The Giants are Not the Padres

Subtitle: “The Difference a Day and 500 Miles Make”

While questionable Dodgers’ starters and eve more undependable relief pitchers were each a big part of the team’s near record-breaking streak of 30 scoreless innings to start the 2016 season, the team and the staff were brought back to reality yesterday by virtue of traveling a short 500 miles from San Diego to San Francisco. The Giants are not the

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Padres, and that become very clear yesterday afternoon as Giant’s batters thumped Dodgers pitchers for 12 runs on 17 hits on their way to a 12-6 romp at A T & T Park.

While current number four starter Alex Wood was hit for five runs in five innings, the relief triumvirate of Yimi Garcia, J.P. Howell, and Pedro Baez allowed seven runners to scamper across the plate while retiring five, and that is an ERA of 37.80.

This evening in game two of the series by the bay the Dodgers will have the surprise of the spring, Ross Stripling, who came out of no where to bypass the injured Mike Bolsinger, the injured Brett Anderson, Brandon Beachy and Baez to win the fifth rotation spot, make his major league debut. For the Giants, Matt Cain, coming off a poor spring in his continuing comeback from hamstring, elbow and forearm injuries and basically two lost seasons. Stripling has had his own injury problems, having missed the 2014 season for Tommy John surgery.

It’s anybody’s guess as to who will be hit harder this evening, Cain or Stripling, but once the starters have hit the showers, the Giants deep and strong bullpen will likely be the difference in the game.

Tomorrow, you’d think the Dodgers would have a big advantage with Clayton Kershaw set for this second start of the season, but he’ll be facing the league’s, and likely baseball’s, number two lefty starter, Madison Bumgarner, Early last season – almost exactly a year ago on April 22, 2015 – the two met in A T & T Park, and each pitcher allowed two runs, neither figuring in the eventual 3-2 Giants’ win. The two faced off against each other again a few days later on April 28, with Bumgarner besting Kershaw, 2-1. Less than a month later, they were at it again, as on May 21, it again was Bumgarner and the Giants 4, the Dodgers and Kershaw 0. Finally on Sep 29 in Los Angeles they had a fourth meeting of the

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season, and in that game it was all LA and Kershaw, with the Dodgers knocking out the Giants’ ace in the 6th inning, scoring five runs against him on the way to an 8-0 victory. All Kershaw did in that game was throw a one-hit shutout, striking out 13.

The teams go into tonight’s game tied at 3-1 on top of the woeful National League West, baseball’s unquestioned weakest division.

One further note that really needs mentioning: Not nearly enough press is being given to Colorado Rockies’ rookie shortstop Trevor Story who began the season with two home runs opening day, his first ever major league game. Now, four games into the season, with two more homers today against those Padres, Story has hit six home runs and driven in 11. Story is the first player ever to home in each of his first four major league games. The question that must be asked, however, is do these stats really count when they’ve been accumulated against the moribund Diamondbacks’ and woeful Padres’ pitching staffs? I mean, Story’s first two home runs ever this past Monday were off of Zack Greinke. Do they actually count?

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