Veteran Johnny Cueto will take the mound on Sunday afternoon in Arizona, hoping to lead the San Francisco Giants to a series win over the Diamondbacks.
And that would be the positive news the Giants need after pitcher Trevor Cahill left Saturday’s start against the Diamondbacks with left hip discomfort.
Five relievers limited the Diamondbacks to one hit in 5 2/3 innings after Cahill’s early departure in Saturday’s 5-2 win, but the Giants’ starting rotation has been hit hard by injuries.
Cahill is scheduled for an MRI on Sunday, Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. San Francisco is already without Jeff Samardzija and Drew Smyly, who are on the 10-day injured list, but it’s not known yet if Cahill will miss his next start.
“The fact that it’s something I’ve dealt with before, I’m not too overly concerned,” Cahill said. “Just something hopefully we’re just going to have to manage and treat it, and hopefully it doesn’t become a bigger issue.”
Cueto (2-0, 5.40 earned run average) is 11-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 16 career starts against the Diamondbacks, holding them to a .214 batting average against him. He’s 8-1 at Chase Field all-time.
The Diamondbacks ended an eight-game losing streak Friday, but their bats went largely silent on Saturday. The offense has been inconsistent this season, manager Torey Lovullo said.
“It’s something that we’re working on every single day, through the fundamentals of the swing, pitch recognition, different drills, different concepts, different ideas, and we’re trying to get this situation righted because we’re a really good offensive team,” Lovullo said.
The Diamondbacks are being game-planned by opponents, Lovullo added, and hitters need to exercise patience in waiting for the right pitch to hit.
Catcher Stephen Vogt said he thinks the team is pressing and trying to do too much. “We are trying to make up for lost time,” Vogt said.
Starting pitcher Luke Weaver lasted just three innings on Saturday, seemingly regressing after two improved starts, to cause concern for the Diamondbacks.
“He has been making some unbelievable strides in pushing himself in the right direction,” Lovullo said of Weaver, whose first four starts this season all lasted four innings or less. “I’m going to take this as an outlier, so I don’t want to say it’s a step back. Anytime you don’t throw the ball the way you want to, he’s going to do some self evaluation and understand how to get better the next time.”
The Diamondbacks are scheduled to have right-hander Taylor Clarke on the mound Sunday. Clarke (1-0, 2.33 ERA) will make his second start of the season after the first came on short notice last Monday against the Colorado Rockies. Clarke got the start when Merrill Kelly was scratched just before game time that day.
It’s to be Clarke’s 17th career start. In three career starts against the Giants, Clarke has a 1-2 record with an ERA of 9.00.
-Field Level Media