If baseball games were 36 innings long, the Giants would have lost one game 22-10.
If baseball games were one inning long, the Giants would have won seven games, lost 12, and tied 17. And that’s with the Dodgers not getting to bat in two of those innings.
But baseball is a nine-inning game, and as a result the Giants split the series with the Dodgers.
And you’ll find complaints from no one. Except the Dodgers and their fans. They’ll be complaining. Which is cool.
It’s hard to overstate how big it was to split the series, if you’re at all invested in the Giants making the postseason this year. That series was one-fifteenth of the season, and it’s one-fifteenth that you cross off when the schedule comes out. The Dodgers are probably the best team in baseball, and they’re certainly the best team in the National League, and the Giants split a road series against them.
Did they deserve it? Hell no. But if baseball were about what teams deserve, they’d play 162 games instead of 60.
Darin Ruf was a great story just by making the team, and he starred on Sunday. He hasn’t shown the power that he flexed repeatedly in Spring Training, but he had two singles, a walk, and an RBI. He also stole a base, and did this:
The power will likely show up eventually, but the contact and walks and defense will be necessary if he wants to be a quality player.
Mauricio Dubón is on the board! After opening the season 0-10, Dubón got an infield single in his first at-bat on Sunday. He was fully laughing, which felt like a good sign. He’d be forgiven for stressing, but he didn’t seem to be.
He also had an RBI single that gave the Giants an insurance run, and even though they won 3-1, that insurance run still felt vital.
Drew Smyly was pretty decent in his first start, going 3.1 innings and allowing 4 hits, 1 walk, and 1 earned run, while striking out 2. His curveball was splendid at times, but he was also getting hit hard. Getting hit hard was a theme on both sides — hard-hit balls just found gloves time and time again.
For the first time this year, the bullpen was glistening. The relievers combined for 5.2 shutout innings, giving up just 3 hits and 2 walks in the process.
Rico Garcia and Tyler Rogers were a part of that, giving them three appearances each in the series. I think it’s safe to say what category of reliever Gabe Kapler sees them as being. Shaun Anderson also made an appearance and he was phenomenal.
Trevor Gott was again tasked with getting the save with a 2-run lead, and he again gave up an extra-base hit to the first batter before settling down to get through it.
Poor Brandon Crawford. He smoked the ball a few times, and could not find a hole in the grass or dirt to save his life. After an ugly 2019, Crawford’s getting BABIP’d to death, and I imagine that’s mighty frustrating.
Pablo Sandoval had two plate appearances off the bench. The first came from the left side, and he slapped an opposite-field single on the first pitch. The second came from the right side, and he worked an 11-pitch walk, because of course he did. This season is emphatically drunk.
Somehow we still never saw Jeff Samardzija, and I have no clue what to make of that situation.
Update: The situation has been clarified.
Samardzjia will start Tuesday for Giants Home Opener. #sfgiants— Amy Gutierrez (@AmyGGiants) July 27, 2020
Not understanding the Samardzija confusion. SF clearly thought he was a bad matchup vs. LA. I suspect he would have pitched bulk IP tonight if they fell behind early. They won’t approach every series like this, but Shark wasn’t missing bats in camp. Better to throw him at home.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 27, 2020
The Giants may not make the postseason. They may not even get close. But splitting a series against the Dodgers is a darn good first step.
I’ll allow it. We’ll all allow it.