Ugh. This one was reminiscent of gut-wrenching losses we had in April and May, blown by the ‘pen. Alex Wood managed to make it through five innings, Kap turned it over to the parade of guys we’ve been using to some success lately and John Brebbia and Tyler Rogers blew it. Brebbia has not impressed me since we picked him up a few weeks ago. John Brebbia needs to be cycled out.
The bullpen remains the problem.
The Giants led 6-5 entering the bottom of the last frame. Hope Tyler Rogers had fun on his junket to Colorado to hang out with his twin brother at the All-Star game. Because he looked like shit in his first high-profile save situation on the mound. Rogers threw nine balls, walking the first two batters of the bottom of the ninth in a one-run game. Kap left him in when clearly he couldn’t find the zone. He had to – as redditer fungusamongus pointed out – because of the three-batter rule. True. sigh. In the moment, I forgot.
At this point in the season, Jarlin Garcia looks better, Zach Littell has improved a little and Dominic Leone has good moments but is really shaky. The new guy Jay Jackson has been good, but really, we can’t wholly trust the ‘pen to hold a lead. McGee and Rogers are unreliable. Brebbia, Barager, Doval, and others have proven to be trouble.
The Giants took the major-league lead in homers back, now with 142, and surged to a 6-1 lead in this one. The Bums got them all back and more on their last swing of the bat. But really, it’s worse than that. Alex Wood doesn’t seem like he can go five innings without trouble, which means every start we send him out there, our vulnerability, the ‘pen, is a ticking-time bomb.
Weeks ago, I asked Farhan Zaidi to go out and find us a closer. We can eye Starling Marte and Kris Bryant all we want, but our real problem is clear: we do not have a closer and our bullpen is still unsettled and suspect.
Actually, I was looking at it wrong and conveniently forgetting the expensive albatross around our neck that was Mark Melancon.
In a more accurate take a month ago, Jeff Young over at Around the Foghorn wrote:
“Oftentimes, the bullpen is the most fluid area on the roster as teams cycle through relievers, hoping to find ones who can stick. The Giants have already been through this as they traded away Matt Wisler and placed Nick Tropeano on waivers, who was later claimed by the New York Mets.
“This is part of the process and the bullpen appears to be finding its footing. In a lot of ways, the Giants’ current iteration of the bullpen epitomizes how the front office views the construction of this area of the roster. That is, they will get creative as the most obvious solution is the path they will likely not choose. It seems counterintuitive.
“When you think about it, the bullpen is also the most volatile part of the roster. Reliever performance can vary widely from year to year. The Giants will want to remain flexible with the bullpen, meaning that they will not want to tie themselves down to any long-term contracts.” (ed. note: read Jeff Young and Mark DeLucchi at Around the Foghorn – mtk)
Which makes me ask myself, “who sticks?” Uhhh … right now? Nobody. Jarlin Garcia, Jay Jackson, Dominic Littell and maybe Dominic Leone are the only performers bordering on consistency. Tyler Rogers’ unique delivery works great first time through, but it was always going to face attrition as batters see it more. He absolutely needed to be more accurate as the season went on. He needs to develop command. Last night looked like he wasn’t ready to be out there and he just straight blew it. None of those balls were close.
I keep thinking about Susan Slusser’s rumination that Farhan gets Max Scherzer. The logic would be that Alex Wood and Logan Webb would be moved to the bullpen for the 26-man roster of the playoffs. Leading the division may not matter as much as working all this stuff out before the trade deadline.
The Giants have options. The Dodgers, new Sith Lord, have overspent us by $60m and are locked in with a guy who cannot be put on the mound because he is being accused of sexual assault. The Dodgers, who have outspent every single team in both leagues by at least 20% … are exposed.
I come to the realization that right now the division lead is not as important as the trade deadline. The Bums and Pads are stuck with their expensive cars the rest of the way. We have flexibility, lots of money and Farhan at the helm. I will be disappointed if he doesn’t make a move. How rad would it be to get Max Scherzer and Sterling Marte?
This kind of loss is most painful, as we discussed earlier in the season. You stay up late to watch the game, only to get kicked in the balls right before bedtime. Makes it difficult to sleep. But you gotta. And you gotta shake it off.
The Bums now lead the season series 7-4 and trail the Giants by just one game in the NL West with two more to play in Chavez Ravine. These are the last two games the Giants will play in LA this year as we return to Oracle for a three-game series with them next week and for another at the end of the year.
Gotta shake off the loss and get back two wins.
Let’s Go Giants!