Sorry about the headline, just had to get one of those out of my system and I couldn’t lower myself to a pig pun. So I went the vomit route. Just seemed right, somehow. Yasiel Puig isn’t going away, and it’s hard to imagine how the Dodgers started the regular season without him. But he wasn’t the reason why the Giants lost. The San Franciscans only scored a run, after scoring eight runs in four games against the Marlins. The offense … she is broken.
Besides the starting pitchers doing their job (more or less), there isn’t much to be excited about. The bullpen is still flimsy — Bruce Bochy let Madison Bumgarner start the eighth inning despite throwing 107 pitches through seven, and only brought in George Kontos when forced. Kontos was supposed to throw a slider low and away. Instead he hung it over the middle to Puig, who hit a ball that Brandon Crawford probably would’ve made a play on if the infield wasn’t in.
Crawford wasn’t even supposed to play, but the Giants lost another player. It’s easy to feel like a team is injury-proof on a day like Monday, when Angel Pagan finally surrendered to the world of surgical procedures and Chad Gaudin went on the DL. But Joaquin Arias left early with a hamstring injury of some sort, and Crawford was summoned off the bench.
Crawford’s injured fingers on his right hand were only causing pain during throws, but he looked lost at the plate against the Marlins over the weekend. Would Arias have done better than Crawford with the bases loaded those two times? Who knows, but the bad feelings surrounding this team go beyond a loss on a Monday night in Chavez Ravine. The Giants are now without a real backup shortstop for at least a little while, which means Crawford will have to fight through the pain and regain his timing while playing every single inning for the rest of the season, give or take.
Nick Noonan is now the primary backup shortstop, and he was sent to Fresno after yesterday’s game. Marco Scutaro and/or Tony Abreu could handle the job for an inning or two, but not much longer before Scutaro started making errors or Abreu’s knee caught on fire.
Infield defense was a problem on Monday, at least in the eighth inning. Madison Bumgarner fouled up the throw to first on a Mark Ellis bunt, and Pablo Sandoval couldn’t come up with Brandon Belt’s (fantastic) throw to third to get Puig. But again, only one run scored.
That’s where the loss of Pagan becomes a killer. Despite his erratic play in centerfield and the question of whether he should even be in center to begin with, the lineup is so much more alive when he’s included.
Sounds kind of silly though, when you think about it. The Dodgers have a new “Greek God,” as Jon Miller called him, and the Giants are falling apart without Pagan. That’s the other reason why I chose the stupid headline above: as much as the Giants love their recent past, they wouldn’t mind a Puig of their own.
Next on KNBR: Giants fans call for Brian Sabean to spend whatever it takes to get the next Cuban superstar. Can’t wait!
— Okay, enough reality. Sports is entertainment, and the Giants have a .500 record for at least one more night.
— Here’s Bruce Bochy running like a bratwurst in the Miller Park sausage race:
— “Sure, I’ll just put this piece of body armor in my pocket. Good. Fine. PERFECT.”
— Every time Puig tries to take third, Brandon Belt will throw. Even if the third out has already been recorded.