The San Francisco Giants are doing everything a baseball team on quality winning streak does.
They’ve gotten the timely hits or worked walks. They’ve gotten strong starting pitching with the last four of their five consecutive wins going to starting pitchers. And along the way, milestones are being reached.
First was top prospect Joey Bart’s call-up to the big leagues Thursday, and his subsequent first major league hit that same day. Then came Evan Longoria’s 300th career home run on Friday. And Saturday, the first complete game in the career of pitcher Tyler Anderson, who held the D-backs to an unearned run on three hits.
The Giants look for their sixth straight win Sunday afternoon and can sweep the Diamondbacks in the first series of the season between the two National League West rivals.
“Certainly we know when those milestones are out there for guys to attain,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “As long as it’s not at the expense of winning a baseball game for the team, or as long as it doesn’t put a guy at risk for injury, we certainly want to give them every opportunity to go after those milestones.”
Bart has hit a double in all three games since being called up. He just missed a home run on Saturday, settling for a double high off the wall in center as a pinch hitter.
“I’m not sure that Joey got all of that ball. When he gets all of a ball, generally speaking, it’s going to go out of the ballpark,” Kapler said. “When you send a guy up for his first pinch-hit appearance in the major leagues, and he has an at-bat for you, that was plenty.”
Right-hander Trevor Cahill (0-0, 1.59 ERA) gets the start for the Giants on Sunday. He’s appeared in only two games with a long of four innings in his most recent start. He is 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA in seven career appearances (two starts) against Arizona.
The Diamondbacks are trying to figure out what happened to an offense that put up big run totals at Colorado and at home against San Diego and Oakland. Since arriving in the Bay Area, they’ve gone 0-4 while scoring five total runs, with the final game of the current road trip on Sunday.
The D-backs are 0-7 against left-handed starting pitchers after being handcuffed by Anderson on Saturday. They’re 6-12 when opponents score first in games.
The Diamondbacks didn’t work counts or show much patience at the plate on Saturday, leading to quick innings for Anderson. That wasn’t lost on manager Torey Lovullo.
“We definitely never plan to have 21 at-bats with three pitches or less,” Lovullo said. “With this caliber of player that’s sitting in our clubhouse, I expect us to be able to do a little bit more damage if that’s the case. I just think we came out of our approach.
“It bothers me. A lot.”
Luke Weaver (1-3, 9.16 ERA) takes the mound hoping to help the D-backs end their losing streak. Weaver earned his first victory in his last start, his longest outing of the season that saw him allow one earned run and three hits in five innings on Aug. 18 against the A’s.
Weaver is 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA in four career starts against the Giants.
–Field Level Media