The Giants lost 7-4 to a bad Rockies team that is further behind San Francisco in the standings than the Giants are behind the Padres for the third Wild-Card spot in the National League. San Francisco should have more to play for than the Rockies. With a huge hole to dig themselves out of and a brutal close to their schedule, the Giants cannot afford to lose any of the few remaining games they have against bad teams. But here we are.
Sometimes a team just does not have it. Rockies starter José Ureña has had a difficult season in Colorado, doing his best to survive the pitcher-killer conditions that define Coors Field. Yet while his final numbers were far from elite on Friday, anyone who watched saw him dominate the Giants.
It seems like whenever the Giants get into an offensive funk they become hyperfocused on attacking pitches early in counts. Maybe it’s because their coaches think they are overtaking. Maybe I’m projecting a strategy on a team that is just struggling because it’s baseball and the Giants do not have any elite hitters. But one of the most obvious shifts watching the Giants this season compared to last has been their opposing starter’s pitch count.
Sure, the Giants scored plenty more runs last season. They had a far stronger lineup. But even their one-two-three innings seemed to feature far more 6-10 pitch at-bats. This year, it seems like every game features several easy 8-12 pitch innings that ensure opposing managers never have to use their middle relievers if they don’t want to. Those are the very hitters the Giants feasted on last season with their aggressive platoons.
Alex Wood was far from his sharpest self on the mound, a fairly common occurrence for any starter in Colorado. He nearly lasted five innings, but a three-run homer by Elehuris Montero (Montero’s second blast of the game) left Wood with seven earned runs on the day.
Joc Pederson broke Ureña’s shutout in the sixth inning, poking an opposite-field homer down the left-field line, but the Giants were still trailing 7-1. Ureña got two outs in the seventh, but a two-out single forced him from the game for lefty Lucas Gilbreath, who the Giants pounced on in a two-out three-run rally. But that would be all the offense San Francisco could muster.
No one will give them a standing ovation for it, but the Giants bullpen actually held up well over their 3.1 innings of work. A fantastic leaping catch by Brandon Crawford saved a run from crossing while Dominic Leone was on the mound, but Tyler Rogers and Alex Young held up better in their shutout efforts.
The Giants are now back below .500 and six games behind the Padres. They face the Rockies again tomorrow with first pitch scheduled for 5:10 PM Pacific.
if you need a little pick-me-up, here are some positive notes from around the Giants farm system on Friday:
A bad loss for #SFGameUp tonight in Colorado, but at least there were some positives throughout the #SFGiants farm system today:— Marc Delucchi (@maddelucchi) August 20, 2022
AAA: David Villar blasted two homers
AA: Casey Schmitt was 4-5 with a 2B
A+: Marco Luciano hit a grand slam
A: Grant McCray reached the 20-20 milestone