BY: ED COLE
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The 1-2-3 portion of the San Francisco Giants’ lineup went 8-for-9 against starting pitcher Josh Collmenter in Monday night’s season opener at Chase Field.
Not quite the way Collmenter and the Arizona Diamondbacks wanted to kick off the 2015 season.
San Francisco beat up on Collmenter. In his 4.2 innings pitched, Collmenter gave up 10 hits, five runs [all earned], one walk and he had four strikeouts, as the Giants took the first game in the three game set, 5-4.
Arizona manager Chip Hale liked the fight that Collmenter put up against the Giants’ bats, but that fight eventually became one-sided.
“He [Collmenter] battled. He just got to the point where he was at 89 pitches and it just didn’t seem like he had a whole lot left,” Hale said.
“I just wasn’t making good pitches. Pitches were getting too much of the plate. Even if they were down, or changeups were down, they were still over the middle of the plate,” Collmenter said. “I just need to be more fine with that, especially the way I throw, be able to move it in and out. I wasn’t able to pitch in to leftys as well as I hoped.”
The Giants made Collmenter work on Monday night. He threw a total of 89 pitches, and he fought for every square inch of real estate across home plate.
“Yeah, I made some pitches in the first [inning] and was battling, and then for us to tie it [1-1 in third inning], got out of the fourth [inning],” Collmenter said. “I knew getting through the fifth [inning] would be huge, if you can get through the top of that lineup and set yourself up to maybe go six [innings]. It’s just unfortunate that it didn’t work out.”
“If I make pitches in the spots where I want to, maybe some of those bloops become outs, and balls that they hit well, they probably pop it up or roll it over,” Collmenter said. “Pitches were getting too much play where they could get just enough barrel to do well.”
Collmenter’s been very solid against the Giants over his career. He was 5-2 with one save and a 3.17 ERA in 18 games [seven starts] against San Francisco; including a 1.82 ERA over his last 13 games [four starts] against them.
There’s some nights in baseball though, when the opposition has your number, and it doesn’t matter how well you’ve played against them in the past.
“They’ve [Giants] seen him a lot, so they know what’s coming at them,” catcher Tuffy Gosewisch said. “When that happens, you gotta really be on with your fastball command, really mixing all your pitches. We probably didn’t throw enough curveballs tonight; another aspect we need to mix in a little bit more. We didn’t do it early and we waited around to do it and didn’t have good opportunities to get it in there.”