The San Francisco Giants are playing the Detroit Tigers. They’re playing them after having a day off, and they’re playing them before taking a day off. They’re playing them while in need of wins. They’re playing them even though the “them” is not good. They’re playing them and throwing their two best pitchers, Carlos Rodón and Logan Webb on the mound.
In other words, the Giants really need to win these games, and they really should.
So, just, like, umm .... do that, guys.
That’s the end of my spiel.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Detroit Tigers
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
When: Tuesday (4:10 p.m. PT) and Wednesday (10:10 a.m. PT)
National broadcasts: Wednesday (MLB Network, out of market only)
Tuesday: Carlos Rodón vs. Drew Hutchison
Wednesday: Logan Webb vs. Matt Manning
Where they stand
Record: 60-61, 3rd in the NL West
Run differential: +16, 8th in the NL
Postseason standing: 2nd team out, 6 games back in the Wild Card
Momentum: 1-game winning streak, 6-4 in their last 10 games
Record: 47-76, 5th in the AL Central
Run differential: -141, 14th in the AL
Postseason standing: lol
Momentum: 2-game winning streak, 4-6 in their last 10 games
Season series: Tied 1-1
Three Giants to watch
Brandon Belt: There’s no hiding the fact that, after two utterly brilliant campaigns, Belt is playing some awful baseball, which seems at least partially attributable to the fact that he doesn’t look even remotely healthy. His current 2-38 slump has dropped him to below-average by both wRC+ (96) and OPS+ (91), after those numbers were 172 and 177 in 2020, and 157 and 160 in 2021. The Tigers are sending two righties to the mound. The Giants need the Captain.
Carlos Rodón: As I mentioned the last time he took the mound, the Giants are just 11-13 in Rodón’s starts, despite the fact that he’s been arguably the best pitcher in the Majors this year. So that’s a whole lot of fun, and hopefully a trend that Rodón — and more importantly, the Giants — can buck.
Joc Pederson: Pederson hasn’t been slumping as hard as Belt, but it was still wild to see him homer at Coors Field and have the broadcast booth remind you that it was his first since June 25. Pederson still leads the Giants in homers despite that, and yes, that’s a depressing statistic. Pederson was a huge part of why the Giants played so well early in the year, and the absence of that type of performance — both from him and his teammates — is part of why they’ve struggled so much lately. Since July 4 he’s hitting just .174, with a mere seven extra-base hits in 97 plate appearances.
Three Tigers to watch
Miguel Cabrera: The Tigers don’t particularly have any good players, so let’s just enjoy one of the greatest players in MLB history, even if he’s a shell of his former self. Cabrera — a 12-time All-Star, two-time MVP, Triple Crown winner, and member of the 500 home run club — is hitting just .263/.315/.325 which, in fairness, is pretty decent for the Tigers.
Harold Castro: 20 players have taken an at-bat for the Tigers this year. By OPS+, only three of those 20 have hit above league average. One of those three has 32 plate appearances. One of them has 11 plate appearances. And the other is Castro, whose .281/.310/.403 line (extremely similar to Joey Bart’s) represents the only Tigers regular who is hitting the ball better than the average player.
Matt Manning: Manning has only made six starts in his second pro season, but he’s been pretty decent in them, sporting a 2.81 ERA and a 3.75 FIP. He’s not striking out many batters — he has just 23 Ks in 32 innings — but he’s not letting runners on base. He’ll present the Giants a little bit of a challenge.
Only three choices in a short series. No pressure.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed