SAN FRANCISCO -- On Friday and Saturday, Giants manager Bruce Bochy spent much of his time answering questions about Steven Duggar's fall over the bullpen mounds and the need to have them moved. On Sunday, he was asked about Mac Williamson, who is tearing up the minors again one year after his own fall altered the trajectory of his career.
The Giants likely will move the mounds at some point in the next year or two, possibly to Triples Alley. That would make Oracle Park a bit more hitter-friendly. But three games against the Yankees provided a reminder of just what that would mean.
It's not the ballpark that's the issue. Smaller alleys would help others more than Giants hitters.
The Yankees, without Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge and a half-dozen others, still made Oracle Park look small. They treated it just as they do their own ballpark, which is famous for being heavenly for hitters, particularly left-handers.
In sweeping the Giants -- the final game went 11-5 to the visitors -- the Yankees scored 24 runs on 37 hits. They did all this with just two to three regulars in the lineup at all times, and while facing the top three starters the Giants have. Bruce Bochy felt Madison Bumgarner and Dereck Rodriguez were missing their normal command, and Derek Holland was left in too long.
"It was probably more about our pitching, not to take anything away from their hitters," Bochy said. "They've been scoring runs despite their injuries."
The Giants had hoped to contend this year. Instead, they're 11-17 -- only one game ahead of the pace of the 98-loss team from two years ago -- and just spent three days seeing that they're light years behind true contenders when it comes to putting a competitive lineup on the field.
Until Joe Panik's single in the sixth, the Giants had just one hit off unheralded right-hander Domingo German, and that came off the bat of Rodriguez, who recorded just nine outs on the mound. Rodriguez didn't get any help from the lineup, or from a defense that's supposed to be one of the strengths of this Giants team.
Brandon Crawford booted a double-play grounder with the bases loaded in the first as the Giants fell behind 2-0. In the second, catcher Erik Kratz twice tried to pick off a runner at second and then threw a ball away, allowing two runners to advance. Both scored on Luke Voit's single.
That's the kind of sloppiness the Giants can't have, especially against American League teams. They fell to 2-10-3 in home interleague series in the last four years. There's a reason for that. American League lineups generally are better, further widening the gap the Giants face when they take the field every night.