The Padres looked a little better than the Giants in every aspect of the game and a lot better at batting. All weekend, their starting pitching was better, their batting was much better, their relievers were better, their fielding was better and their base-running was better.
The first two games were close,(Giants 7, Padres 8 and Giants 1, Padres 2) but the Padres never seemed threatened. Even when they blew the lead Friday night twice it didn’t feel like they couldn’t come back. They have a stacked, confident line-up that damaged Tyler Rodgers and Camilo Doval, among the best of our ‘pen, for two runs each, as required. The Padres bats started game three on Sunday smoking hot.
Alex Wood had six Padres in scoring position in the first two innings Sunday but limited the damage to two runs. Manny Machado doubled, scored and walked. Austin Nola doubled. Jake Cronenworth had a sac fly RBI. Padres 2, Giants 0.
Wood was uneven. The Pads jumped on his sinker and the slider, but he struck out three to keep his start in check. Alex remained uneven to start the third. Wood gave up a single to Eric Hosmer, but then struck out Will Myers. He then induced a pop-up foul out by Luke Voit and a fly out to center by Ha-Seong Kim to end the top of the inning
Meanwhile, MacKenzie Gore cruised through the first two innings, giving up just one hit that he erased with a double-play. He struck out Wilmer Flores in the first and Joey Bart and Luis Gonzalez to close out the third.
Alex Wood walked Nola and then gave up a single to Jose Azocar to start the fourth with two on and nobody out, again. sigh. He fell behind Cronenworth 2-0, but battled it back to a 2-2 count before giving up a massive splash hit foul ball, followed by a hard hit single to right that scored Nola and sent Azocar to third. Wood left in the fourth with nobody out, three earned runs in, and runners in the corners for whom he was responsible. Padres 3, Giants 0.
Manny Machado then doubled in Wood’s other two earned runs off John Brebbia, when Darin Ruf dived for his fast-sinking liner to left and missed. The ball trickled under his outstretched glove allowing Cronenworth to score from first as Manny took second with nobody out. Padres 5, Giants 0.
Brebbia got Jurickson Profar to ground out to third, but then a Hosmer grounder up the first base line was mishandled by Wilmer Flores, who just couldn’t get ahold of it securely as he stumbled down the line and past the bag. The error allowed Machado to take third. Will Myers than smashed a ground rule double that bounced over the cars to left to bring them in and give Brebbia two earned runs of his own.
Brebbia then walked Voit and had a mound visit from pitching coach Andrew Bailey which perhaps helped him pop-up Kim to the infield for the second out and strike out Nola to finally end the top of the fourth, an ugly experience. Padres 7, Giants 0.
Darin Ruf walked and Mike Yastrzemski doubled to give the Giants runners on second and third with no outs. They only managed to plate one run, off a Wilmer Flores sacrifice fly. Padres 7, Giants 1.
Zach Littell came in to pitch the fifth and picked up two quick outs, but then Manny Machado hit a two-out triple to deep right-center and Profar doubled him home. Machado was three for three with two doubles and a triple, with two rbi and having scored three runs. Littell got Hosmer to ground out for the last out, Padres 8, Giants 1.
Thairo Estrada singled and got to second on a wild pitch to start the bottom of the fifth, but the Giants stranded him. MacKenzie Gore struck out Joc Pederson to end the inning. The Padres kept up the hit parade in the sixth. Myers singled, Voit singled on another ball that was tantilizingly close to Darin Ruf’s outstretched glove. Kim doubled to deep left scoring Myers. Azocar sacrificed Voit in on a grounder. Padres 10, Giants 1.
MacKenzie Gore threw a three-up, three-down sixth to end his day. Gore had six strikeouts and gave up just three hits and a run on 90 pitches through six. He was brilliant. Manny Machado doubled again in the seventh. He was four for four with three doubles and a triple. sick. He had an extra base hit off every pitcher in the game to that point. Mauricio Llovera managed to keep him from reaching home.
Craig Stammen threw a perfect scoreless seventh for the Padres on ten pitches. Then Luis Gonzalez pitched for the Giants again and he had a perfect, scoreless eighth on just five pitches, none of which exceeded 50 mph! Giants right fielder Luis Gonzalez had pitched two and a third innings in relief and given up just one hit.
The last time Luis pitched he turned around and hit a homer (off Albert Pujols) in the next inning and today after pitching in the top half of the eighth, he had base hit to lead off the bottom of the frame. Luis likes batting after pitching. Darin Ruf drew another walk. Unfortunately the Giants stranded them both, as newest Giants catcher Mike Papierski struck out swinging to end the inning.
Luis Gonzalez went back out for the ninth, and again, throwing no pitches that exceeded 50mph, he got an out and gave up a deep double to Cronenworth and induced two ground outs. Gonzalez went two innings and gave up just one hit. His fastest pitch was 50 mph. Both the games in which Luis Gonzalez pitched were laughers in which the Giants were down by nine runs. But it begs the question why are we in this situation?
Steven Wilson came in for the Padres and got the save three-up, three-down on eleven pitches.
Final: Padres 10, Giants 1
Swept by the Pads at home, this was an ugly series. We got beat in a gut-wrencher, in a pitching duel and finally in a blow-out. The San Diego Padres are better than the San Francisco Giants right now and it isn’t that close. It doesn’t get easier – the Mets come to town next. I will be there Wednesday for the day game.
Rest up Giants, lick your wounds and shake it off.
Gauntlet II: Giants Hit the Road After Suffering Home Series Sweep by White Sox, Open in Arizona Against MadBum and Lose Big; Have Lost Five Straight and Eleven of Last Fourteen
It was just a terrible end to June, as the Giants finished it winning only two of the last eight games in the month. The Giants lost a three game series to the Reds at home and only split a brace with the Tigers here as well. They then got swept at home by the Chicago White Sox to lose the first three games of the gauntlet of the ’22 season: seventeen games in the first seventeen days of July. ugh.
Now they’ve lost the first four.
The Giants opened up the road trip in Arizona with Carlos Rodón facing our old friend Madison Bumgarner and the game was a wild one. MadBum got tagged early for a couple of runs and then Rodón had two cross the plate to tie it in the bottom half of the first. Giants 2, Diamondbacks 2.
Then the D-backs scored two more as a result of still more Giants errors. The infield without Brandon Crawford and Thairo Estrada was out of sorts. Rodón settled down, but never looked really comfortable. But this wasn’t his fault. Two errors in the first three innings of this one gave Arizona the early lead. Giants 2, Diamondbacks 4.
The Giants got a couple of singles from Evan Longoria and Yermin Mercedes in the fourth, which allowed our third back-up shortstop David Villar to knock in Longo and get the Giants within a run. The Giants are beat up. The guys on the field are thus out of sync and the errors are way up. (49 errors in 77 games) Giants 3, Diamondbacks 4.
Rodón and MadBum went at it, throwing 101 and 100 pitches, respectively, to finish their five innings. The game was turned over to the bullpen, where the Giants didn’t fare better. Tyler Rogers gave up three hits and two earned runs in the sixth, while the Diamondbacks Sean Poppen held the Giants scoreless for the sixth and Joe Mantiply struck out the side in the seventh. Giants 3, Diamondbacks 6.
To add injury to insult, Curt Casali had to leave the game with a strain. Sigh. This put our second-string catcher Austin Wynns behind the plate. To his credit, he drove a single up the middle facing a 3-2 count when he entered for Casali at the plate. But as bad as the Giants were on defense, the D-backs were good. They turned a ridiculous double play in the top of the sixth to retire Wynns and end the inning.
A bright spot in the Giants bullpen was Mauricio Llovera, who had a three-up, three-down seventh on sixteen pitches. Llovera looks good since his return from the 10-day injured reserve. Newest Giant Yermin Mercedes doubled with two outs in the eighth. But second-newest Giant David Villar struck out and couldn’t bring him in this time.
Gabe Kapler left Llovera out for the eighth inning. Hmmm. Here’s where the new mathemagical system seems suspect. The three-batter rule is one thing, but using a reliever for two innings after the fifth on Kap’s staff seems like a decision made on the fly because we don’t have enough consistent, quality relievers; not like a sabermetrics decision. And Kap does it a lot. That feels like a mix of math and guts, um so … wth are we doing?
Tonight Mauricio Llovera got stuck out there in a three-run game and Kapler and the staff just let him die. He popped up Buddy Kennedy, but then gave up a solidly hit single to Josh Rojas. Then an infield single to Carson Kelly on a high chopper that died on the grass near third. Daulton Varsho then ripped a single to right scoring Rojas and Kelly. sigh. Giants 3, Diamondbacks 8.
Arrrrgh. I am getting really tired of being told that decisions are being made on some kind of batter-by-batter, case-by-case, moneyball basis or sabermetric basis when it is painfully obvious it is because this team simply does not have the talent. We are thirteenth in payroll and do not have a consistent team. At all. I am severely disappointed.
The Giants have now lost five straight and eleven of their last fourteen. They have started the gauntlet of seventeen games in the first seventeen days of July by losing four straight. They are an inconsistent group, not only in performance but in terms of who is actually on the field. There is no consistent lineup. I doubt the way the coaching staff uses the 10-day and 60-day injured reserve and doubt the decision-making around the pitching staff.
Kapler and Co. are fading fast and proving that last year was an absolute fluke. Farhan Zaidi seems to have given up and is using the good will of last year’s record-breaking season to justify not spending any money. This team threatens no one.
Well, at least MadBum got a win.