Giants playoff hopes fade but not lost after deflating on 2-6 road trip

Not much is going right for the Giants right now.

For starters, their dismal road trip ended Sunday with an 8-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins and marked the seventh time the team has been swept this season.

Throughout the road trip 2-6, San Francisco was outscored 46-25 by three teams in as many states (two of which have records well below .500) and missed a chance to make up some ground in the race. for the National League wild card. .

From Target Field on Sunday, manager Gabe Kapler put the team’s disappointing road trip in layman’s terms while acknowledging that their playoff chances aren’t dead yet.

“It’s not good enough. It’s not up to anybody in the standards of this clubhouse,” Kapler told reporters after the game. “I think we have to come home and keep our heads down, keep grinding, keep working every days and understand there’s still time, and really fight and scratch and scratch to stay in this.”

The free fall couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Giants, who are struggling to stay afloat in the wild-card standings. While they haven’t been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, they currently sit 7 1/2 games behind the San Diego Padres for the final spot in the NL playoffs.

Before the poor road trip, San Francisco was 5 1/2 games behind. And during this crucial stretch of needing a healthy lineup, the team hasn’t been so lucky.

First baseman Brandon Belt’s chronic knee problems landed him on the disabled list again Wednesday, and Kapler is “slightly” concerned that Evan Longoria could end up there as well after leaving Sunday’s game with a hamstring strain.

Longoria has been San Francisco’s best hitter of late, slashing .293/.348/.610 in his last 15 games.

Even before Sunday’s matchup, the Giants were already shorthanded. The final lineup for the game was delayed as Kapler decided who was in the best position to play the outfield between Joc Pederson, dealing with a groin strain, Mike Yastrzemski, who has a calf problem, or Luis Gonzalez (h/t Susan Slusser).

Giants pitcher Jakob Junis took Sunday’s loss and hopes the team can get back on track — and back in the race — when they return to Oracle Park on Monday.

“Personally, my attitude is hopefully just download this whole series, download this game and move on to come home to San Francisco and play in front of our fans, and hopefully make some good games,” Junis said. “…Just forget about this road trip, these last four or five games, and try to look forward and get in front of our home crowd and put some things together.”

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After their latest loss, the Giants have matched their season low at four games under .500 (61-65).

The Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers remain ahead in the wild-card race, along with the Padres.

But with three games apiece against the Padres and Phillies during this week’s homestand, now would be the perfect time for the Giants to heed Junis’s advice.

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