If the Giants are treating the Dodgers as a barometer to gauge how far they remain from the defending World Series champions, then this weekend’s sweep — capped off by a 11-5 loss on Sunday — at the hands of the visitors doesn’t invite much optimism.
The two teams entered the day with the same record, but the Dodgers (29-18), even without stars Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager and Mookie Betts, controlled the series both at the plate and on the mound, sweeping the Giants (28-19) from first to third place in an NL West race in which the Giants have this far been surprisingly competitive. For the first time this season, the Giants have a three-game losing streak.
Even with a hot start this season, the Giants will need to eventually solve the Dodgers. Dating back to 2019, the Giants have lost 13 of their last 17 games to the Dodgers and have been outscored 100-40 during that stretch.
Manager Gabe Kapler acknowledged his team to beat “every which way” in the series, but losing streaks are bound to happen, even for good teams:
It tells us there’s going to be some ebbs and flows to this season. We didn’t expect there to be no challenging moments. We certainly didn’t think there was going to be no challenging moments in this series.
Anthony DeSclafani struggled on Sunday, allowing 10 runs in just 2-2/3 innings. The Dodgers batted around in the third inning for a 7-run frame, highlighted by a Gavin Lux grand slam. The inning featured two walks, four singles and a home run.
DeSclafani said that he thought he pitched well, but the Dodgers came out with an aggressive approach:
There’s a lot of things that could’ve went the other way but at the same time that’s just the way the ball rolls sometimes, so it’s just important to forget about this game as quick as I can. I feel like I’ve been throwing the ball really well. I’ve had a good season to this point.
The 10 runs allowed was a career high for DeSclafani (L, 4-2, 3.54 ERA) and it was the first time the sure-handed veteran — in the midst of the bes early season of his career — has given up more than three runs in a game this season. His ERA jumped from 2.03 to 3.54.
DeSclafani was disappointed in the way the series unfolded, but didn’t consider it a major red flag.
We’re still in a really good spot. We will have series where we get swept. It is what it is. We have a really good team. These three games don’t take away anything. Today was a blowout. That’s on me — that’s my fault.
The Giants offense was stifled by Dodgers starter Julio Urias through five innings. Mike Tauchman was the team’s first baserunner when he reached on an infield single with one out in the fifth. Austin Slater hit a two-run homer later in the inning and the Giants tacked on three runs in the eighth inning off Dodgers relief pitching.
After scoring 19 runs at Cincinnati on Thursday, the Giants managed just 9 runs in three games against the Dodgers at home.
Urias helped his own cause, too, with two hits. He ripped a double to right field in the second inning with two outs that scored two runs.
Repeating the theme from both Kapler and DeSclafani, outfielder Austin Slater said that the Giants don’t want to panic. They know they can play better:
I don’t think that’s up to the standard of play we’re going to see the rest of the season. Sometimes that happens. You go through stretches like that.
The only thing to do is get back up quickly off mat and quickly turn the page and get ready for the next game, and that’s what we’ll do.
In addition to the usual day-game-after-a-night-game rest for Buster Posey, Giants manager Gabe Kapler gave both veterans Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt the day off Sunday. … Kapler said that if the game had gotten even more out of hand, first baseman Darin Ruf would’ve been used as a pitcher
The Giants are off on Monday before a two-game series at the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. Starters for Tuesday have not been announced.