With the MLB season suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are no baseball games and limited baseball news. So I’m creating a hypothetical season — complete with news and recaps — until baseball resumes. All news and recaps will have the hypothetical tag, so you can at least know when you’re suspending reality. And you can click “hypothetical season” above the headline to see everything that has happened in this “season.”
Look, I don’t pretend to understand baseball. I never have. I sure as hell didn’t get this job saying I understood baseball, because that would have been felonious amounts of deception, and I’m a good, upstanding citizen.
Yes, the same Billy Hamilton who entered the season with 21 home runs (and just 157 extra-base hits) in 3,089 career plate appearances. Who made the roster only because MLB expanded rosters to 26 players this year, thus allowing a token roster spot titled “that position player who can’t hit but does other things.” That Billy Hamilton with that bat.
Hamilton got a rare start in center field on Friday, likely for a few reasons: Mike Yastrzemski and Mauricio Dubón have both looked solid there, but neither has looked like a plus defender. They’re highly competent, and the Giants will take that, but with the pitchers struggling — and Jeff Samardzija allowing a lot of fly balls — it’s clear the team has a little bit of investment in putting a strong defensive outfield together from time to time.
And so they did that, and Hamilton naturally had an infield single followed by a stolen base in his first at-bat, which felt par for the course. Less par for the course was the triple that later followed. And much, much less par for the course was the three-run home run he hit in the eighth inning that essentially sealed the game.
Ummm ... where the hell did that come from?
Not that I’m complaining, just ... confused. Asking for a friend.
Samardzija was good enough which everyone will take. Last year Drew Pomeranz was good enough (even though he kind of wasn’t?) and that landed the team Dubón, so Samardzija being good enough could be really important for the organization down the road. Only time will tell.
He wasn’t missing many bats, but Samardzija was getting outs, and that’s the name of the game even when it doesn’t always feel sustainable or particularly earned. He only had 4 strikeouts in 5.1 innings, and needed 94 pitches to get there. But he walked nobody, gave up no home runs, and allowed just a single run.
Did it past the eye test? No. But did it pass the “only allowed one run test?” Abso-freaking-lutely, and you know what? I will happily, happily take that.
It kept the game close, as the Giants couldn’t turn up the heat on Mike Foltynewicz for a while, even though he didn’t look that good either. It was a good ol’ fashioned Friday day game where neither pitcher looks good but neither team has any interest in punishing the pitchers for it.
I think we can all relate, yeah?
In conclusion, the Giants won 5-2, and have now won back-to-back games in which they defeated Trevor Bauer and a team doing the tomahawk chop.
There are worse ways to end the week.