Greek Giant

The Giants were downed 10-4 last night by the Philadelphia Phillies, a team that sleep-walked through the first half of the season thanks to their 2022 NL Pennant Hangover. They have since found their stride and their line up is downright awesome. In fact, for the Giants assortment of journeymen relievers tasked with facing the Philadelphians, it was not a phair phight.

Bryce Harper hit an inside the park home run thanks to about three dozen miscues during on the play by Wade Meckler, a player out of his league and who was rushed to the Big Leagues too soon. More on that in a minute. Meckler also committed an error on a ball earlier in the game that allowed an extra base for a Phillie and meant the difference for a run scored. In fact, it was a horrible night for the Giants outfield all the way around. Blake Sabol butchered a hard hit ball that should have been caught, earlier in the game.

This was, as stated, a bullpen game for the Giants. It did not go well, even though the Giants jumped to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first and were threatening for much more with the bases loaded and one out. But Aaron Nola, being the ace of the Phils, worked out of the jam and the Giants could not get the big hit. Nola would end up pitching seven innings and getting the win after 100 pitches, 28 of which were thrown in the first inning. That’s what a REAL starting pitcher does. That’s the value of having a starting pitcher who can save your pen and get hitters out after faltering. The Giants should try it some time on nights and days when Logan Webb or Alex Cobb is not slated to pitch.

After that first inning the Giants got a beautiful homer from LaMonted Wade Jr., a solo blast to center, and two garbage-time runs in the ninth. Too little, too late.

The Phillies had big hit after big hit however. Watching these two teams is an abject lesson in totally different talent-levels at the plate.

The Phillies had 16 hits in the game!

Kyle Schwarber hit a home run deep into the second deck that could have hurt someone. It was a baseball hit so hard and so high that it left me stunned. The Phillies hit two other homers.

This is a team that forces pitchers to face Schwarber, Harper, Castellanos, Turner, Bohm and Realmuto on a nightly basis. That’s just not fair. Throw in exciting young players like Sosa and it seems a miracle that the Giants have a comparable record as this Phillies. But of course, we all know the Giants strength is their bullpen and two-man starting rotation.

Wade Meckler is over-matched at the plate and needs to to back to Sacto asap. He was in the starting line up last night presumably because he hits from the left side. But frankly, it was a bad move by Gabe Kapler. Luis Matos should have started. I imagine at some point in his young career as a Minor Leaguer and Big Leaguer Matos might have faced a righty pitcher. It would have been the wise move defensively and offensively to keep him in center and say “F*ck you to the bogus analytics matchup bible” but that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

Gabe Kapler was roundly booed by the Philly Phaitfhul when he pulled Scott Alexander. I never booed a player or a Manager in my life but last night I would have been tempted too!

Now, about the youth movement: I’m cool with it in principle but if you are going to rush a young kid like Meckler you better have a clue about his ability in the MLB Show. Some of the aggressive promotions seem to smack of desperation and are not working out. The risk is that a young player’s ruined through mismanagement before he develops fully. The bright side is very bight but the dark side is too risky.

Remember all those years clamoring for the Giants to promote and play more rookies? Be careful what you wish for, a very wise old baseball sage, once told me.

The Giants are in that in-between stage of trying to reap the rewards of young talent while playing a variety of guys who will be out of baseball in one or two seasons. Their names shall go un-mentioned but we know who they are and we know they cannot stack up against a line up like Philadelphia’s or Atlanta’s. The question is this: How long does Farhan Zaidi get to prove to Giants fans he is a genius? So far the results show that we are stuck in the purgatory of mediocrity.

Tonight’s Game

It’s Kyle Harrion in his Big League debut against Taijuan Walker. First pitch is at 6:40 PM.