What we learned as Giants strand nine in sixth consecutive loss

What we learned as Giants strand nine in sixth consecutive loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area


The Giants rank in the middle of the pack in the Majors in runs scored and 26th in team ERA. There's not a lot of wiggle room most nights, which means the gloves have to be dependable after an offseason spent bolstering the defense.

The box score showed just one error on Tuesday night, but there were several hits that came on plays that should have been made. For a team that's back in an offensive slump, that was too much to overcome.

The Giants lost 8-5 at Chase Field, dropping a second consecutive game to the Arizona Diamondbacks and sixth straight overall. The season's longest losing streak has them at 29-33 overall.

The Giants left eight runners on in the first seven innings, but the game was broken open before they got another shot to try and wipe out a small deficit in the eighth or ninth. Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s double capped a four-run eighth off righty Luke Jackson, turning a two-run game into a blowout.

That stretch was crucial, as Mike Yastrzemski hit a three-run shot in the top of the eighth. It was too little, too late, however.

Where's The Production?

Here's an easy way of looking at what has gone wrong recently. Runs scored over the past seven games: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 2, 5. The one win during that stretch was a 1-0 shutout that took a massive effort from the bullpen.

There are no easy solutions as the Giants once again try to kickstart the struggling lineup. Michael Conforto is back, and the next two who might return from the IL -- Austin Slater and Nick Ahmed -- have struggled at the plate. Jung Hoo Lee had season-ending shoulder surgery Tuesday, and LaMonte Wade Jr. will miss at least another three weeks. There are no more hot-hitting prospects in Triple-A to try.

This is it. This is the group. So they're going to need a lot more from the struggling veterans, and they're going to need to start scoring earlier in games. They entered the day ranked 12th in the NL in runs scored in the first six innings.

Chase Troubles

The Diamondbacks might have the quickest infield in the National League, and it gave the Giants a lot of problems, particularly in the third inning. Jake McCarthy got a leadoff single on a grounder just out of the reach of shortstop Casey Schmitt, and Blaze Alexander followed with a hustle double on a hard grounder off Schmitt's glove. Two runs scored when Kevin Newman lined a single off Matt Chapman's glove.

It was a rough defensive night for Schmitt, who committed an error an inning later. He generally has been good defensively this year and had a strong offensive weekend, but the Chase turf was not kind to him Tuesday.

Back Home (Kinda)

Like other Bay Area natives who got drafted by the Giants, Kyle Harrison now lives in the Phoenix area in the offseason. His return was better than it looked on paper.

The Diamondbacks put six balls in play in the third inning while tagging Harrison with three runs. Three of them were base hits that touched a glove, and one of them was a single that went under a glove. The other two were a sacrifice fly and a grounder that started a double play.

That's a tough way to give up three runs, and Harrison allowed just one more -- which was unearned. He went six innings, giving up eight hits, walking none and striking out five. The young lefty now has thrown 95-plus pitches in five of his last seven starts.

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