On today’s Locked On Giants podcast, host Ben Kaspick talks about the Giants’ disappointing extra-innings loss to the Padres on Thursday. Mike Yastrzemski and Donovan Solano once again fueled a big comeback late in the game, but the Giants surrendered six runs in the top of the 10th inning and ultimately lost 12-7. Yastrzemski now leads all position players in fWAR, essentially meaning that he has been the most productive position player in baseball thus far in 2020. Donovan Solano, despite not starting a few games, is 11th in baseball in fWAR. The numbers these two are putting up right now may not be sustainable, but they are starting to prove that their 2019 breakouts were not flukes. Especially in the case of Yastrzemski, who’s now been 31% above average offensively in his major league career and has been one of baseball’s best players since the 2019 All-Star break. Solano’s batting average on balls in play looks clearly unsustainable, but the Statcast data backs up his strong production over the past two seasons.
Kevin Gausman got the start against Dinelson Lamet, and he pitched better than the results. He now has an ERA in the fives, but his strikeout and walk numbers indicate that he’s in store for much better results moving forward. The Giants were behind 6-1 in the 7th before tying it up in the 8th, after which they brought in Tyler Rogers to get them to the bottom of the 9th. Rogers did his job with a clean inning, but the Giants failed to score in the bottom of the 9th and the Giants got their first look at the new extra innings rule. The Padres started the 10th with a runner on second, and Rogers, out for a second inning, could not record an out. He allowed three hits, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch in the inning. Gabe Kapler tried to remove Rogers after pitching coach Andrew Bailey had just visited the mound. The umpires overruled the pitching change, and Rogers was forced to throw to an additional hitter, who reached on a sacrifice bunt. The gaffe was inconsequential, as the Giants were already trailing 10-6 at the time, but local media reacted strongly with heavy criticism of Kapler. Ben explains why he thinks this is confirmation bias and a blatant overreaction.