Luis Matos

What we learned as Giants' bats silenced by Sale in loss to Braves

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The Giants ran into one of MLB's hottest pitchers Wednesday, and the results were predictable.

Chris Sale put the clamps on San Francisco’s offense, allowing three hits and notching nine strikeouts over six innings to pace the Atlanta Braves to a 3-1 win over San Francisco at Truist Park.

Sale won his 11th game of the 2024 MLB season, tying Seth Lugo of the Kansas City Royals for most in the majors. Sale has allowed one run in each of his last three starts and has a 1.50 ERA during that span.

San Francisco didn’t have much luck against the Braves’ bullpen, either. Three relievers combined to record the final nine outs while giving up just one hit.

The Giants scored their lone run in the sixth when Jorge Soler hit a leadoff double and scored on Matt Chapman’s two-out double off the wall in left field. Chapman had two of the Giants’ four hits.

San Francisco’s lack of offense ended its streak of 12 consecutive games with at least three runs, which was tied for the longest active such streak in MLB. The Giants also had their two-game winning streak snapped.

Jordan Hicks (4-5) allowed all three Atlanta runs and took the loss. The reliever-turned-starter has not won since May 19.

Here are the takeaways from Wednesday’s game:

Impatience At The Plate

Facing a resurgent Sale, the Giants needed to do a better job of showing some patience at the plate against the seven-time MLB All-Star.

With the exception of one inning – the second when San Francisco forced Sale to throw 26 pitches – the Giants were swinging early and often, which prevented them from getting into any kind of rhythm.

Sale needed only six pitches to work through the first inning. He threw two more than that to Chapman in the following inning, which spiked Sale’s pitch count up a tad.

Heliot Ramos drew a nine-pitch walk in the fourth, but the Giants continued to be way too antsy with their offense.

They went down on 13 pitches in the third, 17 in the fourth, 10 in the fifth then another 17 in the sixth.

Rub Some Dirt On It

Luis Matos was able to avoid a potential serious injury despite a couple of scary moments early in the game.

In the second inning, Matos fouled a ball hard off his lower left leg. The ball hit the protective guard that Matos was wearing but didn’t do much to slow the impact, as the 22-year-old limped for several moments as manager Bob Melvin and trainer Dave Groeschner came out to check on him.

Matos remained in the game and struck out swinging on a fastball high in the zone to finish the at-bat.

Matos came back to later and made a tumbling catch to rob Austin Riley of a hit to end the fourth. Matos appeared to be shaken up a little on the play but got to his feet and jogged back to the dugout.

That was as positive a sign as any, considering how the Giants have basically turned into a M*A*S*H* unit this season with all their injuries.

Good Glove Work

The score could and likely would have been worse had it not been for a pair of stellar defensive plays by San Francisco in the sixth inning.

Catcher Curt Casali started things off with a pretty throw to second baseman Tyler Fitzgerald to catch Forrest Wall trying to steal second base. It was only the third time in 23 attempts this season that Casali has thrown a runner out on the bases.

In the same at-bat with Zach Short, Nick Ahmed saved a potential run when he snatched Short’s grounder and threw home to nail Adam Duvall trying to score. It’s Ahmed’s 125 assist in 47 games at shortstop for the Giants this season.

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