Wednesday, September 14, 2016

NL West W L GB
LA 81 63 - The only good news here.
GIANTS 77 67 4 This can't go on.
Wild Card W L GB
GIANTS 77 67 - A win today may be too late.
New York 77 68 - Roark against a rookie.
St Louis 76 68 .5 Won't be eliminated just yet.

Giants lost to San Diego, blowing a 4-1 lead by surrendering five runs in the ninth.
LA lost at Yankee Stadium as CC Sabathia pitched a shutout.
New York and St Louis turned the tables on their division leaders, each winning a close game. The Cards staved off any possible elimination at the hands of the Cubs in this series. 

Giants try to salvage one win out of this "must win" (ha!) series, with Madison Bumgarner on the mound. Rookie Luis Perdomo opposes; you won't remember he was the guy who started the game back in July that ended with a Santiago Casilla balk-off loss. If any game can be said to have begun the Giants' slide into disappointment, that was the one.  It's a 12:45 PM PDT (3:45 EDT) start.
LA finishes up in New York as Clayton Kershaw gets his second start since coming off the DL.
New York concludes the series at Washington, and St Louis finishes up with Chicago before boarding a plane for SFO. All these are afternoon starting times.

Last Night's Game
What's to say? An opponent 20 games to the bad, the division leader losing, a good start by Alberto Suarez, and four runs from the batters. Four is enough to win most of the time, and with less than 20 games left in the season, maximum  motivation, good news on the scoreboard, and an inferior (inferior?) opponent on the ropes, how can you not win?  Well, the stat line reads: single, strikeout, single, single, walk, RBI groundout, three-run homer.  What it doesn't tell you is the RBI groundout, with the Giants leading 4-2 and men on first and third, by all rights should have been a game-ending double-play ball. But Hunter Strickland, trying to close it out, deflected it just enough that Joe Panik's only play was to first. Two on, two out, and the closer-by-committee plan dictated a left-hander, Steve Okert, come in to face the lefty-swinging rookie slugger Ryan Schimpf. That didn't work so well, but it did provide for some additional statistical madness as Strickland gets both the loss and the Hold (!!!) but misses out on the blown save. Okert gets that.

Perhaps seeing a losing pitcher also credited with a "Hold" will awaken the somnambulists who created this rule, and force them to make it mean what it means. Perhaps.

Anyway, that's 27 blown saves for the Giants, tied for the major-league lead, and it seems all of them have come since July 15. At this point, any talk of "turnaround" games and "wake-up calls" and the like seems fairly comical. There was Matt Moore's almost-no-hitter three weeks ago-- that was supposed to get the pot boiling. Then there was the Arizona revival this past weekend-- surely that lit the fire in the collective belly. Nope. The Giants are likely to lose out on the postseason altogether, and it won't be like 2009, 2011, and 2013. We've seen them come from behind, and we've seen them fall out of contention in September, but we really haven't seen the San Francisco Giants collapse down the stretch like this since... well, since at least 2004, and that actually wasn't much like this, except for one thing. That team had a bullpen full of budding arsonists, too.

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