Mason Black

What we learned as Phillies sweep Giants in Black's MLB debut

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One pitch, one out. 

That’s all Giants rookie right-hander Mason Black needed on the first batter he faced, Kyle Schwarber, in his MLB debut Monday against his hometown Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Black then struck out J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper to end the first inning, and got Alec Bohm – who began the day leading MLB in batting average at .360 – pop out to first base in foul territory to begin the second. 

Through the first four innings, Black had allowed only one earned run on three hits and four strikeouts. One bad inning was all the difference in the Giants’ 6-1 loss to complete an ugly sweep.

The Phillies figured out Black in the fifth inning, scoring four runs off him in the frame. Black’s final line was 4 1/3 innings pitched, five earned runs, eight hits, four strikeouts and one walk. 

Meanwhile, the Giants didn’t give Black any run support as Zack Wheeler made them whiff left and right. The Giants scored more than three runs Sunday for the first time in 18 games, all to score once Monday. 

Here are three takeaways from the Giants' fourth consecutive loss to start their 10-game road trip 1-6.

Black’s MLB Debut

The Scranton native wrote the perfect script to the start of his big league debut in front of friends and family, setting down a handful of stars. Black needed only 12 pitches for his 1-2-3 first inning, retired his first five batters and eight of the first nine Phillies that came to the plate against him. 

He faced his first bit of adversity in the bottom of the third inning and got Harper to fly out on the first pitch following Black’s first mound meeting. But he began to leak in the fourth. 

Black for the second straight inning forced outs from the first two batters before then walking the third. This time, he walked the fourth batter of the inning, too, and Whit Merrifield came through with an RBI grounder to left field. The fifth inning is when the wheels fell off. 

Scwharber and Realmuto started things off with two straight scorched singles, bringing Harper to the plate with two on and no outs. Harper -- on the first pitch he saw this time -- hammered a 381-foot three-run homer to left-center field to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead.

Black in the fifth inning allowed five earned runs on two singles, two doubles and one homer while registering just one out.

Chapman’s Struggles Continue

Matt Chapman has appeared in all 36 of the Giants’ games this season. The former MLB All-Star might soon need a break. 

There’s no denying Wheeler is one of baseball’s best starting pitchers, if not the best right now. Plenty of players with contracts big and small struggle against Philadelphia’s ace. Chapman was one of those Monday in a major way – continuing a troubling trend. 

Chapman faced Wheeler three times. Wheeler struck him out swinging all three times. 

Wheeler also wasn’t an outlier for Chapman. As the Giants head to Colorado, Chapman will do so without a single hit against the Phillies over a four-game series. He went 1-for-15 and tallied eight strikeouts.

The Wade And Wilmer Show

How do you find a silver lining from this loss? At least LaMonte Wade Jr. and Wilmer Flores decided to show up. 

Wade and Flores went to the plate a combined six times against Wheeler. They were 3-for-5, and Wheeler didn’t have a strikeout against either one. Wade went 2-for-3 and Flores was 1-for-2, doubling off Wheeler for the Giants’ only extra-base hit, and his sacrifice fly in the sixth inning came immediately after a Wade single on a line drive to right field. 

Then there was everybody else. The rest of the Giants’ lineup went 1-for-19 with 11 strikeouts facing Wheeler. On the day, the Giants 6 through 9 hitters were a combined 0-for-13 with 10 strikeouts.

This offense badly needs a three-game trip to Coors Field.

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