As you tick the weeks off the calendar, you occasionally cross off what would have been a very intriguing stretch for the 2020 Giants.
That first road trip of the season had the potential to be fascinating, with the Giants opening at Dodger Stadium and then facing Madison Bumgarner's Diamondbacks in Phoenix. This last homestand would have been a big one. The reigning champs would have come to town, and after dealing with the Washington Nationals, Gabe Kapler would have spent three days facing the Philadelphia Phillies team that fired him last year.
This weekend would have been an interesting one, too, but not because of matchups. Sure, Tyler Rogers could have pitched against his twin brother, Taylor, but the latest round of cancelations is more about the ballparks. The Giants haven't visited Cleveland in a dozen years and they haven't been to Minnesota in 15 years, a lifetime in Major League Baseball. That road trip was supposed to start today.
Think of it this way. The last time the Giants visited the Twins -- at the Metrodome in June of 2005 -- their starting pitchers were Noah Lowry, Jesse Foppert and Brett Tomko. They scored 25 runs while taking two of three, with Ray Durham and Omar Vizquel going deep. In the last game of that series, the Giants won 14-7 with an outfield of Adam Shabala, Jason Ellison and Michael Tucker.
Yeah, it's been a long, long time since the Giants have visited Minnesota.
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That's a quirk of interleague play, which rotates so that the Giants play every American League Division once every three years, but don't play home-and-home series. Before last year's series -- which notably included former Oriole Mike Yastrzemski -- the Giants hadn't played at Camden Yards in 15 years.
This interleague trip would have been a fun one even for veterans like Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford, who could have crossed two more parks off their list. The Giants haven't been to Cleveland since 2008, when Barry Zito, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez led a series win at what was then known as Jacobs Field.
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The Indians have come to San Francisco for each of the last three interleague matchups, losing eight of nine at Oracle Park. While the teams see each other often in the spring, it's unlikely they'll match up anytime soon. When the game returns, it will do so with a new and shortened schedule, and any interleague action should be limited to regional games -- the A's, Angels, Mariners, etc. -- to limit travel.
In the meantime, you still can get a glimpse of the Giants "playing" in Cleveland. Tonight's PlayStation simulation on NBC Sports Bay Area is the Giants-Indians game that would have been played tonight. A digital version of Jeff Samardzija will take the mound at 7 p.m. for the PlayStation Giants, who have proven to be surprisingly plucky. After a rough start to the simulated year, they're 16-15.