Happy Thursday, San Francisco Giants fans. The Giants don’t play today, and for most of the year the off days have felt like a blessing.
But right now they don’t. After what the Giants have done this week, I want to watch them play more baseball!
The Giants completed a three-game sweep of the defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday. It was their first sweep of the season. Perhaps this says more about other teams than it does about the Giants, but their three-game winning streak had them tied with the Houston Astros for the longest active streak in the Majors (the Astros won later in the day, extending their streak to four, while the Miami Marlins won later in the day to match the Giants), and their 20-23 record has them a half game ahead of the San Diego Padres in the NL West standings.
There can be no doubt that infielder Casey Schmitt — who debuted last Tuesday and has played every inning of every game since — has provided the team with a serious spark.
He’s also provided them with some serious heat. A closer in college, Schmitt’s arm strength has always been one of the weapons in his outrageously talented defensive toolbox, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphors (please don’t keep weapons in your toolbox).
But now that he’s in the Majors, we’re seeing that on display. Just a few games into his career, Schmitt made the hardest throw by an infielder in the Majors. And during Wednesday’s win, he obliterated his own high mark, while also setting the Giants franchise record in the Statcast.
Beat the record he set last week, btw pic.twitter.com/0E0VF1wuK4— SFGiants (@SFGiants) May 17, 2023
Schmitt’s defense — he won the Minor League Gold Glove Award at third base last year, and has been training at second and shortstop — has been as good as advertised. It’s to the point where I hope people hit the ball at him so I can watch him play defense. He’s spent most of his games up the middle, but seeing the Giants defensive lineup on Wednesday, with Schmitt at third next to Brandon Crawford, is an absolute treat.
But he doesn’t just hit well and play great defense. He also has some damn good quotes that make it easy to get fired up about the Giants.
Giants rookie Casey Schmitt, when asked how important this sweep was coming off a disappointing series in Arizona:— Danny Emerman (@DannyEmerman) May 17, 2023
"We're awesome. It just shows what we can do."
What time do the Giants play today?
The Giants have a well-deserved off day today, their first in two weeks. They pick up play again on Friday night, at home, against the Marlins.