Quiet night for D-backs bats in loss to Giants: By the Numbers
Apr 9, 2015, 5:48 AM | Updated: 7:35 am
An unfamiliar face took the mound Wednesday for the San Francisco Giants, but he was highly effective in just his second major league start.
Facing the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, 26-year-old right-hander Chris Heston went six strong innings for San Francisco, allowing only three hits and two runs (zero earned) with two walks and five strikeouts.
Opposing pitcher Jeremy Hellickson looked frazzled in his first start in a D-backs uniform, not even making it five full innings before manager Chip Hale dipped into his bullpen.
The Giants had a 3-1 lead by the time Hellickson departed, and they later beat up on reliever Evan Marshall for a couple more runs.
The end result was a 5-2 Giants win, their second in the three-game series.
The D-backs (1-2) will have a day off before hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday in the first of a three-game series.
Here’s a look at Wednesday’s game at Chase, by the numbers:
After posting three RBI in each of his first two games of the season, young third baseman Jake Lamb was one of many D-backs to struggle at the plate Wednesday, as he went 0-for-3 with one walk. His batting average dropped to .286 in the loss.
The Diamondbacks were looking pretty for a moment, as A.J. Pollock scored the team’s first first-inning run of the season, also giving Arizona a 1-0 lead at the time. The D-backs struggled mightily to get anybody on base after that point, however.
Two Diamondbacks batters have already been hit by a pitch in the first inning of a game this season. Ender Inciarte was struck by Madison Bumgarner on Opening Day, and leadoff man Pollock reached base on an HBP by Heston; the D-backs center-fielder later scored on a fielder’s choice as Chris Owings grounded to shortstop. Three Diamondbacks overall have been hit by pitches this year.
Despite Heston’s strong performance, hitting Pollock with a pitch wasn’t the San Francisco pitcher’s only miscue of the game.
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Three of the Diamondbacks’ four relievers to make an appearance Wednesday pitched pretty darn well. Daniel Hudson, Randall Delgado and Oliver Perez allowed a total of one hit in a combined 3.2 innings.
Marshall, however, struggled mightily in the one-plus inning he pitched. In the eighth, he allowed two singles before escaping the frame. However, Buster Posey had a leadoff single in the top of the ninth, and Casey McGehee followed with a two-run homer to left. The right-handed reliever was promptly pulled in favor of Perez. The 24-year-old Marshall allowed four hits and two earned runs in total — with one strikeout.
After Hellickson’s modest appearance, Diamondbacks starters have combined for just 14.1 innings pitched over the first three games. Rubby De La Rosa had the longest outing Tuesday for a D-backs starter, but that effort was still only 5.1 innings.
Hellickson turned 28 Wednesday, but it wasn’t a very happy birthday for the new D-back. The former Tampa Bay Ray allowed the first two Giants batters of the game to reach base, and he had to get out of a bases-loaded jam to end the frame. Hellickson gave up a hit in each of the five innings in which he appeared, and he allowed the bases to get loaded twice with only one out. On the night, the right-hander went 4.1 innings while surrendering nine hits and three earned runs with two walks and two strikeouts. He also committed a first-inning error on a bunt that allowed a Giants batter to reach base.
Hellickson and Heston each threw the exact same number of pitches: 91. Heston, however, went 1.2 innings longer, and he gave up a third of the number of hits. Hellickson actually threw more strikes in the matchup: 58-54.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt was one of just five D-backs to record a hit in the loss, as the slugger doubled to the opposite field in the sixth inning, his first two-bagger of the year.
He’d later score after moving to third on a wild pitch and then home on a passed ball, marking Arizona’s final run of the game. Goldschmidt went 1-for-3 in the game with one walk, one run and one strikeout, closing the series with a batting average of .333.
Two of the D-backs’ five hits in the loss were via a pinch hit: Ender Inciarte had one, and Aaron Hill had the other. The latter player is off to a hot start this season, now batting .444.
The announced attendance of the game was 21,642 — the second in a row being under half of the stadium’s capacity, compared to the near-sellout of the season opener on Monday.