Avoiding 100 losses gets harder for S.F.
The Giants played a game Friday night that in manager Bruce Bochy’s mind was winnable, and it was. They led by a run in the seventh inning.
As had happened 91 times previously, the Giants did all they could to lose. The Diamondbacks beat them 3-2, leaving the Giants eight losses from the not-so-magical 100 milestone.
With 13 games remaining, the Giants would need to finish no worse than 6-7. Eight more losses, and they’ll reach triple digits for the second time in franchise history.
“You come out every day and try to win that game,” said pitcher Jeff Samardzija, who gave up three runs in eight innings. “I don’t think you try to win today to prevent 100 losses. I think you’re trying to win that day because you’re trying to win the ballgame.
“Obviously, no one likes to lose. That’s how we’ll approach every game from here on out. We’ll see what we got. We’ll see if we got guys who’ll show up and play. If not, we’ll remember that and use it for the future.”
Samardzija gave up A.J. Pollock’s two-run double in the seventh, and the Giants’ typically quiet offense failed to answer. Daniel Descalso tripled home Arizona’s first run in the second and singled to open the two-run rally in the seventh.
Both hits were in right fielder Hunter Pence’s vicinity, the first tipping off his glove in the gap and the second dropping in front of him — he dived, came up short and experienced lower back spasms. He exited the game after the half-inning and is listed as day to day.
“I jarred it on that dive, and it jammed up,” Pence said. “I’ll try to loosen it up, and once we get moving, I’ll get back in there. It shouldn’t be too long.”
Pence is 34 and continues to hustle on both offense (he got another infield hit Friday) and defense, though it hasn’t necessarily translated.
“You go as hard as you can,” Pence said. “Sometimes they get hits. Sometimes you don’t get there. You get hits like that, too. It’s part of it. That’s the game. That’s the fun of it, giving all your effort.” Bochy’s take on Pence: “He’s giving it all he’s got out there. That’s all you can ask for these guys, effort. He plays his heart out every game. All around, it’s been a tough year. The defense hasn’t been quite as sharp. The hitting. That’s why we’re where we are at. This is a game we can look at and say we should’ve won, and it got away from us.”
Arizona starter Robbie Ray gave up both Giants’ runs, one that was earned. Joe Panik and Pence hit consecutive rightfield doubles in the first inning.
Samardzija opened the sixth with a single and moved to second on Panik’s second hit. Pence legged out an infield single, and Ray’s throwing error enabled Samardzija to score.
Neither starting pitcher issued a walk. Ray struck out 10 in seven innings, and Samardzija struck out seven in eight innings.
The race to 99 continues. Anything but 100.
“We really would like to avoid losing 100 games,” Bochy said before the game. “Nobody wants to lose 100 games. We all have pride. We want to do anything we can do, all we can do, to finish this thing on a good note and not let that happen.”
Of the 13 games left, all but three are against teams in position to make the playoffs. After the Diamondbacks series, the Rockies come to town, and the Giants’ final trip is through Los Angeles and Arizona. The season ends with three against the fourth-place Padres.
First baseman Buster Posey takes a tumble after catching a ball hit by Jake Lamb.