If you had to create a checklist for a bad San Francisco Giants game, it would probably look something like this:
- Lose the game.
- Fall behind early, thus limiting the amount of time spent thinking they might win.
- A poor outing from a starting pitcher.
- A boring, uncompetitive offense.
- Sustain an injury.
- Uninspiring play from the players whose spot on the roster is reliant on some inspiring play.
- Lifeless at-bats from the heart of the order.
Let’s take those seven bullet points one by one and see how the Giants did in their quest to have a bad game.
Lose the game
The Giants scored two runs. They allowed the New York Mets to score six runs.
Fact check: Accurate, the Giants lost the game.
Fall behind early, thus limiting the amount of time spent thinking they might win
The Giants were losing 1-0 after Francisco Lindor kicked things off with a first-inning home run. After briefly tying things, they fell behind 3-1 after two innings, thanks in part to a booming dinger off the bat of Eduardo Escobar.
After three innings the Giants trailed 5-1, which is not necessarily an insurmountable lead, but given the Giants offense, it sure felt like one.
Fact check: Accurate, the Giants fell behind early, thus limiting the amount of time spent thinking they might win.
A poor outing from a starting pitcher
The Giants entered the series with the best rotation in baseball on the young season, and it wasn’t even close. But they labored through a rough series in the Big Apple. During Tuesday’s doubleheader, Alex Cobb struggled before suffering an injury, and Logan Webb was not the Logan Webb we’ve come to know and adore. On Wednesday Carlos Rodón was fairly excellent, but the pitch count knocked him out of the game after five innings.
And on Thursday it culminated in quite a rough showing from Anthony DeSclafani, who is still rummaging through the drawer looking for his 2021 stuff. With the bullpen needing a rest, DeSclafani muscled through five innings, but he needed nine hits and a walk to get there, while allowing more earned runs (five) than strikeouts (four).
He didn’t look comfortable at all, and had just one 1-2-3 inning.
Fact check: Accurate, the Giants had a poor outing from a starting pitcher.
A boring, uncompetitive offense
The Giants offense is good. If you don’t believe that, then let’s amend to this: the Giants offense will be good.
Many things can be true in the whole but not on this Thursday. For instance, I would say that, on the whole, it’s very hot in my part of the world. I would not say that it is very hot on this Thursday. I would say that on the whole my hair looks pretty good. I would not say that it looks pretty good on this Thursday, probably because I haven’t washed or styled it since, like, Sunday.
It’s been a long week.
Mom, if you’re reading this, I’ll wash my hair this afternoon. I promise.
Anyway, the Giants had four hits and didn’t draw a walk. It was just the 12th time in the Gabe Kapler era that they didn’t draw a walk in a game. It was just the third time they’d done so while only having four or fewer hits. Seen through that lens, it was one of their least competitive offensive games of the last few years.
Until the eighth inning their only rally consisted of Brandon Crawford getting hit by a pitch, Wilmer Flores singling, and Thairo Estrada singling home a run on a hit that had an expected batting average of .140.
But Mike Yastrzemski at least provided a highlight in the eighth inning:
Yaz launches his first home run of the season pic.twitter.com/qqOJ7kHfFw— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) April 21, 2022
One swing to smile at.
Fact check: Accurate, the Giants had a boring, uncompetitive offense.
Sustain an injury
In the second inning, following the aforementioned rally — the Giants had two on and no out and a chance to make things interesting — Steven Duggar injured his oblique fouling off a pitch.
You knew it was a somewhat serious injury because Duggar didn’t try to argue to stay in the game, or take any practice swings to see if he could. He just swung, walked halfway to the dugout, met the trainers there, and then walked all the way to the dugout, and that was it.
The Giants revealed immediately after the game that he would be placed on the IL. Duggar hasn’t been having a good offensive season, but he’s been an integral part of the lineup. He’s been starting in center field every time a righty is on the mound, and playing excellent defense. Despite the poor batting line, he’s in the upper 6% in the Majors in both hard hit rate and average exit velocity. He’s one of just seven Giants position players to record a positive WAR so far this season.
His injury is a loss.
It was also another opportunity for fans to quickly pile on Mauricio Dubón, who replaced Duggar in a 1-2 count and, on the first pitch he saw, tried to bunt for strike three. That created speculation (and ensuing anger) that Dubi had entered the game unaware of the count, but that was not the case.
Mauricio Dubón knew he had two strikes and Gabe Kapler had no issue with the bunt attempt. Kapler cited the low probability of success coming off the bench totally cold and getting a two-strike hit off Carrasco.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) April 21, 2022
That is now twice already this season that Dubón has drawn ire for attempting a bunt only to then be publicly supported by his manager for doing the right thing.
Anyway, Duggar’s headed to the IL and will probably be there for a while.
Fact check: Accurate, the Giants sustained an injury.
Uninspiring play from the players whose spot on the roster is reliant on some inspiring play
Dubón replaced Duggar and went hitless in two at-bats. Yunior Marte replaced DeSclafani and allowed two walks in an inning. Tyler Beede replaced Marte and allowed three hits, a walk, a run, and a bucket full of hard contact in two innings.
I don’t want to call out those three, because everyone on the Giants who doesn’t have a Hall of Fame grandfather had a bad game. But one common silver lining in losses is a player like Dubón or Marte or Beede having a good game and stating their case for sustained inclusion on the roster, and that did not happen.
Fact check: Accurate, the Giants had uninspiring play from the players whose spot on the roster is reliant on some inspiring play.
Lifeless at-bats from the heart of the order
The Giants two through five hitters combined to go 0-15 with seven strikeouts. That’s Brandon Belt (0-4, one strikeout), who’s having a great season; Darin Ruf (0-4, three strikeouts), who’s having a bad season but you probably don’t need to worry about; Joc Pederson (0-4), who’s having a great season; and Crawford (0-3, three strikeouts), who’s having a bad season but you probably don’t need to worry about.
In other words, don’t panic. But if you didn’t watch this game, don’t watch it.
Fact check: Accurate, the Giants had lifeless at-bats from the heart of the order.
As you can see, the Giants checked off a lot of bad things. But it wasn’t all bad! The Yaz homer was actively good, and there were a lot of things on the extended check list that could have been checked off but weren’t. They include:
- More than one injury.
- No home runs.
- The loss coming directly to the Dodgers.
- Being no-hit.
- Having a silly fight break out in which a player is concussed.
- Having a silly fight break out in which a player does something that will get them suspended.
- Having a silly fight break out in which you have to reconcile that the player you thought was nice and bubbly and a pacifist might actually be an asshole.
- A boring loss that lasts about four hours.
So seen through that lens, it was a pretty good day at the office. A pretty good day for a pretty bad day, at least.