Here’s something that we haven’t been able to say much over the last three years: The San Francisco Giants were the best professional sports experience in the Bay Area tonight.
While the Golden State Warriors were across the bridge carefully crafting the lede to their obituary, the Giants were bucking their half-decade long trend by winning a game. An entertaining game, no less!
An entertaining game against their “rivals,” who happen to be the best team in baseball.
If you’re a Bay Area sports fan you’d prefer the results be swapped. The Warriors loss was much more critical than the Giants win. But beggars can’t be choosers, and the two teams have combined for six titles this decade.
I’ll take that, and a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers any night.
Clayton Kershaw has a serious mystique, especially to Giants fans. He just feels utterly unhittable, and wholly unbeatable.
I recognize that he’s no longer the best pitcher in baseball. I understand that he may not even be the best pitcher on his own team.
But damned if I don’t feel the dread of complete and total hopelessness when the Giants line up against him.
And you know what? That fear is warranted.
That’s the Dodgers’ 1st regular-season loss in a Clayton Kershaw start since August 13, 2018 to...the Giants, the same team they lost to tonight.— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) June 8, 2019
It’s Kershaw’s 1st regular-season loss since July 21, 2018 at the Brewers.
I fact-checked that, and it’s true. The Dodgers had won 17 consecutive games that Kershaw started. 17! That’s literally half a season of starts for a pitcher. Kershaw had thrown 111 innings since the Dodgers last finished one of his starts with fewer runs than the opposition.
And it finally came to an end, in a pitcher-friendly park, against one of the worst offenses this sport has seen in some time.
What a ridiculous game.
“This is the most confidence he’s had in his curveball in several starts”
That was a first inning quote from Mike Krukow about Drew Pomeranz.
I saved it because it was funny. Pomeranz was about to walk the bases loaded, and seemed destined for yet another terrible start. I was already getting ready to write a draft about him being DFA’d on Saturday.
Except it turns out that Mike Krukow understands pitching better than I do, and, wouldn’t you know it, Pomeranz got out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts, and ended up with five scoreless innings. He allowed three hits - all singles - one walk, and struck out seven of the 19 batters he faced.
Now, let’s not throw a party. His ERA is still 7.16, his FIP is still 5.83, and he’s still walking a batter every other inning.
But for one night, he was quite good. And it almost certainly earned him one more start.
The Giants won without getting an extra-base hit. I’ll let you decide whether that’s cool or depressing - there’s no wrong answer.
Happy weekend, everyone.