It wasn’t an ideal start to the second series of the annual Battle of the Bay between the A’s and Giants, as San Francisco went scoreless through the first two games.
Overall, the Giants’ scoreless streak reached 20 innings after Saturday’s 6-0 loss at the Coliseum, including the final two innings of Thursday’s win over the Seattle Mariners. The A's also won Friday night's game 6-0.
A's starters Chris Bassitt and Jesus Luzardo both threw incredible outings together, allowing just eight hits between them over the two games. But for a Giants team desperately fighting for a playoff spot, this is the wrong time for the bats to go cold.
The Giants’ depth, especially in the outfield, has taken a hit in recent days, as Mike Yastrzemski remains out while he deals with a calf strain. Alex Dickerson also left the team after Friday night’s loss for a stint on the paternity list.
Yaz left Thursday’s game with a tight calf, and although MRI results didn’t reveal any major damage, he is considered day-to-day and wasn’t in Friday or Saturday night’s lineup.
Their absence clearly seems to be a factor with the offense, but the Giants’ outfield defense also struggled mightily in Saturday’s loss. Darin Ruf had a pair of dropped catches in left field, including a pretty routine fly ball that he simply couldn’t keep in his glove.
Later in the bottom of the seventh inning, Ruf had a more difficult ball to track down off the bat of Marcus Semien, but still was unable to come down with the sliding catch.
Mauricio Dubon also misread a deep shot to center field, resulting in a Tommy La Stella triple that brought home a pair of runs for the A’s.
"I think he thought he was closer to the wall than he was," manager Gabe Kapler told reporters after the game. "As a result, I think he had his timing and his rhythm on the leap just off, and sometimes when that happens, you lose sight of the baseball.
"I think it's a play that Mauricio is capable of making, and I think he's going to learn from that."
Dubon came up as an infielder and has been adjusting to playing center field this season, so occasional errors are to be expected at one of the game's more difficult defensive positions.
Over the last two games, Giants outfielders has gone a combined 3-20 at the plate, and the offense as a whole has mustered just nine hits over two losses in Oakland.
Dickerson likely will return in a few days, and hopefully for the Giants, Yaz -- who turned himself into a bona fide MVP candidate this season -- can get back into the lineup soon.
With the Giants fighting for a playoff spot, defensive miscues like those on Sunday can be the difference between a playoff berth and an early offseason.
Oakland already has secured The Bridge trophy for 2020, and clinched a playoff spot with Friday night’s win. The Giants need to get out of the East Bay with a win on Sunday if they want to stay in the hunt for one of the two NL wild card slots.