The Giants have gotten used to happy flights, bus rides, drives, Ubers and everything in between, but there would be none of that Sunday.
The road trip to visit two NL East teams ended with a 9-0 blowout loss to the Atlanta Braves, who took two of three in the first series of the year between two teams that both look headed for October. The loss snapped a streak of nine consecutive series won by the Giants. The last time they failed to win a series was in late July against the Pirates, of all teams.
The Giants ended up going 4-2 after leaving the Bay Area and 6-3 on a road trip that started in Oakland.
They'll fly home now for their biggest week of the season. They have four against the first-place Milwaukee Brewers and then three against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have a chance to cut the NL West deficit later Sunday.
Anthony DeSclafani had been out since leaving his August 18 start against the Mets with an ankle injury, and his first start back wasn't what was hoped for.
Jorge Soler put the Braves on top with a 109-mph solo bomb and Austin Riley, who is sneaking into the MVP conversation, hit a two-run shot. DeSclafani left with two on and no outs in the fourth inning, and the concerning part was he did so with Gabe Kapler and trainer Dave Groeschner.
DeSclafani was charged with three earned on six hits in three-plus innings. At the moment, his next scheduled start would come against the Dodgers, but we'll see.
Saving His Friends
Sammy Long took DeSclafani's place earlier on the road trip and pitched well against the Mets, but he had a rough one Sunday. He took over as the (sorry) long man in the fourth and was charged with six earned runs, but he still probably got a lot of pats on the back in the clubhouse after the game.
The Giants are in the middle of their stretch of 16 games in 16 days, so it was huge that Long was able to just about finish this out. He threw 90 pitches out of the bullpen while soaking up 4 2/3 innings. Long nearly got Gabe Kapler through the rest of the game, but when the Braves tacked on a couple of runs in the bottom of the eighth, Gabe Kapler finally gave him a break. He still didn't have to use his normal relievers, though ...
See You Later, MVP
That's because Austin Slater took over!
Slater came on to record the final out of the day for the Giants, making his MLB pitching debut. It went pretty well, too. Slater threw sidearm while facing just two batters. He walked old friend Ehire Adrianza, although it appeared he was getting squeezed a bit. He then threw a 71 mph pitch up and away that Freddie Freeman, the reigning NL MVP, flied out to left. Slater walked off the mound with a huge smile on his face.
Slater threw six pitches, making out at 75 mph. He averaged about 71 mph.