While Trump and Clinton battle it out on the national stage, the Giants came to the nation’s capital trying to embark on a campaign of their own — “Make the Giants Great Again.”
But like Trump, most of their efforts fell flat and they remain unable to get things turned in the right direction.
They lost to the Nationals 5-1 on Friday in a game that never felt close, even though it was a possible playoff preview and paired two division leaders against each other.
The Giants have struggled mightily since the All-Star Break, and Bochy acknowledged before the game that although no series is more important than any other, “we need to start winning some games.”
Jeff Samardzija has statistically been one of the worst starting pitchers since the All-Star break and after today’s game his ERA stands at 4.40, nearly two points higher than it did after his first 10 starts.
Samardzija remained upbeat after the game, noting that a few of pitches caught too much of the plate, but he will continue to attack hitters going forward. He also said his splitter has escaped him of late and that it “needs to be there for me” going forward.
This may also contribute to his recent drop in strikeouts, which hurt him today, as he was not able to get outs when he needed them most.
The Shark gave up a quick pair of runs in the first (an errant throw by Crawford aided the Nationals’ efforts), and then runs in the 3rd, 5th and 6th. He allowed two solo homeruns to Wilson Ramos (who now has 17 on the year and is making his case as one of the best hitting catchers in the National League) and rookie sensation Trea Turner.
But the slow drip of runs was too much for a Giants offense that simply could not generate any momentum.
After the game Bochy reiterated that “it’s going to take contributions from everybody” which includes “doing the little things and finding a way to get on base.”
Angel Pagan did his part, hitting an opposite field homerun in the 4th. But aside from his offensive contributions, the Giants never really threatened the rest of the night. The first time they had runners in scoring position was in the 8th inning.
As the losses continue to mount, it is difficult to identify which facet of their game needs the most improvement.
Crawford’s recent string of errors may perfectly encapsulate the funk the Giants find themselves in.
As with any political campaign, eventually the talk must end and ideas must be replaced with substance and action. Bochy preaches that when times get tough, players should “go harder” while also not forgetting that they are still a good team.