Giants Look to ‘Clean Up' Defense After Struggles Continue Vs. White Sox

Defensive miscues doom Giants again in loss to White Sox originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Through three innings against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, Giants ace Logan Webb seemed primed for one of his signature outings. 

But in the fourth, Joc Pederson allowed a Gavin Sheets line drive to sail over his head and all the way to the wall. Two runs scored to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead, and Webb would give up three more runs in the Giants’ 5-3 loss at Oracle Park. 

Pederson’s miscue didn’t even count as one of the two errors the Giants committed as their defensive woes continued to contribute to another loss on this homestand. Sheets’ fourth-inning two-RBI double was set up by a Brandon Belt error earlier in the inning. And in the sixth inning, a throwing error by shortstop Donavan Walton on a possible double play turned into two more runs.

“It happens man,” Webb said to reporters. “It’s kind of the s---ty part of baseball. It comes with me throwing the way I do. I'm trying to get ground balls. Sometimes there are amazing plays and stuff, and sometimes it just doesn’t happen. But that’s kind of baseball.”

Manager Gabe Kapler simply said of the defense: “Not good enough.” 

That would be an understatement. Kapler elaborated that the Giants coaches work with players regularly on making adjustments defensively. 

“It’s really all you can control,” Kapler said. “Once the ball is hit, the instincts take over and we can’t control it once that happens … What we can control is the practice and the process. Continue to tweak that. Exact tweaks are happening on a daily basis and we’ll keep working towards getting to be the best defensive group that we can be.”

The specific errors that doomed the Giants on Saturday came from Belt, a usually steady glove at first base, and Walton, only starting at shortstop because Brandon Crawford is hurt. 

But beyond blaming specific players, the Giants seem to be faltering as a team during this stretch in the field, on the mound and at the plate as they have lost seven of their last nine games. 

“We have to continue to work on and figure out ways to clean up,” Kapler said. “It’s one of those ‘find a way’ things.”

Related: Kapler still confident better days are coming despite slump

The Giants have one game left on a homestand where they are 2-5 against three teams that are all below .500. They will emerge without a series win, dropping two out of three to the Cincinnati Reds, splitting a two-game set with the Detroit Tigers and hoping to salvage a game Sunday against the White Sox.

But for Webb, there is no panicking yet. Despite the recent slide, the Giants entered Saturday a game out of a National League Wild Card spot.

“I mean what are we, one game out of the playoffs? We’ll be alright,” Webb said.

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