DeSclafani makes adjustment too late in Giants’ ugly loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO — At least it was fast.
The Giants and Washington Nationals played for just two hours and 14 minutes on Monday night, which was plenty for the home fans on one of the worst nights of the year. When you give up five runs in the first inning, and four of your key hitters bounce into double plays, you don’t want to be around much longer than that. But starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani probably wishes he could have stopped time for a few minutes in the first inning of a 5-1 loss.
The aggressive Nationals jumped on DeSclafani in a hurry, ruining his shiny early start to the season by scoring five runs on seven hits on his first 21 pitches. It was one of the oddest starts of DeSclafani’s career, as he bounced back to pitch six shutout innings after the first. But the damage was done.
“It’s kind of frustrating that it happened and a five-spot went up,” DeSclafani said. “It happened very quickly. It’s crazy how a game can change pretty quick, but they’re an aggressive team, but you can always use that to your advantage.”
DeSclafani did that while getting through the seventh, and he benefited from a mechanical adjustment after the five-run first. Pitching coach Andrew Bailey noticed that the vertical movement on his sinker and slider was off in the first, so DeSclafani changed the way he was taking his arm away from his glove and immediately felt a difference.
He mostly cruised for the next six innings, getting a key diving catch from Mitch Haniger that saved two runs in the seventh, but the lineup wasn’t able to threaten.
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The Giants didn’t score until the ninth, when Joc Pederson smoked a solo shot the other way. Pederson hit into one of the season-high four double plays, with Thairo Estrada, J.D. Davis and Michael Conforto joining the party. Those are Gabe Kapler’s two-through-five hitters.
Three of the double plays came in the first four innings, keeping the Giants from grabbing momentum as DeSclafani was finding a fix on the mound.
When it was over, Kapler was left without much to point to except for the fact that DeSclafani was able to get deep enough that rookie Tristan Beck could pitch the final two innings.
“We really do have a fresh bullpen going into tomorrow,” Kapler said. “That’s the only silver lining from tonight.”
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Source: NBC Bay Area
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