Johnny Black

What a wet sock this past weekend has been for the boys in orange and black. First, they lose two games in a row in 11 innings, the latter of which was a loss after blowing a five-run lead. Second, Sunday’s game gets postponed because of bad weather forecasting. At least the Giants did not get swept by the Tigers! Honestly, I don’t know where to begin with this freak show of a baseball club. The Giants have now lost six of their last eight games, and four of five to the Royals and Tigers combined. For a team that’s supposed to hover around .500 and maybe dream of a postseason run, that’s not going to cut it.

Since we are only through 14 games It’s important not to panic. Let’s, for the moment, take a gander at the records of some other teams:

Astros 7-9
Phillies 6-10
Cardinals 7-9
Dodgers 8-8

The top two teams on this list played in the World Series last year. The other two are supposed to be contenders for the Fall Classic. I know, it’s a tired cliche, that old “It’s early” chime when your team fails but in the case of the Giants, these first fourteen games with a record of 5-9 appear to portend a long, sad-sack season that may spell the end of the Zaidi-Kapler era. Since Dr. Lefty was on assignment in Barcelona, I am tasked with covering Friday’s game so let’s go!

Friday’s Game

Just when you thought Giant losses couldn’t get any uglier after the home opener stinker against the Royals, this game happens. The 7-5, 11-inning loss hurt for many reasons including the fact that the winning three-run, walkoff homer by Nick Maton came on a 3-0 count, two outs, and a 97 mph fastball from Camilo Doval, who was pitching in his second inning trying to secure a win after the Giants brought home a run in the top of the inning. Until the seventh inning, the Giants were 1-10 with runners in scoring position but tied the game dramatically on a three-run homer in the top of the eight inning by J. D. Davis over the right field wall.

After Thairo Estrada led the game off with a homer, the first such long ball of his career, the Giants were cruising until the Tigers bounced back to take a 4-1 lead heading into the eighth. There was a miscue by Jonathan Villar trying to get an out at third that did not happen when a simple play to first was in order. There was a short, 3 1/3 inning outing by Sean Manaea and a thirteen more strikeouts by Giant hitters. It adds up to a recipe for a loss against a Detroit Tigers team that has all the appearances of a 95-loss season.

Saturday’s Game

If you thought Friday’s game was a bummer then I cannot imagine how you felt after watching Saturday’s crapfest. I can tell you one thing: I felt a sense of doom once the Giants took a 6-1 lead and Anthony Desclafani, who pitched a lovely game going 5 2/3 innings and allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits was removed. The bullpen disappointed as the Tigers kept chipping away at the lead. The Giants? Well their bats disappeared after the third inning.

The Giants took a 6-1 lead with two runs in each of the first three innings. J. D. Davis had an RBI single in the first and Matt Beaty followed with an RBI groundout. Blake Sabol made it  a4-0  game with a two-run homer in the second before Detroit’s Kerry Carpenter hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning.

J. D. Davis would then hit a two-run home run and again, it looked like the Giants were cruising…

Anthony DeScalfani should have been out of the sixth with a 6-2 lead, but back-to-back errors by Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford allowed the Tigers to get a third run. Desclafani was undone by those errors. Throw in a mis-play on a liner to left by Blake Sabol in which he twisted and turned, danced and fell like a ballerina on LSD trying to imitate a pretzel and you get a Tigers comeback. The Giant bats were silent in extras and then Miguel Cabrera singled through a draw in infield, up the middle, in the bottom of the 11th inning, to win the game in front of what appeared to be a crowd of around 3,109 fans.


Thank God yesterday’s game was rained out!

The Wrap

Heading into this week’s series in Miami that begins tonight, the Giants will have to find themselves. I have a lot of quesions…

By that I mean, what team is this? Are they an offense-first, American League-style scoring machine built in Farhan Zaidi’s likeness? It appears that’s what the head honcho wants anyway. It also appears that Zaidi and Kapler are hell-bent on sticking to their defensive swap, platton-crazy approach to hitting/defense with an emphasis on hitting first. If that is the case the big question I have is when will they realize the philosophy is not working? When will they realize sticking Brett Sabol in left field in critical late-inning situations is a recipe for disaster, etc.?

What about Brandon Crawford? How on Earth is it possible that BCraw, the greatest Giant shortstop ever, can make three errors in one game? His third miscue was insanely scored a hit but, trust me Giant fans, it was an error. With his continued tepid hitting will these defensive miscues be a signpost of his impending washed-upness? Oh goodness gracious me, I hope not. I cannot imagine the Giants with a “bad” Brandon Crawford at short. I just can’t!

As of press time the Giants were tied for 20th in runs scored for all of MLB and 18th in ERA, two very underwhelming stats. This team strikes out too much. This team has no ace to speak of. This team has serious bullpen issues, as exhibited this weekend and last week.

Taylor Rogers needs an exorcist.

The Giants may need to burn this whole project down and start fresh, beginning with a new GM and Manager. This is year five of the Zaidi era and so far it’s not going well…