down when I typed this into it: "thrown out at third base with Dickerson right there at home plate."— McCovey Chronicles (@McCoveyChron) June 26, 2019
Even though the game was supposed to be about the day the offense took hold in order to win the series, the Giants managed to not live up to the lineup hype and fell back to 7.5 games back from the second WC position — which, again, nobody was seriously excited about... but at the same time... what if? Dare to dream?
No, no. It’s too outlandish a dream. Better to stick to the facts: the Giants aren’t good enough to chase a playoff spot, especially with this track record:
The Giants have now lost eight of their 13 series at home this season.— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) June 26, 2019
On the other hand: man, our Panda still has some dang power.