What you might have missed in Giants' rough loss to Padres originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Giants no longer are in control of their own destiny.
Early offensive failures and more late bullpen issues added up to a 6-2 loss to the San Diego Padres, dropping the Giants a game under .500 with one to go. At 29-30, they are tied with the Milwaukee Brewers for the last postseason spot in the National League, but the Brewers own the tiebreaker.
The Brewers beat the Cardinals earlier Saturday but the Phillies lost in Tampa Bay, so the day wasn't a total disaster. Still, the Giants need some help. If they lose Sunday, their season is over. If they win, they still need the Brewers to lose to clinch a spot. If both the Giants and Brewers win, this season will extend to Monday, with the Cardinals playing a doubleheader with Detroit to determine their final record and the final NL playoff team.
Got all that? Good. Here's what you need to know from Saturday's game ...
One Bad Inning
Johnny Cueto gave the Giants a chance, allowing three earned in 6 1/3 innings in his final appearance of the regular season. He gave up just five hits, but unfortunately bunched them together. Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a long homer to left-center in the fourth and the Padres added three singles to make it a three-spot.
On a day when the Giants DFA'd Jeff Samardzija, Cueto, signed a few days later in 2015, ended what ultimately was a disappointing season. Two years removed from Tommy John surgery, he hoped to be an ace again, but he had a 5.40 ERA in 12 starts, a career-high.
Mauricio Dubon has had a solid season, improving weekly in center field and showing better plate discipline and power late in the year. But there's one huge issue in his game: over-aggressiveness that repeatedly gets him in trouble on the bases and when throwing to bases.
The Giants had runners on first and second with one out in the fifth and Mike Yastrzemski at the plate. That's about how they would draw it up every time. But Dubon broke for third, seemingly thinking he could beat a shifted Manny Machado there, and was thrown out when he overslid the bag.
It was a crushing out, and when Yastrzemski struck out, the Giants were done in the inning. Can't do that with Yastrzemski at the plate. Can't do that with Alex Dickerson coming up behind him.
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Tony Watson chose a bad time to start getting hit hard. The veteran was having an unbelievable season until this series, allowing one earned run in his first 19 appearances. But he gave up a run and allowed two inherited runners to score in the opener Friday, and he gave up two homers in the ninth Saturday after the Giants had cut the deficit to one. Tommy Pham snuck one over the left field fence and then Mitch Moreland hit a no-doubter to Triples Alley.
The Giants have been extremely cautious with Watson's usage this year because he had a shoulder injury in the spring and into summer camp, but they've had to work him hard over the past week, and the results haven't been there.