Friday, September 22 2023

What we learned as DeSclafani dominates Astros in Giants win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

HOUSTON — Anthony DeSclafani‘s tenure with the Giants has been a wild ride.

The veteran right-hander was nearly an All-Star in the first half of 2021, then tailed off after the break. He signed a three-year contract that offseason that at the time was the largest handed out by Farhan Zaidi, but struggled early last year before having season-ending ankle surgery.

A month into his third season in orange and black, DeSclafani is back where he started, once again pitching like a potential All-Star.

DeSclafani threw eight shutout innings at Minute Maid Park and Camilo Doval finished off a 2-0 win over the Houston Astros. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak and brought some positive vibes to a clubhouse that was exhausted by the Mexico City trip.

The Giants scored a run in the first and tacked on when Blake Sabol drove a double off the short porch in left, and that was more than enough for DeSclafani. He allowed just one hit through six innings and took the mound in the seventh at just 80 pitches, with the heart of the lineup looming. It wasn’t a problem.

DeSclafani got Alex Bregman to fly out and then worked around a double from Yordan Alvarez, who has yet to have an impact on the series. Jose Abreu and Kyle Tucker both flied out, ending the inning. An infield single and an error put a runner on second in the eighth, but on DeSclafani’s 109th pitch, Jake Meyers flied out to left.

The Breakout Continues

The big story on Monday was an emerging right-handed-hitting middle infielder who has also played plenty of outfield in the Majors and entered Giants camp last spring with no minor league options remaining. The same was true early in Tuesday’s game.

Thairo Estrada reached in his first three plate appearances and scored the first run of the game. He singled, stole second and scored easily on Joc Pederson‘s bloop to left in the first. Estrada singled again in the fourth and walked in the fifth and ninth.

The latest big day raised Estrada’s OBP to .397 and OPS to .906. He entered the day leading all MLB second basemen in WAR.

Disco Demolition

Interleague play isn’t really a thing anymore with the balanced schedule, but still, DeSclafani seems to like facing the American League. He improved to 8-0 in his career against the AL and 5-0 in seven starts against AL West opponents.

DeSclafani’s success this season has been mostly about his ability to throw strikes. He issued zero walks for the fourth time in six starts and now has walked just three batters in 38 innings this season. DeSclafani also gave the Giants depth, something they’ve needed, and he has provided regularly. The eight innings were a season-high, but also the fifth time he has thrown at least six innings. A gassed bullpen certainly appreciated the latest effort.

They’re The Guys

The Giants released Gary Sanchez from their Triple-A roster Monday, a move that coincided with Sanchez having an opt-out if he wasn’t on the big league roster by May 1. Before the game, manager Gabe Kapler said Sanchez — who was hitting .164 in Triple-A — was not going to be part of the mix.

With several of his regulars fighting a stomach virus after the Mexico City trip, Kapler started both his young catchers. Joey Bart had a walk and a single and Sabol (who played left) had his first big league double.

RELATED: Kapler responds to Dubon’s comments about Giants tenure

The real catching star on the night, though, was on the other side. Yainer Diaz showed off an absolute cannon, throwing Estrada and Austin Slater — the Giants’ two best base stealers — out at second. Both throws were 86 mph by Diaz, who ranks second in the Majors (to Oakland‘s Shea Laneliers) in average arm strength.

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Source: Yahoo Sports


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