Happy Tuesday, San Francisco Giants fans.
Baseball is a sport where when the best and the worst teams face each other for three games, the worst team is still very likely to win at least one game. So looking into one bad loss is a silly game to play.
But still. Losing to the Dodgers is brutal. It’s brutal because you hate the Dodgers, and losing to them makes your skin do funny things. But it’s also brutal because of the contrast between the two teams.
Even if you think the Giants can hang with the Dodgers in the standings this year — which, yes, is an entirely defensible belief — they’ll do so with depth, matchups, and a few doses of four-dimensional chess. What they won’t do it with is what the Dodgers have in spades, even after letting MVP candidate shortstops walk in each of the last two years, not to mention an actual MVP center fielder: stars.
The Giants have no Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, or Will Smith. They don’t have a designated Dodger Killer the way Max Muncy is a trained and licensed Giants Killer. They don’t have a first ballot Hall of Famer like Clayton Kershaw. Logan Webb is arguably a better pitcher than anyone on LA’s roster, but he doesn’t have the Dodgers number the way Julio Urías and Kershaw have the Giants.
And so the contrast is stark.
But there’s always a but.
In 2010, the Giants got swept at home by the Dodgers, with the series ending with an 8-2 loss. Matt Kemp homered, because of course he did.
In 2012, the Giants got swept at home by the Dodgers, with the series ending with back-to-back shutouts, 10-0 and then 4-0. Matt Kemp homered in the former, because of course he did. Clayton Kershaw started the latter, because of course he did.
In 2014, the Giants got swept at home by the Dodgers, starting the series with an 8-1 loss and a 5-0 loss. Yasiel Puig hit three triples in the first game, because of course he did. Clayton Kershaw started the second game, because of course he did.
This isn’t me imploring the Giants to get swept so they can win a World Series. It’s just a morbid reminder that the Giants will lose painful and infuriating games to the Dodgers every single year for the rest of your life.
They don’t have to mean anything. They just have to be painful.
On to the next one. Beat LA.
What time do the Giants play today?
The Giants and Dodgers play the second game of their three-game series tonight at 6:45 p.m. PT.