Advice to Giants fans. This is no time to despair despite the five-game losing streak. Losing streaks happen. Happen in the best of families.
Not to say a losing streak is cause for joyous hoorays and general good feeling. Of course not. But the franchise is not falling apart and the Giants will play in the postseason — count on it. You know their record in the playoffs.
So take a deep breath and consider what’s really happening. Giants starting pitchers have gotten their brains beat out since the All-Star break. Starters gave up 11 home runs. Pitchers gave up 14 total. Ugly but a small sample size.
Madison Bumgarner pitches Friday in Yankee Stadium. No one in baseball you’d rather have work a must-win game. Well, sort of a must-win game. And Johnny Cueto pitches Sunday. Two elite pitchers. Pitchers who stop losing streaks. Start winning streaks.
In between them, Jeff Samardzija pitches on Saturday. Good third starter. Actually an excellent third starter. The Giants’ rotation is loaded. Even Jake Peavy is respectable. He’s what a No. 4 usually is on a good team. He pitched well against the Red Sox except when he didn’t pitch well. He no longer has the stuff to challenge David Ortiz. Or anyone. This just in. Good hitters crush his mistakes which makes him vulnerable — but not bad.
Not bad like Matt Cain. Who is very bad. Who has become unwatchable. Did you see him Wednesday night against the Red Sox, who assassinated him? We keep hearing he’s almost ready. He’ll be Matt Cain again real soon.
It just seems this home run machine is the real Matt Cain. The guy who got murdered last week in a Single-A game, gave up nine earned runs — they said the wind was blowing out. Good excuse. The guy who lost his release point years ago. Who makes constant mistakes. Who can’t throw to Buster Posey’s target. Who gave up five runs and three home runs Wednesday in 21/3 innings. Excruciating. Who hasn’t had a winning record since 2012. Who is the new Barry Zito, except Zito actually gave the Giants innings and Cain doesn’t.
But he’s merely the fifth starter. And fifth starters are disposable and replaceable. Maybe the Giants replace him with Albert Suarez. What’s to lose, although Suarez may be as combustible as Cain?
I’m saying Giants starting pitching is good and will perform well. The bullpen also is good except for the closer, Santiago Casilla, no longer a sure thing. The closer needs to be a sure thing.
The Giants can trade for a closer or elevate Sergio Romo. Right now, they are being careful with Romo, returning from a serious injury. Don’t want to rush him. Or risk another injury. But he is hard to hit when he’s hard to hit. And if he stays healthy, closer may not be a problem for the Giants.
Then there are Giants injuries. This is a whopper. A baseball season is long and remorseless. You get guys hurt and nobody cares. Play another game. And another game after that. Again and again. The Giants are down to starting their bench, using guys like Grant Green, Ramiro Pena, Conor Gillaspie, Jarrett Parker, Mac Williamson.
Who are those guys? (Quiz: What movie does that line come from?)