DeSclafani hit around by Mets, leading to first series loss

QUEENS, New York — If there has been one weak point in the San Francisco Giants’ strong starting rotation through the first two weeks of the season, it has been Anthony DeSclafani, the pitcher the club handed its longest contract to this offseason. Absent any excuses over pitch counts for his early exits, DeSclafani simply got hit around by the Mets in a 6-2 loss Thursday. Hard.

DeSclafani surrendered five runs on nine hits over five innings, including a pair of home runs hit into the cheap seats that served as a warning side for more trouble ahead. After signing a three-year, $30 million contract this offseason, the five innings completed by DeSclafani on Thursday marked his longest yet most laborious outing of the season, which he has begun with a 6.08 ERA through his first three starts.

On his second batter of the game, DeSclafani served up a fastball to Francisco Lindor that he belted into the upper deck in right field that snapped a streak of 308 consecutive batters Giants pitchers had faced without allowing a long ball.

It took only three more batters for DeSclafani to serve up another, this time to Eduardo Escobar leading off the second inning, which landed not far from where Lindor placed his. The Mets added on again in the third, with two more runs on three hits, capped by a two-RBI knock by Mark Canha.

The Giants’ pitchers lack of long balls entering Thursday’s game was the longest active streak in MLB, almost double that of any other pitching staff. However, with a home run to fly ball rate of only 3.1% entering Thursday, it was simply unsustainable. No team in MLB had allowed fewer fly balls to leave the yard, and while the Giants also ranked second-last in the category last season, their rate this season was one-third of their 10.1% rate last year.

For as much success as the Mets found against DeSclafani, the Giants were equally stumped by his counterpart on the mound for New York. After Thairo Estrada’s RBI single in the second inning, driving in Brandon Crawford, Carrasco retired 18 straight batters, a streak snapped only by a throwing error that allowed Mauricio Dubon to reach base to begin the eighth inning. And, making matters worse, Dubon was immediately erased on a double play, just before Mike Yastrzemski stepped to the plate and slugged a solo shot to right field that finally knocked Carrasco from the game.

After the past four days, Citi Field might as well be a house of horrors for these Giants.

They head to Washington, DC, having lost a starting pitcher to a strained groin, an outfielder to an oblique injury, and their once-sterling 7-2 record that is now 8-5 after dropping their first series of the season.

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