Tough loses are called that for a reason. They’re never easy to take but even less so when it happens the way it did on Saturday night in San Francisco. The Diamondbacks built a four-run lead only to watch it dwindle, leading to a walk-off win for the Giants in the bottom of the 10th inning. For a team with seven walk-off wins on the year, the D-backs could only stand in the dugout and watch as the Giants celebrated.
The D-backs put the pressure on the Giants right from the start. The bases were loaded with no outs in the 1st after David Peralta doubled, followed by a walk by A.J. Pollock and hit-by-pitch to Jake Lamb. Paul Goldschmidt hit a sacrifice fly to score the first run of the game. J.D. Martinez then banged a double off the left field wall, but Lamb was thrown out easily at the plate as he tried to follow Pollock in to score.
The D-backs loaded the bases in the top of the 5th inning but could only score one run. That gave them a 3-0 lead but they let the Giants off the hook in what could have been a big inning.
In the top of the 6th inning, Jeff Mathis singled followed by an error allowing Taijuan Walker to reach base safely. Peralta followed with a single to score Mathis. An error moved Walker and Peralta to second and third base with only one out. Again, the D-backs couldn’t add to their lead. Pollock struck out and Lamb popped out to end the inning. Still, the Snakes led 4-0.
Walker was pitching well heading up to the 7th inning, but the real question was how long Torey Lovullo would keep him in the game as his pitch count approached 100 pitches. “We were a little thin in the bullpen and I was trying to extend him as far as we could,” Lovullo said after the game. “I thought we had at least three hitters, but unfortunately he didn’t.”
That quote was a little bit of foreshadowing, I suppose, and I didn’t mean to ruin the surprise, but the bottom of the 7th didn’t turn out so well for Walker and the D-backs. Two doubles and a home run to open the inning cut the lead to one run. Walker’s night abruptly ended but the damage was done.
The Giants hit back-to-back singles off reliever Andrew Chafin to start the 8th inning. With runners at first and third, and no outs, the next batter hit into a double play but the tying run also scored. The D-backs would get out of the inning with no further damage.
Arizona mounted a two-out rally in the top of the ninth inning, loading the bases and making for good theater. But Ketel Marte grounded out to end the threat.
The game was finally decided in the bottom of the 10th inning. With two outs and a runner on third, Jarrett Parker singled to end the game, giving the Giants the walk-off win.
Stats that matter
- Taijuan Walker was great up until that fateful 7th inning – 6 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K, HR
- The Diamondbacks left too many men on base – 2-for-16 with RISP
- David Peralta had a good game but only scored once – 3-for-6, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2B
- J.D. Martinez had a great game that finally didn’t involve a home run – 3-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2B, 3B
Losses like that are never easy to swallow. And, of course, it’s always easy to double-guess decisions. Pulling Walker from the game in the top of the 7th and pinch-hitting for him is something Lovullo does nine times out of ten. But with the bullpen stretched thin after Friday’s game, you can’t blame him for sticking with Walker. It just didn’t work out. On to the next game.
Arizona closes out the series, and the long 10-game road trip, on Sunday at 1:05 pm MT. With a win they can finish the road trip at 6-4. Patrick Corbin will take the mound for the D-backs.