Coming out of the gate after the All-Star game break, the San Francisco Giants swept their three game series at Arizona, including a 5 hour epic that used a record 10 pitchers. That extends a pre-break winning streak to 6 games, and two sweeps. Good!
Coming out of the break, the Pittsburgh Pirates were swept in Milwaukee. This team has a history of stuttering if not stopping in the second half of the season. Bad!
The ugly was a serious injury to the Pirates' starting shortstop Jordy Mercer. It sounds like it may have ended his season, though that's not yet confirmed.
Also not pretty but not as bad by comparison was the minor injury to Giants catcher Andrew Susak. He's on the 15-day DL by which time he's expected to be fine. But he'd been hitting very well lately and stoking hopes that he could platoon behind the plate more often, getting Buster Posey in an upright position playing first base. His injury also may complicate trade possibilities before the deadline for Hector Sanchez, the backup catcher he replaced and who is now replacing him. The Giants carry only two catchers.
The Pirates getting batted around in Milwaukee may not be as bad as it seems, since the Brewers were already on a hot streak. It doesn't get any easier for them however, as they next play last year's American League champs at Kansas City.
The Giants will test that Brewer's streak when they come into SF next week but first they go to San Diego, where the Padres have recently awakened. On Sunday, the Padres experienced only their second rain-out in the history of their ball park, as remnants of Pacific hurricane Delores deluged southern California. The Angels game was also called.
And then there's a really hard month of baseball for the Giants as they play a string of contenders, often away. So could be good, could be bad, and it could be ugly.
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