The San Francisco Giants will have their chance to Beat LA. They’ll have their chance 18 more times, and maybe even a few more after that.
They’ll succeed with some of those chances, and they’ll fail with some of them.
Tuesday was their first chance to Beat LA, and it was also their first failure.
It was a failure because the Los Angeles Dodgers looked like an elite team with all of their pieces, and the San Francisco Giants looked like an elite team with many of their pieces missing. And that is because the Los Angeles Dodgers are an elite team with all of their pieces, and the San Francisco Giants are an elite team with many of their pieces missing.
Only on the surface, though. The Dodgers didn’t actually look like an elite team, outside of their starting pitching. But, you know ... the elite dudes were there.
The Giants have a healthy dose of players on the Injured List because of injuries, and another healthy dose of players on the Injured List because of COVID, and that’s how their starting lineup featured a player who only made the Opening Day roster because of expanded rosters (Luke Williams), a player who perhaps only made the Opening Day roster because of expanded rosters (Mauricio Dubón), and a player who was traded for a few days ago after getting DFA’d by a lesser-team, while in AAA (Kevin Padlo). Off the bench we had two players who started the year in AAA (Jason Vosler and Luis González).
And it went as expected against Julio Urías, a pitcher who is, last I checked, extremely good.
The Dodgers did the Giants a favor and capped Urías at 65 pitches as they slow play him into the season ... and yet that still was enough for him to mow down the Giants for six innings, allowing just four hits.
It’s now where I feel the unhealthy urge to be pessimistic, but also realistic. It’s been one of those days. I’m normally one for optimism but you must turn elsewhere for it tonight. Or go to sleep and try again tomorrow, we’ll see how I’m doing.
Here’s a list of the Giants hitters currently on the IL:
Tommy La Stella
LaMonte Wade Jr.
Do you notice a trend?
It’s Evan Longoria and five lefties. A fully healthy Giants squad wasn’t going to be in too much of a better position against the left-handed wizardry of Urías.
The Giants knew that and were OK with that. They lost the right-handed bats of Buster Posey and Kris Bryant, added no proven MLB hitters from that side of the plate, and focused their attention elsewhere.
If I sound critical ... I honestly don’t mean to be. It’s just that when you see so many players on the IL it’s tempting to think the Giants were shorthanded, but really, they’re just not a team particularly well-equipped to mash against lefties. They have to win in other ways.
Such as having their own dominant pitchers which is what Carlos Rodón is.
Rodón allowed five baserunners and a pair of runs in six innings and somehow it was his worst start — by far — of the year. That’s the kind of season he’s been having.
But unfortunately three of those baserunners, plus a wild pitch occurred in the second inning, which led to the two runs. They were all the Dodgers needed.
And that’s how it goes when you match up great pitchers. The Giants actually outhit the Dodgers 6-5 and drew as many walks. The sequencing was the difference.
The Giants had their chances. Dubón and Padlo put a run into a few balls that fell dead, though the Dodgers did that as well. They nabbed a seventh-inning run thanks to the smallest of small ball: an infield single, a walk, and two productive outs.
They put the tying run on base in the ninth inning against Craig Kimbrel.
But they did not Beat LA. Instead, they lost 3-1.
Say ... Wednesday is a good day to Beat LA, don’t you think?