A late Giants rally Tuesday night ended up not being enough, following a San Francisco pattern of not enough offense in a 3-2 loss to Mike Leake and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Returning home for a quick two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the San Francisco Giants lost both games against their division rival to open up their six-game home stand.
The Giants sent Jeff Samardzija (ND, 9-10, 3.44 ERA) to the mound Tuesday night. Over his previous ten outings, Samardzija has posted a 1.99 ERA since July 1, the fifth-best in the major leagues. He would match up against D-Backs righty Mike Leake (W, 10-10, 4.77 ERA).
A scoreless top of the first for Samardzija sent the Giants to the plate with an aggressive approach against Leake. With one out in the inning, Brandon Belt singled to left, against the shift. Evan Longoria followed with a strikeout, in which Belt stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error from D-Backs catcher Alex Avila. Alex Dickerson followed and was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and third. Stephen Vogt put the Giants out ahead 1-0 with a base hit to left.
Samardzija worked through the first four innings with ease aside from a fourth inning Arizona rally. Throwing 77 pitches and holding the D-Backs scoreless, Samardzija surrendered three walks in his first four innings of work.
Allowing 21 home runs this season, second most among Giants pitchers, (Bumgarner, 23) Samardzija’s night would end after a fifth-inning solo home run by Ketel Marte (28). Righty Sam Coonrod (L, 4-1, 2.84 ERA) came in to replace Samardzija in the sixth inning. The final line for Samardzija: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BBs, 3 Ks.
Following Tuesday’s game, Giants manager, Bruce Bochy discussed Samardzija’s resurgence this season, despite pitching well in games with little-to-no run support.
“No question that he is throwing the ball well. We were going to take him out, he was leading off and we were trying to score there. I can’t say enough about how he’s thrown the ball, he went out there and did it again today. It’s tough-luck when you throw like that and you can’t get runs, but there’s nothing he can do. … He’s been a lot of fun to watch this year, he’s built his arm strength up, and now he’s throwing the ball as well as anybody.”
Coonrod struggled out of the gate in the sixth inning. Allowing three-straight singles to Christian Walker, Jake Lamb, and Adam Jones, the D-Backs rallied for another run in the sixth inning. With one out in the inning, Coonrod was replaced by Fernando Abad, who retired the next two batters to end the D-Backs threat.
Abad was back out to start the top of the seventh after yet another quiet half-inning for the Giants. Replaced by Reyes Moronta after recording the first out, Abad would exit after an inning pitched. Moronta would walk the first batter he faced, Tim Locastro, who would advance to second on a groundout by Eduardo Escobar. Walker would extend the D-Backs lead to 3-1 with a base hit to left, scoring Locastro from second.
Making his major league debut in the top of the eighth inning, was rookie, submarine righty, Tyler Rogers. Promoted from Triple-A Sacramento Tuesday afternoon, Rogers spent seven years in the minor leagues before his promotion tonight. The rookie was nothing short of excellent in his one inning of work. Retiring Jones, Nick Ahmed, and Avila in order, the rookie walked off the mound to a standing ovation after his debut.
Post-game, Bochy gave his thoughts on Rogers’ “submarine style’ throwing motion, and the rarity of it in today’s high-velocity focused game:
“There’s a few of them, but this kid, he’s done a nice job down at Sacramento, not just this year, but last year. He comes in, makes his debut, he looked comfortable. He got the ground balls. Those guys, (side-arm pitchers) you don’t see a lot of them, they can be tough. He gets a lot of movement, he keeps the ball down, he hits his spots. I’m glad this kid is getting a chance, you normally look at guys throwing 95 or whatever, and here he is throwing from down there at 83-84. He gets outs, and thats what its about.”
Leake, the former Giant, dominated his former team Tuesday night. Exiting in the bottom of the eighth inning after walking Mike Yastrzemski with one out, Leake would be replaced by lefty T.J. McFarland. The walk would prove to be costly, as Leake would finish with a line of 7-1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s.
Belt followed Yastrzemski with a booming double to center field, scoring a diving Yastrzemski from first, cutting Arizona’s lead to 3-2. Longoria followed with a walk, to give the Giants runners at first and second with one out. The man, the myth, the legend, Alex Dickerson came to the plate with the tying run in scoring position and lined into a double-play to end the Giants threat in the eighth.
Tony Watson entered in the ninth inning, in an effort to keep the D-Backs lead to one run. A quick inning from Watson, sent the game to the bottom of the ninth, with the Giants down to their final three outs. Righty Archie Bradley came in to close things out for the D-Backs. Vogt struck out to begin the inning, with Kevin Pillar following with a fly-out to center. Brandon Crawford would ground out to second to end the game, as the Giants offense once again goes down quietly.
After a day off Wednesday, the Giants will continue their homestand on Thursday against the San Diego Padres (61-70). Swept in two games by Arizona, the Giants will send Dereck Rodriguez (5-6, 5.26 ERA) to the hill to square off against Padres rookie, Chris Paddack (7-7, 3.84 ERA).
- Prior to Tuesday night’s game, the Giants made a flurry of moves. Promoting number eight prospect, middle infielder Mauricio Dubon, relief pitcher Tyler Rogers, as well as placing second baseman Scooter Gennett on unconditional release waivers, while optioning Abitail Avelino and promoting outfielder Joey Rickard.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy has been impressed with how Dubon has performed in Triple-A since the Giants acquired him in the trade that sent Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black to the Milwaukee Brewers on July 31.
“He has really, really good instincts. He’s got really good tools too. He’s a shortstop, but he can play second, so that’s always valuable to have on the club. He’s not a guy who will just be facing left handers, he’ll be facing righties. He’s pretty balanced between righties and lefties. But really a smart player, good instincts for the game. Really, really good game awareness.”
- In addition to Dubon, the move to promote Rogers is one that is long overdue. Throughout seven seasons in the minor leagues, Rogers has put together a 23-13 record, with a 2.52 ERA, while pitching almost 500 innings. Needless to say, Bochy was excited for Rogers.
“This is well deserved, you look at what he’s done this year, last year and every year, he keeps going out there and getting it done. You look at the innings he’s pitched, they’ve used him in high-leverage situations. So this has got to be big for him, and his brother, his twin is in the big leagues, he’s called up. Sometimes these guys can get overlooked because they don’t throw 95, but he knows how to pitch, he gets outs, I look forward to watching him. I’m just so excited for this kid, I’m sure this is a moment he’s been waiting for.”
- When Rogers debuted in the top of the eighth inning, his twin brother, Taylor Rogers was in the game, pitching for the Minnesota Twins. Post-game, Tyler Rogers talked about how unique it was for the twins to be pitching at the same time in sperate games.
“I havent heard from him yet, but some of the guys were telling me that we were pitching at the same time, or close to the same time. That’s a pretty cool feat in itself right there, for twin brothers to pitch at the same time in the big leagues, that’s pretty cool.”