The San Francisco Giants’ slide is threatening to end one of baseball’s longest active streaks.
Going into Saturday’s game with the Padres in San Diego, the Giants haven’t been under .500 since the first week of the 2021 season — better than any other team.
But it’s all on the line Saturday.
After losing the first two games of this four-game series, the Giants have gone 1-8 over their past nine games and 4-14 over their past 18 to fall to 41-41. One more loss and the streak ends.
The role of stopper for the Giants falls to left-hander Carlos Rodon (7-5, 2.87 ERA). The Padres will counter with right-hander Yu Darvish (7-4, 3.53).
Rodon is coming off his worst outing in nearly two months. On Monday at Arizona, Rodon gave up four runs on five hits and two walks, with seven strikeouts in five innings of a 8-3 loss. Afterward, Rodon was critical of himself and the Giants at large.
“We’re playing some really bad baseball,” he said. “Maybe we need to play with a little more fire. It’s a little frustrating. All of us wish we were playing better. I needed to pitch better.”
Over his four previous starts, Rodon had allowed two runs on 14 hits and six walks with 30 strikeouts in 27 innings. That’s a 0.67 ERA.
And Giants manager Gabe Kapler said he felt Rodon’s outing June 22 in Atlanta — where he allowed one run on three hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts over seven innings was Rodon’s best of the season. Unfortunately, the Giants’ bullpen blew the lead in a difficult loss.
“This effort was among his best,” Kapler said of Rodon’s outing in Atlanta. “But he was emptying his tank in the seventh.”
When asked about the degree of hurt in that loss, Kapler said: “I don’t measure which wins or losses feel better or worse than others. That’s not my style.”
It’s also not the Giants’ style under Kapler to have a 4-14 slump.
“This is not our best,” he said. “We’re making mistakes.”
Rodon faced the Padres once earlier this season, holding San Diego to two runs on five hits and four walks over six innings in a May 21 game in San Francisco that the Padres won 2-1. That was Rodon’s only career appearance against the Padres.
Darvish will be facing the Giants for the second time this season. His first outing in San Francisco also happened to be one of the worst starts in Darvish’s 227-start career. On April 12, in his second outing of the season, Darvish gave up nine runs on eight hits and two walks in just 1 2/3 innings.
Darvish has a 2-2 career record against the Giants with a 7.13 ERA over eight starts.
Meantime, Padres manager Bob Melvin spoke about Manny Machado, who has homered in each of the past two games against the Giants. It was announced Friday that Machado will start at third base for the National League in the All-Star Game.
“All-Star, yes,” Melvin said. “He’s putting together a MVP type season.”
–Field Level Media