Giants observations: Offense shut down by Sandy Alcantara, Marlins

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What we learned as Giants shut out by Alcantara, Marlins originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

You couldn't draw up a tougher day than the one the Miami Marlins experienced as they prepared to start a four-game series with the Giants.

The Marlins had to play a doubleheader at Coors Field on Wednesday, with the second game ending on a Rockies walk-off that came about two hours after the Giants finished up in Philadelphia. They were likely exhausted, but the Giants were the team that looked gassed Thursday, managing just three hits in a 3-0 loss.

It didn't really matter if the Marlins were tired, as they had Sandy Alcantara, maybe the best pitcher in the National League, on the mound. The hard-throwing right-hander threw 111 pitches over seven shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 1.81.

Alcantara easily leads the Majors in innings pitched, and he went deep on a day the Marlins needed it.

The Giants worked him hard early, but ultimately had just three hits off Alcantara. They dropped to 3-4 on the three-city road trip.

Interesting Move

With the Giants trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth and the heart of Miami's lineup coming up, Gabe Kapler went away from conventional wisdom. Closer Camilo Doval replaced Alex Wood, taking over with a runner on first and one out for Jesus Aguilar, the cleanup hitter.

It's easy to see what Kapler was thinking. He was trying to stay in the game and Doval is his best option against good right-handed hitters, but it backfired. Aguilar doubled to bring in a run and Miguel Rojas singled up the middle two batters later to make it 3-0.

The appearance was Doval's first appearance this year before the seventh inning and just his second one before the eighth. The outing was Doval's earliest since last Sept. 22, which was a week before he picked up his first save.

Ownage is Ownage

It's been a rough couple of months at the plate for Joey Bart, but his season actually started out perfectly. On Opening Day, Bart took Alcantara deep at Oracle Park to get his first career home run. He apparently just sees the Marlins co-ace well.

Bart yanked a slider into left field in the third inning for a single and later worked back from an 0-2 count to draw a walk. Bart saw 13 pitches in those two plate appearances and reached base multiple times in a game for the first time since May 15.

Bart also had a good day behind the plate, making a strong throw down to second in the bottom of the fifth for a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play that ended the inning.

Old Friend

The Giants liked Luke Williams and hoped he could provide some right-handed bench depth, but he was DFA'd last month when they needed a 40-man spot for catcher Michael Papierski. Williams was traded to the Marlins and was 2-for-5 in a pair of appearances coming into Thursday's game, which he started in left field.

Williams' biggest contribution came in the field, as he made an acrobatic catch in the top of the seventh to rob Luis Gonzalez of what would have been a leadoff double.

Williams popped up his first time up against his former team and then drew a pair of walks. He was thrown out by Bart as he tried to steal second.

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