by
Weekend Wrapper

About Last Night…

It really is a black Monday, Giants fans.

“Read and react.” Those are the words of the immortal Giants Manager Gabe Kapler who reacted and read his way out of a potential series-winning game last night against the Mets, in prime time no less.  With Ross Stripling making perhaps his best appearance as a Giant, he was pulled after two innings. Kapler was asked about the decision and somewhat sheepishly explained that the decision on how many pitches Stripling would throw would be in the neighborhood of 60 and he would “read and react” regarding his pitcher’s night. It did not go well with his replacement, Alex Wood.

The Giants 8-4 loss in Queens last night was a tale of mostly unfortunate decisions but let’s be honest, Kapler has done a mostly tremendous job this year so we take our losses with some sugar knowing the Giants are in the hunt for the NL West Division, despite the loss and despite the injuries to Yaz, Conforto, and others. Then Thairo gets hit in the hand and Brandon Crawford aggravates a rib cage injury.

The Giants are the proverbial “walking wounded.”

Despite removing a dealing Ross Stripling after only two innings in favor of Alex Wood, one cannot lay the blame entirely at Kapler’s feet. It’s not his fault Wood once again crapped the bed in his outing. Nor is it Kapler’s  fault that this was one of the rare games in which the bullpen developed a leak, allowing three add-on runs after the Giants rallied to make the game 5-4 in the top of the seventh inning with a three-run frame that saw Blake Sabol pinch hit his way to a two-run homer.

Nor is it all on Kapler that the game ended with a questionable outfield alignment of Wade Jr, Joc, and Blake Sabol. So, it was not Gabe’s best game as a Giant Manager but there were also extenuating circumstances. Ryan Walker gave up an Alonso homer to put the game away and Brandon Crawford made an error that led to a run as well during Alex Wood’s Five-run outing in 1 2/3 innings of work. It was a bad night up and down the line up and the pitching staff.

To make matters worse the Giants then had to take a trans-continental flight home to get ready for a game tonight.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to show toughness here. This next leg of travel is going to be equally challenging. You want to really quickly turn the page. We’ve all got to get some rest on the plane, as much as we can. And these guys have to rest up and get back to the ballpark. Because the next challenge is right in front of us and we’ve got to be ready for it.”

Gabe Kapler

Their six-game road-trip against the Blue Jays and Mets ended up 2-4 and could easily have been 1-5 were int for Patrick Bailey’s awesomeness on Friday night in the Big Apple. Logan Webb was able to depart on Saturday, however. He will be the starter in tonight’s game against Seattle.

The Giants are hurting. They have guys sucking wind, guys nursing injuries, and guys simply a bit fed up with the Canadian Wildfire smoke-filled crap air of New York. It happens. It’s a long season. The question that comes to my humble mind is how will the Giants perform with the six games left before the All Star Break (three against the Mariners and three against the Rockies, all in San Francisco)?

“I’m running on fumes a bit.”

-Anthony Desclafani

There you have it.

Saturday’s Game

ummm Never mind. The Giants got Justin Verlandered, the vintage variety. Anthony Desclafani got the patented Kapler quick hook after allowing three runs in the bottom of the third. He was yanked and the Giants did little at the plate. Game over.

Camilo Doval Is an All Star

On a much happier note Camilo Doval was named an All Star for the first time in his young career. Gabe Kapler made the announcement under the guise of a meeting about his ability to hold runners on base. It was nice of him and his staff to film the moment:

The Black Monday© Wrap

Let’s not read and over-react. The Giants had a bad road trip but they are nursing too many holes in their roster. They are 46-38 and despite that 2-4 trip after winning ten games in a row on the road, a franchise record, they are still only 3.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are the Division-leaders.

The Giants have averaged 3.2 runs per game in their past ten contests and have achieved a record of 4-6. Casey Schmitt is not hitting when he is getting at bats and sitting for most of the games of late. Luis Matos has cooled at the plate. Players like Brandon Crawford and Wilmer Flores have had the odd big hit but have not picked up the slack lost when Yaz and Conforto went down. The loss of those two players has had a ripple effect in the depth of the line up. What worries me most is how the Giants are managing Schmitt’s playing time. Either he plays nearly every day at short/third/second or he should be playing in Sacto. I think, at this stage of his young career, the Giants would benefit more from him getting at least 2 at bats per game, mix and matchups be damned.

We all know the Giants have severe limitations with their pitching rotation, which is basically Logan Webb, Alex Cobb and pray for three days of rain. That’s not a recipe for success in a long season and nor does it strike fear in the heart of other potential playoff series opponents in the month of October. It appears the Giants are at least two starting pitchers and one big injury away from either going deep in the pennant race or ending their season in oblivion, despite the hot streak of May and June.

One thing for sure: it may be a benefit that the only Giant playing in the Mid-Summer classic is Camilo Doval. Hopefully the rest of the club will get their much-needed rest and perform with some sizzle and wins when the second half begins.

This Week’s Poll

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Coming Soon
Which player should the Giants target in a trade at the deadline?

Results of last week’s poll
For the question, “How many wins will it take to win the NL West we had a tremendous number of voters. Here are the winners:
94 wins, 38%
97 wins, 36%
92 wins, 18%
88 wins, 5%
101 wins, 3%

-Johnny Black Out!