What we learned as Giants overpowered by relentless Dodgers in loss


What we learned as Giants overpowered by relentless Dodgers in loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

LOS ANGELES — Tyler Rogers’ most entertaining moments come when he’s getting ugly swings from hitters who aren’t all that familiar with his submarining style. He seemed the perfect fit for a tight spot in the sixth inning Monday, but right now not much is going right for the Giants bullpen.

Teoscar Hernandez was hitless in two previous at-bats against Rogers and he’s new to this rivalry, but he jumped on a hanging slider, turning a two-run game into a five-run game. The Dodgers would go on to win 8-3 on a night when the Giants had no margin for error while leaving 10 runners on base.

Dodgers (5-2) pitchers had just two clean innings, but the Giants never took advantage of all the traffic. They repeatedly wasted opportunities to get to lefty James Paxton, who walked five in his Dodgers debut.

The Giants (2-3) left two on base in the first, wasted a leadoff walk in the second, and left two more on in the third. The best chance came in the fifth, when Will Smith and Paxton bungled Nick Ahmed’s slow roller in front of the plate and then Lee hit his second single. Austin Slater put a halt to the momentum by hitting into a double play on an elevated fastball. Paxton loaded the bases with two more walks, but Wilmer Flores grounded out to second.

The Giants had three singles in the seventh, but wasted a chance for a big inning when Jorge Soler was caught roaming too far around second for the third out.

Here are the takeaways from the Giants’ third loss of the season:

Solid Debut

Two of the three runs on Keaton Winn’s line belonged to Mookie Betts and the other was scored by Shohei Ohtani. That’s a box score a lot of starting pitchers are going to deal with this year.

Winn gave up three runs in five innings, but the Giants couldn’t have asked for much more from a second-year starter who missed most of the spring after his elbow acted up. Winn allowed four hits, walked one and struck out six. He had 14 swinging strikes and hit 98 mph with his fastball.

This lineup might be the toughest one Winn faces all year, but he mixed three pitches well and got 30 strikes on his 37 splitters. Winn’s next start should come Saturday at home against the San Diego Padres, but after that it’ll get interesting.

Blake Snell will return to the rotation next Monday and Alex Cobb is eligible to return next week, as well. It’s possible the Giants shift Winn to the bullpen, where his fastball and splitter could be a pretty devastating combination.

Grab The Eight-Iron

Michael Conforto dug out a slider in the sixth and hit a soaring solo shot to right, his third in five games. In his second year with the Giants, Conforto certainly looks more comfortable at the plate, and he has said he feels a lot better now that he’s another year removed from shoulder surgery.

Conforto, Matt Chapman and Jung Hoo Lee have been early offensive standouts for the lineup. Lee singled in his first career at-bat against the Dodgers and again in the fifth. Chapman reached base three times.

Nick At Night

Nick Avila was a bit of a good luck charm for Triple-A Sacramento. It seemed that every time he entered in the middle innings, the River Cats would take the lead. Avila went an incredible 14-0 as a reliever, and this year he got the “W” in his only appearance before getting called up to the big leagues.

There was no close game to enter this time, but the Modesto native still had a chance to live out a childhood dream. He made his big league debut at the age of 26, a year after he was a Rule 5 pick by the Chicago White Sox who got sent back to the Giants because he didn’t make the Opening Day roster.

Avila allowed two runs in two innings, but he did have a couple of notable highlights. He threw a 95 mph fastball past Ohtani for his first career strikeout and later whiffed Max Muncy.

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