Wednesday, June 29, 2016

When the Wheels Came Off

What happened to the San Francisco Giants in their two games hosting the Oakland A's was shocking but perhaps not so surprising.  That Jeff Samardzjia was ineffective again on Monday is troubling enough, giving up 6 of the A's 8 runs.
But much worse on Tuesday, when Suarez started and pitched well, the bullpen fell apart completely. .  The bullpen gave up all but one of Oakland's 13 runs. They gave up multi-run leads three times. The Giants actually outhit the A's but what killed their chances was walks.  The failures included this year's two most reliable relievers, Cory Gearrin (who walked the first two batters in the eighth, when the Giants lost a 3 run lead) and closer Casilla (who let a one run lead for the As balloon to 4.)

No matter how carefully Bochy has managed this bullpen, it has been stretched, and so a total meltdown, while it wasn't inevitable (and certainly wasn't pretty), wasn't against the odds.

Then the series moved to Oakland and the Giants incredibly found another way to lose--with an epidemic of errors and bad plays.  The makeshift infield was probably due, but the outfield?  Matt Williamson had a terrible day in the field and at the plate, but he's a rook.  It was Angel Pagan in left, who had one of those games he used to have in center field.  Is there a more schzoid player on the Giants?  He's been the hero with timely hits and some dazzling catches.  But on Wednesday he was just plain sloppy.  He so clearly cost Jake Peavy the game that even Peavy was visibly and audibly angry.

As if all that wasn't bad enough, since the series started the Giants have lost two more players to injuries.  Another infield starter, Joe Panik, began experiencing concussion symptoms from a fastball to the head several games ago.  He's on the five day DL.  Now the promising infield replacement, rook Pena, got stomped on in a collision with Williamson in the field, and is out for an undetermined time.

The Giants already had to bring up Ruben Tejada, who they acquired and sent to the minors where he has been less than impressive, and his first day in the field was not good either.  Kelby Tomlinson is starting to play in his recovery regime in the minors but he's not yet available.

Is it surprising then that for the last game of this series in Oakland, the Giants aren't using a DH--Madison Bumgarner is pitching, and he's hitting.  He's one injured player away from being asked to play third base.

The sort of good news is that while the Giants have lost three straight, the Dodgers have lost two of three.  

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