Cain is outstanding, but ‘dumb’ pitch costs Giants
AP Sports Writer
PHOENIX — Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants were on the brink of giving Patrick Corbin his first loss in 10 decisions this season.
Then Jeremy Affeldt threw what he characterized — repeatedly — as a “dumb” pitch to Paul Goldschmidt.
The big Arizona first baseman hit a three-run, opposite-field home run with two outs in the eighth inning and the Diamondbacks beat the Giants 3-1 in the series opener Friday night.
“It was a dumb pitch — dumb location, dumb selection, stupid,” Affeldt said. “I didn’t want to throw it there. For a strike pitch it wasn’t that bad, but that is not what I am trying to do to him. He is too hot of hitter and when you make dumb pitches and you throw to a dumb location they are going to make you look bad. I take full responsibility. The loss is on me.
“Cain threw really well. He didn’t deserve that. It is completely my fault. ‘’
Cain’s recent road woes were a thing of the past after he escaped trouble in the first inning. The game was scoreless through six.
Goldschmidt, hitting .332, hit his 15th home run, boosting his NL-leading RBI total to 57.
He had hit into two double plays and struck out in his previous at-bats Friday.
“Think about it — two double plays, a strikeout and he hits a three-run home run,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “Last week we were in Chicago — three strikeouts against (Jeff) Samardzija and a grand slam to help us win a game. He’s pretty special. He really is.”
The quiet Goldschmidt got a curtain call from the crowd, waving to them from the dugout.
“That’s cool,” he said. “It’s fun anytime you get the win, but obviously a come-from-behind win. A great crowd tonight, so it was a lot of fun.”
Arizona stayed 2½ games ahead of Colorado in the NL West. San Francisco dropped to 3½ back.
Cain went seven innings plus a batter, allowing a run on four hits with three walks. Corbin gave up a run on seven hits in 7 1-3 innings, striking out four with no walks.
Cain left after A.J. Pollock beat out an infield grounder to third for a base hit. With Affeldt on in relief, Pollock advanced to second on pinch hitter Wil Nieves’ groundout to second. Affeldt got Gerardo Parra looking, then Willie Bloomquist walked to bring up Goldschmidt. Coming off a road trip in which he hit two grand slams, he caught up with a fastball over the plate. Goldschmidt had been hitless in five at-bats against Affeldt.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy stuck with Affeldt, saying he “has been throwing the ball as well as anybody.”
Besides, Goldschmidt has been hitting right-handed hitters better than lefties.
“That guy is hitting lefties and righties if you are looking at the numbers,” Bochy said. “He (Affeldt) just made a mistake there. It all started with the ground ball they beat out and of course the walks set up that. You are asking for trouble.”
Cain settled down after a 31-pitch first inning, when he walked three and gave up a single, but held Arizona scoreless.
“I felt fine in the first inning even though I walked three guys. I wasn’t all over the place. Some of the pitches weren’t that far off,” Cain Said. “Then I kind of made a little bit of adjustment getting a little more in the strike zone. We just tried to put the first inning behind us after that was over and go from there.”
Corbin retired 12 in a row before Pablo Sandoval’s broken-bat single with one out in the seventh. Belt singled sharply to right to put runners at first and second. Sandoval took third when pinch hitter Joaquin Arias flew out to right, then Blanco’s first-pitch single to center put San Francisco up 1-0.
Corbin’s night ended after Marco Scutaro’s one-out double to the gap in left center in the eighth. Brad Ziegler came on and got Buster Posey and Hunter Pence to ground out to shortstop.
NOTES: First base umpire Jerry Layne, the crew chief, aggravated a rib injury and left the field near the start of Arizona’s half of the third inning. The crew went with three umpires the rest of the game. … Corbin was trying to be just the third pitcher in 25 years to start 10-0. Roger Clemens (11 in 1997) and Aaron Small (10 in 2005) were the others. … San Francisco has won eight of its last nine at Chase Field. … The temperature was 108 degrees outside, 83 inside Chase Field at first pitch. … Madison Bumgarner (4-4, 3.46 ERA) starts for the Giants and Trevor Cahill (3-6, 3.27) goes for Arizona on Saturday night. … San Francisco has lost seven of 10.