SAN FRANCISCO -- Positive-looking statistics have a seductive quality at this juncture of the season. They allow people to believe that everything will be all right, as long as these numbers stay more or less the same.Then there's the case of the Giants, who dropped a 2-1 decision to the
SAN FRANCISCO -- Positive-looking statistics have a seductive quality at this juncture of the season. They allow people to believe that everything will be all right, as long as these numbers stay more or less the same.
Then there's the case of the Giants, who dropped a 2-1 decision to the D-backs on Monday.
Giants starter Derek Holland sustained the admirable work being done by the team's starting rotation, whose members have allowed three earned runs or fewer in eight of their first nine starts. Holland continued that trend by surrendering two runs while allowing just two hits in six innings.
But it didn't matter, because the Giants' offensive struggles continued. They went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, lowering the team batting average in these situations to a Major League-worst .119 (8-for-67).
All those low ERAs will do the Giants little good if they can't score.
Holland maintained his faith in the Giants' hitters.
"We got the run late, but we never gave up," he said. "And we kept plugging away."
The excellence of D-backs right-hander Zack Godley accounted at least partially for the Giants' struggles.
Godley recorded a career-high 20 swinging strikes, according to Statcast™, while striking out nine and walking none.
Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco, a D-backs teammate of Godley's last year, got too close for comfort -- that is, he played -- and went 0-for-3.
"Last year, being there, I said to myself, 'I want to face him,'" Blanco said. "'I want to see what that curveball looks like.' And I saw it today, especially the first couple of innings. He has one of the best curveballs I've ever seen. It looks like a cutter. All of a sudden it disappears."
Godley made sure the Giants' offense was barely visible, also.
"I didn't see a good pitch to hit this whole game," Blanco said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Working his way out: Godley was masterful most of the night but did some of his best work in the fifth inning after the Giants had runners on the corners with one out. Godley got Hunter Pence to pop out weakly to first base, threw a wild pitch that allowed Brandon Crawford to move up to second, then got Blanco to ground out to keep the shutout intact.
Not-so-lucky break: The Giants' hopes briefly soared when Buster Posey's eighth-inning popup to short right field fell safely among three D-backs defenders after Andrew McCutchen singled to open the inning. But McCutchen followed the fundamentals by going only halfway between the bases and was thrown out.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Godley's 20 swinging strikes included 15 coming off his curveball. Both are career highs for the right-hander, whose previous bests were 18 and 13, respectively.
Tyler Beede will make his Major League debut when the Giants and D-backs resume the three-game series Tuesday beginning at 7:15 p.m., PT. Patrick Corbin, 5-7 with a 3.33 ERA in 19 career appearances against the Giants, will oppose Beede, who was San Francisco's first-round pick in the 2014 Draft.
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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.