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Giants vs. Mets, 7/18

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Syndergaard (7-4, 4.55 ERA) vs. Bumgarner (5-7, 3.86 ERA)

Washington Nationals v San Francisco Giants

The Giants made some roster move ahead of today’s game. Let’s break them down:

  • Suarez, my preseason favorite to become the next Dallas Keuchel, nearly set the Giants up to lose yesterday’s game and has, generally, not been very good this season. He was necessary for a four-game series in Colorado. I’m going to stand by the comp, but my timeline might’ve been off...
  • The Giants traded Chris Stratton for Williams Jerez, who quickly landed on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 for the Giants. He made an appearance back on May 7th, walking two batters and getting zero outs. He also inspired this tweet:

Yes, it’s possible that he’s getting the call as a prelude to a trade of one of the relievers, but also just as likely: the Mets have four lefties in their lineup.

  • Jandel Gustave was signed as a minor league free agent this offseason. He has a 6.85 ERA in 22.1 IP. This could very well be a move based on a stipulation in Gustave’s contract that he be added to the 40-man roster by a certain date and the Giants honoring it because they like something they see in his talent. Despite the ERA, he does have a 2:1 K:BB (22:11). He’s also less than a year removed from Tommy John surgery.
  • Meanwhile, the Giants hang on to Travis Bergen but now put themselves in a weird situation heading into next season wherein the Rule 5 draftee rules carry over. That means the Giants will have to keep him on the major league roster basically all season long in order to hold onto him or else offer him back to the Blue Jays. Of course, there are probably workarounds: the Giants could trade something to the Blue Jays in the offseason to obtain Bergen’s full rights, trade Bergen, send him back to Toronto, or just let things play out next season. In any case, it looks like his left shoulder strain has not improved much since May.

The Mets have the second-longest winning streak in the NL right now, second only to the Giants. Their last four games have been against the Marlins and Twins, so as I mentioned in the series preview, these next four games could be an interesting barometer for the Giants: are they closer to the Twins or Marlins? We know the Giants have been closer to the Marlins for most of the season, but has switch been flipped since June 1st? Has Kevin Durant’s departure broken a spell that was cast on the Giants when he signed with the Warriors?

RF — Jeff McNeil
LF — J.D. Davis
1B — Pete Alonso
3B — Todd Frazier
2B — Robinson Cano
SS — Amed Rosario
C — Tomas Nido
CF — Juan Lagares
SP — Noah Syndergaard

Syndergaard struck out nine Marlins in seven innings last time out and after closing May with a 4.90 ERA, he’s pitched much better: a 3.86 ERA in six starts since June 1st. He’s 4-0 in those starts and the Mets are 5-1. The Mets are also 20-14 at Oracle Park since 2009.

1B — Brandon Belt
C — Buster Posey
3B — Pablo Sandoval
LF — Alex Dickerson
SS — Brandon Crawford
RF — Mike Yastrzemski
CF — Kevin Pillar
2B — Joe Panik
SP — Madison Bumgarner

Against Syndergaard, this lineup is a combined 13-for-84 (.155) with 8 walks and 15 strikeouts. That one loss in his most recent six starts came on June 4th against the Giants, who managed to score three runs off of him in 6.2 innings. Kevin Pillar and Steven Duggar had RBI hits off of Syndergaard — it was Seth Lugo who came in to relieve him that led to the third earned run. Will Mickey Calloway make the same mistake and pull Syndergaard if conditions are the same tonight?

Finally... that Madison Bumgarner is making this start suggests that a deal for him is not close. Now, that can change in an instant, but it’s clear that the Giants wouldn’t be risking his health or his ERA (seriously, beware Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and Robinson Cano) if they were on the verge of sending him somewhere. Will this be Madison Bumgarner’s last home start?

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