The Giants were eliminated from NL West contention Sunday, which gives them six whole games to push aside the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals and settle into a coveted Wild Card spot.
The path to the postseason hasn’t gone as planned, and it’s growing narrower as the season dwindles down to six final home games against Colorado (73-83) and Los Angeles (90-66). A final push would have been easier without last-minute injuries and roster moves.
Nothing for these Giants has been easy.
Brandon Crawford missed four games with a dislocated pinky, an injury bookended by Eduardo Nuñez’s strained hamstring incurred as he stole his 40th base of the season back in San Diego.
Bruce Bochy said Nuñez should be out for two to three days, cutting off production from a hitter who is 25-for-his-last-74 (.338) for a good chunk of this critical stretch of the regular season.
A suddenly shaky infield called for a corresponding acquisition: The Giants traded minor league infielder Rich Rodriguez for Atlanta Braves’ infielder Gordon Beckham before Tuesday’s game, said Bochy:
“With what happened with Noony (Nuñez), we needed a little help.”
Beckham, who had yet to arrive before first pitch, is a solid bet to start against the Dodgers’ lefty-heavy rotation. He’s not had the most productive year offensively, batting .217 with a .655 OPS with Atlanta, but the Giants needed someone who’s still in that baseball state of mind, unlike minor leaguers like Grant Green, said Bochy:
“He just hasn’t been playing.”
But the Giants did need to pull from their system for a much-needed third catcher, so they purchased Tony Sanchez‘s minor league contract. Sanchez will ride the bench behind Buster Posey and Trevor Brown, who are healthy.
To make room on the 40-man, the Giants DFA’d Matt Reynolds — who gave up four runs without recording an out in a throw-away loss to the Padres in his last outing as a Giant.
They also placed Mac Williamson on the 60-day DL with a quad strain he incurred as a PH running down the first base line.
Don’t worry, there’s some good news.
Johnny Cueto, who left his last start with a “crab bite” groin strain, said he felt great after his pre-game bullpen session.
He should be ready for his next, and final, regular season start on Thursday.