San Francisco, CA – Brandon Crawford returned to the lineup after missing the last seven games with a tight calf and tightness on his left side. However, his return was overshadowed by the Giants 2-0 shutout loss to the Diamondbacks tonight. Falling even further behind in the Wild Card race.
“We can’t afford any losses,” Madison Bumgarner said. “All you can do is come back and try to get it tomorrow until it’s over.”
“We’re breathing, you know, it’s an uphill climb,” said manager Bruce Bochy on the team postseason chances. “We’ve talked about this before, but I don’t think we can lose another game, though to be honest.”
San Francisco was shutout for the 13th time this season (ninth at home). Bumgarner suffered his first loss at home since June 12 vs Arizona and had his streak of seven-consecutive home victories snapped tonight. He also reached the 200.o inning plateau for the fifth-consecutive season becoming the second Giants pitcher left-handed pitcher in franchise history joining Carl Hubbell (1929-1937, 1940).
In hopes of making it back to the postseason, San Francisco is facing a harsh reality that their season maybe possibly be over. With two weeks remaining in the season they are 8 1/2 games behind the first place Dodgers in the National League West and behind 9 games the Chicago Cubs in the NL Wild Card. Anything can change but right now it truly is an uphill battle.
It was OK, that Bumgarner put two on in the first. The Giants defense kept the D-backs off the board. Both A.J. Pollock who led off the inning and Paul Goldschmidt singled but Welington Castillo grounded into a forceout. Bumgarner then forced Aaron Hill to fly out to left field ending the frame stranding two.
By the second he returned to form, retiring the next six batters he faced before issuing a free pass to Goldschmidt in the fourth. Castillo followed by hitting into a double play and Bumgarner struck out Hill to end the frame. Rubby De La Rosa didn’t allow one batter on base until the third when he walked Kelby Tomlinson who was caught stealing second to end the inning.
De La Rosa began to unravel in the fourth when he walked Angel Pagan and surrendered a single to Matt Duffy, San Francisco’s first hit of the night. But he reclaimed his control on the mound and struck out the next two batters to end the frame. The Giants however, allowed a triple from Yasmani Tomas who left Pagan and Marlon Byrd scrambling to catch his ball center field.
Once again, Bumgarner got out of the jam. With the scoring run at third, he retired the next three batters. Bumgarner struck out Brandon Drury, forced Nick Ahmed to fly out and De La Rosa to ground out. Leaving the runner stranded at third. But San Francisco could not contain D-backs offense in the sixth when they scored two runs to take a 2-0 lead.
Pollock led off the frame with a single. Goldschmidt doubled scoring in Pollock when left fielder Alejandro De Aza made a field error. Castillo grounded out and Goldschmidt scored. San Francisco missed another opportunity to get on the board when De La Rosa loaded the bases bottom of the sixth before being replaced by Andrew Chafin.
“You can tell that inning started to get away from him,” Arizona manager Chip Hale said of De La Rosa. “And Chafin came in and bailed him out. It was beautiful.”
Pagan was hit-by-pitch and De Aza walked. Both runners advanced to third and second when Duffy grounded out. De La Rosa then intentionally walked Buster Posey to load the bases. Brandon Belt grounded out to end the inning leaving all three runners stranded. Pollock robbed pinch-hitter Jarrett Parker of a home run to center field when he leaped over the wall to catch the ball in the eighth.
“I feel like I had a good jump on it, and you start to get close to the fence and I was comfortable because I took a pretty good route that I would at least have a chance at it,” said Pollock. “Just trying to make a play.”