DIAMONDBACKS (42-42) AT GIANTS (35-46)
10:05 p.m. ET; NBCSBA, FS-A, MLB.TV
Right-hander Zack Greinke will be looking to continue an amazing run of success both as a pitcher and a hitter at Oracle Park in San Francisco when he leads the Arizona Diamondbacks against the host Giants on Saturday night.
The Giants beat the Diamondbacks for the first time in five tries in San Francisco this season with a 6-3 victory on Friday night to even this scheduled four-game series at a win apiece. Arizona took the series opener 5-1 on Thursday.
The National League West rivals have met 11 times already this season, and Greinke (8-3, 3.08 ERA) hasn’t pitched in any of them. That run of good fortune for the Giants is scheduled to end Saturday.
The veteran has never lost in San Francisco, going 5-0 with a 1.37 ERA in seven starts. Overall, he’s 12-3 with a 2.34 ERA against the Giants in 19 career starts.
One of Greinke’s toughest outs among Giants over the years has been Madison Bumgarner, who is slated to pitch the series finale on Sunday. That doesn’t rule him out as a possible pinch hitter on Saturday, however.
Bumgarner has two home runs in 12 career at-bats against Greinke.
As for Greinke, he has one home run and five doubles against the Giants in 38 career at-bats. But the damage arguably baseball’s best-hitting pitcher has done to San Francisco offensively goes much deeper than that.
Greinke has a .289 career batting average against the Giants, including a remarkable .467 mark at Oracle Park, going 7-for-15 with three doubles and the aforementioned homer. His OPS in San Francisco is a Barry Bonds-like 1.396.
Greinke has never faced Giants left-hander Drew Pomeranz (2-8, 6.79), which is probably good news for Pomeranz. Greinke has hit .500 (7-for-14) with two homers against left-handers this season.
For the season, Greinke leads all pitchers in homers with three, while ranking second in hits (11) and RBIs (six) and third in batting average (.306).
Pomeranz, meanwhile, allowed as many hits (eight) as he recorded outs (eight) the last time he faced the Diamondbacks in San Francisco. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings in an 18-2 drubbing on May 24, charged with five runs on eight hits.
He’s 0-4 with an 8.53 ERA in 10 career games, including seven starts, against the Diamondbacks.
Neither starter enters the matchup on top of his game. Greinke has been rocked for 18 hits and nine runs in 13 innings in his last two starts, while Pomeranz has surrendered 14 hits and nine runs over 9 1/3 innings in his last two.
Pomeranz’s last start, however, included a season-best 11 strikeouts.
“I was just thinking attack,” he explained to reporters afterward. “Didn’t want to walk guys, even though I did walk guys. Some of the other guys had three-pitch strikeouts, so that helps balance things out.”
No doubt, scouts from several of baseball’s contenders will flock to San Francisco this weekend, with two possible big names on the market — Greinke and Bumgarner — scheduled to pitch.
Arizona general manager Mike Hazen admitted recently he’s not sure if his club will be buyers or sellers at the deadline.
“The players are going to tell us what we’re going to be doing,” he said of his club, which slipped back to .500 at 42-42 with Friday’s loss. “I don’t think we have clear definition yet.”
–Field Level Media