27 Outs Baseball Network

Rock Bottom for San Francisco Giants

So much for the hope of “odd-year” magic for the San Francisco Giants as the struggles surmount. Despite a revamped bullpen and few new faces in the lineup, the failures of last season’s second half have repeated to begin the 2017 campaign. Evidence showed front and center during the recent road trip to Los Angeles, Cincinnati and New York (Mets) . Fortunes do not appear to be turning anytime soon, and Bruce Bochy may need to start rolling the dice to find the right combination.

San Francisco looked to have turned a corner after claiming a series win over rival Los Angeles. The Reds decided to add more misery, outscoring the Giants 31-5 in a three-game sweep. Ty Blach suffered his worst start as a Giant by allowing ten runs in three innings in a 14-2 loss. Nine of Cincinnati’s 18 hits were extra-base as the barrage did not end.

Dinur Blum / 27 Outs Baseball

Matt Cain did not fare any better in his start as he allowed nine runs on ten hits in a 13-3 loss. The nine runs matched his 13-year career high. Though Cain fell victim to some lucky breaks by the Reds, the Giants’ offense could not provide the support needed. Lack of run support is no surprise to Cain as throughout his career he has often fallen victim to it.

After being laughed out of Cincinnati, further humiliation ensued at Citi Field as San Francisco blew two leads, losing 4-3 against New York. To further add to the woes, the Giants’ closer Mark Melancon, their marquee offseason signing, went on the disable list. Melancon had been experiencing discomfort in his throwing shoulder and management decided to shelve the closer as a precaution. He is eligible to come back in a few days.

Though Melancon’s injury is no reason for panic attacks, fans of San Francisco surely remember the turmoil caused by Armando Benitez as a closer from 2005–07. Benitez was the last closer Giants’ management decided to spend a huge sum on and not live up to expectations. The nightmare ended in 2007 when he was traded to the Florida Marlins after allowing the tying run on a balk and a walk-off home run to the Mets at Shea Field.

Dinur Blum / 27 Outs Baseball

Injuries are the simple reason the Giants currently sit in the cellar of MLB. Pitching and batting are ranked at the bottom and will likely remain. Because of injuries, players are in unfamiliar positions due to their offense or shortage of players available for the position. The outfield position has been evident as Brandon Belt and Eduardo Núñez have seen time in the outfield.

Plenty of baseball is still in store for the Giants to show signs of life, but they need to act fast. Through the struggles, bright spots are apparent as Christian Arroyo has been upbeat. The rookie sparked a late rally to salvage a game against the Mets in a 6-5 victory. Buster Posey has seen a surge, elevating his batting average to .367 this season.

As the Giants limp home to San Francisco, an opportunity for payback will come against Cincinnati. Blach had an opportunity to redeem himself Thursday night in the series opener. His start was much improved going seven innings but the Giants dropped a 3-2 decision after a late-inning rally by the Reds.

For Cain and Blach, their spot in the rotation is up in the air. Madison Bumgarner is still unavailable after suffering an injury in a dirt bike accident in Colorado. Once he returns, Blach may likely be the odd-man out and end up back in the bullpen. As for Cain, this likely is the end of his tenure in San Francisco. The Giants can no longer afford his inconsistencies as a starter. Tyler Beede could see a call-up. In six starts with the Sacramento River Cats, Beede is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA.

Torture is the unofficial slogan for the San Francisco Giants. Despite this being an odd year, sitting last in the NL West was not expected. A trade will do them  no favors as acquiring a bat or pitcher will provide short-term relief and affect the future for prospects in the Giants Minor League system. The prognosis does not look good this season for the orange and black. They need to find some magic.

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