NBC Sports

What we learned as Giants suffer fourth loss in five games

NBC Sports

The City Connect magic didn't make it to September. 

The Giants were 6-0 in their bright orange jerseys, but the undefeated record was wiped away with one of their uglier performances of the season. Johnny Cueto got roughed up early and the lineup had a third straight quiet game, leading to a 6-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers that was the fourth in the last five games. 

The Giants didn't do much against Corbin Burnes on Monday and they were completely overwhelmed by Brewers co-ace Brandon Woodruff a night later. Woodruff was cruising until the sixth, when Brandon Belt finally got the Giants on the board with a two-strike blast to dead center.

The homer gave Belt 20 for the first time in his career and got the Giants to 198 for the season, their most since they hit 198 in 2002. An inning later, Belt had a chance to make this one a nailbiter. 

Austin Slater and LaMonte Wade Jr. drew walks with one out but Belt struck out on a nasty 3-2 slider by Jake Cousins. Buster Posey went down swinging to end the inning. 

Knocked Around

Cueto might wish he spent another day trying to get past whatever knocked him out of Monday's game. His return from one day of sick leave and lasted just 3 2/3 innings, with the Brewers putting 10 hits and six earned runs on Cueto's line. His ERA jumped from 3.73 to 4.09.

 

To be fair to Cueto, a lot of the contact was soft and he got absolutely no help from his defense (more on that in a moment). But his stuff also was pretty diminished and he left a ton of pitches over the heart of the plate. The Brewers were all too happy to redirect them around the yard. 

Cueto's fastball sat 90-91 mph throughout the outing. He is someone who usually builds as he goes, but he never came close to finding a rhythm against the Brewers. His next start comes Saturday against the Dodgers. 

Look Away! 

The wheels came off in the fourth inning, which kept Cueto from soaking up a few more outs to help out the bullpen. He got the first two outs of the frame, but Christian Yelich singled to center and it was all downhill from there.

Omar Narvaez hit a high pop-up to shallow left that had a hit probability of one percent, but it dropped between a diving Alex Dickerson and hard-charging Kris Bryant. Yelich raced around to score, and when Cueto tried to backpick Narvaez at first, his throw went down the line. Avisail Garcia bounced the next pitch to third and Bryant's throw to first was wide of the bag. That ended up being it for Cueto, who avoided another dent in his ERA when Jose Quintana entered and stranded both runners. 

The ugliness continued into the bottom of the inning. Belt led off and tried to bunt his way aboard with two strikes, but he popped it up into foul territory for a strikeout. 

Giants Win The Waiver Claim

Quintana was spectacular in his Giants debut, getting Cueto out of trouble in the fourth and then mowing the Brewers down for three more innings. He allowed just one hit and struck out six of the 12 batters he faced. This was his longest scoreless appearance of the season. 

RELATED: When Kapler knew Giants were going to have special season

Quintana's fastball averaged just 92 mph but he relied on it heavily, throwing it 28 times and getting 23 strikes. He also mixed in a sharp curveball and a changeup, getting 10 swinging strikes in his 48 pitches. It was as promising a beginning as the Giants could have hoped for from a player they scooped up on waivers Monday

To top it all off, Quintana bounced a single into right field in his only at-bat. It was his first hit since 2019 when he was in the Cubs' rotation. 

Download and follow the Giants Talk Podcast