San Francisco Giants GM, Bobby Evans, made some really good moves at the trade deadline. However, he didn’t learn from the mistakes Colletti, Dombrowski, and others made in the past. The move he didn’t make will haunt him until they win again.
It’s over. The San Francisco Giants are out, and the “Even Year Magic” is dead. The rest of the league rejoices, while the city by the bay mourns a golden chance to get to game five. As was the case thirty one (!!!) times prior to tonight, the San Francisco Giants bullpen couldn’t hold a lead. It’s a fitting end for a team that sealed it’s fate long before the postseason even started. Sure, the Giants could get by on a few pitcher’s backs here and there, but the bullpen was never going to help them this postseason. It hasn’t all year, and for that, the Giants are eliminated.
Yes, there probably should be a paragraph devoted to the Cubs and how good they are, but you can probably find that over at Cubbies Crib Here? We’re going to lament the fact that the Giants failed to re-up on the bullpen in July. Yes, the even year magic officially ran out when Bobby Evans failed to trade for a closer.
Ok, even year magic doesn’t exist. It never has. What did exist? A complete roster, and more importantly, a bullpen. The Giants of 2010, 2012, and 2014, all have ] one thing in common that put them above every other team in the postseason. No, it’s not the core players, although that is a significant part. It wasn’t Bochy. It wasn’t even the random hero. It was the bullpen. Not necessarily the same core ‘pen, but each year the Giants possessed the most trust-worthy bullpen. The Giants never found their closer solution this year. In 2012 and 2014, there was a few instances of “closer by committee.” In those years, the closer role was solidified by June.
In June, the San Francisco Giants were up there for the most blown saves in baseball. At the All-Star Break, they had 17. At the end of their season, 32 blown saves now. That’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s not even their whole bullpen, it’s specifically the closer role. For some reason, nobody can get the job done there. Evans banked on it getting fixed internally. Bad bet.
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Now we’re sitting here, lamenting a blown lead in the ninth inning of a playoff game. How many times in the last four postseason runs have Giants fans had to do that? Twice. On back to back nights. The Giants were able to come up with a win to gloss it over the first night. Tonight, it becomes the most painful loss of 2016.
For a team who’s aspirations coming into the 2016 season was “World Series or bust,” this season should be seen as a disappointment. A failure? It seems a bit harsh to categorize it as a failure, at least on the player’s end.
Could they have played better? Of course. Could the bullpen have done a better job? Obviously. But that’s the end of year consensus for about all but one or two teams. The Giants had World Series expectations, set out mainly by their front office. The inability to reach the promised land lies on their shoulders as well.
The players are limited in what they can do. They have no control over who else is on the roster. The front office has that control. Evans could’ve done something about the one bad thing on the ball-club, and they didn’t.
With that in mind, the outcome of this season should be seen as a failure on their part to put together the winning roster. Evan’s said recently in an interview with John Heyman that he, “wears it everyday.” that the Giants didn’t land a closer at the deadline. Frankly, he’ll be wearing that until the Giants win a series again.
Tonight hurt. It doesn’t quite yet signal the end of an era. It just means the Giants have a new competitor, and a really strong one at that. The competitors come and go, but the core of the team has still stayed put. The question now, is where do they go from here.
The failure of 2016 has been sealed. So what do they do about it moving forward? We’ll discuss that more in the coming weeks. A lot of it will be hypothetical. We really won’t know the answer until opening day. But it’s worth discussing. This offseason will show if Evans has learned from his mistakes.
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First pitch of 2017 is in 172 days. The Giants start on Sunday, April 2nd against the Arizona Diamondbacks.