Giants Observations

What we learned as Giants miss opportunity to gain ground in playoff race

NBC Universal, Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO -- As the Giants were finishing batting practice on Tuesday afternoon, a member of the staff looked up at the out-of-town scoreboard and shook his head. "That's a bad scoreboard," he said. 

At the time, the teams the Giants are chasing were all leading, but by the time the sun went down at Oracle Park, all of them had lost, with two going down to last-place teams. The Giants weren't able to take advantage. 

They managed just four hits against Cal Quantrill and a good Guardians bullpen, losing 3-1. The loss was the first of a homestand that has -- at least for now -- saved their season. 

The score was tied heading into the sixth, but light-hitting second baseman Tyler Freeman came through in a big spot for the Guardians. With the bases loaded and two outs, manager Gabe Kapler ended Sean Manaea's night and turned to rookie right-hander Ryan Walker. Freeman, who bats right-handed, has reverse splits, and he stayed in the game and lined Walker's first pitch into left-center for a two-run single. 

A night after drawing just over 20,000 fans, the Giants announced a crowd of 23,541. They should do better on Wednesday when Kyle Harrison takes on Logan Allen in the homestand finale.

Starting Sean

Manaea made his first start since May 10 because the Giants felt it was a good matchup for a lefty. The Guardians started seven left-handed hitters and one switch-hitter on Monday night, and even with some changes a game later, they still had four lefties in their first seven lineup spots. 

Early on, it looked like the decision would backfire. Manaea needed 33 pitches to get through the first and allowed a run, but he was still out there in the sixth. Manaea retired 15 straight at one point and needed just 35 pitches to get through the second through fifth. 

A single, hit-by-pitch and error ended Manaea's night in the sixth and two unearned runs soon went on his line. He ended up getting charged with three runs -- only one earned -- in 5 2/3 innings. The appearance was his second-longest as a Giant.

Blake Show

Blake Sabol was Monday night's star, tying the game with a single in the 10th and then scoring the winning run on LaMonte Wade Jr.'s single. A night later, he got the Giants on the board with a big swing.

Sabol cleared the thickest part of the arcade in the fifth to pick up his 13th homer of the season. At 107.6 mph, the homer was Sabol's hardest-hit ball of the second half. Sabol hasn't played much this month, but he certainly helped out as the Giants waited for Patrick Bailey's return. The starting catcher is expected back in the lineup on Wednesday. 

Wild-Card Watch

This was the kind of night that makes you wonder if the third wild-card spot was a mistake. Elsewhere in the NL race, only the Reds ended up in the win column.

The Phillies currently hold the first wild-card spot but they lost 7-6 to the Braves in extra innings after a spirited comeback in the late innings. The Marlins lost 3-1 to a Brewers team that could be dangerous in October given how good their starting pitching has been recently. The Diamondbacks lost to the Mets and the Cubs lost at Coors Field. 

The Phillies, Cubs and Diamondbacks still hold the three playoff spots, with the Giants 1 1/2 back of the Diamondbacks. At the pack's current pace, it will take 85 wins to get the final postseason spot. 

Download and follow the Giants Talk Podcast

Contact Us