Ugh. What a terrible day for the Giants. Forced to play a double-header because of a rain-out upon arrival in New York yesterday, the Giants went into game one with Alex Cobb on the mound facing the Metropolitans’ Tylor Megill.
The Giants looked out of sorts from the beginning of this one. Cobb gave up a single to Starling Marte, who then advanced on a stolen base and an error, and scored on a wild pitch. Mets 1, Giants 0 on clumsy defense that Marte took advantage of. I hate the leg-out, knee-down pseudo crouch that Joey Bart is in. It allowed at least one run-scoring mistake today.
But in the bottom of the first Joc Pederson homered to tie it. Then the Giants played small ball, with singles by Thairo Estrada, Steven Duggar and Jason Vosler, who earned an RBI in his season debut. Giants 2, Mets 1.
I expected the Giants to lose this one because Megill had been so good in his first two starts. Rather, the Giants touched him up for his first four earned runs of the season. Cobb retired the side in order in the second and the Giants tacked on in the third as Mike Yasztremski singled, Brandon Belt walked and Crawford singled to shallow center scoring both of them. Giants 4, Mets 1.
Cobb looked comfortable pitching a scoreless third and fourth. Things were humming along and the Giants looked good. Then all of a sudden, with no real warning, Alex Cobb was injured. He pulled up unable to throw properly in the fifth. He gave up an infeld single to J.D. Davis. A Fielder’s Choice took Davis of the paths but replaced him with Travis Jankowski at first. Cobb then gave up back-to-back doubles to James McCann and Jeff McNeil, scoring Jankowski and McCann Giants 4, Mets 3
Cobb couldn’t go on. The Giants have placed the 34-year-old starter on the 10-day injured list with a right adductor strain. The Giants didn’t even have anyone warming up. Dominic Leone came in cold and promptly gave up a double to Francisco Lindor, scoring McNeil. Giants 4, Mets 4.
The Giants went on to use five more relievers in the day game. Jose Alvarez, Jake McGee, Tyler Rogers and Camilo Doval held serve and took the Giants to extras. Doval was particularly good under pressure in the ninth. In the 10th, it looked like we had a run scored and the lead with runners in the corners – but replay review overturned the runner safe call at first and the Mets were given a double play to end the 10th without giving up a score. Bummer.
Francisco Lindor knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the tenth – a walkoff single off Jarlin Garcia Mets 5, Giants 4 in 10 innings
Game two had staff ace Logan Webb facing new Met starter Max Scherzer, whom they paid $130 million dollars over the winter to join them. Webb was good til the third when Lindor doubled off him and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Webb then walked Pete Alonso and gave up a double to Eduardo Escobar, scoring Lindor and Alonso. Dominic Smith hit an RBI single to bring Escobar home Mets 3, Giants 0.
Scherzer did not disappoint. He mowed down the Giants, carrying a no-hitter for six and two-thirds innings, before giving up back-to-back walks to Yaz and Belt and then a run-scoring single to Darin Ruf. Mets 3, Giants 1, but the Giants only got one more hit in this game and the scoring stopped there.
Sammy Long, Zach Littell, Jon Brebbia and Yunior Marte all held the Mets scoreless for four and a third innings. There were ten relievers used in the 19 innings the Giants played today. This is all bad news: Cobb injured, every reliever on staff has been used while there are still two more games to be played in New York and one in Milwaukee on the road trip. Hope our starters can go long.
These were well-contested losses though – extra innings in one and just a two-run differential in the other. There were standout performances by the ‘pen throughout the day, which is good, but to walk away with not one, but two losses after all that, was a gut-punch. Trouble is it’s becoming a familiar gut-punch that seems to come with the new scheme.
The Giants play hard and stay in games by keeping them close with sabermetrics and reducing mistakes. But when they lose there is a pattern that points to the reality – we don’t have the big-ticket difference maker that other teams spent on. They spent to get a Francisco Lindor or Max Scherzer or Carlos Correa or Freddie Freeman who beats us.
We, on the other hand, spent less money to have more guys, like a 34-year-old pitcher who strains his adductor in his second start and has to leave the game. I fear we are going to have a depleted bullpen for the remainder of the trip – which could cost us more games that will feel like this: close but no cigar. A lot of the new scheme can be summed up with that old saying. It is a problem of moneyball.
We won 107 games, best record in our history, and then got bounced in the division series. Does anyone really believe this system will end any better than that without a big ticket mercenary at the trade deadline?
Our relievers are getting lots of work and several are having standout performances: Sammy Long, Zach Littell, Jose Alvarez, Tyler Rogers, Camilo Doval, and even Jon Brebbia and Jake McGee are deserving of early season praise. New addition Joc Pederson is swinging the bat well and Brandon Belt is picking up where he left off. Thairo Estrada is the gem of the pack in early days.
We can say that the Giants play well and are competitive despite being absent starters Evan Longoria, Tommy La Stella and LaMonte Wade, Jr. The G-men have fought hard to stay in games and to maintain leads. They have showed patience at the plate and some power. Pederson and Carlos Rondon seem to be very good additions.
Bummer of a day in New York though.