Curt Casali, Giants look to keep streaks going at Phillies

MLB

The San Francisco Giants will look for their third consecutive win when they visit the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.

The Giants received a two-run home run from Brandon Belt and captured the series opener, 2-0, on Monday. Curt Casali also caught his fourth straight shutout.

Buster Posey has been out with a left elbow contusion and Casali has capitalized on the opportunity.

“It’s always a point of pride,” Casali said. “It’s my job first to catch and take care of the pitchers on the mound. Hopefully one of these days I can contribute from an offensive perspective, but right now I’m happy to be working well with those guys on the mound. All I’m doing is calling the pitches, but they’re executing, and that’s all I can ask them to do.”

Giants manager Gabe Kapler said that Posey could be available to pinch hit on Tuesday. Since Casali is providing such a strong presence to the pitching staff, the Giants appear to be in a good position. Casali’s streak of catching four straight shutouts tied the mark most recently set by Francisco Cervelli in 2015, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“It’s really similar to what Buster brings,” Kapler said. “It’s experience, it’s savvy, it’s confidence, it’s great relationships with the umpires. All of those things matter when it comes to winning baseball games. He’s a good defender behind the plate, great receiver, good game-caller. (He’s an) across-the-board professional and also generally is going to give you a quality at-bat. Big-time positive anytime Casali is in our lineup.”

Even though Logan Webb had been placed on the injured list because of side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine, he’s expected to start Tuesday. Webb (0-1, 4.76 earned run average) will be making his fourth appearance and his third start. Webb has never faced the Phillies.

After winning two of three against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Phillies came out flat Monday and left 11 runners on base.

Bryce Harper had three hits, but the Phillies appeared to be out of sync at the plate in Monday’s loss. It was also the 13th straight game that the Phillies failed to receive a hit from their starting center fielder.

“I know they’re all capable of hitting at a much higher clip,” manager Joe Girardi said. “They’re just not doing it for whatever reason.”

The Phillies also have other issues with shortstop Didi Gregorius recovering from a sore elbow. He missed Monday’s game and is considered day-to-day.

In addition, the Phillies have placed five coaches and three players on the injured list due to COVID-19 protocols. The players are pitchers Jose Alvarado and Matt Moore along with infielder Ronald Torreyes.

“It’s obviously not what you want to go through as an organization, but you have to deal with it,” Girardi said. “You have to move forward. You have to continue to play well. Obviously, we have three kids that were called up that have never been to the big leagues. They’re going to be asked to play an important position at shortstop and to get outs. So, go get ’em.”

Infielder Nick Maton was one of three players called up to replace the players in COVID protocols, and he recorded his first major-league hit Monday.

The Phillies will hand the ball to Zack Wheeler (1-2, 3.00 ERA), who will be making his fourth start. After a strong opening start, Wheeler has allowed 17 hits in the last two, both losses. In Wheeler’s career against the Giants, he’s 2-2 with a 3.16 ERA in seven starts.

“It’s baseball,” Wheeler said. “You’re going to have those ups and downs throughout the season. Get them both out of the way now, right? It’s a long season.”

–Field Level Media

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