When the Giants played 12 times against the Los Angeles Dodgers over a period of 10 weeks from the end of June to the beginning of September, they were, as usual, faced with a strong line-up from top to bottom.
They just didn’t see the same overwhelming Dodgers pitching staff – at least not in the eyes of Giants play-by-play broadcaster Dave Flemming. And that gave the Giants at least some of the chance to win the season series with their long-time rival.
In June, after Major League Baseball threatened pitchers with 10-game bans for using sticky substances like Spider Tack to improve their brains, spin rates declined for several pitchers. The Dodgers, whose spin rates were highest in baseball, were one of the hardest hit teams.
“I’m not blaming anyone because (Los Angeles) isn’t the only one,” Flemming said on Tuesday at 95.7 The Game. “This is not a controversial statement. But the sticky rule has changed, and that has changed the Dodgers team. ”The Dodgers defeated the Giants in four of their first seven encounters, including a three-game sweep from Aug. May with outstanding performances from Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and Trevor Bauer. These three combined 26 strikeouts as the Giants were beaten 19: 9 in that series.
In Bühler’s start against the Giants on May 22nd, 62 of his 105 pitches per statcast were four-seam fastballs with an average spin rate of 2,589 revolutions per minute.
But in the following starts against San Francisco, Buehler’s pitch selection was divided much more evenly between cutter, curve, slider and change-up.
Last Sunday in the Giants 6-4 victory, according to Statcast, only 10 of Buehler’s 53 pitches were four-closer because he allowed six earned runs in three innings. Its average fastball spin rate was 2,353 revolutions per minute. It’s worth noting that Buehler was still dominant after the MLB threat – Sunday’s outing was the first since July 5 that he missed six innings or gave up more than two deserved runs.
Cy Young’s contestant finished the season with a 3-1 record and a 2.19 ERA against the Giants this season. The Dodgers have held opponents at an MLB best batting average of 0.208 for the year.
However, the Giants win enabled them to capture the season streak with the Dodgers 10 to nine games – impressive considering how the series went in mid-May.
“(The Dodgers are) still really good – really, really good,” said Flemming. “But Walker Bühler can no longer throw one fastball after the other from the Giants, Julio Urias can no longer blow away the Giants with pure stuff. (The rule enforcement) has changed these types. It did.
Kris Bryant returns to the SF Giants lineup before returning home from Wrigley Field
SF Giants could be without Johnny Cueto for a few more weeks
SF Giants win another Logan Webb start, Steven Duggar leads another double-digit breakout
SF Giants claim Dodgers pitcher could help the stretched bullpen
Kurtenbach: SF Giants have to do something they haven’t done in 116 years to win NL West
“And that has changed for me this season, and the Dodgers have been affected more than anyone. If you look at all of the numbers, it was them, and so did the padres. Yu Darvish’s performance fell off a cliff, basically by the day this rule change was made, and several of her other pitchers have struggled since then.
“And I don’t blame anyone and the MLB didn’t push it through. That’s not an indictment, but I’m just saying it changed their season and it didn’t change the Giants. The Giants didn’t have to rely on this stuff and kept the line with their performance. “