San Francisco Chronicle - (Sunday)
More swings, misses
DeSclafani strong but not enough against Padres, Snell
The Giants face the Padres 19 times this year, so there’s no hiding from Yu Darvish and Blake Snell, two major offseason acquisitions and prime reasons San Diego expects to go deep into the offseason.
The past two nights, Giants starters Logan Webb and Anthony DeSclafani were good but not as good as Darvish and Snell, at least according to the box scores.
Both duels at Petco Park ended in favor of the Padres, including Saturday night’s 62 decision that made the Giants 01 in May after they posted the NL West’s top record in April.
The Giants scored twice off Snell in the fifth inning when Mauricio Dubón homered — his first of the year, a nice way to open May after he hit just .188 in the first month — and Darin Ruf singled home DeSclafani, an unearned run.
From there, the Giants went down meekly and had to settle for two runs for the second straight night. So far in the series, they’re 2for14 with runners in scoring position (0for5 with the bases loaded) and have struck out 28 times, not exactly a winning formula.
“The last couple of nights are an indication that we have a better brand of offensive baseball in us and trust that we’ll get there,” manager Gabe Kapler said, “because we have players who are talented enough and prepared enough to make that happen.”
The Padres scored all the runs they needed before DeSclafani got an out. The first three batters reached base, Manny Machado capping the sequence with a home run that made the score 30.
The Giants played catchup the rest of the evening, and DeSclafani deserved credit for keeping the game close. The Padres didn’t threaten again during his six innings.
In fact, the deeper DeSclafani pitched, the more dominating he became. On his watch, only two more Padres reached base on a single and walk, and the runners were wiped out on a double play and caught
“Tough matchup,” DeSclafani said of facing Darvish and Snell. “But I think all of us starters are just as good as anybody else in the league. We all have really good arms and possess some unique qualities that the Giants are good at getting us to use.
“I believe in our starting staff, there’s no doubt about it. It’s going to continue to be a fun year.”
So DeSclafani, after trailing 30, faced the minimum 18 batters through the sixth. The righthander needed just five pitches to get through his final inning, pushing his total to 76, and he exited for a pinchhitter in the seventh.
That didn’t work well. Austin Adams struck out Tommy La Stella. And the other two batters in the inning. Emilio Pagan struck out the side in the eighth.
In the home half, the Padres put the game away on Jurickson Profar’s homer off Camilo Doval and Jake Cronenworth’s tworun single off Jose Alvarez.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford was out of the lineup a day after being hit on the left calf by a Darvish heater. With second baseman Donovan Solano shelved with a more serious calf injury than Crawford’s, Saturday’s doubleplay combination was Dubón and Wilmer Flores.
It was a chance for Flores to get atbats without getting cheated. Friday, he pinchhit in the ninth and took three pitches clearly outside, all called strikes by umpire Adam Hamari.
“I appreciate how difficult it is calling balls and strikes, a real challenge. I don’t take that lightly or ever lose empathy for people who have to do a real tough job,” Kapler said. “At the same time, there was a high level of frustration during the game and particularly after that last atbat.”
Asked if the Giants would share their frustration with the Commissioner’s Office, Kapler said, “There are talks about that right now.”
Hamari was the thirdbase ump Saturday, and Flores got better calls but went 0for3.