San Francisco Giants

Giants’ bats can’t back Bumgarner in 1-0 loss to Diamondbacks

SAN FRANCISCO -- After playing Thursday night in New York and hopping a cross-country flight that landed in San Francisco in the early hours Friday morning, the Giants’ bats took a while to wake up Friday evening against the Diamondbacks and right-hander Chase Anderson.

Anderson took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at AT&T Park, stirring recent memories of the Giants’ Chris Heston at Citi Field, before Buster Posey broke it up with a one-out comebacker that ricocheted off Anderson’s right leg for an infield single. But the Giants couldn’t capitalize on that or any of their handful of baserunners, losing 1-0 to Arizona as the 27-year-old Anderson outdueled Madison Bumgarner.

The Giants’ best chance against Anderson came in the seventh, when Anderson hit Matt Duffy and Bumgarner drew a one-out walk. Nori Aoki lashed a ball that appeared headed for the left-field corner, but Arizona third baseman Aaron Hill made a leaping catch and threw to second to double off Duffy, who had no chance to get back.

That seemed to be a theme for the Giants on Friday night, who made some sharp contact against Anderson with little to show for it. They finished with two hits -- the only other a Duffy single leading off the eighth -- while losing their sixth consecutive game at AT&T Park, their longest losing streak at home since May 14-31, 2008.

"Their kid, he threw well," manager Bruce Bochy said. "The balls we hit hard, they were right at them. I mean, Nori’s ball, that killed us. That ball gets down the line it’s a run and another runner at third base with less than two outs. That’s part of the game, though. You hope the guys make good contact, he did there."

Before the game, Bochy had railed against the scheduling that required the Giants to take a red-eye flight after an East Coast night game and play the next day. Afterward, he said it was "hard to say" whether the travel had an effect on the players, who were required to report to the stadium a little later than usual and took optional batting practice.

"I mean, it’s a tough travel day," Bochy said. "But we came in, we hit a little bit. Like I said, we get a break on Nori’s ball, it’s a different ballgame. I look at our starting pitcher, he was on that flight, and he goes eight innings and did a great job. And I’m not going to take away from what their starter did. He was on top of his game."

Anderson was just 1-1 in 11 starts entering Friday but had a 3.12 ERA. His one hit given up was a career low, and he became the first Arizona pitcher since Trevor Cahill in 2012 to take a no-hit bid into the seventh. Cahill’s start was also at AT&T Park.

"He was mixing really well and throwing all three pitches for strikes," Duffy said. "He was keeping us off-balance, and anytime a pitcher’s got that going for him, it’s going to be a tough night. On top of it, he located pretty well. Made for a long night for us offensively -- or quick night, however you want to put it."

After Posey’s comebacker hit him, Anderson was checked by trainers and threw a couple warm-up pitches before staying in the game. He said he realized immediately upon seeing where the ricochet went that Posey would have a hit.

"I wish it would have went to somebody," Anderson said.

It was one of the few Giants-hit balls that didn’t.

"We didn’t feel it too much," Duffy said of the travel. "We know how to get ourselves ready for a game. So I don’t know if that had so much to do with it as that he had good stuff tonight."

* Bumgarner summed up his outing as "a battle." He allowed multiple hits in four of the first five innings and did not record a 1-2-3 inning until the seventh. Yet all nine hits that he allowed were singles, and for the most part he was able to pitch out of traffic. The lone exception came in the second, when Ender Inciarte lined a two-out single that scored the game’s only run.

"I thought my stuff was good," Bumgarner said. "I thought they kept hitting it where they weren’t. That’s the way this game is, it sucks sometimes. You see our guys hitting balls hard -- it don’t matter, hit them hard, soft, they were just right at folks tonight. And it was the other way around for those guys. That’s just the way it is sometimes."

Including the postseason, Bumgarner previously had made 19 starts in which he threw at least eight innings and allowed zero or one run. The Giants had won 17 of those games, with their last loss coming July 27, 2013 -- another 1-0 loss at AT&T Park against the Chicago Cubs.

"I thought Bum did a nice job," Bochy said. "He gave up a few hits there early, but he settled down and did a real nice job to keep it 1-0. We just couldn’t generate the offense tonight."

One thing Bumgarner did was mostly save the bullpen after a road trip and tough travel day. The Giants had tried to convince Bumgarner to fly back before the team so he could avoid the quick turnaround, but Bumgarner declined.

"I don’t really want to be 3,000 miles away from the guys when they’re out there battling in New York," he said.

Reacting to a question about his "first couple" of innings being rocky, Bumgarner said: "First couple? Felt like the first seven." Aoki helped him skirt further damage when he threw out Paul Goldschmidt at home plate to end the third inning, Aoki’s fourth assist this season. But despite the nine hits allowed (one less than his season high), Bumgarner was left reflecting on a game in which he gave up only one run and stranded 10 runners on base, albeit in a loss.

"These games are as fun as any," Bumgarner said. "You can’t take a single pitch off because of the way the night’s going. You’ve got to be battling the whole time. At the time it’s not the most fun, but … after it’s over with, and the personal results are what they are, you feel as good about a start like this as you do any of them."

* It was a tough night on the basepaths for Duffy, who was doubled off on Aoki’s liner in the third and thrown out at third base after getting caught too far off second on Casey McGehee’s grounder in the eighth.

On the first play, Duffy had no chance to get back to second. But it looked like he might have had a shot at doing so in the eighth had he broken back to the bag immediately when McGehee hit a one-hopper to Arizona second baseman Chris Owings.

Duffy said after the game he got caught in-between: At first he thought McGehee had hit a line drive, so he froze, but when he realized Owings wasn’t going to catch it in the air, he flinched toward third base. When Owings fielded the ball, Duffy realized he was in a bad spot.

"At that point, Owings was closer to the base than I was," Duffy said. "I kind of realized he was going to beat me to second. It’s a tough read but I kind of pride myself on making the right decision on a tough read. So that’s what I’m frustrated with."

It didn’t help that Owings was playing close to second base while holding Duffy on. That was the last time the Giants would get a runner into scoring position.

"Both that ball and Aoki’s ball (in the third) I should’ve just gone back to second base," Duffy said. "But hindsight’s 20-20."

* Joe Panik’s 15-game hitting streak ended when he grounded out to lead off the ninth. And the Giants were not happy about some of the strike calls that led Panik to have to make an emergency swing at a low, outside pitch from Brad Ziegler, which he rolled over to second base.

Bochy was barking at home plate umpire Mark Carlson during the at-bat, and again when Ziegler got a low strike called to Angel Pagan. Asked if there was some frustration with the strike zone, Bochy said afterward: "Sure there was. And there still is.

"I’m not going to lie, it was frustrating. They pitched well, but Panik had no chance the last time up. The strike zone, it seemed like it got pretty low there. That’s frustrating. You’re trying to get somebody on base, and Joe’s in a position where he’s got to swing, so it made it tough for him."

Earlier in the game, Bumgarner also appeared miffed by some non-calls. And in the top of the ninth, Jeremy Affeldt reacted with some frustration after walking Jake Lamb in an at-bat that included a couple of borderline pitches.

"There’s no question it was frustrating there in the ninth with those low strikes," Bochy said. "You give their pitcher credit, he kept throwing it and he was getting the calls."

* The Diamondbacks were slated to start right-hander Josh Collmenter in game two of the series, but scratched him and will instead start right-hander Allen Webster, whom they’re calling up from Triple-A. The Giants will start Ryan Vogelsong (4-4, 4.52). It’s a (weird) 4:15 p.m. first pitch.

  Comments