Game Recap: Eliminated

Diamondbacks 15, Giants 2.

The Giants’ chances of making the playoffs are officially zero, as they lost in ugly fashion tonight. It’s funny — they entered tonight with a positive run differential, albeit a small one: +2. Back to the negatives.

I’ve expressed doubts/concerns about Eric Surkamp in the past…

September 6th:

In his second start, Eric Surkamp didn’t look particularly impressive. In total, he induced just four whiffs (and two strikeouts), and his command wasn’t great either (46 strikes/76 pitches, or roughly a 60.5% strike percentage). Anyway, he managed to go 5 IP with 3 ER. I’m thinking he’ll ultimately be a nice back-of-the-rotation arm.

September 12th:

Eric Surkamp pitched 5.2 scoreless innings, but wasn’t very impressive at all. Zero strikeouts. He only induced one swinging strike the entire night. He’s just missing bats at all. In 16.2 innings, he now has a grand total of 6 strikeouts, and five walks. Keith Law had a couple interesting tweets on Surkamp tonight: he says he thinks Surkamp could maybe be a serviceable #5 starter in the NL, but not a #4. As he points out, Surkamp “has faced 66 non-pitcher Astros and Padres and fanned 5.” So in spite of a shiny ERA, Surkamp hasn’t really dazzled.

September 18th:

Though he only allowed three hits and one run in his 4.2 innings of work, Eric Surkamp was once again unexceptional. To his credit, this was a more impressive start than last time. The strikeouts (4) and swinging strikes (5) were there this time; the control, on the other hand, was not — six walks, five of them unintentional. Despite a shiny 2.95 ERA in four starts, Surkamp has as many unintentional walks (10) as strikeouts. And he’s had the benefit of facing some pretty weak lineups. When he inevitably regresses, it won’t be pretty.

Surkamp’s performance in the majors has been quite underwhelming thus far, and today the inevitable regression came; it was quite ugly: 0.2 IP, six runs, four walks, zero strikeouts.

One thing is becoming increasingly clear — if it wasn’t already. The Giants absolutely have to tender Jonathan Sanchez a contract. As of now, I have much more confidence in Sanchez as a fifth starter (entering 2012) than Surkamp or Barry Zito (Zito pitched an inning of relief today, allowing two runs with three walks and zero strikeouts).

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