The San Francisco Giants offense went stone cold over the weekend. It was ugly. It was not fun. In four games and 33 innings the bats mustered just three runs — and one of those came after Rob Manfred gifted them a free runner at second base.
Remarkably, the Giants still split their series with the Washington Nationals. But winning games while averaging less than a run per contest is not exactly a sustainable formula, so they’ll have to remember how to hit sooner rather than later if they want to hold onto their spot atop the NL West.
Their opponent will help them. The Arizona Diamondbacks are one of the most generous teams in the league — they just love giving teams runs, and not just because they play half their games at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks pitchers rank 30th in the Majors in ERA, 28th in FIP, 28th in strikeouts per nine innings, and 29th in fWAR.
They’re also reeling, and I don’t mean in the “lost three in a row” kind of way. No, the Diamondbacks have lost 10 in a row. And if that sounds familiar, it’s because the last time these teams faced, they had lost 10 in a row by the time the series was over.
And in between that 10 in a row and this 10 in a row? A whole lot of losses.
Since starting the season a respectable 17-19, the DBacks have gone ... wait for it ... this is not a typo ... 3-27.
3 wins in their last 30 games.
2 wins in their last 26 games.
1 win in their last 11 games.
0 wins in their last 10 games.
So yeah. It will be quite disappointing if this series is competitive.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Monday (6:45 p.m.), Tuesday (6:45 p.m.), Wednesday (6:45 p.m.) and Thursday (12:45 p.m.)
National broadcasts: ESPN+ on Tuesday
Where they stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 40-25, 1st in the NL West
Run differential: +69, 2nd in the NL
Postseason standing: 1st seed
Momentum: 1-game losing streak, 6-4 in their last 10 games
Record: 20-46, 5th in the NL West
Run differential: -80, 14th in the NL
Postseason standing: 18.5 games out of the Wild Card, 20.5 games out of the NL West
Momentum: 10-game losing streak, 0-10 in their last 10 games
Season series: Giants lead 2-0
Three Giants to watch
Mike Yastrzemski: The Giants offense was beyond bad over the weekend, but Yaz was one of the few signs of life. He returned off of the Injured List on Saturday and went 2-8 with both hits being doubles that were hit very hard and very far. And during a series in which the Giants looked like they were actively trying to strike out, Yastrzemski’s lone K stood out. With injuries to Alex Dickerson, Evan Longoria, and Tommy La Stella, Yaz being a steady presence could really help.
Brandon Belt: Other than Yastrzemski and Buster Posey, it was an awful offensive weekend for everyone on the Giants. That very much included Belt, who went hitless in 12 at-bats, with a very uncharacteristic 1 walk to 7 strikeouts. He’s a good hitter, and him hitting like one is a big part of what makes the Giants play well.
TBD: The Giants are listing “TBD” as their starter for Tuesday’s game. They never fail to surprise with unique decisions, but I would think there are two primary options: Aaron Sanchez, who pitched an inning in a rehab start on Saturday, and Sammy Long (or an opener followed by a lot of Long). Either way, the Giants have to feel good about their other three starters in the series: Alex Wood on Monday, Anthony DeSclafani on Wednesday, and Kevin Gausman on Thursday. But Tuesday’s starter will be important.
Three Diamondbacks to watch
Ketel Marte: The Diamondbacks only have a small handful of players who are having good years, but the switch-hitting Marte is certainly one of them. He’s only played 28 games after missing about six weeks due to injury, but Marte is slashing .356/.404/.548. If the Giants offense keeps hitting the way it has been, Marte could win the Diamondbacks a few games all on his own.
Matt Peacock: The Giants will face Peacock in the series opener, and he might provide them with their best chance at waking up. Peacock’s numbers — 5.24 ERA, 4.90 FIP, 24 strikeouts to 10 walks in 34.1 innings — suggest the Giants could do some damage.
Asdrubal Cabrera: Cabrera had an awesome start to the season, but suffered an injury in mid-May that sidelined him until early June. Since returning he’s struggled in a huge way to find his bat, going 1-15 with no extra-base hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts. He’s one of only a few Diamondbacks capable of doing good things offensively, so the Giants will want to keep him cold.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed
Giants win 3-1
Diamondbacks win 3-1