The Giants are not very good this year, sitting above only the Phillies in the National League. They’ve gotten old, though Madison Bumgarner is young enough to get hurt riding a dirt bike. *Clearly,* it’s the disruptive Mark Melancon’s fault, or that they don’t have Angel Pagan around to all hate. The Giants actually got their first sweep of the season this week, taking three from the Rockies. That brought their June record all the way up to ... 8-18.
The Pirates (37-42) survived two of three from a solid Rays team, and almost (perhaps should have) stolen Monday’s game for a sweep.
Friday, 7:05 p.m. - Johnny Cueto (5-7, 4.20 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (6-6, 4.11), TV: Root
Saturday, 4:05 p.m. - Matt Moore (3-8, 6.04) vs. Chad Kuhl (2-6, 5.58), TV: Root
Sunday, 1:35 p.m. - Jeff Samardzija (3-9, 4.63) vs. Trevor Williams (3-3, 4.82), TV: Root
30-51 (31-50 Pythag, 3.84 RS/G, 5.04 RA/G)
The Giants are second-worst in Major League Baseball in runs per game, besting only the mighty Padres. Per fWAR, their position players rank 26th as a group, at 4.6. Buster Posey is still quite good (.344/.422/.529, 10 HR), and Brandon Belt (.228/.341/.442, 14 HR) is fine, particularly considering the Giants’ power-unfriendly park. Jae-Gyun Hwang, a 29-year-old Koran third baseman, has been called up. There’s not much else to get excited about, though, just Denard Span and Hunter Pence going downhill without a lot else around them. Old friend Gorkys Hernandez has gotten 162 plate appearances out of this team, giving them a .225/.311/.289 line.
I already mentioned Madison Bumgarner’s out. He’s scheduled for a rehab start on Friday. Jeff Samardzija (10.03 K/9, 1.11 BB/9, 4.63 ERA, 3.38 FIP) seems due for some better luck, and Johnny Cueto (8.31 K/9, 2.50 BB/9) and, to a lesser extent, Matt Moore (7.66 K/9, 3.53 BB/9) seem alright by their peripherals. The bullpen gave them fits early on. Mark Melancon just went on the disabled list with a right pronator strain. Sam Dyson, who got dumped by the Rangers, is now the closer. Hunter Strickland and George Kontos have issued some walks, but also been fairly solid.
If the Pirates want to get in the NL Central race, they should probably go and beat the Giants at least twice this weekend. Of course, even the worst teams can look good in a given series, and the Giants have the pieces to be better than they’ve been. Also, it’s baseball.
Gigantic Predictions: How does this series go?
This poll is closed
Pirates rule, Giants drool! Pirates sweep.
Quiet down everyone, Giants sweep.