Greek Giant

A Pattern of Surrendering Leads

That headline is already outdated!

At press time I thought the Giants were 5-10 but after last night’s loss their 5-11!


For the second straight night the Giants jumped out to a two-run lead. For the second straight night they were undone by a clutch homer. In last night’s 4-2 loss to the Marlins Jazz Chisholm, the dynamic, brilliant and exciting Marlin center fielder, hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning off Jakob Junis and his slurvysoup ball pretty much right down the middle. Jakob Junis would surrender six hits and three runs in 2 2/3 innings of emergency relief work.

Junis was pitching because Alex Wood sustained an injury making a fantastic play on a bunt by Jean Segura in the bottom of the third inning. The injury was described as a left hamstring strain. The pain was visible in Wood’s face after the play. Manager Gabe Kapler and Trainer Dave Groeschner promptly removed Wood from the game and I agree with the move. Unfortunately the game for the Giants turned for the worse after that.

The boys would jump to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to a single by Thairo Estrada who would then steal second base with Yaz at the plate. On the next pitch Yaz smashed a homer to right field off Marlin starter Edward Cabrera.

The problem, for the Giants, was that Cabrera was dominant after that inning and would not allow another run in six innings of super starting pitching, recording eight strikeouts while allowing six hits.

The Marlins scored their first run on a sac fly by Berti that plated Marlins catcher Jacob Stallings. The play was a close one as Yaz made an excellent one-hop throw to Bart at home. Bart’s tag was a fraction of the second after the slide and score. It was a thrilling play and very, very close.

The Giants would strike out twelve more times in this game and record only seven hits.

Where do the Marlins find all these amazing starting pitchers?

Like in Detroit, the pattern is this: Giants jump to a lead. Offense takes the rest of the game off. The bullpen surrenders the lead and gets the loss.

The Giants are now 5-10 and appear to be worse than their record. They are playing just bad enough to lose, against poor teams no less. However, the Marlins appear to be a team with some sizzle and fight and downright super duper starting pitching. Remember, this is the team with last year’s Cy Young Sandy Alcantara and the Giants are not going to face him the series!

A Tale of Two Approaches to Baseball

In fact, I would say this game was an illustration of vastly different approaches to building a ballclub and playing baseball: The Marlins, are young, athletic, with sterling starting pitching and they know how to make things happen on the bases. They can play defense too. Did you see Jazz Chisholm rob Yaz of extra bases later in the game?

The Giants, in contrast, are a team built and managed in the American League, homer-first philosophy of offense at the expense of every other strategic move, including hitting singles to drive in a run, protecting the plate and weakening defensive positions just to set up matchups at the plate with hitters who swing for the fences every time and fail more than they succeed. I’ve always believed that type of homer-happy offensive philosophy fails against good pitching more than it succeeds. The Yankees continued postseason failures are a testament to this.

Did I mention too that the Giants are also, “unathletic” and, to be fair, suffering from the injury bug with Haniger and Slater still out?

Today’s Game

The Giants play the series finale in a day game in Miami today. First pitch is at 1:10PM. It will be Alex Cobb against Trevor Rogers.