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How DeSclafani, Giants reacted to umps' sticky stuff checks

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Anthony DeSclafani

On a night when Wander Franco -- the consensus top prospect in baseball the past two years -- hit a homer in his big league debut, MLB made sure the headlines focused elsewhere. The clumsy rollout of the new foreign substance rules led to some awkward scenes around the game, including Sergio Romo pulling his pants down, Max Scherzer getting into a heated argument with Joe Girardi and Clayton Kershaw wondering what we're all doing here. 

There was no drama in Anaheim, though. Anthony DeSclafani got checked a couple of times during his seven shutout innings and shrugged it off. Giants relievers Dominic Leone and Jimmie Sherfy both smiled and chatted with umpires as they handed over their gloves and caps. 

After a 5-0 win, DeSclafani said the checks from the umpire weren't a big deal.

"Super, super easy. I had no issue with it and I knew there was going to be no issue," DeSclafani said. "It's fine. If that's all it's going to be I think it'll be good moving forward."

Giants pitchers have shown no concern over the last couple weeks, with several of them saying that "sticky substances" were not part of their game and they wouldn't have any problems complying with MLB's new guidelines. Manager Gabe Kapler has said the same, and he seemed amused by Tuesday's checks.


Kapler said he watched DeSclafani get stopped by umpires and "thought it was really interesting."

"I enjoyed watching it go down," Kapler said, smiling. "They were thorough and consistent and I kind of watched them check our pitchers and their pitchers and I thought it was the same process both times. It was nice to see the players cooperate and be on board with it. It was smooth."

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If the pitchers were impacted at all, it didn't show. Angels lefty Andrew Heaney struggled in the first inning but got into a groove and seemed unbothered by the checks. DeSclafani allowed just three hits over seven innings, lowering his ERA to 2.77. Kapler credited him for being fearless and attacking the strike zone. 

"He's been kind of the same pitcher all year long," he said. "Very consistent with his velocity, very consistent with the sharpness of his breaking balls.

"He had one outing against the Dodgers that didn't go well for him and outside of that I think he's been as steady as they come."

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