SF Giants' playoff hopes wilt away in sweep against D-backs

Evan Webeck, The Mercury News on

Published in Baseball

PHOENIX — With each passing game, the San Francisco Giants’ path to the postseason gets narrower.

They have 10 to play, and with a 7-1 loss to the D-backs Wednesday afternoon, fell further out of the playoff picture than they have been since it was worth paying attention. They were swept in the two-game series, outscored 15-5 and outhit 27-9, sending them 4½ games back of Arizona, 3½ back of the Cubs for the third and final spot, and on the wrong side of tiebreakers against both teams in the unlikely scenario they come into play.

“Obviously these were must-win games, and going back several games, those were also must-win games,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Now, the math is not on our side.”

If their four-game set at Colorado to open this road trip represented a golden opportunity, these two games in Arizona might as well have been a last stand. They went 1-5 over the six-game stretch and will take a .500 record with them to Dodger Stadium for the last leg of their final road trip. Their postseason odds, according to FanGraphs, are down to 1.4%.

“We’re probably going to have to win every single game from here on out and hopefully get some luck from around the league,” said Logan Webb, who notched his league-leading 23rd quality start with six innings of three-run ball but, once again, was let down by his lineup. “It’s very frustrating. One of my main goals is to win games that I start, and I just haven’t done that. It’s been very frustrating, to say the least.”

Wednesday was the 12th time this season the Giants have scored one or fewer runs in one of Webb’s starts. They have been held to two or fewer in 20 of his 32 starts. No other pitcher in the majors has received fewer run support. He will likely appear on Cy Young ballots, yet San Francisco fell to 14-18 when he takes the mound. There are a lot of things to point to when it comes to the Giants’ downfall, and their inability to score for their top starter is near the top of the list.


“I think we’re all disappointed that we haven’t been able to support Webby,” Kapler said. “It doesn’t take away from the excellent season that he’s had, the innings he’s been able to pile up, the games that he’s been able to keep us in. He’s just been one of the best pitchers in baseball, and I don’t think that’s disputable.”

The Giants lost more than the game: Shortstop Brandon Crawford left in the third inning and, Kapler said, may land on the injured list.

Crawford said he felt his right hamstring “grab” as he was trying to beat out a ground ball to first base in the second inning. A trip to the IL would jeopardize the rest of his season, and possibly would mean he’s played his final game with the Giants after 13 years. His contract is up after this season.

The unfortunate timing, Crawford said, was “the first thing I thought of. Most frustrating timing I’ve probably ever had with an injury.”


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