SF Giants: Blunders by Gabe Kapler continue to hurt the team

SF Giants (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
SF Giants (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

SF Giants’ manager Gabe Kapler’s blunders continue to hurt the inexperienced team.

The SF Giants are not willing to go down without a fight, but the decisions made by manager Gabe Kapler overshadow a team with low expectations in a short season.

Currently second to last in the NL West, the Giants make opponents work hard to earn wins. No matter the deficit, the Giants will seize any opportunity on offense to put pressure on the pitchers.

Down 6-0 against Houston, a ninth-inning rally got San Francisco within two runs in a game where the Giants got stymie by Houston Astros’ starter Lance McCullers Jr.

The starter for the Astros went six innings of no-hit baseball against the Giants before Donovan Solano ended the bid in the seventh inning.

Before the last-ditch comeback attempt, the Giants did have a chance to win the first matchup with the Astros. Unfortunately, the inexperience by the young players is evident from the numerous errors from fielding.

One noticeable mistake is the catching by Tyler Heineman and Chadwick Tromp. Both victimized through interfering with the batter’s swing in attempting to make contact with the baseball.

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From the overzealousness, opponents take advantage of the inexperience both Giants’ catchers have at the big-league level.

Sure, the Giants miss not having Buster Posey in the squat, but this 60-game season is giving younger players the chance to showcase their talents to be on the squad for next season or perhaps for another club.

But the decision-making, especially the pitching, falls on Gabe Kapler, making one blunder too many to begin his tenure as the Giants’ skipper. The choices made are concerning, especially if the SF Giants expect to be contenders in the future.

Not even into the first week of the season, the early mismanagement occurred after trying to make a pitching change in the tenth inning of an eventual 12-7 loss to San Diego. He tried to replace Tyler Rogers, but pitching coach, Andrew Bailey, previously visited the mound.

The miscommunication did not prove costly, but Kapler should have a better grip and awareness of the situation. He did own up to the breakdown, although it probably should be held internally with players and not blatantly tell the media for the unfortunate gaffe.

Second, the choice to leave Johnny Cueto in the game against Los Angeles is foolish for the sake of the starter having a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Injuries amongst starters are plaguing teams as Jeff Samardzija recently got put on the injured list for the Giants.

For Cueto, luckily, the discomfort turned out to be a blister. Kapler chose to leave Cueto in the game. His no-hit attempt ended after a fly ball got lost by Hunter Pence in left field and eventually gave up a three-run home run.

The Giants barely held on to defeat the Dodgers, 5-4, risking injuries to pitchers is an area Kapler cannot afford to lose in an area that is contributing to keeping the Giants competitive so far this year.

Lastly, taking out a dominant pitcher turned fatal, costing a series win over their rivals. Kevin Gausman kept the Dodgers off-balance with his repertoire of pitches working excellent for him.

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Unlike Cueto, who showed signs of fatigue, Kapler chose to remove Gausman as not to overtax his arm. A manager most likely does not make on other clubs as Kapler went with Rogers out of the bullpen.

Rogers came on for relief the previous night and pitched brilliantly with his submarine-style delivery keeping the Dodgers’ bats at bay. An arm perhaps more taxed then any pitcher for the Giants, the choice by Kapler changed the course of the contest.

The Dodgers hit a two-run shot over the fence off Rogers, who got pulled for Shaun Anderson, surrendering a three-run blast.

Gabe Kapler’s unorthodox managing style has been costing the SF Giants.

Unorthodox best describes Kapler’s current managerial style, most notably waiting to announce the starting pitcher to leave the other team in the dark. From the three blunders outlined, perhaps Kapler would have learned from his time with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Only the Phillies hold the answer to Kapler’s short stint as manager, which may explain the poor decisions made at crucial junctures of a ballgame. Kapler never did manage to optimize the potential out of all the players on the Phillies.

To his credit, Kapler is instilling an unwillingness to throw in the towel as the Giants are not going down quietly at the plate. The aggressiveness is one area critical for current and future members of the Giants to have for Kapler to remain in San Francisco.

Next. SF Giants: What to do with a struggling Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval. dark

In a meaningless 60-game season, a slap on the wrist is the likely consequence for Kapler under Farhan Zaidi.

With Zaidi charting the course, Kapler will remain as manager unless players express concern or management loses faith in Zaidi in plotting the right path.