Giants lose 15th game to Dodgers, set SF-era record in 2022


SAN FRANCISCO — You cannot sum up the 2022 Giants with one at-bat, play or moment, but if ever there was a snapshot that neatly tied everything together, it was LaMonte Wade Jr.‘s at-bat in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday night. 

It was a matchup that probably wouldn’t have even happened last season. The Giants seemed to get the platoon advantage in every big spot en route to 107 wins, but even that has turned this year. With no right-handed options on the bench, the Giants had no choice but to let Wade face a lefty reliever with two outs and the bases loaded. 

He nearly gave them a thrilling moment in a forgettable season.

Wade hit a deep drive down the right field line — but the potential walk-off grand slam curled foul. A few seconds later, he grounded out, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 win.

A year ago, any swing that Late Night LaMonte took in the late innings seemed to produce a game-winner. A year ago, both ground rule doubles that kept Thairo Estrada from rounding third would have extended rallies. On Sunday, Gabe Kapler felt both missed opportunities were “gut punches.” 

A year ago, Wilmer Flores’ blast to left-center would have found the seats, not Cody Bellinger’s outstretched glove. Joc Pederson’s high fly ball would have cleared Triples Alley for a walk-off. On Sunday, Mookie Betts chased it down in the 10th. 

It has been that kind of season for the Giants, who have not been good enough, especially against the Dodgers. 

A year after edging them by one game for a shocking NL West title, the Giants went 4-15 against the Dodgers. This is the first time since they moved to San Francisco that they have lost more than 14 games to the Dodgers, and 13 of them came in the second half. The Giants will finish their season with seven straight losses to the Dodgers at home, six of those coming after they held Carlos Rodón and Pederson at the trade deadline and tried to push for the postseason. 

With just over two weeks now left in the season, the Giants will head back out on the road with a 69-77 record. They are 32 1/2 games behind the Dodgers.

"They definitely outplayed us all year," Kapler said. "We have to play better if we're going to beat that team. There's nothing more to it."
They'll need more talent, too. A lot of it. But that's a story for the offseason, which is coming up fast. 

The Giants right now have what they have, and on Sunday night they hoped it would be enough to end this rough run with a rare positive moment against a juggernaut. Wade almost did it, but he ended up grounding out to first. 

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About 15 minutes later, Kapler stood in a quiet clubhouse and thought of all the plays that came up short. He noted that Flores smoked his ball, and that Pederson's drive left the bat at 104 mph with a 31-degree launch angle. 

"It was strange not to see one of those balls go out," Kapler said. 

For the 2022 version of the Giants, it has become the norm. 

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