In their first two games back against a sub-.500 team they'd dominated so far, the San Francisco Giants looked like they weren't over the All-Star break. Less than usually brilliant starting pitching, throwing and fielding errors, bad at-bats on Friday, more of the same Saturday until the bats perked up, but--real bad omen-- another blown save by Casilla, this time causing the walk-off winning run to come in on a balk. Casilla started the 10th inning up 6-5. He ended it the losing pitcher, 7-6.
The Giants lost both games, with an ailing Johnny Cueto scheduled to start in Sunday's afternoon game after Saturday's evening 10 innings. Not sure who steps in if he can't go since Bochy used Suarez Saturday.
Only silver lining is that the Dodgers lost their tough one on Saturday, so the Giants don't lose additional ground to them. These games probably indicate just a slow second half start, but for all the talk about the Giants being favorites now--especially with their position starters on the mend (though Pence may have had a setback in his first rehab game)-Saturday's ending doesn't quell that nagging suspicion that the Giants don't have the bullpen--especially the closer--to go as far as they'd like. Although the rest of the pen did well on Saturday.
I suppose the speculation starts soon about which rooks the Giants keep after the starters come back. I'm particularly curious about how they evaluate outfielders Williamson v. Parker.
Sunday Update: Cueto pitched, but not so well. The Giants were very nearly no-hit by a guy who was brought up from the minors in the morning, for his last shot as a big league pitcher. It's a nice story of redemption for him, but the Giants were terrible again, as they were all series long and as they are from time to time--in not bringing in those runners on base. Their only hit was a three-run pinch hit homer by Connor Gillaspe. (This kid has a future.) Cueto, Belt, maybe even Posey--some kind of All Star jinx going on.
Once again they lucked out however as the Dodgers lost. But what should have been a tune-up in San Diego turned into being outplayed and swept, and it doesn't get easier. With cross-country travel to Boston and New York, this could turn out to be a disastrous road trip.
The game of the day however was the Pirates beating Washington in 18 innings, 2-1 on Starling Marte's home run. No All Star jinx there, but then he didn't go.
As a result of Durant's decision, apparently Golden State Warriors are to be the league's most hated team, or at least that's what sports media are trying to gin up. From the most loved to the most hated? Because they added another dynamic, exciting, likable star? Makes no sense to me.
This article however makes sense of the new Warriors team v. last year's.
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