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Giants harshly reminded of their second rate status

Dodgers good, Giants bad.

Joey Bart trying to tag Max Muncy at home plate Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

I made a mistake before the San Francisco Giants kicked off what is, thankfully, their final rendezvous of the year with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I looked at the difference between the teams’ hitters. Bet you can guess which team’s which.

OPS and OPS+ numbers that are very high
OPS and OPS+ numbers that are very low

This was a mistake not because it gave me something depressing to ponder on my afternoon drive from, ironically, San Francisco to Los Angeles. Though ponder it I did. The additional 161 hits the Dodgers had. The additional 36 home runs. The additional 365 total bases. The 83 fewer strikeouts. The 15 fewer double plays.

Lots to think about.

No, it was a mistake to spend my time thinking about how much better the Dodgers hitters were than the Giants hitters, because it allowed me to forget that, despite the Giants having a very good rotation, the Dodgers also have a very good rotation, which seems rude. Can’t we just have one good thing that they don’t have? I mean, we let them have the hitting and the defense and the bullpen, can’t we have the starters all to ourselves?

We cannot. The Dodgers are very good at everything, which is how a win on Saturday will give them 100 or more wins in four of the last five seasons, discounting the 60-game season in which they were on pace for more than 115 wins.

The Dodgers are even good in the spots they’re not supposed to be, which is how we arrive at Friday’s game. Los Angeles was starting Dustin May, a super talented, wild-haired man who had Tommy John surgery last year, in the month that I can only presume he was named after. He made all of five starts last year before the surgery. He’d made all of four starts this year since returning from rehab, and they’d gone about how you expect from someone who is still in the infant stages of using their elbow again: a little rough.

But of course he would find it all just in time to face the Giants, who would aid him in that quest.

And so May pitched five innings, and he no-hit the Giants in those five innings, requiring just 69 pitches (nice ... for the Dodgers, at least). Were May operating with a fully functional arm, the Dodgers might be celebrating a wholly unnecessary flex of a mid-September no-hitter at the expense of a former rival turned division basement dweller.

Instead, he left after those five innings, having faced the minimum number of batters (thanks to a walk and a double play), and having thrown exactly two pitches from the stretch.

The Giants finally broke through in the sixth inning, when Luis González mercilessly closed the group-effort no-hit bid against Alex Vesia with an infield single. Titillating. The Giants would get one more single, capping it off as a three-baserunner day.

See? I guess I wasn’t so foolish to compare the offenses after all.

On the other side of things, Logan Webb simply didn’t have it, which isn’t something you say often about Webb, but it is something you say often about Giants pitchers when they’re facing a lineup whose first five or six hitters would be considered the best position player on the Giants.

Don’t think about that one too long.

Anyway, Webb labored through four innings, giving up as many runs. He was so close, yet so far, with four of the seven hits he allowed coming with two strikes. Not sure if that’s the encouraging news or the frustrating news. Not sure we should be making that delineation right now anyway.

The Giants lost 5-0. Baseball doesn’t always make sense. But when this Dodgers team pitches brilliantly, hits easily, and fields beautifully, and the Giants do none of those things, it tragically does.