Webb on Giants' skid: 'Not very fun right now'

Right-hander allows unearned run in hard-luck loss as SF commits 4 errors

August 31st, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO -- deserved a better outcome on Tuesday night, but the fading Giants couldn’t support him with their bats or their gloves. 

The Giants committed a season-high-matching four errors in a 4-3 loss to the Padres at Oracle Park, extending their losing streak to six games and dropping a season-high six games below .500. 

With a 61-67 record, the Giants are now 9 1/2 games behind the Padres for the final National League Wild Card spot with 34 games left to play. More tellingly, they are now tied with the rebuilding D-backs for third place in the NL West -- a far cry from the heights they reached in 2021, when they won the division by cruising to a franchise-record 107 wins.

“I don’t think anybody in this room will tell you that they thought we’d be in this spot at this point,” Webb said. “Maybe we got a little too complacent at some point or something, but we’re not doing the little things that win baseball games. It’s unfortunate.” 

Webb was charged with the loss despite allowing only one unearned run on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old right-hander carried a shutout bid into the sixth inning, but he caught a bad break when Manny Machado reached on a two-out single and advanced to second on shortstop Brandon Crawford’s second throwing error of the night. 

Yermín Mercedes, who started at first base in place of the injured Brandon Belt, couldn’t scoop Crawford’s one-hop throw on the play, allowing the ball to get past him and bounce into the Padres’ dugout. Mercedes has limited experience at first, but the Giants opted to start him there to try to get another right-handed bat in their lineup against San Diego lefty Blake Snell.

Josh Bell followed with an RBI single to right field, breaking a scoreless tie and forcing Webb to depart after throwing 109 pitches. Another throwing error by third baseman J.D. Davis later set up Trent Grisham’s two-run shot off Tyler Rogers in the seventh, kicking off a three-run rally that extended San Diego’s lead to 4-0. Austin Wynns was also charged with an error after committing catcher interference in the second. 

“We didn’t play our best defensive game,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “I think that’s clear. We have to be better.”

The Giants have been haunted by poor defense all year, but their issues were further compounded on Tuesday by their increasingly shorthanded roster. Belt’s future is in doubt as he weighs season-ending surgery on his balky right knee. Evan Longoria returned to the lineup at designated hitter, but he wasn’t available to play third base due to a sore hamstring. Joey Bart also landed on the seven-day concussion injured list prior to the game.

The losses continued to mount in the bottom of the first, when Austin Slater dislocated his left pinkie after making a late head-first slide into second base on a stolen-base attempt. Slater was replaced in center field by Mike Yastrzemski in the top of the third and is expected to undergo an MRI exam on Wednesday.

“It’s kind of the way the year is going,” Webb said. “At some point, you’ve got to just lock back in even without those guys. Try to focus on what we’ve got out there and try to win every game. It sucks that those guys aren’t out there, but it’s baseball. You play six months and you’re going to have times when you don’t have some guys.

"The really good teams are the ones that kind of make up for it. I think we did a very good job of that last year. It’s just not clicking right now as a whole. Every game seems like it’s something different. It’s frustrating for all of us in there because we all want to win more than anybody. It’s just not very fun right now.”

The Giants, who have been outscored by a 36-14 margin over their six-game skid, mustered only four hits against Snell and didn’t get on the board until they managed to scratch across an unearned run in the eighth. Joc Pederson’s towering two-run shot over the right-field foul pole -- his second home run in as many days -- cut the deficit to one in the bottom of the ninth, but it was once again too little, too late for the Giants. 

“Every game is a must-win for us right now,” Webb said. “It’s unfortunate that we’re not winning them.”