The SF Giants suffered a brutal 11-8 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night. They have quickly fallen out of the Wild Card race, so it is time for them to commit to the youth movement and focus on next season.
It is time for the SF Giants to shift focus to next season and beyond
The Giants have been leaking oil for some time. They went 12-13 in July, 12-15 in August, and they are now 0-5 in September. The August schedule was brutal, but the playoff race does not factor in strength of schedule.
They are 12-20 over their last 32 games and have looked every bit the part. Their loss on Tuesday really highlighted the razor thin margin for error. Tyler Rogers cruised through his first inning of work, but was asked to go out for a second inning.
He allowed a baserunner to reach base. Seiya Suzuki stepped to the plate and mashed a 2-run home run to tie the game at six. In that at-bat, the umpire missed several calls that favored Suzuki and inevitably led to the game-tying homer. Of course, missed calls will happen and good teams can work through them.
That was not the Giants on Tuesday. The missed calls pretty much sealed the deal for the night. The Cubs exploded for six runs in that inning as defensive miscues allowed four more runs to cross home plate. This blown game and their performance over the last two months are not that of a playoff team.
The Giants are not mathematically eliminated yet. They are not even close as they banked enough wins earlier in the year to stay in the race. Nevertheless, they are 70-69 with five teams ahead of them in the Wild Card standings. There is still a possibility as they are only two games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the third Wild Card spot.
With that being said, they have not showed any type of glimmer suggesting that they can catch fire. The past 2+ months have felt like a constant theme of taking one step forward and two steps back.
This season has had some positive moments and every year is unique in some way. Though, it is time for the Giants to really use these next four weeks to evaluate the roster as they prepare for the offseason.
I think it is safe to say that players like Thairo Estrada and Patrick Bailey are part of a very small nucleus of players that you can count on heading into next season. Mike Yastrzemski will be retained as well as he still offers value to the club when healthy.
After that, the Giants need to figure out who can help them in the immediate future. Can Luis Matos be an everyday player in 2024? It is time to use the next few weeks to find out. What can the Giants expect from Heliot Ramos? He deserves a shot at an extended look.
Casey Schmitt has looked a little better lately, recording five hits in his last 15 at-bats. Is he showing signs of adjusting to major league pitching? Whether it is at third base or shortstop, there is no reason to keep him out of the lineup at this point.
What are they going to do with Joc Pederson or Alex Wood? Both are free agents at the end of the season. If they are not interested in a reunion with either, is there any reason for them to see any playing time going forward?
It might be a tough shift for the veteran players, but it is necessary for the Giants. They need to use the remaining time in the season to figure out who they can count on heading into next season. And, it may not be all that many players but they need to evaluate that.