The new doubleheader rule has not at all been kind to the Giants.
The Giants had a meek offensive showing Sunday afternoon in the first of two games with the San Diego Padres, losing 6-0 and failing to get anything going against trade deadline acquisition Mike Clevinger.
The Giants now have played three seven-inning games this season and have been outscored 15-0. They previously got swept in a doubleheader by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sunday's loss was the second in a row to the Padres, who have been one of the better teams in the NL all season long and loaded up at the deadline, with Clevinger, a former Cleveland Indians star, being the big prize.
As you await Game 2, here are three things to know about the first one ...
They Needed More
With Clevinger on the other side, the Giants needed a lockdown performance from Johnny Cueto, and he wasn't able to deliver. Cueto, who originally was supposed to start Friday night, was charged with four earned in 5 1/3 innings.
The first two runs scored when Cueto grooved a two-out fastball in the second inning and Greg Garcia redirected it into left field. The Padres tacked on two more on a bases-loaded single from Wil Myers an inning later. That pitch was a pretty good one, but Myers has always been a Giant-killer, and apparently that hasn't changed.
A New Ace in San Diego
The Giants got their first look at Clevinger, and that guy is, uhh, going to be a big problem. Clevinger, who is under team control for the next couple of seasons, was topping out at 98 mph in the first inning and allowed just two hits in a 99-pitch shutout.
Clevinger gave up a single in the first and then didn't allow another hit until the fifth, when Brandon Crawford lined a two-out double.
Back in Left
Alex Dickerson had an extremely emotional weekend after getting a false positive for COVID-19 before Friday's game, but he had a smile on his face as he stepped into the batter's box in the first, looking like a man who was very happy to be focusing on baseball again. Dickerson singled in his first at-bat.
That first inning wasn't totally seamless, though. Mike Yastrzemski briefly lost track of the count, leading to a funny moment: