Giants Observations

What we learned as Giants can't come back in loss to D-backs

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The Giants had a chance to secure the fourth sweep of their last six opponents Sunday at Oracle Park with another exciting come-from-behind victory, but instead settled for a series win over the Arizona Diamondbacks as they fell 5-2 in the finale.

San Francisco came into Sunday’s NL West matchup just 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Diamondbacks after a 7-6 victory Saturday, having won 12 of their last 13 games and the first two of a three-game set against Arizona by way of the comeback.

But their bats couldn’t catch fire soon enough in the finale, held to just three hits by Arizona right-hander Ryne Nelson through seven innings. The Giants' only runs came in the sixth and eighth innings off a pair of RBI singles from J.D. Davis, after winning six of their last eight contests where their opponent scored first.

Despite Sunday's loss, the Giants concluded their seven-game homestand at 5-2 and winners of their last four series, though they’re now back to 2 1/2 games out of first.

As they head to Toronto to kick off a six-game road trip against the Blue Jays and New York Mets, here are three observations from Sunday’s loss:

Snakebitten by the Bay

Anthony DeSclafani made his 19th start of the season Sunday after taking a no-decision in the Giants’ 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday. All signs pointed to good things to come for the right-hander, who entered the series finale with a 4-2 record and 2.25 ERA against the Diamondbacks since 2016.

In his previous lone career start at Oracle Park against Arizona on June 16, 2021, DeSclafani earned a win after pitching five innings of one-run ball.

Things didn’t start out as planned for DeSclafani this time, however, as Arizona jumped out to an early lead it never gave up after scoring two runs on four hits in the game’s first two innings. He finished his day with three strikeouts, five hits and two earned runs across six innings -- and not much help from the Giants’ lineup.

Since 2020, the Giants now are 23-6 against the Diamondbacks at Oracle Park.

And despite his past success against Arizona, DeSclafani wasn’t able to correct course on his 2023 season Sunday. After working his way to a 2.70 ERA in April, that number nearly doubled to 4.12 for the month of May and has ballooned to 7.94 in June.

Challenge partially accepted

After a questionable failed challenge against the Diamondbacks on Saturday, Giants manager Gabe Kapler was 1-for-2 on Sunday.

The successful challenge came in the top of the second inning, when DeSclafani appeared to have picked off Jake McCarthy at first base. After McCarthy was called safe, the call was overturned upon review for the inning’s third out.

But in the seventh, a dangerous Diamondbacks inning continued after Kapler’s second challenge failed.

The Giants argued rookie outfielder Luis Matos actually had thrown out Christian Walker at third base, but the safe call on the field was upheld after review -- another controversial replay after a questionable decision from New York on Saturday as well.

Rookies reeled in

It’s no secret the Giants have benefitted from an influx of youth this season. Saturday’s win was a perfect example of that, as Matos won the game with his first MLB home run.

Sunday was a different story, however. Though hot as of late, Matos, Blake Sabol and Patrick Bailey failed to drive in any runs and collected three hits as a group, two from Matos and one from Bailey.

And as the Giants mounted yet another comeback in the eighth, a critical base-running blunder by Sabol cut the inning short.

Before Sunday’s loss, the Giants drove in an MLB-leading 83 RBI from their rookies this season. Both Sabol (25, No. 7) and Bailey (22, No. 9) are ranked inside the National League’s top 10 in rookie RBI, while infielder Casey Schmitt is 10th with 21.

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