I do not know how many games the San Francisco Giants will win in 2021. If I did, I would not waste my time writing about the team, but rather spend it it betting enormous sums of money on their win total.
But what I do know is that, when every win is over, and the chat box sends you a survey to fill out that they somehow advertise as though it’s your benefit, and the first question asks you “Why did the Giants win this game,” and gives you a bunch of boxes to choose from, more often than not you’ll click the box that says “offense,” hit “submit,” and then wonder why you wasted your time doing that.
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The Giants will win some games with their pitching, and some games with other things, but most of their wins will be because of their offense.
Their “why did they win” pie chart won’t look exactly like this:
But it will probably look something like this:
The Giants will rely on their offense, which figures to be pretty good, and that will be the catalyst for the 60, 70, 80, or 90 games that they win this year.
All of which is an extremely long-winded way of saying that the Giants got shutout on Saturday night by the Seattle Mariners. They got shutout rather meekly, offering up just six hits and two walks in resistance. A double by Tommy La Stella served as the team’s only extra-base hit (and came inches away from clearing the fence), and 12 strikeouts were proof of how happy the Giants were to let their counterparts have this dance.
That happens. The 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers, a titan of hitting (and being poopy poopheads) were shutout six times, and were held to 0 or 1 runs in 10% of their games. The 2020 San Diego Padres were shut out twice in a 60-game season.
The Giants got shut out and they will almost surely get shut out again, and again after that, and probably a few more times for good measure.
It doesn’t mean they’re not good (they’re probably not good though). It just means you spent your Saturday night watching a really, really uneventful baseball game that had all the verve and aggression of a 1978 Pinto rolling into a gas station on an empty tank.
Don’t sweat the implications, just be mad you wasted your time, especially if you weren’t double-screening the Gonzaga-UCLA game as well.
On the other side of things, the Giants pitched on OK, not great game. Logan Webb made his season debut after a scintillating spring and, in shocking news, was not quite as good against MLB players in a meaningful game than he was against MLB players mixed with a healthy dose of Minor League players in a meaningless game.
The changeup that the Giants staff raved about all March wasn’t quite as mystifying to the Mariners, as it induced just 12 swinging strikes on 97 pitches, and 5 strikeouts out of 25 batters. But Webb worked out of trouble, and kept the Giants in the game, allowing 3 earned runs in 5.1 innings.
The bullpen was promising. Matt Wisler and José Álvarez, who played the two biggest roles in the Opening Day meltdown, bounced back with perfect innings, each throwing 8 strikes to 2 balls. Reyes Moronta made his season debut and promptly gave up a dinger, but then settled in and looked like the Moronta we know and love.
The arms did enough that if Thursday or Friday’s bats had showed up, the Giants would have left Seattle with a winning record. But instead, the offense booked an early flight to San Diego, to get a little extra rest and preparation ahead of Monday’s game.
Can’t blame them for that. San Diego is nice this time of year.