You all asked for it, and the San Francisco Giants delivered. So congratulations, here’s that more baseball that you requested. Why you requested it I’ll never know. But it’s here. So enjoy it. Or whatever.
The Giants are facing the San Diego Padres, which is either the good news or the bad news.
The good news is, if you’re still clinging to postseason hope, there’s no better team to face than one of the ones the Giants are chasing in the standings.
The bad news is, the Padres are a lot better than the Giants and that’s likely to be reflected in the next 27 innings of baseball.
But the other good news is that it means the Giants might get put out of their misery.
A sweep in the good way could put the Giants within 4.5 games of the Padres in the Wild Card race. A sweep in the bad way could put them a fully-insurmountable 10.5 games back.
Honestly, both of those things sound good.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Monday (6:45 p.m. PT), Tuesday (6:45 p.m. PT), and Wednesday (12:45 p.m. PT)
National broadcasts: Tuesday (MLB Network, out of market only)
Monday: Carlos Rodón vs. Mike Clevinger
Tuesday: Logan Webb vs. Blake Snell
Wednesday: Alex Wood vs. Joe Musgrove
Where they stand
Record: 61-65, 3rd in the NL West
Run differential: -2, 8th in the NL
Postseason standing: 2nd team out, 7.5 games back in the Wild Card
Momentum: 4-game losing streak, 2-8 in their last 10 games
Record: 70-59, 2nd in the NL West
Run differential: +42, 6th in the NL
Postseason standing: 3rd Wild Card
Momentum: 1-game losing streak, 5-5 in their last 10 games
Season series: Padres lead 8-5
Three Giants to watch
Carlos Rodón: I’ll be honest. I’m mostly past the point of having any hope in the Giants or interest in them winning games for standings purposes, and I’ve moved on to just wanting to watch fun baseball. Rodón is the Giants best player this year, and it is a one-person race. He’s been worth almost as much fWAR as the Giants next two most valuable pitchers, combined. He’s been worth about as much fWAR as their three most valuable position players combined. And on top of that, he’s pretty clearly their most fun player to watch.
Evan Longoria: Longoria has been catching fire lately, and he’s quietly turned his season into one that’s well worth the $8 million choice the Giants have to make this offseason. That’s not to say they’ll pick up his option (which is technically for $13 million, but there’s a $5 million buyout), but his performance this year — 129 wRC+, 1.6 fWAR despite playing just 65 games — certainly makes it look like an easy choice. But Longoria, who has publicly expressed that he very much wants the team to pick up the option, would love to stay hot and make it an easier decision. Since returning from the IL on August 8, Longoria is sporting a .918 OPS.
Camilo Doval: One story I’m intrigued to watch for the rest of the season is the performance of Doval. I’ll admit that I was lower on Doval than most entering the season. While I still saw him as an exciting prospect, I wasn’t convinced that the 7.04 walks per nine innings that he had in AAA — or the 4.99 ERA and 4.98 FIP — had just magically disappeared during his 27-inning debut MLB season. For most of this year he’s assuaged my fears, but lately the control issue is rearing its ugly head. He’s walked a batter in each of his last six appearances, and in that time has allowed seven hits, seven walks, and four runs (albeit just two earned) in 6.2 innings, with only five strikeouts. That’s bumped his walks per nine innings up to 4.36 this season, which is slightly concerning. I’ll be curious to keep an eye on him, but at the same time .... if the Giants even make it to Doval in this series that will be a win.
Three Padres to watch
Juan Soto: In case you forgot, the Padres now have Soto, arguably the best position player in the league. And they’re likely to have him for the next decade-plus, along with Fernando Tatis Jr. (also arguably the best position player in the league, albeit one we won’t see for a while). If you can get past the fact that he’s wearing a Padres jersey and destroying the Giants, Soto is, in my eyes, the most fun hitter in the Majors to watch. His swing is absolutely logo worthy, and he’s a power hitter who also manages to walk a lot more than he strikes out — over the last two years, he’s played 272 games and drawn 254 walks while striking out just 167 times. He’s as elite as they get.
Josh Hader: The Padres thought they were acquiring the best closer in baseball when they added Hader at the deadline. Instead, through seven games they’ve received someone who has pitched 4.2 innings and allowed 12 hits, seven walks, and 12 runs. In his last three games against the Giants — two which came as a Padre and one while still with the Milwaukee Brewers — he’s given up seven hits, three walks, and nine runs in just two innings of work. I never thought I’d say “I hope the Giants get to face Josh Hader,” but ... I hope the Giants get to face Josh Hader.
Joe Musgrove: Musgrove is quietly humming along with yet another high quality season. His 2.96 ERA is one of the best among the NL’s starters, and while he’s overperforming his FIP by a bit, a 3.47 mark sure isn’t bad. Nor are 138 strikeouts to just 29 walks in 142.2 innings. But more importantly, he’s faced the Giants three times this year, and been excellent all three times. He’s pitched seven innings in each outing, giving him the following line: 21 innings, 11 hits, 7 walks, 1 run, 14 strikeouts. The Giants can find a little optimism in the walk and strikeout numbers, but that’s about it.
Who wins the series?
This poll is closed
Giants win 2-1
Padres win 2-1