SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy summed up his team’s 2-0 loss to the Diamondbacks on Friday night, in which they managed just one hit against starter Rubby De La Rosa and two overall, in succinct fashion:
"He pitched well," Bochy said. "Our guy pitched well, too."
Unfortunately for the Giants, their guy was Madison Bumgarner, who hadn’t lost at home in seven consecutive starts and held a potent Arizona lineup to two runs in eight innings Friday night, one of them unearned. The Giants need wins to keep the door from shutting on their postseason hopes completely - and they certainly need wins on Bumgarner’s day.
But unable to capitalize on a deep outing from their ace, and with the Dodgers and Cubs both winning Friday, the Giants fell 8 ½ games back in the division and nine back in the wild-card race, with 15 games to play. The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the West is down to eight.
And that wasn’t the only bad news for the Giants. First baseman Brandon Belt was taken out of the game before the ninth inning after complaining of trouble concentrating, a red flag for a player with history of concussions.
Belt hit his head against the leg of a Reds infielder Tuesday night when he dove back into second base after a double. But he said after the game he had only tweaked his neck and he was adamant that he wasn’t experiencing any concussion symptoms. Belt is familiar with those -- he missed a significant portion of last season with recurring concussion symptoms that started when he was hit in the head by a thrown ball in batting practice.
"I’m sure it’s something to do with the play at second base," Bochy said Friday. "Looked like he got a little whiplash there. But he came back in the next day and felt great. We’ll check him out."
Bochy said Belt had undergone concussion testing after the play Tuesday and "passed all the tests." In the later innings Friday, though, Belt alerted head trainer Dave Groescher he was having trouble focusing. Bochy said Belt will have more concussion tests and, with the Giants playing a day game Saturday, he likely won’t be in the lineup.
"We’ll see how he feels tomorrow," Bochy said. "But my guess is a day game, he’s going to need a break."
The Giants’ lineup is already thin due to injuries -- with outfielders Nori Aoki and Gregor Blanco both sidelined by concussions. They did get shortstop Brandon Crawford back on Friday night, but were shut out for the 13th time this season and held to two singles. They did draw four walks and had a hit batter, but went 0-for-5 with men in scoring position.
"He’s done that before on us," Bochy said of De La Rosa. "He’s got good stuff -- good velocity, movement, a hard slider … I thought Bum did a great job. But it comes down to getting a timely hit. We just couldn’t get it tonight."
* Bumgarner had his seven-game home winning streak snapped on a night he threw a season-high 117 pitches and saw both runs score off him in an inning that featured some shaky defense. A.J. Pollock led off the sixth with a single and Paul Goldschmidt lined a one-out double to left field. Alejandro De Aza ran over to cut it off, but the ball rolled under his glove to the wall. Pollock scored and Goldschmidt advanced to third, where he later scored from on Welington Castillo’s groundout.
Bumgarner was terse in his post-game comments, saying he "felt pretty good," but that the bottom line was: "We lost. That’s not ideal."
"We can’t afford any losses," he said. "We know that’s tough, especially in this game."
Bochy struck a similar tone when asked if he feels the Giants still have a shot at making a run at the Dodgers.
"We’re breathing," he said. "I don’t think we can lose another game, to be honest."
* Even if the Giants were well out of the playoff picture, Bumgarner’s mound demeanor likely would not change. Case in point: The eighth inning, when he intentionally walked Goldschmidt with a runner on second base and two outs. It was just the second time this season Bumgarner has intentionally walked a batter, and he was clearly not thrilled, with TV cameras appearing to show him telling Goldschmidt the walk was not his idea.
"He’s competitive," Bochy said. "I think his thought was I was going to walk him and go to the bullpen. (Bumgarner) didn’t want to leave the game … I wasn’t going to do that."
Bochy left Bumgarner in to face Castillo, who flew out on the left-hander’s 117th pitch. Bochy then pinch-hit for Bumgarner leading off the eighth with Jarrett Parker, who was robbed of a home run on a leaping catch at the center-field wall by Pollock. Bochy said he thought Parker had pulled the Giants within a run.
"Be nice to get within one run, you can put a little more pressure on them, but great play defensively by a very good center fielder," Bochy said. "He made it look easy, too."
* Goldschmidt was on base all four times, which means he saw a lot of second baseman Kelby Tomlinson. In the first inning, he slid cleanly but hard into Tomlinson at second to break up a potential double play. In the fourth inning, though, Tomlinson hung in with Goldschmidt bearing down on him and turned a double play despite having to dig Matt Duffy’s throw from third base out of the dirt.
Tomlinson said he didn’t set up any differently to take Duffy’s throw the second time around, and that it was really "a completely different play." In the first, Belt was playing way off the first-base bag so Goldschmidt was already a third of the way up the line with his lead and got on Tomlinson quickly.
"I think on that first one if he’d just slid straight into second he would’ve been safe," said Tomlinson.
On the second play, the ball was hit harder and Duffy was able to get it to second quicker, despite his throw being low. Tomlinson gloved the low hop and made a sidearm throw as he came across the bag to get the catcher Castillo at first base. He said that play was more instinctual: "You don’t always come up with the ball there, but you try to put your glove in the best spot you can."
For being the slugger he is, Goldschmidt also has 21 steals in 26 attempts this season. Tomlinson said that’s not only a result of sneaky speed.
"He’s a good baserunner," Tomlinson said. "He does a good job of getting good leads, and getting into second base as quick as he can."
* The Giants are 27-11 in their last 38 games at home. But they haven’t beaten Arizona at AT&T Park in their last five meetings. That matches the Diamondbacks’ longest winning streak in San Francisco.
The Giants will try to snap it Saturday behind right-hander Mike Leake (10-8, 3.72). The Diamondbacks counter with left-hander Patrick Corbin (5-4, 3.29). First pitch at 1:05 p.m.