SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants star veteran pitcher Madison Bumgarner gave the Rockies plenty of chances over six innings Saturday, only to snatch them away.And the 3-0 loss at AT&T Park -- the second straight shutout suffered at the hands of the Giants -- allowed the Dodgers to rip first place
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants star veteran pitcher Madison Bumgarner gave the Rockies plenty of chances over six innings Saturday, only to snatch them away.
And the 3-0 loss at AT&T Park -- the second straight shutout suffered at the hands of the Giants -- allowed the Dodgers to rip first place in the National League West out of the Rockies' hands with 14 regular-season games left.
"Obviously, you never want to get shut out, especially not two games in a row," Rockies shortstop Trevor Story said. "There's some of that [frustration] a little bit, but definitely no panic. It's a tough game and we'll be back at it tomorrow."
The Rockies find themselves a half-game back of the Dodgers, who pummeled the Cardinals, 17-4, and have won four straight. In the big picture, the Rockies are a half-game better than the Cards for the second Wild Card and come face to face with the Dodgers for three games in Los Angeles starting Monday. But they've gone 18 innings without a run against the Giants, who entered this series on an 11-game losing streak.
The seven-hit offensive showing wasn't nearly enough to support German Marquez (12-10), who battled so-so control for six innings and escaped with three runs on seven hits. Marquez, who turned in his 10th straight quality start, finished with four strikeouts to bring his season total to 199. The only pitchers in club history to eclipse 200 are Ubaldo Jimenez (214 in 2010) and Pedro Astacio (210 in 1999).
Marquez gave up two runs in a second inning that began with Brandon Crawford's against-the-shift single down the third-base line and Nick Hundley's double, and one in the third when he wild-pitched Bumgarner (who began the inning with a double) home. But Marquez kept the Giants mostly at bay without his curveball and slider pitches.
"My breaking pitches weren't consistent so I had to rely on my fastball," Marquez said in Spanish, with first-base coach Tony Diaz interpreting. "Just trying to compete, do my best, try to stay close in that game and give my team a chance to come back."
Unlike Friday night's 2-0 loss, when Giants righty Chris Stratton held the Rockies to two hits in his first career shutout and complete game, the Rockies managed five hits off Bumgarner (6-6). They put runners in scoring position with no outs or one out in four of Bumgarner's six innings.
However, starting with hard-hit but ultimately unfruitful drives to right field by Nolan Arenado and Story after DJ LeMahieu's first-inning, one-out double, the Rockies went 0-for-9 in these chances vs. Bumgarner and 0-for-10 overall. Bumgarner extracted a couple of key double-play grounders. Ian Desmond hit into one with two on and no outs in the fourth, and LeMahieu grounded into the other with two on to bring the fifth to an end.
"You look at the 140-some games we've played, most of those games have gone our way -- where we win those tight ones," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "So with tonight's game, you're talking about a big-game pitcher who pitched very well, made a couple of pitches to our guys when we couldn't get that big hit."
Bumgarner received a visit from an athletic trainer in the sixth and left after just 64 pitches with tightness in the right side. But the Rockies managed little against relievers Tony Watson, Mark Melancon and Will Smith (12th save).
The Rockies have been shut out in two straight games for the 15th time in the club's 26-season history. The last time it occurred was last Sept. 20 against the Giants and Sept. 21 against the Padres. It was the 13th time the same club has blanked the Rockies in consecutive games. The Mets did it most recently, Aug. 11-12, 2015.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Black and Marquez felt plate umpire Ramon DeJesus' emphatic warning to both dugouts -- after Bumgarner hit LeMahieu and Marquez hit Evan Longoria in the third -- was unnecessary.
Bumgarner hit LeMahieu with a 91.4 mph fastball with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the third. Marquez, who had already given up the third-inning run, plunked Longoria in the helmet with an 86 mph changeup to load the bases with one out. But Marquez fanned Crawford and Hundley to prevent further scoring.
At the end of the inning, Black had a civil discussion with DeJesus.
"I think the young umpire maybe overreacted just a touch," Black said. "German was not going to do anything crazy in a pennant race with guys on base, and especially with an 86 mph changeup. I talked to Ramon, and Ramon understood our vantage point, and I think the same he probably understood from the Giants' side. Bumgarner, he was trying to pitch in on DJ and he missed."
Marquez said, "I was surprised -- it was on a changeup. I never really thought he was going to give us a warning."
HE SAID IT
"We've talked about it all year, where this was headed, and it's going to be a tight race. We've talked about that for a month, and I don't see that any different right now." -- Black, on the tight NL West race involving the Rockies, Dodgers and D-backs (four games back)
The Rockies hope righty Antonio Senzatela (4-6, 5.01 ERA) is a quick study when he faces the Giants and righty Dereck Rodriguez (6-3, 2.35) in the 2:05 p.m. MT series finale on Sunday afternoon. In his last start, when he went six innings and took the decision in a 6-3 home loss to the D-backs, there was a game-turning but teachable moment. Two on, one out in the top of the sixth, he threw a first-pitch changeup to Ketel Marte -- whom he had struck out and forced a weak grounder from earlier. It ended up a two-run triple that turned the game. Senzatela is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career appearances (one start) at AT&T Park.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.