San Francisco had hoped that Tim Lincecum's outing this afternoon would carry great importance. Instead, it will simply just be his final start of the season.
Lincecum and the Giants won't be defending their World Series title and will try to avoid getting swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks for the first time in three years in Sunday's finale of a three-game series.
San Francisco was officially eliminated from playoff contention last night with a 15-2 pounding at the hands of Arizona. Trying to stay in the hunt for the wild card spot, the Giants trailed 6-1 following the first inning after starter Eric Surkamp failed to get out of the frame.
"That game started out bad and gradually got worse," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
In a bit of symbolism for the Giants' season, the lights at Chase Field went out in the seventh inning with the Diamondbacks up by nine runs. The delay lasted 28 minutes.
Pablo Sandoval had two hits and drove in a pair of runs for the Giants, who have lost three straight and four of five, but the pitching staff walked 13 batters in the game.
Gerardo Parra went 2-for-3 with four RBI, while Ryan Roberts added two hits, three RBI and two runs scored for the National League West-champion Diamondbacks, who clinched the division Friday night and have won five of six. They also stayed one game back of the Brewers for the second-best record in the league, which would come with home-field advantage in the division series.
Roberts said the team took it upon themselves to give 100 percent even after their celebration the night before.
"Obviously you don't want to go out and give any games away," he said, "and tonight would be no different."
The Diamondbacks have won seven of their last nine over the Giants and will try to sweep the club for the first time since taking all four games of a meeting from Sept. 15-18, 2007.
Ian Kennedy tossed six innings of two-run ball to pick up his 21st win and hit a two-run double to cap a six-run first inning. He scattered five hits while fanning four, and once again strengthened his case for NL Cy Young consideration.
Lincecum knows a little something about winning Cy Young Awards, but he is just now hoping to finish the season above .500. He has lost three of his last four decisions, giving him a 13-13 record despite a 2.59 earned run average. San Francisco has scored two runs or fewer in 20 of his 32 starts this year, with the righty going 12-2 when the Giants score more than two runs in his start.
Lincecum was outdueled by another Cy Young candidate in the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday, taking a 2-1 loss after allowing two runs over seven innings.
"It's frustrating when you go up against a guy like [Kershaw]. You have to be on your game," Lincecum said.
The 27-year-old is 7-4 with a 2.70 ERA in his career versus the Diamondbacks.
Taking the hill for the Diamondbacks is Josh Collmenter, who has lost his last two starts, both against the Padres.
The 25-year-old rookie will be making his first start since giving up three runs on eight hits over seven innings of a 3-1 setback last Saturday. Two of the hits he allowed were homers.
The right-handed Collmenter is 9-10 with a 3.42 ERA on the season and 1-1 with a 6.43 ERA in two games versus the Giants. One of those was a start.