D-backs' offense stymied in loss to Giants
Reynolds' double the only hit off San Francisco's Cain
SAN FRANCISCO -- The last thing the D-backs' struggling offense needed was to face one of the National League's better pitchers.
Like, say, Matt Cain.
But that's what they got Friday night. That and one hit in a 5-0 loss at the hands of the Giants, Arizona's fifth straight defeat.
"I mean, we're reeling," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "There's no good way to put it. This is a miserable stretch and we've just got to stay positive and try to get through it. We're going to find out how tough we are. It's a real challenge because we keep getting knocked down anytime we get any sort of momentum. Then the games where we don't show up consistently, it shows up in a dominant performance."
Dominant was certainly an apt description of Cain's outing.
Mark Reynolds was the only player to reach base for Arizona. He doubled in the second inning and was hit by a 92 mph fastball in the fifth.
Reynolds declined comment after the game.
"Cain threw well," Hinch said. "It doesn't get any more dominant than that -- well, I guess it could be no hits -- but he did a nice job. He didn't give in and we didn't really get anything started."
That has been a theme for the D-backs in the four games so far on this nine-game trip, as they've scored a total of seven runs.
Contrast that with the 37 runs they collected on a four-game winning streak last week that included taking both games in a two-game set vs. the Giants, during which they outscored San Francisco 21-8.
"It's hard to say that because I feel like we have a good game plan, we're prepared," second baseman Kelly Johnson said when he was asked about the offense's inconsistency. "I feel like we really do have good at-bats as a team. I feel like everybody's got a chance to do something every at-bat and that's ultimately the mindset and the attitude that you have to have going up there. Hits don't fall or hits are hard to come by, that's another thing altogether, but I really feel like we're where we need to be. It's just a matter of having some things go our way."
As for Johnson's thoughts about Cain, he was keeping those to himself.
"I don't have much to say about it," he said.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Cain and it was the second one-hitter of his career, with the other coming May 21, 2006, against the A's.
"It's a group of guys who definitely can beat you with the long ball," Cain said of the D-backs. "So you try to take some of the pop out of their bats and get them to swing early so you [don't let them] get in their count."
Edwin Jackson (3-6) did not pitch poorly in allowing three runs on four hits over seven innings.
"It was a battle, but at the end of the day it was a losing battle," he said.
Not coming out on the right side of those battles is starting to wear on the D-backs, who believe that they should not be in last place in the NL West.
"As a team, we're a lot better than we're playing right now," Jackson said, raising his voice for emphasis. "We just have to go out there with a killer instinct and win ballgames. We're a way better team than we're playing right now. We have a great team, but until we go out and show it on the field, then there's going to continue to be games like this. It's not one particular person, it's everybody as a whole. I'm sure something will click and we'll go out and be aggressive and win ballgames."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.