Giants 2019: This Week In Giants 6/16
TUESDAY: 6-5 W vs. SD
WEDNESDAY: 4-2 W vs. SD
FRIDAY: 5-3 W vs. MIL
SATURDAY: 8-7 W vs. MIL
SUNDAY: 5-3 L vs. MIL
SEASON RECORD (thru Sunday): 30-39. 5TH NLW
Yeah, I'm aware it's June and San Francisco is 16.5 games out of first place (occupied by those bums from Los Angeles). They are not going to the playoffs this year. They are unlikely to even finish near .500.
So why am I still writing about them?
Same reason you're still reading about them.
You're a Giants fan and you give a crap, even in bad times.
Not much bad to report on from last week, however. SP Tyler Beede started against the Padres Tuesday and—though not by the statistical measurement—gave the Giants a quality start. (4.2 IP, 4 weak ER, 7 K, 95 P, 96 MPH). His night ended after a prolonged 12-pitch at-bat with All-Star slugger Manny Machado that ultimately ended in a walk.
However, if there's such a thing as an impressive walk, this was it; Machado had to foul off several tough, challenging pitches to stay alive against 26-year-old Beede, who recovered well after allowing a Fernando Tatis Jr. homer on the first pitch of the night. The kid—who even busted out a slider, which he didn't have when he reached MLB—seems to be getting closer and closer to turning the corner and it can't happen too soon for the Giants.
Since his 2-for-2 MLB debut, Shaun Anderson has struck out in all five at-bats, but continues to pitch effectively.
Beede left trailing, but didn't lose because 3B Evan Longoria ripped a two-run, 7th-inning double that left me executing some wild aerobic/spasmic celebration which concerned my nine-year-old daughter.
24 hours later SP Shaun Anderson took the hill against those same pesky Padres; Anderson went six, striking out six and allowing two runs for the win Wednesday. Unfortunately, he's gone from a two-hit debut to looking near hapless at the plate. That's okay, Anderson can go 0-for-the-summer if he continues to build on his 2-1, 3.97 performance to date.
After a long cold stretch—key June 7 hit off Clayton Kershaw notwithstanding—OF Kevin Pillar swung a hot bat during the week, homering off SP Chris Paddack of San Diego on Wednesday, then going 3-for-4 with a go-ahead home run in a tight clash with Milwaukee on Friday (he also managed to somehow uproot second base with a hard slide in the 7th inning Friday...despite Brewers manager Craig Counsell's baseless argument, the replay center ruled Pillar safe).
In Saturday's win, Pillar added two hits and two RBI, somewhat compensating for a two-run error in RF. Mike Yastrzemski's late two-run homer, initially insurance, proved to be the deciding blow Friday, and he followed it up with a game-ending diving catch Saturday.
After, well, colossally stinking, SP Drew Pomeranz recorded his second straight effective start, going 5+ vs. Milwaukee on Friday before turning it over to his relievers. Pomeranz reached 95 with the fastball and attacked with the curve, which sharpened as the game went on. Most importantly, he commanded both sides of the plate. After the win—which the slippery curveball of RP Mark Melancon tried valiantly to blow—Pomeranz is now 2-6, 6.43 in 2019.
3B Evan Longoria pulled on a double-switch? His Rays managers Joe Maddon and Kevin Cash would have been assassinated for doing that in Tampa (if the Rays were NL).
For the week, Will Smith: save, win, save, save (with help from Yaz). In the second save (vs. Milwaukee Friday), Smith whiffed reigning MVP Christian Yelich on four pitches to lead off the inning, which as far as I'm concerned should have counted for all three outs the way that guy's been hitting. Yelich pulled off an Oracle Park first by lining a ball through the RF gates on Sunday—ground-rule double, run saved!
Deposed SP Dereck Rodriguez worked two shutout innings of relief Sunday, making both Yelich and Brewers OF Ryan Braun look silly with curveballs during their at-bats. Again, you make Yelich look that bad, it should count for all three strikes.
MLB PITCH (PREDICTIONS, INFO, TRANSACTIONS, COMMENTARY, HIGHLIGHTS)
Obviously, the biggest MLB news of the week had nothing to do with MLB itself—a group of losers teamed up to kill longtime MLB star David Ortiz via gunshot in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, June 9. Fortunately, Ortiz survived his wounds and just about everyone involved was captured during the week. (Oh, and the shooter got a severe ass-kicking.)
Anaheim's Shohei Ohtani hit for the cycle Thursday...and 24 hours later, Cleveland's Jake Bauers did the same.
San Diego optioned Paddack to Class A, but not necessarily due to performance—the move is designed to limit the rookie's innings while giving SD an available fresh arm.
With help from a fruitless Josh Naylor dive, Colorado's Ian Desmond smoked an inside-the-park home run Friday vs. San Diego.
Speaking of Colorado and San Diego, their four-game series Thursday-Sunday produced 92 combined runs, setting an MLB record (the teams split the series). Rox OF Charlie Blackmon set a new record with 15 hits in the four games; Bill White of the Cardinals was the last to reach 14 back in 1961.
Sean Newcomb was in the third inning of his fourth start of 2019 when injured.
Nearing returns after sitting all season: Justin Upton of the Angels (who's due back Monday 6/17) and both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees (on rehab assignments). Of course, with the Yankees having added slugging Mariners DH Edwin Encarnacion on Saturday, may God help any left-handers facing New York's lineup this summer. New York has played to a 43-27, first-place record even before adding the aforementioned trio.
(Didi Gregorius is hitting .385 in his first week back in the Yankee lineup, BTW.)
Braves SP Sean Newcomb, already off to a wonky start to 2019, took a liner from Phillies C J.T. Realmuto off the back of his dome Saturday; early reports show no concussion, however.
Cleveland's Trevor Bauer added a shutout of Detroit to the CG watch; MLB's total now stands at 23 for the year (19 of nine innings).
How the mighty have fallen: former All-Star closer Cody Allen was let go by the Angels after 2.5 months Sunday. As recently as 2017 the then-Indian was among the very best closers in baseball, and now he's entirely out of a job (though unlikely for very long).
Mets ace Noah Syndergaard tweaked a hamstring and left his Sunday start, soon landing on the IL.
Here's a line you never thought you'd read: playing in Nebraska, Homer Bailey of the Royals threw six scoreless innings to beat Detroit Thursday.
Sources: MLB Network, ESPN, NBC Sports, MLB.com, several television/radio broadcasts and my own personal research