(MENAFN - Gulf Times) There's no way of knowing if the 2019 San Francisco Giants have hit rock bottom, but the depth they sunk to on Friday represented a historic low.
A slumping Arizona Diamondbacks offense torched Giants pitchers Friday as they set a new record for the most runs scored by a visiting club in the history of Oracle Park in an 18-2 blowout. The Giants have suffered six lopsided defeats of five or more runs in the month of May, but Friday's demolition was in a class all by itself.
After the D'backs scored eight runs in the first four innings, the possibility of seeing infielder Pablo Sandoval pitch represented the only shred of suspense left inside Oracle Park. By the top of the seventh, the few thousand fans remaining inside the stadium at China Basin were chanting in unison, 'Let Pablo Pitch.
The Giants never did let Pablo pitch.
The D'backs entered the three-game series as losers of five in a row with an offense that failed to score more than two runs in each of the team's previous four games. Against Giants pitchers Drew Pomeranz, Trevor Gott, Nick Vincent and Derek Holland, the D'backs scored at least two runs in six consecutive innings on Friday.
Giants first baseman Tyler Austin homered for the third consecutive game Friday, crushing a first-inning offering from D'backs starter Robbie Ray 421-feet to give the Giants a 2-1 lead. The advantage didn't even last a half inning, as Arizona scored 17 unanswered runs in a showing that would have made the 1927 Yankees nod in approving fashion.
Second baseman Ildemaro Vargas launched an 0-2 fastball from Pomeranz into the left field bleachers in the first, setting the tone for a D'backs offense that forced manager Bruce Bochy to go to his bullpen by the middle of the third inning. Joined by teammates Adam Jones and Nick Ahmed, Vargas was one of three D'backs hitters to finish with at least four hits on the night.
Pomeranz lasted just 2 2/3 innings while giving up eight hits and five earned runs as the veteran left-hander has battled significant command issues over the last month. Since shutting out the Blue Jays over six innings on April 24, Pomeranz has posted a 10.38 ERA in his last four starts and failed to throw at least five innings in any of those outings.
The final straw for Pomeranz came when he allowed a two-run single in the third to Ray, who entered the night 0-for-16 on the season with nine strikeouts. Ray nearly finished with two hits, but Giants centre fielder Steven Duggar made one of the club's most impressive defensive plays of the year.
Duggar launched his body into the left centre field gap and dove headfirst to snag a looping liner off Ray's bat. The web gem aided reliever Nick Vincent, who gave up a run in his third straight outing and watched his ERA climb to 4.85 after allowing six earned runs.
There's significant question as to whether Pomeranz will make his next start as prospect Tyler Beede tossed seven innings of one-run ball for Triple-A Sacramento on Friday night. Beede has struggled in limited major league appearances, but the 2014 first round draft pick has the potential to impact the club's future. With a 21-29 record and an 11.5 game deficit in the National League West, the Giants are inching ever closer to focusing on 2020 and beyond.
Pomeranz isn't the only Giants player left to wonder about his future as left fielder Mac Williamson continued to struggle at the plate against Arizona. After becoming the fifth player in franchise history to strike out five times in the same game on Thursday, Williamson struck out three times and popped out in Friday's blowout defeat. The Giants promised Williamson an extended audition in left field after adding him to the roster on May 7, but after going 2-for-4 with 4 RBIs in his first game, Williamson is 4-for-47 with 18 strikeouts and 0-for-his-last-21.