The Diamondbacks were the victims of two injuries Monday,one of which will send a player back to Arizonafor treatment.Center fielder Chris Young suffered a right quad injuryrunning out on a grounder in the eighth inning. The 29-year-old appeared toease up midway to first base.It just grabbed on me a little, Young told azcentral.com.It feels fine walking, so I dont think its anything serious.The same cannot be said for Willie Bloomquist, who playedMonday for the first time since Aug. 8. The infielders back problems willforce him to return to Phoenixfor an injection.Its not progressing how I want it, Bloomquist said. Wedont have a lot of time left. This will help speed the process up andhopefully get me healthier.Bloomquist had a pinch-hit RBI single Monday, driving inPaul Goldschmidt in the sixth to put the Diamondbacks up 5-4. The 34-year-oldutility player has hit .302 this season but has played in just 80 games whiledealing with back problems. Bloomquist has played in just three games sinceJuly 29.Young has slumped at the plate this season, hitting .226,and his 14 home runs put him well below the pace of his All-Star 2010 season inwhich he hit 27 homers.Bloomquist said he hopes to rejoin the team for its seriesat San Diegobeginning Friday, but that will depend on how his back responds to thetreatment.I imagine its going to be sore for a few days, from what Iunderstand, he said. You usually have to give it a couple of days to let themedicine work.With Mondays loss, the Diamondbacks are now 11.5 games backin the NL West and trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 7.5 games for the secondWild Card spot. To have any chance of making the playoffs, Arizona will need to make its move soon.
LOS ANGELES — The Giants left their dugout quickly after Friday’s loss, escaping a celebration on the mound and a fireworks show in the sky. As Dodger Stadium shook with cheers, Bruce Bochy sat in the visiting clubhouse and smiled. He nodded at his laptop, which earlier had been used to pull up highlights of Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani.
“He’s good,” Bochy said, laughing. “I absolutely would play him every day.”
Earlier in the week, when it became known that Bobby Evans and Jeremy Shelley were headed to Japan to scout Otani, Bochy said he couldn’t imagine a player pitching and then moving to the outfield between starts. What changed?
Perhaps it was the tape Bochy saw. Otani throws 100 mph and hits homers with ease. Or perhaps it was the game he watched Friday. The Giants lost for the 94th time, with the big blow coming from a 22-year-old Dodgers star. Cody Bellinger’s blast was the difference in a 4-2 win, and the Giants don’t have a Bellinger, or anything close. Otani, 23, is a long shot for a team that very well could finish with the worst record in baseball. Still, he’s the kind of talent that could help pull the Giants closer in a hurry. He’s the kind of talent they haven’t developed in years, and Bochy certainly sounded a bit wistful as he talked of the power Bellinger has put on display.
“You call up a guy and he does that — that just doesn’t happen,” he said. “It’s a rare deal.”
The ninth inning of the Dodgers’ clincher reinforced that point for the Giants. They got a homer from Pablo Sandoval, but he’s playing only because Christian Arroyo — the Giants’ best prospect bet this year — is hurt. Ryder Jones, their 23-year-old prospect, struck out to end the night, dropping his average to .180.
That set off a celebration for Bellinger and the Dodgers. They have won five straight NL West titles, with three of the last four clinched against the Giants.
“Congrats to them,” Bochy said. “They’ve had a tremendous year across the board, and they’ve played great baseball. They brought some guys up that really did a great job for them. It’s well deserved.”
Bochy said it was not difficult to watch this one. The division has been wrapped up for months, with only a September slide keeping the Dodgers from clinching earlier.
“We knew what we were facing here,” Bochy said.
The Giants have two more against the Dodgers and then six more before a long winter. The Dodgers, on the other hand, will host an NLDS series here at Dodger Stadium. Both Bochy and starter Jeff Samardzija made the same observation, that the Dodgers will have a hard time cutting their deep roster down to 25 postseason players.
That’s a nice problem to have. It’s a foreign one right now for the Giants, who have a serious talent gap and no clear solutions internally. It’s no wonder, then, that Bochy has all of a sudden become so intrigued by a wondrous talent overseas.
LOS ANGELES — When the Giants gathered for spring training in February, team officials thought they had put together a rotation with four 200-inning arms. The starters didn’t come close to hitting that lofty goal, but one Giant got to the 200-inning mark Friday night.
Jeff Samardzija hit 200 innings in the third inning Friday night at Dodger Stadium, reaching the standard for the fifth consecutive season. Samardzija also became the first Giant this year to reach 200 strikeouts when he struck out Curtis Granderson to open the second inning. The right-hander will be the only member of the rotation to reach either milestone, with Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto limited by injuries and Matt Moore having a down year.
“These guys like Jeff that are able to handle that workload that he does and log 200 innings and have durability, that’s invaluable,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “You look at what it does for the ‘pen but also the quality of innings he gives you. His record should be different with how he has thrown the ball — he can’t control that. But the workload itself is important.”
Samardzija became the first Giants right-hander to strike out 200 in a season since Tim Lincecum (220) in 2011. Samardzija joined Carlos Martinez as the only National League pitchers who have thrown 200 innings this year, and Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Robbie Ray, Martinez and Zack Greinke in the league’s 200-strikeout club.