The Giants crossed off a lot of firsts in Seattle. They started with a collapse, before moving on to their first triumph.
To conclude the opening series of the year, the Giants’ potent offense went quietly for the first time in a season in which that is not expected to happen often.
After scoring 13 runs in their first two games, the Giants were shut out and six-hit in a 4-0 loss to the Mariners at T-Mobile Park on Saturday night, dropping the year’s first series against a team that is not projected to be very good. Unlike their next opponent, beginning a three-game series in San Diego on Monday.
The Giants (1-2) hit several balls hard and were victims of some bad luck, with a Tommy La Stella double and Evan Longoria flyout possible home runs with a bit more wind. But for the first time, they went without a dinger and wasted the few rallies they strung together. Logan Webb, in his season debut, was up and down, but even excellence would not have been enough.
Facing righty Chris Flexen, from Memorial High School in Newark and who pitched in the KBO last year, San Francisco was quieted. In the third, Curt Casali singled in his first Giants at-bat before La Stella worked a walk, but Mike Yastrzemski flew out to end the threat. An inning later, the Giants put two on again, but Austin Slater went too far with a check swing — although he didn’t think so — and struck out to strand the pair.
The Giants struck out 12 times and have went down on strikes 32 times through three games. Gabe Kapler will want that number shrunken.
The Giants put two more on in the eighth, including a Yastrzemski single that snapped an 0-for-12 start to his campaign, but Seattle’s Anthony Misiewicz got a pinch-hitting Darin Ruf to pop out. With two outs, Evan Longoria blistered a shot to shortstop J.P. Crawford, who calmly picked it and threw him out.
The Giants left eight on base and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
Webb was effective, if not as dominant as his spring might have hinted. Through three innings, his only mistake was a down-the-middle changeup that Ty France hit out.
In the second time seeing the Mariners’ lineup, Seattle appeared to be waiting for a changeup that has been awfully impressive. In the fourth, Evan White roped a double down the third-base line. Then Taylor Trammell jumped on a changeup that wasn’t low enough for a double. Then Dylan Moore added one more double, a third straight, to dig the Giants into a 3-0 hole.
So Webb threw one poor pitch and had one poor inning, but otherwise was encouraging in a start that finished after 5 1/3 innings while allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts. He had allowed just one run in 17 Cactus League innings, but the competition escalates and so does the length that is required of Webb. He threw 35 changeups and may need to gain a better feel for exactly when to unleash the pitch.
The Giants’ bullpen included an impressive Matt Wisler and a Reyes Moronta, in his major league return, who surrendered a home run to Mitch Haniger but was fine otherwise. Jose Alvarez, who walked three in his first appearance, pitched a 1-2-3 eighth.
The Giants leave Seattle disappointed, which they will have to forget with the Padres awaiting.