What we learned as Nats torch Manaea in Giants' blowout loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO -- The excitement that built during Casey Schmitt's debut on Tuesday night didn't even last a couple of innings on Wednesday.
The Nationals scored four runs in the second and four more in the third, knocking Sean Manaea out early en route to an 11-6 win over the Giants. As they have done all year, the Giants continued to struggle against the teams expected to finish closer to the bottom of the league.
They dropped the series to the Nationals, just as they did earlier this year against the Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins. It's been an odd first six weeks for a group that generally played well for two weeks against contenders and was coming off back-to-back series wins against the Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers.
Manaea put the Giants in a big early hole and their best chance to dig out of it was cut short by two disappointing moments. With runners on the corners and one out in the sixth, Blake Sabol hit an RBI single to right but was back-picked as he rounded first. Austin Slater followed with what looked to be an infield single, but Slater hurt his left hamstring while running down the line and immediately came out of the game.
The only Giants hit through five innings was a ringing double from Schmitt, who jumped on a 2-0 fastball from Josiah Gray and hit one 108 mph into the gap in left-center. Schmitt scored the first run of the day after advancing on a couple of ground balls.
Schmitt grounded out to short his second time up and then hit a grounder to first in his third at-bat. In the ninth, he poked a slider into right for a single and scored on LaMonte Wade Jr. 's homer.
Schmitt is 4-for-8 through his first two games in the big leagues and should be in the lineup again Thursday in Arizona, since the Giants don't expect Brandon Crawford back until Friday at the earliest.
Sean's Still Searching
A scrappy Nationals lineup made quick work of Manaea, who still has yet to find the gear the Giants were hoping for when they gave him a two-year deal in the offseason. Manaea gave up five hits, walked three and allowed a homer in his 2 2/3, although half of the eight runs were unearned because J.D. Davis made an error on a grounder in the third.
Manaea left too many balls up in the zone, including his biggest mistake, which came with two outs and two strikes in the second inning.
Through 26 innings this season, Manaea has allowed 29 runs -- 23 of which were earned. He has given up 30 hits and walked 16.
It was an odd series for the bullpen, which was basically not used at all with the exception of rookie long man Tristan Beck. \
The right-hander took over for Anthony DeSclafani in the eighth inning on Monday and got the final six outs because the Giants were down big. On Wednesday, Beck entered in the third and got all the way through the top of the eighth.