By Morris Phillips
SAN FRANCISCO — If the philosophy employed by GM Bobby Evans to construct the 2018 Giants is horribly out of step with current baseball thinking, we got one more reminder on Monday night at AT&T Park.
After Evans was relieved of his duties earlier on Monday, the Giants’ bats fell silent in a 5-0 loss to the Padres. Padres’ starter Bryan Mitchell completely shutdown the Giants’ offense a week after he allowed the Giants nine hits and four runs in a loss at San Diego in his previous start.
The Giants have lost 16 of 20 to fall a season-worst 13 games under .500. At the root of all the struggles is an offense that frequently can’t even manage a base hit; the Giants are hitting .222 as a team since the All-Star break, the lowest such mark for any team in baseball since 1974.
“We’ve got to get this offense fixed,” manager Bruce Bochy said afterwards.
The move to relieve Evans and retain Brian Sabean while reducing his responsibilities means the club will look outside the organization to find their philosophical leader for the first time in decades. That next GM/executive will have to fortify an offense without the likelihood a free agent hitter would chose San Francisco as his destination given the dramatic dropoff in offensive production recent transplants have experienced.
Against Mitchell on Monday, a Giants’ lineup of underperforming holdovers and prospects Chris Shaw and Aramis Garcia managed just six base hits and one double from Brandon Crawford. Only leadoff hitter Hunter Pence managed multiple hits as Mitchell dominated for 8 2/3 innings. Mitchell struck out seven, and induced numerous ground balls that kept the Giants from mounting a rally.
“A really impressive performance, I would have loved to see him finish it,” manager Andy Green said of Mitchell.
Derek Holland pitched well but was lit up by Jose Pirela’s lind drive homer that increased the Padres’ lead to 3-0 in the fourth.