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What we learned as Giants shut out by Dodgers, Buehler

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SAN FRANCISCO -- You can't get to the Dodgers in the late innings if you're not even within shouting distance in the late innings.

The Giants fell behind big early and got blown out in the second game of a three-game series at Oracle Park, falling 8-0 a night after a thrilling late win. Their NL West lead was cut to two games, with David Price set to face Johnny Cueto in Thursday's series finale. On top of all that, they potentially lost Buster Posey to an injury. 

This one went off the rails pretty quickly. The Dodgers knocked Anthony DeSclafani out after 2 2/3 innings for the second time this year, and while they struggled to deliver the next blow for a few innings, they finally broke the game wide open in the seventh. A two-run double by -- who else -- Max Muncy made it 7-0 and kept the Giants from dreaming of another late-innings comeback.

Those were unlikely dreams anyway given that Walker Buehler was on the mound. The right-hander has made five starts against the Giants this year and has a 0.79 ERA while throwing 34 innings. The Giants grind down every lineup, but Buehler has gotten through six innings in all five starts and made it through seven three times. He allowed just three hits in his seven scoreless innings Wednesday. 

They Have His Number

DeSclafani's All-Star push in the first half was ruined by a start at home against the Dodgers on May 23, when he gave up 10 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. That was his only appearance this season of fewer than 12 outs -- until Wednesday night. 

 

The Dodgers once again saw him well, shaking off two strikeouts in the first inning to knock DeSclafani out before the third inning was over. They stranded a couple of runners in the second and then poured it on in the third, scoring four runs on four hits and two walks. The backbreaker was Will Smith's two-run triple to right-center. DeSclafani reached 41 pitches in the inning before he was pulled. 

In five starts against the Dodgers this season, DeSclafani has thrown just 21 total innings and allowed 31 hits and 22 earned runs. His ERA jumped from 2.87 to 3.10 with the latest short outing. 

More Injury Concerns

The Giants could get Brandon Crawford back on Thursday, and Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria and Tommy La Stella are not far behind. But life is never easy for this infield.

Posey was pulled an inning after taking a foul tip off the mask. He appeared to be OK in the moment, but the Giants had a long defensive inning in the third and Posey was replaced by Curt Casali in the bottom of that frame.

Posey always has taken foul tips extremely seriously, and he has two concussions since 2017. His last came in 2019 and he missed 10 days. 

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Don't Let Him Get Hot

It's unclear what has happened to Cody Bellinger, who is 26 years old and just two years removed from being the National League's Most Valuable Player. What is clear is that the Giants' NL West lead would be a lot smaller -- or nonexistent -- if he had been swinging the bat like he did in the eighth. 

Bellinger took John Brebbia into the arcade for the eighth run of the night. Prior to that, he was 0-for-4 in the game and 1-for-35 against Giants pitching this season. His struggles are a big reason why the Giants have won four of six meetings over the last couple of weeks, but Bellinger did take a couple of good swings Wednesday, a potentially concerning sign for the team in first. 

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