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Giants vs. Padres, 8/29

Paddack (7-7, 3.84 ERA) vs. Rodríguez (5-6, 5.26 ERA)

National League Division Series - Chicago Cubs v. San Francisco Giants - Game Three

Mauricio Dubon makes his Giants debut tonight, so not much else is important. Oh sure, the Giants need to, like, win or something, but six games back with six teams ahead of you (seven if you count the division-leading Cardinals) and just 30 games remaining really doesn’t suggest anything other than meaningless baseball the rest of the way.

Meaningless in the sense that wins won’t lead to the postseason this year. Winning could demonstrate growth in players the Giants might have around the next time they’re relevant, but at this point, it’s better just to sit back and live in the moment. The only thing that matters is the moment.

CF — Manuel Margot
LF — Josh Naylor
3B — Manny Machado1
1B — Eric Hosmer
RF — Wil Myers
2B — Ty France
SS — Luis Urias
C — Austin Hedges
SP — Chris Paddack

Interesting call at catcher. Maybe there’s a personal catcher situation going on. Hedges has hit .152/.243/.273 in 38 plate appearances this month. He is an elite defender, though. His +23 DRS is tops in baseball among all position players. There’s a bit more to the defensive metrics than Defensive Runs Saved, though, and that’s why JT Realmuto edges him out in terms of total defensive value. Hedges’ +23.6 Defensive Runs Above Average falls just shy of Realmuto’s +25. In any case, Hedges is nearly a 2-win player because of his defense.

I’m mentioning this because the best hitter on the Padres over the past month has been their other catcher, Francisco Mejia, who has a .404 wOBA. Leading hitter. Not in the lineup.

RF — Mike Yastrzemski
1B — Brandon Belt
3B — Evan Longoria
LF — Alex Dickerson
C — Buster Posey
CF — Kevin Pillar
SS — Brandon Crawford
2B — Mauricio Dubon
SP — Dereck Rodríguez

Both Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik debuted in the seventh spot. I’ll try not to read much into this lineup beyond Bruce Bochy not wanting to clump together right-handed hitters. Crawford is also 12-for-his-last-32 (.956 OPS). Yeah. It’s hot hand/handedness stacking. That’s all that’s going on here. With luck, Dubon will take his walks and be happy with his first major league hit being an infield hit or single up the middle.