San Francisco Giants 3 Up, 3 Down: The Motor City

DETROIT, MI - JULY 5: Hunter Pence
DETROIT, MI - JULY 5: Hunter Pence /
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San Francisco Giants
PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 30: Johnny Cueto /

1 – Trade Chips

Eduardo Nunez and Johnny Cueto figure to be the most movable trade pieces come deadline time, but both got some bad news in Detroit. Nunez, who is on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, was expected to be back in the big league lineup at some point during the road trip. Instead, he had a rehab stint cut short in Richmond and was held out of baseball activities before heading back home. He won’t be back before the All-Star break next week, which definitely doesn’t help his stock.

Cueto has been pitching through blisters all season, but an ear infection forced him to miss Wednesday’s start and have Chris Stratton take his place on short notice. Cueto had been ill for a couple days leading up to Wednesday, but if possible, Bruce Bochy wants to get him one more start before the break. With Madison Bumgarner‘s return on the horizon, that could mean the end of Matt Cain‘s tenure in the rotation. But for Cueto, his subpar performance this season had already hurt his trade stock, and this didn’t help.

2 – Slater Cooling Off

Austin Slater pretty much came into the big leagues and started hitting almost immediately. He hit .333 in his first 22 big league games, and never looked overmatched at the plate. But on the roadtrip, Slater went through a bit of a slump. He had four hits in 22 at-bats during the six games, was only 1-9 in Detroit.

This is really the first small slump Slater has experienced as a big leaguer, which can become a big test for the 24-year-old. He has a great approach at the plate with a penchant for using the entire field, and he’ll have to be sure to not get away from that in the coming days. Slater has been a pleasant surprise for the Giants in the past month, and it will be important to see how he handles this.

3 – Dropping the Series

San Francisco couldn’t keep the momentum of two straight sweeps going in Detroit. Losses bookended the series, ending their streak of series wins. They were able to take the middle game, and winning seven out of nine isn’t too shabby at all. It’s a good start for a team trying to climb out of the cellar and play respectable ball again.

Next: 3 Up, 3 Down: Second Straight Sweep

Up next, the Giants are back home to host the Miami Marlins. On Friday, they’ll add Barry Bonds to the Wall of Fame, a well-deserved honor.