Greek Giant

With yesterday’s 8-2 loss to the Mets to end the three-game series on a sour note the Giants are now 0-5 in Blake Snell’s spot in the rotation so far this season. The problem with this stat is that Snell has only pitched in three of those games. Yesterday he was placed on the Injured List with a strained Adductor muscle and is expected to miss at least two weeks. What more could go wrong with Snell’s tenure in San Francisco?

Remember Sean Manaea? He of the big black wavy hair? He was the Giants spot starter and long man out of the bullpen last year, a season in which he was thoroughly mis-used by Gabe Kapler. This year he pitches for the Mets and yesterday he shut out the Giants in his 4 2/3 innings of work, besting Giants emergency starter Ryan Walker who only pitched one inning. The game was scoreless in the bottom of the second when the Giants loaded the bases with nobody out after two walks and a single, Manaea struggling with his control and Thairo Estrada at the plate. I was licking my chops and dreaming of a sweep just like you were, Giants fans….


Instead Estrada popped out to first base on the first pitch he saw. That calamity was followed by a pop out to second by Fitzgerald and a fly out to center by Ahmed. No runs scored. Pathetic execution.

The Mets would go on to score two in the top of the third (who says there is no such thing as momentum in baseball?), a run in the fourth and three in the fifth before the Giants pushed across a run in the bottom of the seventh inning. The game would end 8-2 as I mentioned but the big moment was that bottom of the second inning for the Giants. The boys in orange and black were bested by Francisco Lindor’s two two-run homers and other heroics by Mets bats, all against a crew of middle relievers on the Giants staff that have the following ERAs after yesterday’s outings:


That 2.45 belongs to Taylor Rogers. The rest, despite relatively small sample sizes are simply terrible and perhaps the biggest weakness of the Giants this season.

I have written twice lately on the importance of being aggressive at the plate and going up to look for your pitch to hit on the very first pitch and throughout the at bat till you get to two strikes when you must become a defensive hitter. The Giants have had an epidemic of taking first pitch meatballs and striking out looking this year. They are one of the worst teams in the Bigs on both counts. But the key to being aggressive is you must also be smart and that means when the pitcher just walked two guys you absolutely do not swing at the first pitch unless it is right down the middle. Alas, Estrada…

Anyway, The Blake Snell injury is a big bummer and delays Snell’s contributions to the Giants. After reading quite a few comments and scuttlebut around the Internet I have come to understand that Snell has a history of being a slow starter, showing up in Spring Training out of shape, and generally not doing well to start the season. One would think that a pitcher who just won the Cy Young, makes $30 million per season and is beginning a career with a new team would be motivated to put his best foot forward, get in shape and impress. That has not happened and now my Blake Snell fandom is losing its enthusiasm faster than you can say “Adductor Muscle”.

How ironic is it that the Giants were bested by one of their castoffs, a player they so thoroughly mis-handled in terms of his role as a pitcher on the same day the new shiny Blake Snell toy was supposed to pitch? Who says the Baseball Gods don’t have a sense of humor??!!

The bummer about this game is not only did the Giants lose Snell but they also lost a chance to reach .500 and sweep the Mets. This was a game that could have kept their momentum going. Instead it was a disaster.