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Panic at the Disco

Anthony DeSclafani, the defense, the offense—no one in a Gigantes uniform looked sharp in Sunday’s loss

Baltimore Orioles v San Francisco Giants Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

San Francisco Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani didn’t come out for the 4th inning after barely crawling out from the flaming and bent wreckage of the 3rd inning in Sunday’s 8-3 junker against the Baltimore Orioles.

The Orioles tagged the starter for 6 runs (5 earned) with 11 batters coming to the plate. All but one of those runs came with two outs, which means that DeSclafani nearly sneaked out of the inning chastised but not knocked out.

If only, if only...

The trouble started with a walk to James McCann, the back-up catcher, to lead-off the inning. Within four pitches, Adam Frazier hit a sacrifice fly for the game’s first run after Jorge Mateo’s set-up double. Wisely couldn’t quite corral an Adley Rutschman single which put runners on the corner with 1-out.

Light appeared at the end of the tunnel when Anthony Santander popped up to J.D. Davis for an unproductive second out, but Austin Hays ambushed a first pitch slider for an RBI single to make it 2-0. The slider wasn’t located poorly—off the plate away—but it stayed flat and elevated, allowing Hays to get under it and slap the pitch to right.

From that point on, the inning, and game, proceeded to slip through DeSclafani’s fingers.

The starter, who had walked only 9 hitters all year, couldn’t locate his pitches and handed out consecutive walks, one with the bases loaded. Josh Lester (not that Josh Lester) collected his first career hit with a 2-RBI single, and a third run scored on a throwing error by Austin Slater (while greatly mishandled by second baseman Brett Wisely).

3 BB, 1 HBP, 4 H, 5 ER—probably DeSclafani’s worst inning of the year so far.

Since his immaculate 8 inning shut out performance against the Astros on May 2nd, DeSclafani’s 2.13 ERA has swollen to nearly double its size over his last 6 starts. Opponents scored 17 earned runs over 29.1 innings against him last month. June isn’t off to a great start.

The back end of the rotation is in tatters, DeSclafani has been treading water, and for some reason, the offense doesn’t score when Logan Webb is on the mound, negating most of his quality starts. Cobb pitched brilliantly yesterday, Junis has eaten up innings in long relief, and Manaea has shown promise in a similar role—but it just feels like Anthony DeSclafani, as the bridge in the Giants rotation, needs to be right for this team to be right.

The game and series felt lost by the time the Giants got to their ups in the 3rd. For good measure, Baltimore RHP Tyler Wells dominated opposing hitters with a high-90s elevated fastball and a nasty change-up.

Wells K’ed 9 over 5.1 scoreless innings before Blake Sabol absolutely annihilated a 2-run HR to the 415 club to crack the shutout egg and knock the starter out of the game. It warranted a flame emoji, but it wasn’t a spark. The Giants would add another inconsequential run in the 8th.

Besides Sabol’s bash and Davis’s 2 for 3 with 1 BB performance, the offense was dormant.

It certainly didn’t help that Michael Conforto and Joc Pederson were still out, and Mike Yastrzemski was scratched with stiffness before first pitch.

It’s not going to be easy to win games when the heart of your lefty-swinging lineup is absent against a right-handed starter. Not to mention, your All-Star caliber, daily middle-infielder. Thairo Estrada’s return is imminent, which will be good ultimately for the roster, but probably not for Brett Wisely. With Casey Schmitt showing defensive range with starts at second base, as well as Austin Slater and Bryce Johnson fortifying the outfield, Wisely might be back on I-80 to Sac soon. By the way he played today, he might know the move is coming.

The Giants ended their home stand with a disappointing 2 - 4 record, losing both series against Pittsburgh and Baltimore, and once again dip below .500. Day off tomorrow and then a series against the Colorado Rockies in Denver.