The Giants have just two three-game losing streaks this season. Unfortunately for them, the rival Los Angeles Dodgers have been heavily involved in both of them.
The Giants lost 3-1 at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night, dropping their third straight. The three-game losing streak is their first since they got swept by the Dodgers at home on May 21-23. The Dodgers got within 1 1/2 games in the NL West standings.
Kevin Gausman had not allowed more than two runs in a start since April 13 against the Cincinnati Reds, but the Dodgers got off to a quick start, scoring twice and making Gausman throw 29 pitches in the first inning. They got another run when Max Muncy hit his nightly homer against the Giants two innings later.
The Giants got one back in the seventh and kept the pressure on when Kenley Jansen came on in the ninth to try and lock it up in front of 52,342 fans. He opened the inning by plunking Alex Dickerson, then walked Buster Posey to bring the go-ahead run to the plate.
The Giants had the right man up, but Brandon Crawford was frozen by a two-strike slider. After Wilmer Flores popped up, Steven Duggar struck out to end the game.
Not At His Best
Gausman had a rare off-night, although his off-nights would still be pretty good for most guys, especially considering the opponent. He allowed three runs in five innings while walking five for the first time since 2017 and striking out a season-low-tying four. Gausman's ERA jumped all the way to ... 1.68.
Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases in the first and Chris Taylor made Gausman pay, poking a two-run double the other way. Opposing hitters had been 2-for-50 against Gausman this season with runners in scoring position. The Dodgers got a third run on Muncy's homer.
This was just the third time in 16 starts that Gausman failed to go six innings, and it was the second time he allowed at least three earned runs.
The New Giant-Killer
Paul Goldschmidt is gone. Nolan Arenado is gone. They're actually both teammates in St. Louis. But the Giants still have a dude in the division giving them absolute nightmares, and unfortunately this time he's a Dodger. Muncy took Gausman deep in his second at-bat to get his seventh homer in eight starts against the Giants this season. He joined Stan Musial (1954) as the only players to hit seven homers in their first eight games against the Giants in a season.
Muncy already is surpassing some previous Giant-killer runs. Arenado had at least seven homers in a season against the Giants just once, hitting 10 off of them in 2015. Goldschmidt's high was five. Wil Myers hit seven against the Giants in 2017.
Hard To Touch
When the Dodgers swept the Giants at Oracle Park last month, Buehler became the first pitcher all year to complete seven innings against their lineup. He almost did it again Tuesday, coming up one out short when Gavin Lux made a two-out error in the seventh. Duggar followed with a double on a good 3-2 cutter, chasing Buehler.
Buehler has faced the Giants three times this year and allowed two earned runs in 19 2/3 innings. There are guys on the Dodgers' staff and elsewhere who get more attention, but Buehler is the best pitcher the Giants have seen this season. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out seven.