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.”
Back when the San Francisco Giants faced the Atlanta Braves in mid-April, two notable things happened.
First, they won the series, which was the first time all year they’d won a series.
Second, they missed out on seeing Felix Hernandez, a 16-year vet playing in the National League for the first time, whom the Giants have faced only five times in his remarkable career.
When that happened, this is what I wrote:
If the Giants had to lose, couldn’t it have been against Felix Hernandez? After 15 seasons (including six All-Star appearances, one Cy Young Award, and one perfect game) with the Seattle Mariners, Hernandez is wearing a National League jersey for the first time. And though he’s struggled to regain form in the past few years, he’s been excellent so far as the Braves fifth starter.
Well to that I say: Be careful what you wish for, past self, who, by the way, is an idiot.
The Giants got to face Felix Hernandez on Friday night at Oracle Park, and while he wasn’t exactly the version of himself that made six All-Star teams, won a Cy Young, and pitched a perfect game, he was pretty darned good, as he’s been this year.
Sidebar before I go any further: From 2009 to 2015, Hernandez was chosen for six All-Star teams in seven years. The only year he didn’t make the All-Star team was the year he won the Cy Young. Baseball awards are weird.
Anyway, Hernandez was solid, albeit for only 5 innings before he was taken out. He gave up just 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 7, and giving up 1 earned run.
That was all the support Atlanta needed while facing Jeff Samardzija, as the Braves went back-to-back against the Shark in the first inning, with Freddie Freeman hitting a two-run shot into the water, and Marcell Ozuna following it up by taking on dead center.
Samardzija settled in after that, and allowed just two more baserunners for the next five innings. But the three runs were enough, as the Giants couldn’t muster anything else against the Braves, other than the one run (an Alex Dickerson single that scored Brandon Belt from second base).
It was 3-1 after one inning, and it was 3-1 after nine innings. Along the way, the Giants had a perfect eighth inning recorded against them by Mark Melancon, and then a perfect ninth inning recorded against them by Will Smith.
So that’s good, or bad, depending on your point of view.
The Giants are now 20-25.