SAN FRANCISCO – Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin did not know what to say about the pitch Steven Duggar hit for a home run on Monday night. It had been more than two months and he had faced nearly 300 batters since the last time an opposing hitter had taken him deep, but that streak was of little consolation on a night when Duggar’s blast represented the game’s only runs.
“I probably made worse pitches than that that weren’t hit for homers,” Corbin said after a 2-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants. “It was just a really good swing left-on-left there. I don’t know if it was really a mistake. With good swings, sometimes they run into it.”
Good swings. The Diamondbacks did not have enough of those on Monday night. They faced a pitcher in right-hander Chris Stratton who entered with an ERA north of 5.00. They were shut out for the sixth time this season.
BOX SCORE: Giants 2, Diamondbacks 0
It was the sort of result that almost has become anticipated for the Diamondbacks, a team that can’t seem to decide if it is good or not. Just when they look to be on the verge of putting everything together – like they were last week – they seem to stumble, which they’ve done in losing three of the past four games.
It’s not for nothing that the Diamondbacks are a first-place team, but they wouldn’t be if they resided in any other division in baseball. Fortunately for them, the Colorado Rockies also lost on Monday night, meaning the Diamondbacks remain a game up in the National League West. The Los Angeles Dodgers were idle and thus gained a half-game on both clubs. They are in third, two games back.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about Patrick Corbin’s outing and his offense’s struggles in a 2-0 loss on Monday night in San Francisco.
Stratton set career-highs by going eight innings and throwing 117 pitches. He was in trouble early. The Diamondbacks put the first two men aboard to open the game, then Stratton fell behind in the count to David Peralta 3-0.
At that point, manager Torey Lovullo was imagining a ball plopping down in McCovey Cove, he said later, and so he gave Peralta the green light. Peralta hit the ball hard, only on the ground and into an out, and two batters later the inning was over and the Diamondbacks had failed to score. It was the only chance at a big inning they had all night against Stratton.
“I think we definitely should have scored some runs off him, but then again he still pitched really good,” Diamondbacks catcher Alex Avila said. “That’s part of the game.”
It seems to be happening often against the Diamondbacks lately. They’ve averaged a decent 4.3 runs per game this month, but they also have scored three runs or less in half of their 22 games. In addition to Stratton, they also have been handcuffed over the past few weeks by the likes of Wade LeBlanc, Erasmo Ramirez, Brett Kennedy and Nick Pivetta. They also lost a game started by the 45-year-old Bartolo Colon.
“You don’t want to give a guy too much credit,” Avila said, “but if you go into the game prepared, you do your homework, you have a good idea, a plan, and they end up executing theirs better, then you can go home, not feeling good about it, but knowing that you left it out there.”
Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin gave up a two-run homer in the second inning and it proved costly in a 2-0 loss to the Giants.
With a man on first, two out and a 3-1 count in the second, Corbin fired a down-and-in fastball that Duggar whacked over the right-field fence. It was the first home run Corbin had given up since the second inning on June 16, a span of 297 batters, and the only damage the Giants would inflict in seven otherwise impressive innings from Corbin.
“It probably caught just a little too much plate,” Avila said. “It makes it a little more frustrating when it’s that one pitch that’s pretty much the only production in the game. That’s the tough part.
“Other than that one pitch, he threw the ball great.”
Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.