For a second there, it appeared as if the San Francisco Giants were prepared to make some noise in the National League. They trailed the Los Angeles Dodgers by only four games for the NL West lead and were playing consistent ball. Then, all of a sudden, August hit.
The Giants and Dodgers went in two completely different directions. After a 35-20 stretch across May and June, San Francisco treaded water in July (12-13) and then fell behind even more in August (12-15), while Los Angeles went 37-17 (thanks to a 24-5 August).
Now, LA leads the NL West by 14 games over the second-place Diamondbacks. The third-place Giants are 15 games back. The fourth-place Padres are stranded at 19.5. It's yet again clear who the top dog is.
Which is why perhaps the Giants need to realize that attempting to copy the Dodgers' blueprint simply isn't going to work. Their latest effort came in the form of bringing on AJ Pollock, who only logged six at-bats before going down with an injury.
He was finally nearing a return after almost a month on the shelf, but the Giants instead placed him on unrestricted release waivers during his rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento.
Giants' copycat act fails again with release of former Dodgers outfielder
Signing Pollock wasn't exactly part of former Dodgers executive Farhan Zaidi's "plan" to emulate Andrew Friedman's way of business, but it marked yet another former Dodger defecting to San Francisco and effectively not helping the team's situation.
That list includes Matt Beaty, Ross Stripling, Scott Alexander, Alex Wood, Jake McGee, Scott Kazmir, and now even Joc Pederson, who's struggled this season and has dealt with injuries. The Giants' intense focus on trying to turn inexpensive players into undeniable contributors just keeps continuing.
That's been further amplified as the Giants continue to whiff on big-name free agents. Aaron Judge, Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson, Carlos Correa, Kevin Gausman, etc. The list goes on. The lone player under a long-term contract with the Giants is Logan Webb, who was signed to an extension. We can't remember the time they signed a high-profile free agent to a sizable deal.
And the results have shown! The Giants' 107-win 2021 season is getting flukier by the day, and now they're showing their true colors in 2023 (though, we will admit, injuries have played a really big role in their struggles).
Either way, they have failed time and time again to build a formidable roster as Zaidi has seemingly tried to cut corners with low-cost free agents and attempts at diamond-in-the-rough pickups. Pollock's six at-bats and prompt departure should at least wake somebody up in that front office. If not, though, Dodgers fans would totally be fine with that.