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Casey Schmitt doesn’t erase early 8-0 deficit to Nationals

Thanks a lot Casey.

MLB: Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing to see here, folks. Keep movin’, nothing to see. We don’t need to spend too much over-analyzing this loss. Just a getaway day clobbering, a Wednesday afternoon blood letting, a mid-week drubbing.

The 11 - 6 final score feels more generous than how it actually went down. The San Francisco Giants were down 4-0 to the Washington Nationals by the end of the 2nd, 8-0 in the 3rd and 9 - 0 by the end of the 4th. Their 6 runs aided by a couple of 2-run homers from Michael Conforto and LaMonte Wade Jr. in the 8th and 9th innings.

Similarly to Monday’s game, the Giants found themselves in an early hole behind their starter. Unlike Anthony DeSclafani settling in and going 7-innings after a rocky first, Sean Manaea is still looking to recover his rhythm.

After an initial strikeout in the 2nd, Manaea allowed the next three batters to reach, before catcher Riley Adams launched a 2-out 3-run homer—his first of the year—to put Washington up 4 - 0.

Manaea’s 3rd didn’t fare much better. Again, a lead off K did little to settle Manaea and the Giants in. A walk tailed the first out and an error by J.D. Davis at third—his second in as many days—followed. A walk then followed the second out and the Nats, after San Francisco insisted, cashed in the free runners and blew the top of the dang thing with an RBI single and triple.

Manaea didn’t make it out of the 3rd. The Nationals who are not known for their hard contact or offensive production, but they are known for putting the ball in play. The Nats are second in the Majors in batted ball events while Manaea’s strikeout rate might be the only thing going for him. In the epic clash of paper against rock—paper being the bat and rock being the baseball in my mind of odd connections and logical leaps—paper will always beat rock. In 2.2 innings of work, the Giants starter fanned 4 but still walked 3 and allowed 5 hits, allowing major velocity in 2-out scenarios in subsequent innings.

His 12.0 BB% is 13th worst in the Majors; his expected OBP and SLG are 3rd and 4th worst while his 16.9 Barrel % is second-worst (min 100 PA). His mechanics are inconsistent from batter-to-batter, inning-to-inning. Yes his velocity is up, but he’s all over the place with control and finishing off his breaking pitches.

A small grace for Manaea’s ERA: only four of the eight runs allowed on his watch were earned.

Davis should certainly take some responsibility in this one. When a starter is clearly struggling for outs, the defense wants to limit his work anyway they can. The Giants gloves didn’t do that. Davis’s clank fed a Washington rally. Though this feels a little unfair of me— especially since Austin Slater was pulled after injuring his leg running to first in the 6th—he just missed snagging Ildemaro Vargas’s fly to deep center that resulted in a 2-run triple.

It would’ve been an incredible catch—full on dive after a full on sprint, battling the sun—but it was a catch Slater could’ve made. On the replay it looked like he had it tracked, but misjudged the distance (mid-dive) and didn’t extend his arm out far enough, thus ball missed mitt.

But again, not really the major problem behind that RBI triple. As Gabe Kapler said there will be a post-mortem done on this outing and that term couldn’t be more apt. More outings like this with the return of Alex Wood soonish, Sean Manaea might be a dead man walking.

Tristen Beck took the mound in the 3rd throwing 5.1 innings of 2-run baseball. He threw some nasty curveballs, hung a couple, but more importantly plowed through some innings, setting up a fresh San Francisco bullpen for the next series.

After the loss it’s clear that The Casey Schmitt Era won’t be all strawberries and roses. But know that today wasn’t Schmitt’s fault! The young infielder went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and more brassy contact off the bat.

San Francisco’s bats made loud contact all afternoon but were stymied by a tough opponent in Josiah Gray, who allowed 2 runs, 5 hits and 4 BBs over 7 innings. Conforto lifted his first home run since April 19th and Wade launched his 7th on the year, now tied with Davis for the team lead.

Too little too late.

The loss leveled the Giants’ recent homestand record at 3 - 3. A four-game series against a talented Arizona Diamondbacks team awaits.