Nothing came easy for San Francisco Giants starter Kevin Gausman on Thursday, throwing 100 pitches over five innings, while giving up four runs on eight hits in a 7-4 loss to the San Diego Padres.
For the most part, Gausman had good stuff. His splitter was dropping out of the strike-zone and his fastball was topping out at 98 MPH. He wasn’t his sharpest, but no one is in September with nearly 200 innings pitched punching you repeatedly your throwing arm.
[Pause while I watch Brandon Belt hit in the bottom of the 9th...Damn. Ok, back to programmed recap]
What hurt Gausman today is what hurts most pitchers: pesky hitters who hit bad pitches.
The Padres put together some great at-bats in high-leverage situations in which they were down in the count but were able to spoil compelling pitches, stick to their zone, and pounce on mistakes.
Fernando Tatis Jr. fouled off both a high-and-tight fastball and a fading down-and-in splitter with two strikes before launching a misplaced splitter over the wall in left to make it 2-0 Padres in the third inning.
With two on and two outs in the fifth, Tommy Pham fouled off a splitter and fastball before Gausman grooved an 0-2 fastball belt-high on the outside half of the plate that Pham slapped into right field.
Gausman’s inability to find a getaway pitch in those two-strike situations was the story of his day.
Even at the time, Pham’s 2-RBI double felt like the hit that sealed the win for the Padres. Not much was happening for the Giants offensively. They were struggling to find their footing against Nabil Crismatt who, without much flare, pitched four shut-out innings, scattering three hits while recording only one strikeout.
Maybe it was the day game atmosphere, the sleepy afternoon mood, but it just felt like it was going to be one-of-those-games where nothing really happens.
Nothing did and I’ll admit, during those middle innings, my attention waned a bit.
I reheated a bowl of tofu stir-fry. I watched this skateboard video. Jon Miller and Mike Krukow started talking about Crismatt’s change-up which inevitably led to a Trevor Hoffman mention which inevitably led me to YouTube some Trevor Hoffman highlight videos.
I went to church every Sunday growing up in San Diego, but AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” tolling over the loudspeakers as Trevor Hoffman crossed center field is really what put the fear of God in me.
I watched this video like ten times. Chills. There is nothing more bad-ass in baseball history than Trevor Time.
But I digress, and we digress and that is why we love baseball because we can digress. A mid-week day game contains multitudes. Baseball will always give us time to wrestle with and discuss and tease the depths of the human experience/surf the internet.
Let’s look at some tweets.
Evan Longoria homered, continuing his hot streak.
Brandon Belt spent most of the game feeling like it was 2017 again after being AT&T’d twice. No one is more bummed than this guy.
Just waiting for The Captain to hit one in McCovey Cove pic.twitter.com/xHJJ1o68xt— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 16, 2021
This is from yesterday, but I like it so here it is.
The Padres are playing for their postseason life right now and the Giants are trying to hold onto their lead in the NL West. With six more match-ups between these clubs in the coming weeks, both are looking to rain on each other’s parade.