There was exactly one good thing that happened during the San Francisco Giants 8-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, during which we learned that they have a very different interpretation of “Beat LA” than I do.
That one good thing was relief pitcher José Álvarez taking an at-bat and drawing a walk. Remarkably, it was the second walk that he’d drawn this season. I did not expect Álvarez to have two plate appearances this year, let alone two walks.
Álvarez’s one walk was as many as the rest of the team, combined.
Álvarez’s two walks this year are twice as many as Chadwick Tromp had all last year, and two-thirds as many as Joey Bart had.
I’m creeping up on 150 words about a relief pitcher plate appearance because I’m stalling here. I don’t know what else to talk about. Everything else is bad and I don’t want to talk about bad things. It’s Wednesday, after all.
Because this game was so boringly bad that the Giants official Twitter account didn’t have a single tweet between their pregame lineups post and their final score post.
So let’s get back to that Álvarez plate appearance. Say, do you want to watch it? He looks confused, even though he’s done this before. He looks upset, even, that the ump had the audacity to not just call strike three.
Jose Alvarez didn't know what to do after ball four pic.twitter.com/hTy7XNTghA— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) July 29, 2021
That’s art. Art in an artless world, I might add.
There was also the opposite of art. What is the opposite of art? Poop? I think it’s poop.
There was poop, in the form of Buster Posey taking a foul tip off his mask so violently that the paint chips sprayed through the air like a spit take.
Buster Posey has been taken out of the game. He took a foul ball off his mask in the first inning. pic.twitter.com/i5H5JbbSWl— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) July 29, 2021
Posey left the game after reporting dizziness, but was not diagnosed with a concussion.
Kapler: "I'm optimistic because he's feeling better now, and we'll check in with him tomorrow."— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 29, 2021
Please be OK, Buster.
Otherwise, the game was predictable. I know it’s weird to call a blowout between two teams who have been matching each other’s steps all year predictable, but it honestly was.
It was a matchup between Anthony DeSclafani and Walker Buehler which, on the surface looks fairly even. DeSclafani entered the game with a 2.87 ERA and Buehler a 2.31 ERA. Desclafani had a 3.61 FIP and Buehler a 3.20 FIP. Desclafani had allowed 14 home runs and Buehler 13. They both had WHIPs under 1.000 and similar strikeout to walk ratios.
But the matchups. Oh, the matchups. Each pitcher had made four starts against their NL West rival and my goodness the discrepency.
DeSclafani’s starts had been a disaster: in 18.1 innings he’d allowed 25 hits, 6 home runs, 10 walks, and 18 earned runs. And Buehler’s starts had been masterpieces: in 27 innings he’d allowed 17 hits, 1 home run, 6 walks, and 3 earned runs.
So it was a happy surprise when DeSclafani set down the side in order in the first inning, on 10 pitches.
And it was a happy surprise when DeSclafani smoothly and comfortably worked his way out of a jam in the second to have a scoreless inning that required just 16 pitches.
And it was an entirely predictable lifeless face emoji when DeSclafani allowed four runs in the third inning, threw 40 pitches, and left the game before recording the third out.
If you’re keeping track at home, that now gives him 22 earned runs in 21 innings against the Dodgers. He’s allowed 20 earned runs in 101 innings agains the non-Dodgers.
I have no idea what to make of this. Is there something about the Dodgers approach and hitters that Disco inherently struggles with? Is it merely bad luck? I do not know, but I’m very much looking forward to him pitching against the Arizona Diamondbacks next week.
Just as I’m looking forward to the Giants taking a different approach to the concept of “Beat LA” tomorrow.