The Giants return home to host Pittsburgh for a three-game weekend series.
The San Francisco Giants haven’t played a home game since July 11. Since then they’ve taken their All-Star break, embarked on a seven-game road trip that they won, and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in dramatic, ninth-inning fashion twice to seal a four-game series victory.
I’d say being away from home has worked out pretty well for the Giants.
But it’s always nice to come home, and Oracle Park awaits them with open arms — and a not-very good opponent. And then the Dodgers.
Who: San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Where: Oracle Park, San Francisco, California
When: Friday (6:45 p.m.), Saturday (6:05 p.m.), and Sunday (1:05 p.m.)
National broadcasts: None
Where they stand
San Francisco Giants
Record: 61-35, 1st in the NL West
Run differential: +125, 2nd in the NL
Postseason standing: 1st seed
Momentum: 2-game winning streak, 7-3 in their last 10 games
Record: 36-60, 5th in the NL Central
Run differential: -127, 14th in the NL
Postseason standing: 19.5 games out of the NL Central, 19.5 games out of the Wild Card
Momentum: 4-game losing streak, 4-6 in their last 10 games
Season series: Tied 2-2
Three Giants to watch
Mike Yastrzemski: Yastrzemski came flying out of the gates on the road trip, hitting 7-27 with 4 home runs, 1 triple, and 2 walks. With the amount of quality players the Giants have injured, Yaz putting on his All-MLB batting gloves for the second half could be the difference between the Giants hanging onto the division and losing it.
Mike Tauchman: With Yastrzemsi, Alex Dickerson, and Steven Duggar all available to roam the outfield — plus LaMonte Wade Jr. — it’s becoming hard for Tauchman to find playing time. And we’re nearing the end of July with the lefty having a sub-.200 batting average and sub-.300 slugging percentage with the Giants. He’s done well as a late replacement for defense and baserunning, but can the Giants really afford to keep a roster spot just for that? As players get healthy, the answer will eventually become “no.” Tauchman’s time may be limited, but the Giants are facing only righties this series. He could get a chance to make a case for himself.
Jake McGee: The last time the Pirates and Giants played, McGee allowed a walk-off home run in the ninth inning of one game, and blew a save in another game. On consecutive nights. That allowed the Pirates (a bad team), to split a series with the Giants (a good team). Revenge time for Mr. McGee.
Three Pirates to watch
Adam Frazier: The Pirates may have the second-worst record in the National League, but it’s not as though they only have bad players. They had two All-Stars, which means that neither of their All-Stars was the league-mandated participation trophy. This isn’t like the Arizona Diamondbacks sending Eduardo Escobar to the All-Star Game while Manny Machado and Justin Turner sat at home waiting for the call to be injury replacements. Frazier was the starting second baseman for the NL team, and for good reason. He doesn’t have a ton of power (though he does hav 27 doubles on the year), but he leads the Majors in hits with 122.
Bryan Reynolds: And Reynolds is the team’s other All-Star, and someone who will always be linked to the Giants, who drafted him, developed him, and then traded him for Andrew McCutchen. Reyolds is hitting for average (.306) and for power (17 home runs, .519 slugging). He’s the guy in the order to watch out for.
Wil Crowe: I had a hard time choosing from the three pitchers scheduled to start for Pittsburgh, because they’re all having really rough years, so there’s ample opportunity. But Crowe is having a rough year in a way that’s right up the Giants alley: 30 walks issued and 14 home runs allowed in just 60.1 IP. That 6.12 ERA and 6.06 FIP will have the Giants lefty bats salivating.