Well, here we are. By all rights and accounts, this week should have been the one where it all turned around. The Giants #BeatLA two out of three times to win their first series since April 12th. Any week that starts out with two wins against the hated Dodgers is going no where but up right? Wrong. After a night off, the Orange and Black traveled to the Great American Ballpark. While the park might be great for the Reds, there is nothing remotely great for San Francisco. Cincinnati has dismantled Giants pitchers to the tune of 27 runs in the first two of a three game series.
The Giants offense, on the other hand, has only managed five. Ouch.
But, the greatest of all epic journeys always begin with hardships. This is how ours begins.
Giants fans are all too familiar with torture. Each week in this report, we’ll break down what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and what needs fixing right now. Welcome to:
Giants Torture Report: Week Five
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It became glaringly apparent this week that this is not a team that can suffer through injuries. In the not-so-distant past, when players went down, there was a ready stable of capable replacements to back them up. Angel Pagan gets hurt? No problem, plug in Gregor Blanco. Need a replacement in the infield? Plug in a Matt Duffy and breathe. That flexibility does not exist in 2017. Left field has seen more occupants than a Coachella port-a-potty. The hole that Brandon Crawford has left at short stop is too big for the likes of Eduardo Núñez to fill. Sad to say, but even Christian Arroyo, the Kid, as good as he has been, is no gold glover.
By no means is any of this a knock on the farm system which has provided future hall of famers for years now. No, if anything, this is just a product of a lack of familiarity and continuity in a young season. New faces are being thrust into a tough situation. They are being asked to save a sinking ship full of holes, all the while new ones are popping up at an alarming rate.
Make no mistake, the season is on the line here. I know, right now you’re screaming at the screen that, “it’s only May!” And you’re right. But if the ship does not get righted soon, all will be lost. Very soon, this could become a season no one will want to remember.
It would be easy to tee off on this team and harp on every single shortcoming. Believe me when I say, there are a lot. Instead, the ugly this week stems from the feeling of defeat radiating throughout the clubhouse. The slumped shoulders, the thousand yard stares, very few up on the dugout engaged in the game. You see it at the plate, you see it in the field. Even in victory, it’s still there. Don’t get me wrong, there is still some hustle. But, the shovels of dirt are being piled higher on their graves with each loss. This team is in dire need of a rally thong, a Hunter Pence inspirational speech, something, ANYTHING, to get their swagger back.
Giant’s fans have been spoiled for the last seven years. No mater the situation, they have witnessed a team strut onto the field with confidence. Even if they were losing, they still carried the attitude that they were better than the other team. And they had the rings to prove it. But, we are now three years removed from the last one. The even year magic has been broken. Somehow, the 2017 G-men will have to forge an identity, one that can bring back the confidence. And they have to do it soon, before it gets even uglier.
Stat of the week: Out of 59 total innings played this week, the Giants have been held scoreless in 47 of them.