Greek Giant

No, that’s not Alex Wood dancing between pitches.

The Giants have played 23 one-run games this season and have a record of 9-14 after yesterday’s 7-6 loss to the Braves in Atlanta to close out the four-game series. That one-run record ranks 22nd in MLB. Last year their record was 31-17, the best in the Major Leagues. Thanks to Frank for posting this stat in the previous thread.

That stat in a nutshell explains a lot about this teams misfortunes in tight games so far this year. If the Giants had even won half of their one-run games this season they would be near the top of the Division.

For me personally these are the second-most agonizing losses. Of course, the worst loss one can suffer, at least in my baseball emotional universe, happened on Wednesday when the Giants coughed up a two-run lead in the ninth. Yesterday, they never had a lead in the game but came oh-so-close to tying it all up after falling behind 7-1.

The 7-6 loss to the yesterday means the Giants have lost four of five and three of four in Atlanta in a series that saw the Braves score one more run than the San Francisco team. Ouch. That stat hurts and shows you close and yet how far the Giants are from the Braves. The Atlantans are one hell of a team with a lot of athleticism and balance up and down the line up, a solid bullpen and a very good defense across the diamond, particularly in the outfield.

The reason why I hate games like yesterday’s loss the most is because my emotions go from disgust at the trouncing early to detachment, to hopes raised as the Giants come back to bitter disappointment, especially as they finished one run short of the Braves.

I’m not a believer in moral victories.

There were none for the Giants in this series.

If you want to try to tilt the glass half full you can say many things about the Giants hanging with the hottest team in baseball on their own field but that’s loser talk because the Braves found ways to expose Giant weaknesses in each of their three wins, particularly the last two.

Alex Wood’s Atlanta Nightmare

Yesterday Alex Wood had a nightmare outing consisted of an inning in the bottom of the second when nothing, just nothing went his way. His final line of one inning pitched and six runs allowed against four hits is as gaudy as it sounds. All the runs were earned and the Giant defense cannot be blamed for any of them, quite frankly. There were two walks to go with those four hits. I am guessing Wood was a bit intimidated by the Braves lineup and was pitching too carefully when he had to challenge. It’s hard to say for sure and I am sure he would never answer that question truthfully anyway. There was also that costly hit by pitch. I have to mention it because that runner scored.

The Giants Battle Back

Yesterday the Giants grounded into double plays in each of the first four innings and it looked like the rout was on. It wasn’t.

After Wood’s outing it was 7-1 Giants and many of us tuned out and devoted our time to other things. I, for one, never did. As I followed the game on at bat while working I could see the Giants slowly getting back into the game, especially when they scored a run in the fifth on a Slater homer and two in the sixth on a ground-rule double by Tommy LaStella. If his ball is not a ground-rule double it’s quite possible the Giants score another run on the hit. They could easily have had more in the sixth.

The killer blow, for my hopes, was when the Giants scored once in the 8th and once in the 9th on a Joc Pederson homer to make it interesting. But that was it for the rally and the boys had to leave Atlanta licking their wounds.

With the loss the Giants are now 39-31, 5.5 games behind the Dodgers. To be honest, this is about where most prognosticators and fans expected them to be at this stage of the year. I see no reason for gnashing of teeth. The Giants are a decent team with fight and some excellent starting pitching and a few questions in other facets of the game we love.

Steven Duggar Traded

The writing was on the wall regarding Steven Duggar’s future as a Giant. The Giants simply had too many left-handed hitters and too many outfielders in their 40-man roster. So it makes sense to trade for another lefty-hitting outfielder with a spotty track record and less defensive ability than Duggar?  The strange thing about this trade for Willie Calhoun is that Calhoun cleared waivers earlier in the year and the Giants could have signed him for $50,000. By trading Steven Duggar for him Farhan Zaidi essentially gave Steven Duggar away or was too hard-up to spend the $50 grand on a waiver claim. It’s a bit of an odd one and does nothing to enhance Zaidi’s trade record.

Au Revoir Duggar. You were a good Giant.

Tonight’s Game

The Giants return home to host the Reds at 7:15 PM, Willie Mays Field time. It will be Aschroft against Cobb.