Every game in Atlanta was close. The Giants competed hard and had a chance to win all four games, not just the high-scoring one they took by two runs. It was a good series and I was proud of our guys, but I couldn’t help getting the feeling of déjà vu. I had seen us losing like this before, most recently in the NLDS last year against the Dodgers – which prompts me to feel concern for the system again.
The Atlanta Series Scores
Giants 1, Braves 2 – great pitchers duel between Max Fried and Logan Webb. Lost in ninth by our ‘pen
Giants 12, Braves 10 – We use seven pitchers and our bullpen holds. With Brandon Belt starting, the offense wakes up and we beat their ‘pen.
Giants 3, Braves 4 – a brilliant Carlos Rodón start is wasted, as Jake McGee gets jacked for three runs in the ninth to lose the game
Giants 6, Braves 7 – Alex Wood implodes in second inning. Mike Yasztremski goes 0-5, with four strikeouts in the leadoff spot. um. Kap? Why?
This could have easily gone the other way each night. But it didn’t. Atlanta had just enough more bullpen, just enough more batting and better starters. At $150 million for the 26 guys they have on the field, the Braves are eighth in active payroll and spend $33 million more than the Giants.
Is that $33 million the difference between us winning this series or losing it? I don’t know, but the historical results of moneyball beg the question.
Why it matters
The Dodgers and Padres are tearing it up. The chances of us winning the west dwindle each month. This means we are playing for a wildcard. This puts us in direct competition with the Braves for a better record. Losing the first series 1 – 3, adds pressure to the home series, which we now have to sweep.
Alex Wood got shellacked in the second, which effectively turned game four into a bullpen game. The Giants battled all the way back from a 1 – 6 deficit, but weren’t able to turn the corner. Their bullpen was just better than ours. Kenley Jansen was just a bit better than Camilo Doval. Their starter Max Fried in game one was just a bit better than our Logan Webb. It all felt so close – which is getting frustrating.
By contrast, Anthony DeSclafani only went three innings and we used seven pitchers in game two. We won the bullpen battle in that one. But it wasn’t a bullpen game. It was a poor Disco start. We need a definition for “bullpen game.” for the purposes of Giants Baseball Corner let’s say a bullpen game is any game where the scheduled starter goes less than three innings. GBC does not count Disco’s start as a bullpen game.
Bullpen Games Record
The Giants are 3 – 5 in bullpen games. Or maybe they are 4 – 4.
Luis Gonzalez was out after game one and had to go to the ten-day injured reserve. He has been the Giants most consistent bat, and best for average some weeks. His absence hurt. But this guy is just a rookie. It feels wild that we depended on a rookie so much that his absence mattered against the champs.
It was Disco’s first start in a month. Um. ok.
2022 National League West Standings
The Braves are (41 – 30).
The Brewers are (40 – 32).
The Phillies are (37 – 34).
I keep thinking Farhan Zaidi must make some big movement at the trade deadline that will be meaningful. That would make everything make a lot more sense.
Giants are home again aginst the Reds and Tigers this week. We need to grab wins against the teams like these that are under .500. Sweeps aren’t imperative, but they are getting more necessary. Sweep the Reds!
Sweep the Reds!