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San Francisco Giants: Chris Stratton is an Anomaly

Nick San Miguel
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 27: Chris Stratton #34 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning at AT&T Park on August 27, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 27: Chris Stratton #34 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning at AT&T Park on August 27, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Chris Stratton of the San Francisco Giants has had a roller coaster of a 2018 season. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the guy, it’s that when he’s on he can be lights out.

Unfortunately, on the flip side of that coin, if he’s off … the San Francisco Giants are in for a long night.

It begs the question: what has caused such streakiness from Stratton? Well, from what we’ve heard and read it seems that his mechanics were grossly out of wack for a while. His mechanical funk produced several awful performances such as the eight earned runs he allowed against Colorado which got him sent down for several weeks to get his act together.

It was disappointing to see such a steep drop-off from Stratton because I, like many other Giants fans, were hoping that his early season success was a sign that perhaps he could be a solid starter in the rotation for years to come.

Yet, just as another Giants pitcher named Chris taught us, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. But now, since we haven’t learned our lesson, I feel it’s a good time to overreact to his last two splendid outings and believe in him again!

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Seriously though, we know for a fact that Chris Stratton can hang in the big leagues. If you weren’t sure of it last year, this year affirms that belief. Now it’s just a matter of consistency with Stratton.

Consistency is what makes great pitchers great. Sure, some of them have pure stuff (velocity, movement) that is unmatched, but most are just able to go out and give you 6 solid innings or more nearly every outing.

Not only that, they’re able to win without their best stuff. Tiger Woods used to be able to win golf tournaments with his “C game” meaning he was so good that his “average” was still better than the “good” of the rest of the field.

That’s what puts the Madison Bumgarners, Clayton Kershaws, and Justin Verlanders of the world ahead of the rest of the pack. Their ability to go out there without the best control of their pitches, without the sharpest snap on their breaking ball, and still give their team a chance to win.

Stratton is not at that level yet. His “C game” so to speak will probably still get him knocked out of the game pretty early unless he’s learned to be more consistent with his mechanics.

Nonetheless, we shouldn’t be surprised if Stratton remains solid in his next few starts but then gets out of wack towards the end of the season. That may just be the pitcher that he is.

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