GIANTS (18-25) AT DIAMONDBACKS (25-20)
10:10 p.m. ET; FS-A, NBCSBA, MLB.TV
On the 15th anniversary of Randy Johnson’s perfect game at Atlanta, the Arizona Diamondbacks are far from perfect with their rotation heading into their Saturday game against the San Francisco Giants in Phoenix.
Struggling right-hander Zack Godley, 1-3 with a 7.65 ERA in 10 games (seven starts), will make the start for the Diamondbacks despite speculation by media that he would be relegated to the bullpen. Manager Torey Lovullo announced his decision Friday after Arizona’s 7-0 win in the opener of the three-game series.
Asked if Godley would be an “opener” rather than a starter — Godley pitched only two innings in his latest start against the Braves last Sunday despite allowing only one run — Lovullo said, “I’ll talk to Zack about that. We’re going to give him a little more opportunity (Saturday).”
Godley, who has come out of the bullpen in three of his past four appearances, is 3-3 with a 6.68 ERA with eight career games (six starts) against the Giants.
Lovullo, who earned his 200th win in 369 games as a manager Friday, also told reporters that an MRI on pitcher Zack Greinke (abdominal tightness) came back clean. However, it was not yet determined if Greinke would make his next start Tuesday at San Diego.
Another Arizona right-hander, Taijuan Walker, is likely out until August due to a shoulder strain.
“We want to make sure Zack is healthy, strong and feels good,” Lovullo said. “We’re hoping to avoid (an injured-list) stint, but if it’s what’s necessary, we won’t hesitate because he’s so important to us. If we have to miss one or two starts now for the rest of the season, we will.”
The Diamondbacks will have a ceremony before Saturday’s game commemorating Johnson’s perfect game against the Braves at Turner Field on May 18, 2004. Johnson, then 40, became the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game, surpassing Cy Young, who was 37 when he achieved the feat in 1904.
Arizona won the series opener 7-0 on Friday despite the Giants getting two hits from Buster Posey. The veteran catcher recovered from a concussion and was reinstated from the seven-day injured list before the game.
Left-hander Madison Bumgarner (2-4, 4.04 ERA) will start Saturday for the Giants, who have lost five of their past seven games. Bumgarner is 10-11 with a 2.49 ERA in 33 career outings (32 starts) vs. the Diamondbacks. He has posted 193 strikeouts and 48 walks in 209 2/3 innings against Arizona.
Bruce Bochy will return to managing the Giants after his ejection Friday. He was tossed during Arizona’s four-run, seventh-inning rally that included Jarrod Dyson getting hit in the left hand by a pitch from reliever Derek Holland while trying to bunt.
Bochy did not see eye-to-eye with plate umpire Andy Fletcher, who ruled that Dyson did not offer at the pitch. Bochy, who will retire at season’s end, took his third ejection of the year and the 77th of his career.
Dyson sustained a bruise on two fingers. Lovullo said X-rays were negative.
“They said he pulled back, (but) he attempted to bunt the ball,” Bochy said. “That’s not the right call there. I don’t know how much that played into the game, but the call was not right.”
The hit-by-pitch ruling loaded the bases with no outs. Eduardo Escobar followed with a three-run triple to give Arizona a 6-0 lead, and Escobar subsequently scored on an error by Giants first baseman Brandon Belt.
–Field Level Media