Grit Index: Delgado’s efforts spoiled by lack of offense in shutout loss to Giants

Aug 31, 2013, 6:48 AM | Updated: 6:49 am

Randall Delgado tossed six scoreless innings for the Arizona Diamondbacks Friday night at Chase Field.

Unfortunately, the effort came after the first inning, when the San Francisco Giants scored on a sacrifice fly. After that, the scoreboard never changed.

In his first at-bat since May 25, after a long stint on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Giants centerfielder Angel Pagan laced a low and inside Delgado fastball over the head of a leaping Gerardo Parra and against the rightfield wall, legging out a double on the drive. Marco Scutaro’s sacrifice bunt helped to advance him to third base in the following at-bat and Giants’ three-hole hitter Brandon Belt used a shallow sacrifice fly to plate him thereafter.

The 1-0 lead Tim Lincecum took to the mound for the Giants in the bottom half of the first inning would never be lost, as the right-hander scattered six hits and two walks over a six-inning effort.

Lincecum’s night was highlighted by a Houdini-esque escape in the sixth inning, when the heart of the Diamondbacks’ order — Paul Goldschmidt, Martin Prado and Aaron Hill — loaded the bases for Miguel Montero with one away in the frame. Giants’ pitching coach Dave Righetti trotted out to the mound for a meeting with his pitcher, catcher Buster Posey and the rest of the infield.

Montero swung and missed at the next three Lincecum offerings.

A.J. Pollock, who already had a single on the night, then stepped in the batter’s box for the Diamondbacks. The centerfielder battled his way through a seven-pitch at-bat, which ended with a sharply-hit groundball down the third-base line.

Unwieldy Giants’ third baseman Pablo Sandoval dove behind the third base bag to stab the would-be double, springing to his feet to throw out the speedy outfielder at first base in a boom-bang-bang play.

It was Houdini’s final act of the night, as a Giants bullpen committee of Javier Lopez, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo took the torch from their starter, holding the Diamondbacks to a hit and a walk in the game’s final three innings, ultimately securing the 1-0 victory.

“We didn’t have good at-bats,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said after the game. “We didn’t really string hits together.”

The Diamondbacks’ offense, which had thus far been the National League’s best in the month of August, let down Delgado who, in many regards, was the better pitcher Friday night. The right-hander tossed seven innings in his fifth loss of the season, allowing just three hits, two walks, to the Giants while striking out three. Throughout the night, he had opponents off-balance, thanks to a highly effective change-up and pinpoint location.

“He certainly pitched good enough for us to win,” Gibson said.

And as with the Giants’ relief staff, Will Harris and Brad Ziegler perpetuated the Delgado’s effectivity in the eighth and ninth innings, allowing just a walk while each managed a strikeout.

No matter, the Diamondbacks bats were nowhere to be found.

“If you want to win those games,” said Gibson, “you’ve got to have better at-bats. That’s all there is to it.”

The Good:

Despite striking out in with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero tallied a pair of hits on Friday, making him 4-for-12 since returning from the disabled list.

The Bad:

The Diamondbacks 1-0 loss was especially untimely, as they failed to capitalize on losses to the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals — two teams competing for the second and final NL Wild Card spot.

He Said It:

“I was thinking, ‘Go deep in the game.’ And after that, it was something you can’t control.” -Diamondbacks starting pitcher Randall Delgado

Up Next:

Exactly one week after making the first relief appearance of his major league career, Diamondbacks right-hander Trevor Cahill (5-10, 4.39 ERA) will toe the Chase Field mound Saturday. Opposing him will be Giants righty Ryan Vogelsong (3-4, 5.58 ERA), who tossed eight scoreless innings in his last outing, Sunday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. First pitch is 5:10 p.m. MDT and can be heard on Arizona Sports 620 AM.

Arizona Diamondbacks' Chris Young high-fives Willie Bloomquist (18) after Young hit a two-run home run in the first inning of an opening day baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum delivers against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of an opening day baseball game, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona Diamondbacks' Aaron Hill (2) and Ryan Roberts (14) stand on deck in the second inning of an opening day baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy delivers against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of an opening day baseball game, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants compete in the first inning of an opening day baseball game, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum delivers against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning of an opening day baseball game, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants line up for player announcements prior to an opening day baseball game, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey is brushed back by a pitch during the first inning of an opening day baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona Diamondbacks' Justin Upton, right, catches a fly out by San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford as Diamondbacks' Chris Young watches during the second inning of an opening day baseball game, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona Diamondbacks' Ryan Roberts is announced prior to an opening day baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) San Francisco Giants' Melky Cabrera celebrates his two-run home run with Angel Pagan (16) during the fifth inning of an opening day baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) From left Arizona Diamondbacks' Gold Glove winner Gerardo Parra, hitting coach Don Baylor, silver bat winners Daniel Hudson and Justin Upton and National League Manager of the Year Kirk Gibson stand for a picture after receiving their awards prior to an opening day baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum delivers against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of an opening day baseball game, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy delivers to the San Francisco Giants in the second inning of an opening day baseball game, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Arizona Diamondbacks' Ryan Roberts waves to his dugout after hitting a two-run double during the sixth inning of an opening day baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) San Francisco Giants' Aubrey Huff throws to the cutoff man after Arizona Diamondbacks' Ryan Roberts hit a two-run double during the sixth inning of an opening day baseball game, Friday, April 6, 2012, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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Grit Index: Delgado’s efforts spoiled by lack of offense in shutout loss to Giants