Marco Luciano

What we learned as Giants' bullpen struggles in loss to Dodgers

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LOS ANGELES -- The Giants started the second half of the season with a sweep at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, and then they went to Cincinnati and won the first two games to get to 13 games above .500. It's hard to picture that stretch coming from the same team that lost 7-0 at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night. 

The loss was the seventh in nine games on this road trip, which has all but officially ended their postseason hopes. The best the Giants can do is salvage a series split on Sunday night, meaning they'll end their season with no road series victories over their final two months. 

After those first two wins in Cincinnati, the Giants ended up with a series split. Since then, they have lost nine consecutive series on the road. The latest defeat dropped them back below .500 at 77-78. They're four games behind the Chicago Cubs in the race for the final postseason spot, and because they don't hold the tiebreaker, they're essentially five back with seven to play.

Same Soup

Clayton Kershaw is 35 now and topped out at 89.7 mph, but some things never change. He's been doing this to the Giants for 16 years.

Kershaw was making his 58th appearance against the Giants, and with the five shutout innings, he lowered his career ERA against them to 1.99. Of his 210 career wins, 26 have come against the Giants.

Kershaw clearly is not fully healthy, but the breaking balls and command still are elite, and he's using these final starts as a way to prepare to start one of the first two games of the NLDS. His final regular-season start will come next weekend at Oracle Park, and there's a chance that's his final appearance ever against the Giants. 

Laser Show

In his second at-bat against Kershaw, Marco Luciano jumped on an elevated slider and smoked a double over Jason Heyward's head in right. The ball left the bat at 107.5 mph, which has become a trend for the powerful rookie.

Luciano had singles at 111.8 mph and 107.8 mph in Friday's win. Playing in games against Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, J.D. Martinez, and -- well, you get the point -- Luciano has the three hardest-hit balls in the last two games at Dodger Stadium. It's been an impressive weekend for the 22-year-old. 

Rookie In Right

The Giants started four rookies at the bottom of their lineup, and while there wasn't much overall production, Luciano wasn't the only one to provide a silver lining. Luis Matos walked twice and had a strong night in right field. He started the night by robbing Betts of a hit:

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