The Giants at Wrigley Field: what the heck, man?
What an awful place for them. I know, I know, the Cubs are in a golden age and the Giants are in a rusted-out age. But still, there’s no way the Giants should go 3-15 in a five-year stretch there. Come on. Throw a homeboy a 6-12, at the very least. Humor me.
At any rate, the painful sweep capped by Thursday’s 1-0 loss in which Jeff Samardzija was fantastic and lost, just hours after the bats clobbered four home runs, scored 11 runs and lost, is cause for reflection:
Does this pretty much put a fork in the Giants’ admittedly-long shot-to-begin-with NL wild card hopes? And if so, should we start thinking about the 2020 Giants?
And the biggest question of all: Has Farhan Zaidi done enough in his first nine months on the job to convince you the Giants will be any good in 2020?
I’ll take ‘yes’, ‘yes’ and ‘yes’ across the board, sports fans.
Of course, the Giants could get hot, win nine in a row and be back in the mix for a mid-September. But whenever I think about that, I look at their starting rotation — “Bum and Shark/And then it gets dark” — and come back to reality.
So, 2020 comes into sharper focus.
Farhan’s mission when he took over the team last November was pretty simple: Overhaul the damn thing. Re-stock an empty minor league cabinet. And by some sort of miracle, try to be not totally embarrassing in Bruce Bochy’s swan song.
Got that, MIT dude? Pretty easy, right?
From the looks of it, Farhan is on his way to good things, pretty much acing things so far like it’s a math exam in high school.
And this comes from a Jock Blogger who wondered what in the name of Connor Joe and Mike Reed was this guy *doing* in the spring?? We came to find out he was searching, frantically, for outfielders who could play.
Then he traded Derek Law and Alen Hanson for Kevin Pillar, who injected competitive blood into the Giants sickly bodies. Then he traded a guy named Tyler Herb (!) to the Orioles for Mike Yastrzemski, who has been the runaway hit of 2019. Then he traded a guy named Franklin Van Gurp (!!!) to the Padres for Alex Dickerson, who sparked both a July renaissance and the greatest dugout chant in Giants history.
We came to find out that Farhan was working his rear end off to find guys. Connor Joe, Mike Reed, Mike Gerber, Cameron Maybin, Yangervis Solarte … these would just be the names he’d sift through before finding guys. As in, Guys, capital ‘G’.
Throw in a Donovan Solano, a Fernando Abad and a Trevor Gott and you came to find out that Farhan had an eye for unknown talent. Moreover, he’d procure said talent without giving up anything at all, really.
Now you look at the minor leagues and see Mauricio Dubon. And Jaylin Davis. Add in the best part of Bobby Evans’ regime (Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos, Marco Luciano) and you start to think that the 2020s might . . . not . . . be . . . that bad?
The fact that I was dialed into a late August game in Chicago, given the Giants were 12 games under .500 on June 1 is sort of a mini-miracle. Farhan, and Bochy’s fantastic managing of moving parts and bullpen arms, made that happen.
It gives you hope that Farhan will also use that same acumen to select, gulp, Bochy’s replacement.
But I don’t want to think about a Giants world without Bruce Bochy right now. Just like I don’t want to think about the Giants at Wrigley Field right now, ever again.
I do, however, want to think about 2020. Because it might be looking pretty decent.