At one point, Zack Greinke was outhitting — and out-slugging — the entire Giants lineup.
The Diamondbacks’ ace knocked his second double one half inning before Brandon Crawford pushed San Francisco’s second hit into the outfield. Ultimately, said Bochy, Arizona’s lineup being able to produce all the way through the pitcher’s spot pushed his tipping team off the edge:
“Greinke’s two hits, that’s what made the difference.”
It shouldnt’ have made much of a difference. The Giants (57-93) were asleep at the wheel again, uninspired by another stellar performance by their starter, this time Madison Bumgarner (L, 3-9, 3.48 ERA). Last night the Giants at least got two runs for Jeff Samardzija.
Enough about the offensive shortcomings. That’s been the story all year, what do you all expect? Greinke tossed eight scoreless innings with just two hits and eight strikeouts — and the numbers weren’t surprising. He’s now 5-0 in his last seven starts at AT&T Park. Bumgarner is still winless when the pair go head-to-head.
Despite the seam running through this Bumgarner-Greinke rivalry, the two NL West foes could not be pointed in more opposite directions. The Diamondbacks have long been blessed with offensive talent and finally have the pitching to boot. It’s all coming together for them, said Bochy:
“You look at how they’re dealing, and their bullpen, their closer (Fernando Rodney)… All those guys have stepped up to do something, and it’s a different ball club.”
Fans continue to show up to AT&T Park–in smaller, quieter groups–to show support for a talented team Bumgarner knows is hidden under a pile of dirt:
“They want to see us win, we want to win. We have too good of a team to not win.”
Bumgarner’s start was too good for the Giants not to win. His curveball was working early and often getting Diamondbacks (87-62) out. But a fastball to Paul Goldschmidt caught a little too much plate, the MVP candidate crushed it for a two-run shot in the fourth at-bat of the game to give the Diamondbacks the only lead they’d need.
Brandon Crawford alone sewed the defensive gaps left gaping from Friday night’s loss, a typical Bumgarner night spectacle. Crawford vacuumed up nearly anything that came his way. He flicked Greinke off third on David Peralta‘s grounder, squashing potential for a third run in the fifth. Peralta was picked off right after. He also initiated a quick double play in the fourth, extinguishing Brandon Drury‘s one-out single.
Bumgarner pitched his way out of the rest, putting an exclamation mark on his seven-inning gem by striking out Greinke and Peralta to escape a scoring threat.
He’d get the loss though, of course, one that yet another starter did not deserve, said Bochy:
“It’s hard to win a ballgame with two base hits.”
The Giants need to go 6-6 in their remaining 12 games if they want to avoid losing 100. The team says they want to win, but they look defeated. They’ll have to play three division rivals gunning for playoff spots, so a second 100-loss season for this franchise seems inevitable. Honestly, they could lose more than 100.