All three match-ups in the series were determined by one run and yet none of them felt particularly close. The Friars were up 5-0 in the 6th before the Giants scored their first run.
San Diego starter Joe Musgrove didn’t flinch his first two times through the San Francisco batting order. The righty struck out 5 consecutive Giants after LaMonte Wade Jr. popped out to start their half of their 1st inning. He had K’ed 7 through 4 complete and finished his night with a total of 11 punch outs.
Lefty Alex Wood traded zeroes with Musgrove during the first three innings, setting nine Padres bats in order before Ha-Seong Kim singled to start the fourth.
First time in the stretch, second time through the lineup, Wood lost a bit of his funk. A four-pitch walk to Juan Soto set up an RBI single to Manny Machado to start San Diego’s scoring.
The inning nearly went sideways from there when Brandon Drury just missed a 3-run homer off a Wood slider, but Mike Yastrzemski nicely timed his catch at the center field wall before doubling up Machado to kill the rally.
Yaz makes the leaping catch and doubles up Machado pic.twitter.com/hNqj8QnqKt— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 31, 2022
Jon Miller’s summary of the half-inning: “It could’ve been a lot worse.”
We’ve been saying that a lot lately: it could’ve been worse. It’s not a great sign when the scale we’re grading this team on has shifted from wins and losses to just damage control, or run-differentials in losses. The Giants have free-falled from chasing the division to chasing the Wild Card to chasing the Arizona Diamondbacks. Man, that last one is a real kick in the shins.
Yes, it could’ve been worse. It also could’ve been a lot better.
Following Yaz’s run-saving play in center, the Padres’s 5th was kick started by a Wil Myers sinking liner that clanked off Joc Pederson’s glove in left.
The official scorer ruled it a single, but the ball was catchable. It led to three more San Diego runs. Not a direct correlation, but keeping that lead runner off base and Wood out of the stretch is essential and probably would’ve changed the inning.
Pederson is one of the worst left-field defenders in the Majors in terms of Outs Above Average (OAA). He’s not Kyle Schwarber bad, but the one time center fielder scuffles out there. He’s not fast, doesn’t get good jumps on flies and doesn’t have a great arm. With a runner on second, he’s an easy send on a single to left.
A pop-up by Brandon Drury to lead off the 6th fell in-between a backpedaling Thairo Estrada and a waddling Joc. The single was followed by a Wil Myers double that turned Luis González around in right and led to another run.
Not official errors, but…the lack of range, the struggle to convert grounders into outs—it’s been the thorn-in-their-side all season and today’s game was nothing new.
It also doesn’t help when one of the team’s only solid defenders is ejected in the top of the 3rd for complaining about a checked swing call, forcing Kapler to thin his already-thin bench and initiate a premature diamond shuffle.
Brandon Crawford should be ashamed of himself. Such a hot head.
If you want to drive yourself crazy trying to figure out why the 2022 Giants are so much worse as a team than the 2021 Giants, compare their OAA stats. Overall, infield and outfield, position by position—the numbers have regressed. OAA is a cumulative stat and defensive metrics are always a little iffy, but the discrepancy is so egregious it still speaks volumes. Follow this hyperlink if you dare.
Austin Wynns doubled in González in the 6th. The Giants scored two more in the 7th when Musgrove assembled a rally for them with a walk and two HBPs. Pederson knocked in SF’s 4th run in the 8th with a single. The bats were able to get the tying run in scoring position in the 9th but, even with the friendly Josh Hader pitching, a strikeout and flyout stranded the runner in obscurity.
Joc makes it a one-run game pic.twitter.com/JB1AJPOlue— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 31, 2022
Once again, San Francisco came within 1 run and once again, the scoring dried up. Baseball is a lot harder when you use your 9 final outs instead of all 27 to generate offense.
The Giants have now lost 7 in a row, tying their season’s longest skid. I don’t really know what I expect from this team anymore. Are they complacent? Under-performing? Or just slow starters?
I guess the sample size is big enough where we kind of have the answer to those questions: all of the above.