Giants, Samardzija hope to fix early woes vs. D-backs
According to STATSAccording to STATS
San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 5/17/2019 thru 5/19/2019
San Francisco begins a three-game series at the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix on Friday, when Giants starter Jeff Samardzija won't be looking past the first inning.
That's been the trouble spot for him -- and the Giants.
Samardzija (2-1, 3.51 ERA) has allowed 11 first-inning runs in eight starts, yielding six home runs. He has a 12.38 ERA for the first inning, and a 1.36 ERA for his other 33 innings pitched.
Samardzija's out-of-the-gate woes help explain why he has lasted longer than 5 1/3 innings only once this season. He hasn't won since April 23.
He altered his pregame routine before his last start, throwing more warm-up pitches, but it didn't work. He gave up a leadoff walk Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds, then an RBI triple and a two-out homer to fall behind 3-0.
"You kind of adjust your routine," Samardzija said on MLB.com. "I'm a pretty routine-based guy, so I just got out there a little earlier and got some extra pitches on the mound.
"... We're going to work past it and just come with some adjustments, maybe with what we're throwing there in the first. Maybe throw something with a little more movement."
In 17 career appearances (12 starts) against the Diamondbacks, Samardzija is 3-4 with a 4.12 ERA, striking out 79 and walking 33 in 83 innings.
As a team, San Francisco has a 9.43 ERA in the first inning and has been outscored 46-6.
The Giants will be seeing 30-year-old Arizona rookie starter Merrill Kelly (3-4, 4.70 ERA) for the first time.
Kelly has lost his past two starts, including a seven-run, four-inning outing at Tampa Bay on May 6. He pitched into some bad luck Saturday, when the Braves rallied late for a 6-4 win after he allowed three runs over seven innings.
These National League West rivals will be meeting for the first time this season, and the first of two three-game sets in 10 days. Arizona, which already has wrapped up home-and-home series with Atlanta and Pittsburgh, will play 13 consecutive games -- and 16 of the next 19 -- against West foes.
Both teams were off Thursday, when the Diamondbacks likely were holding their breath about ace Zack Greinke, who left Wednesday's start with abdominal tightness in the eighth inning. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam on Friday.
"Not to downplay it, but I think if there was urgency or overwhelming concern, I think he would have been in there last night or this morning," Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall said Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "But any time it's your ace, there is always going to be a concern. You just want to rule out certain things. That's why we're doing the MRI. There's no need to rush or panic, I would say."
Hot-hitting outfielder David Peralta (.318, NL-leading 16 doubles, six homers) also left Wednesday's game because of what the team called right trapezius tightness. Manager Torey Lovullo didn't seem too concerned.
"We feel like with some therapy in the training room here, he'll be fine," Lovullo said.
Arizona is one of the top hitting teams in the National League, batting .260 with 64 home runs and a league-best 102 doubles in 44 games. The Giants are hitting .223 with 41 homers and 78 doubles.
San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, a six-time All-Star is expected to return Friday from the injured list (concussion). Posey, who is hitting .245 this season, last played on May 7.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 16, 2019