I don’t remember the 10-game winning streak the San Francisco Giants had in 2004. Not even a little bit. I remember how their season ended, though, because I was there. Including this season, there have been just four times in their San Francisco history that the Giants have had a 10-game winning streak. This streak ended the best of all four.
If it’s going to end, end it quickly, right? We’ve got more important things to do with our lives than to wonder whether or not some streak continues. The 2004 streak ended with a walk-off loss in Arizona. The 1982 streak ended with the Dodgers blowing open a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the 8th to win 6-2. In 62, the Giants blew a 3-1 lead, then a 6-4 lead, then an 8-7 lead and lost to the Cubs, 12-8.
Notably, those streaks ended on the road and were pretty close games. Today’s 10-0 blowout at home sucked. That’s the only thing to say about it, really. It’s one of those games where it’s best to just flush it and move on.
Falling behind 3-0 to Blake Snell was not the move. Alex Wood looking like he was just chucking it up there and praying didn’t help either, and by the time Manny Machado delivered San Diego’s second 3-run home run in three innings, you knew it was over. I mean, the Padres really turned the Giants into a skinsuit this afternoon.
The Padres exploding for 10 runs isn’t a surprise, either. That’s a good lineup and the Giants had managed to hold them back for three games before their fifth starter could hold them no more.
Gary Sánchez, the guy they cut, the guy whose ““defense”” helped them win Monday night’s game, whose straddling of the third base line led to an out tag at home plate get overturned and opened a big inning for the Giants in last night’s game, had his revenge or at least a big corrective of a game in terms of the industry’s perception of him. He’s a serviceable player on a roster of serviceable guys.
Today, those serviceable guys and their superstars ended a surprising win streak in such a way that there aren’t really any takeaways. Alex Wood, the fifth starter, will have games like this, and it was only a matter of time before the Giants’ incredibly hot run with their bullpen let up. Indeed, only Wood and Patrick Bailey (2 hits from the right side) had their heads in the game throughout. The Padres and Snell took them out of it quickly.
I suspect even the team knew today was going to be a tough one. Alex Wood is still returning from injury, but his stuff is just not up to snuff, and if he’s too much in the zone, he’s gonna get crushed. He’s allowing the highest average exit velocity (90 mph) of his career, and his 92 mph sinker coupled with a sub-2,000 rpm spin means he really has to hit those corners and deceive batters. None of that happened today.
Also, the Giants started Bryce Johnson and left him in for a key RBI situation. It just seemed like one of those reset days as the team prepares to take on their division leader in what should be a competitive series; though, if it’s not, I’m sure we’ll start questioning just how good the Giants are and which version of them we’ve seen is closer to the truth.
For now, I’m going to say that the team with the best record in Baseball since May 1st (31-17) is at least pretty good. I may not remember that 2004 winning streak, but I remember that the 2004 team was at least pretty good. Those Giants teams with 9-game winning streaks (save the strike-shortened 1994 squad, which was still 55-60 and had Matt Williams chasing the HR record) I also remember as being pretty good, so, I think no matter how the rest of this week goes, that’s where they’ll still be come Monday.
The only really interesting note about this one is that the Giants are now 17-18 in day games, with a 4.15 ERA. At home, they’re 8-10 in day games with a 5.06 ERA. The Giants have a team ERA of 3.81 and are now 42-33 overall. Now, I suspect the weirdness with home day games has something to do with their starting pitching on those days — lots of Striplings and Manaeas and Woods, but I’m not going to go back and look because I accidentally closed the tab.
I suggest we all close the tab on this one.