Greek Giant

The Giants of 2020, that offensive juggernaut that puts fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers, appear to hate doubleheaders. Maybe those seven inning games get in their head? Maybe playing two makes the hitting attack tighten up for some reason. Yesterday, the Giants were again shutout in a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Padres. It was their second straight sweep in a doubleheader following the debacle against the Dodgers two weeks ago when both teams decided not to play the night before. Yesterday the Giants totaled five hits in BOTH games. In the Dodger doubleheader sweep they managed six hits. They scored a grand total of one run in those four games.

In yesterday’s first game, Mike Clevinger, the recent acquisition to the Padres pitching staff, shut down the Giants and out-pitched Johnny Cueto. In the nightcap Wil Myers homered and the Giants could only manage a run off a double by Yaz.

Here is Gabe Kapler on yesterday’s games:

“There were certainly some challenges associated with the last couple of days” but that they weren’t insurmountable. “It’s our responsibility to come to the ballpark for a doubleheader today and be prepared for these games. I think we were, we just weren’t at our best.”

It’s just plain weird. I don’t know what else to write frankly. Maybe the Giants were thrown off by the bouhaha and fear surrounding false positive Covid-19 tests. Maybe the Padres and Dodgers are just too damn good. Maybe its a combination of both.

All I know is this: The 7-inning games must go. They are not Major League Baseball contests.

In her Out of Left FieldĀ© Column from this weekend, Dr. Lefty gave us all a very thorough analysis of the Padres GM A. J. Preller and his philosophy of taking risks. It was an interesting read in particular for the contrast with Giant GM Farhan Zaidi’s risk-averse approach, so far in his Giants tenure. Whatever the case with the differing approaches to building talent and farm systems, it is now clear that the Padres are miles ahead of the Giants, particularly with new pitching talent in their pipeline not even at the Major League level yet. If there is one thing that gives me bad dreams at night about the Giants farm system it is what appears to be the lack of depth and top flight starting pitching arms.

I mention this because the Padres demonstrated again in their sweep of the Giants, the importance of pitching in the NL West. You cannot win World Series titles on blunt force baseball trauma alone. So far the pitching talent gap between the Giants and the Padres/Dodgers is simply too great.

There are two weeks left in the season and the Giants are still about 56.7% sure of making the postseason, according to the MLB postseason predictor.