I must admit, Giants fans, this loss really angers me. The Giants were on their best roll of the year heading into this series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. They won the first game on Memorial Day and things are looking groovy in Giants nation. Then Tuesday happens, a tough 2-1 loss. No biggie.
But yesterday’s very UGLY 9-4 defeat meant the Giants lost a series at for the first time in a while. It was at home, no less and it came against a scrappy Pirates team not expected to compete this year but a club that has played far beyond expectations. The Giants played very poorly in this game. I will begin this post with a list of their gaffes:
- Alex Wood fails to cover home on a throw at the plate by Blake Sabol who was playing left field. That throw was wildly off line and even Patrick Bailey could not corral it. Because Wood became a spectator the ball bounced around behind home plate as runners on first and second became runners on first third. They then scored on a single because it was that kind of day for the Giants and Alex Wood. Wisely was given an error on the play.
- Alex Wood was victimized by more than a few hits hit quite softly. He gave up some hard contact, to be sure, but he also gave up a few seeing-eye grounds that became RBI knocks because Wood is not a strikeout pitcher.
- Brett Wisely threw away a perfectly good double play with an errant throw to first. Of course a Pirate run scored.
- Wood threw 94 pitches in his 4 1/3 innings outing. Of those, only 55 were strikes. It meant walks and being behind in the count.
- J. D. Davis abandoned third base on a double down the line. Unfortunately the runner saw this and advanced since the bag was left empty. That bag was Davis’s responsibility as the shortstop, Casy Schmitt went for the cutoff throw.
- Brian Reynolds had a big day.
- Andrew McCutchen had a big day.
- Conor Joe had a big day
That makes two former Giants and one former Giant prospect coming back to haunt our club! I hate that.
I could write more things like how the use of a bullpen game Tuesday limited Gabe Kapler’s options out of the pen. But, I don’t want to dwell too much on this game, as annoying as it is.
There were some positives. J. D. Davis made a beautiful diving play in the first inning to rob McCutchen of a hit leading off.
J.D. Davis dando clases en la esquina caliente 💎 pic.twitter.com/LRkFKp4m4e
— SF Gigantes (@SFGigantes) May 31, 2023
Patrick Bailey had a two-strike opposite field RBI single from the left side of the plate bouncing a ball through a shifted Pirates infield. Davis, Wade, Sabol and Bailey each had two hits and the Giants had 12 on the day.
That’s about it for strong points. We can say perhaps, that Ryan Walker showed promise as a reliever. There’s Tyler Rogers who threw another scoreless inning and now has an ERA of 1.93 in what is fast becoming a very nice season for him.
Pirate starter Mitch Keller was better than Alex Wood, pitching six innings and throwing high heat and low sinkers to often overpower the Giants, despite those hits he gave up, many of which were not hit hard. I think this was the difference in the game: The performance of the starting pitchers. I also think the Giants have a vulnerability here going forward. Right now there are many questions about the starting rotation after Webb, Cobb and Desclafani. I’ve written it before but for this Giants squad, the starting pitching is the key to their success. Their offensive identity is not as explosive as the 2021 team that could simply bludgeon teams regularly. This Giants team is a pitching and defense-first club.
The Giants are off today. The Orioles come to town tomorrow night for a three-game series.