SF Giants: DeSclafani Ks 8, Yaz goes deep, but defense struggles in 7-3 win

SF Giants shortstop Donovan Solano (7) dives for the ball against the Chicago Cubs during a spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium. (Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports)
SF Giants shortstop Donovan Solano (7) dives for the ball against the Chicago Cubs during a spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium. (Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports) /
SF Giants, Anthony DeSclafani
SF Giants starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani (26) walks on the field for the first inning of the MLB Cactus League Spring Training game between the Cincinnati Reds and the San Francisco Giants at Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Ariz., on Sunday, March 7, 2021. /

Padres 3 (9-12)
SF Giants 7 (10-10)

W: Anthony DeSclafani (2-0)
L: Dinelson Lamet (2-1)

It was more of the same for the SF Giants in Wednesday night’s 7-3 victory against the San Diego Padres. Starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani continued a stretch of strong performances from the Giants starters. At the plate, projected everyday players Mike Yastrzemski, Donovan Solano, and Austin Slater each went deep and helped the Giants build an early 6-1 lead.

However, the offense floundered after the starters were removed in the seventh inning and the Padres build a late-game rally off of Yunior Marte to cut the lead to three. Still, Joey Bart blasted an opposite-field homer off of Mason Thompson to add an insurance run that was more than enough for the Giants bullpen to finish the game victorious.

SF Giants defeat San Diego Padres 7-3
Anthony DeSclafani looks sharp

DeSclafani has been solid throughout the spring, but in his first extended outing, he took things to another level. DeSclafani generated swings and misses with his fastball and slider against hitters throughout the Padres order and finished the day with 8 strikeouts in 4+ innings of work. DeSclafani was not just dominating the worst hitters in San Diego’s lineup but recorded punchouts against Eric Hosmer, Tommy Pham, and Jake Cronenworth.

DeSclafani allowed four hits, including a massive opposite-field home run to Wil Myers, but aside from the homer, Giants’ defenders probably could have recorded outs on every hit. Jorge Mateo laced a hard-hit ball for a double over the head of Yastrzemski, but even that ball is probably caught by an above-average defensive right fielder. Wilmer Flores also made a couple of fielding errors behind DeSclafani, but he prevented the Giants’ defensive struggles from derailing his outing.

While he has not garnered many headlines this spring, DeSclafani has quietly put together a solid preseason performance. After Wednesday’s outing, he has completed 9.2 innings, posted a 2.79 ERA, allowed 8 hits (1 home run), walked just 3 batters, and struck out 12. Easily the best spring training of DeSclafani’s big-league career, it could be a sign that the Giants coaching staff and front office have once again helped a pitcher reach another level in their organization.

SF Giants defeat San Diego Padres 7-3
Donovan Solano & Austin Slater remain locked in

Solano grooved a Lamet fastball in the middle of the plate over the left-field fence and Slater later took Keone Kela the other way for a home run to right-center. Slater is now hitting .400/.455/.900 and Solano has an equally impressive .452/.500/.806 triple-slash. They have been two of the most consistent hitters for the Giants all spring. Coming off exceptional 2020 seasons, both seem poised for another strong campaign. The biggest question for Solano is if he can find defensive consistency, while Slater has struggled to stay healthy enough to lock up an everyday role.

SF Giants defeat San Diego Padres 7-3
Other notes

  • Jake McGee was sharp in his lone inning of work. It’s hard to see anyone else closing for San Francisco.
  • Reyes Moronta was solid, but still looks far removed from his 2018-19 form. Returning from a major shoulder injury, it’s no surprise that Moronta remains a ways from his peak form.
  • James Sherfy has racked up strikeouts this spring, but it’s in large part because he’s facing a lot of batters. That happened again on Wednesday. Sherfy gave up a hit, walk, and hit a batter, but also managed three strikeouts.
  • Heliot Ramos looked impressive in his lone plate appearance. Batting against flamethrower Jordan Guerrero, Ramos swung through a high fastball, fouled off another, eventually worked a 3-2 count, and lined a fastball into right-center for a double.
  • Yastrzemski has quickly picked it up offensively. His OPS for the preseason is now north of 1.000 after hitting a home run off of Adrian Morejon.
  • Bart continued his strong preseason performance. While he will almost assuredly start the season at Triple-A, after blasting his second home run of the spring, he’s hitting .455/.500/.727. His struggles in 2020 are hard to ignore, but he’s playing well enough to make fans and scouts forget about those struggles soon.

Next. SF Giants Name Kevin Gausman Opening Day Starter

The SF Giants still have a few more preseason games before they start the regular season on April 1st. In their next game, the Giants will face off against the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday, March 25th, at 7:05 pm PST.