Greek Giant

Duboning: When an ex-Giant, fringe player, comes back to have a great game against his old team and basks in it, rubs it in the Giants’ faces as Giants suffer a loss in ex-Giants new home ballpark.

First, let me get this out of the way immediately: Mauricio Dubon was never going to be a star with the Giants. Just,.. no. Between his mis-use as an outfielder and the pressures of playing for your hometown team, it was just not going to happen. As a Giant, Mauricio Dubon was expendable and expended he was.

Second, Last night the Giants got Duboned (see definition above) by the Mauricio Astros, 7-3 in Houston. In that Duboning, Mauricio went 3-5 with two runs batted in and two runs scored. He looked like an All-Star and his quotes after the game revealed his animosity for how he was, according to him and reading between the lines, treated in San Francisco and how happy to be an Astro and defending World Series champion.

Yes, Mauricio Dubon is that ex-girlfriend you got rid of only to wind up with a more handsome, cooler and richer guy than you will ever be. At least last night, anyway.

Once Again, the Giants Lose the Lead

It was a bad night for the Giants. It was also their fourth loss in a row and it lowered their record to 11-17. Ouch! Once again, the Giants took an early lead, this time 2-1 on a Joc Pederson home run to right.

But that lead was to evaporate once Ross Stripling, the Giant starter, left the game after the fifth inning. After Taylor Rogers secured two outs in the sixth Sean Hjelle recorded the last out of the inning by inducing a pop up the Giants were tied with the Astros 2-2 going into the sixth. Both teams were held scoreless in that frame. After the Giants wen three up, three down in the top of the seventh the bottom of the inning saw the Astros go ahead and put the game away with a five-run frame that came through a combination of seeing-eye grounders, bloopers and a hard smash that ate up shortstop Thairo Estrada.

The death by a thousand cuts, good baserunning and bad bullpening killed the Giants on this night. Of course, in the bottom of the seventh, Maurico Dubon doubled in the go-ahead run. He also tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the fifth inning off Ross Stripling, who in fact pitched a decent game against one of the best, if not the best line up on the Planet Earth. Stripling located his offspeed pitches very well throughout and outside the strike zone. He also varied the speeds of the same pitches and kept the Astros off balance for most of the night. I have been clamoring for Stripling to get a few more turns in the rotation all season long. Hopefully this will be a good sign of things to come.

The Zaidi Pitching Experiments with Manaea and Stripling Have Failed

For the life of me, I have no idea why Zaidi and Co decided to re-program season veteran pitchers like Stripling and Sean Manaea into swing men and long relievers as they begin their Giant tenures. That experiment has been an unmitigated disaster and last night’s start by Stripling shows us why, unless you are in the World Series or the League Championship Series, it’s best to keep starting pitchers as starting pitchers. A Major Leaguer cannot just change roles over night for no apparent reason other than the arrogance of the GM and Manager. A player needs to know his role and inhabit it to best suit his skills and experience. No amount of smartest-guy-in-the-room analytics-drivel strategizing will change that.

LaMonte Wade Jr. Is in a Groove

One bright spot on the night was LaMonte Wade Jr. He singled to lead off, homered in the top of the eight inning and had a solid game at first base making a few scoops at critical times. His play at first has been mostly very good. He came into the game with the best OPS of all leadoff hitters in baseball at 1.000. That went up last night.

The homer was a beauty and it was the lefty’s sixth of the season.

Roster Moves

The Giants announced a few roster moves before last night’s game.

BCraw’s age is catching up with him. Yaz suffered his injury in Mexico City on the fateful hit on Sunday. I don’t know who Cal Stevenson is but I want to wish him a hearty welcome to The Show.

Tonight’s Game

Game two of the series against the Astros in Houston begins at 7:10 PM, Space City time. The pitching matchup will be Desclafani versus Brown.