The Tigers are fairly familiar with the San Francisco Giants. Not because the two teams meet with great frequency, but because when they do it is certainly memorable. The last time the Tigers made it to the World Series in 2012, they faced off against the Giants, and lost in a four game sweep. Now, whenever the two teams come together, the events of that series tend to hang in the air.
Starting on July 4, the Tigers and Giants play a three game series at Comerica. The Tigers have won the first game already.
We chatted with Giants writer Grant Brisbee, the “Lead Writer Guy” at SB Nation’s McCovey Chronicles and generally witty writer-type about the current state of the Giants and what the Tigers can expect from this series.
BYB: The Giants are not having a great season this year. Given that much of the team who was successful in previous years is still around, what do you think is causing the team's troubles this year?
Grant: Disappointing seasons from typically reliable players. That's it, and there's no mystery, really. Brandon Crawford is supposed to be one of the more valuable shortstops in baseball. He hasn't been. Hunter Pence is supposed to hit a little. He hasn't. Johnny Cueto was supposed to be a co-ace. He wasn't.
It's not implausible to think the Giants might have a little more success next year with some of the same players. Just hasn't happened this year.
If game one of this series in any indication, Victor Martinez will be the scariest Tiger the Giants face over the next games, but who do you think is really the biggest threat?
No, give me Martinez. You guys get to have a positionless galoot on the roster, and the Giants don't. Unfair! At least until Michael Morse comes off the disabled list.
Also, note that Anibal Sanchez is a famous Giants-killer. He's... not having the best season, of course, but that never seems to matter.
Should the MLB institute a "no riding your 4-wheeler during the regular season, you dummies" rule for pitchers?
I guess we should be happy Bumgarner wasn't gored by a moose? At least he's making rehab starts already, which is slightly ahead of schedule. But, yes, any commissioner who institutes that rule would get my vote.
Next year is an even year, do the Giants have a shot at even year magic again, based on their current roster and the prospects in their org?
The system is a little thin at the top, so I'm not sure how much help they'll get, but Chris Shaw does play left field, and they'll probably get at least one upper-minors guy back at the trade deadline, so we'll see. It's not hard to see the Giants sticking with a Posey-Belt-Panik-Crawford infield, and spending money to figure out what to do with the rest of the lineup.
The pitching will be a big issue, too, considering that they were expecting Matt Moore to be an exciting part of the future, not an awful enigma of the present.
If the Dodgers pick up Justin Verlander before the trade deadline does that mean more gifs of him watching home runs leave AT&T Park?
I like Verlander well enough and would prefer not to hate him. But we all have to make some tough choices, I guess.
Why does that lobster sandwich at AT&T Park cost so much?
Wrong coast. We're the crab coast, and the reason the crab sandwich costs so much is, well, I guess crab is expensive? And because ballpark food is also expensive by default, it's sort of exponential.
It's ... okay, I guess. Maybe that's heresy, but I've had it once, and I think I'm good for a while. Unless someone else is buying.
Thanks so much to Grant for taking the time to chat with us about the 2012 World Series rematch. If you’re looking for more of his writing, head over to McCovey Chronicles or follow him on Twitter @mccoveychron. I’d recommend doing both, because Grant is one of the best.