The Giants got good news late Saturday night as they drifted off to sleep. They would play baseball on Sunday, and that's all they wanted. That ended up being about the only positive on the final day in San Diego, though.
The Giants were swept in a pair of seven-inning games, getting outscored 9-1 on the day and 15-2 in the three losses to the San Diego Padres. The 3-1 loss in the second game Sunday came with a late collapse, and capped a day that started with good news and bad.
Alex Dickerson was fully cleared and returned to the lineup, but as team officials explained that whole situation, they also announced that right-hander Kevin Gausman has tightness in his right elbow. Gausman was supposed to pitch the second game, but Logan Webb was chosen instead.
"He felt some tightness (playing catch) a few days ago. We felt a high degree of comfort in still keeping him set up to start, making his start, and we were prepared to do so," Kapler said. "He woke up today and had a little bit of tightness. We just wanted to make sure that we respected that and that's why we're starting Webby."
Kapler said Gausman will get an MRI. The Giants did not immediately make a roster move, and they haven't ruled Gausman out of his next start, but this certainly is not where they wanted to be with a right-hander who has been their best starter. Gausman has a 4.05 ERA with 62 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings.
"I have concerns. We have one of our best starting pitchers getting an MRI on his elbow," Kapler said. "Any time that happens there are reasons to be concerned."
Losing Gausman would be a far greater blow than what happened during this series. The Giants might not admit it, but the Padres are the far better team. They are trying to chase down the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West standings, while the Giants are holding on for a wild card spot. In that respect, there was a bit of good news Sunday. Despite losing a third straight and falling to 23-24, the Giants remain 1 1/2 games ahead of the Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers for the final playoff spot.
There might have been a second silver lining, too. Webb was preparing to come out of the bullpen Sunday but ended up giving up just one run in four innings. It was his best performance in about three weeks. He could be a key piece if Guasman misses starts.
"We obviously hope that Gaus will be cleared to make his next start, whenever we decide that will be," Kapler said. "If he's not, we have a lot of confidence in Logan Webb."