04/22/09 7:17 PM ET
D-backs set for Giants rematch
Arizona (6-9) vs. San Francisco (6-8), Fri., 6:40 p.m. MST
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
"They beat us out there in San Francisco, but it's a new series," outfielder Chris Young said. "It starts all over."
Runs will likely be at a premium again with the Giants throwing Tim Lincecum, Randy Johnson and Matt Cain at the D-backs.
Friday night, it will be a rematch of last Saturday's game, where Doug Davis outdueled Lincecum in a 2-0 Arizona win. Lincecum may not have come away with a victory, but he did match a career high by fanning 13 D-backs.
The loss that stung the most came last Sunday, when Johnson held his former mates hitless through five innings and wound up allowing just one hit in six.
Although he downplayed it, Johnson was clearly fired up for his first crack at the D-backs since they offered him less than $3 million during the offseason before turning around and signing Jon Garland for $6.25 million.
The D-backs will get another shot at him Saturday.
"He pitched a great game, but it's a whole new game," Young said. "Somebody can go out there and have a great game, and the next time you get to him. Or you get to a guy, and the next time you face him you don't. There's really no telling. We definitely know what to expect. We know that we have to be ready, and that's going to come to compete."
Competing hasn't been the problem for Arizona. Instead, it's been the inability to get its offense and pitching in sync. When the D-backs have hit well, their pitching has not come through and vice versa.
"This is the Major Leagues," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said, "and if you don't hit on all facets, you're going to have a tough time getting on a roll."Pitching matchup
ARI: LHP Doug Davis (1-2, 2.57 ERA)
Davis followed up one of his best starts in a D-backs uniform with an even better one against the Giants on Saturday at AT&T Park. The left-hander tossed eight shutout innings, outdueling Lincecum for a 2-0 win. The game was scoreless until the ninth, when Young laced a two-run double to left. Davis threw more curveballs in the game than he usually does, and he cut back on the amount of times he went to his cut fastball, though the lefty still threw between 20 and 25 cutters. Over his past two starts, Davis has allowed two runs in 16 innings. SF: RHP Tim Lincecum (0-1, 3.86 ERA)
After entering last Saturday's start with a 7.56 ERA in his first two outings, Lincecum blanked Arizona for eight innings, walking none and matching a career high with 13 strikeouts. He received no decision in a 2-0 Giants loss. Lincecum regained his Cy Young Award-winning form, partly because he detected a flaw in his delivery. His front (left) foot was landing three inches closer than usual to the right-handed batter's box, diminishing his velocity and throwing his pitches askew. Tidbits
The D-backs are still trying to figure out how to get struggling right-hander Jon Rauch back on track. Rauch gave up a pair of runs in one inning Tuesday night and has a 12.00 ERA this year. "We wanted to get him in some situations that were less dicey, but the last two times, I haven't had anybody else to bring in games," Melvin said. "Certainly, we'd like to get him going, he does have a history. We're doing the best we can to get him going. It's just a struggle right now." Rauch's velocity does not appear to be down like it was at times during the spring, but he keeps getting hit hard. "I think it's just more location with him right now and maybe mix of pitches," Melvin said. ... Reliever Tom Gordon worked two scoreless innings Tuesday night in his second rehab appearance for Triple-A Reno. The right-hander allowed three hits and two walks. "I'm guessing we're looking at one more [rehab appearance]," Melvin said. "We could certainly use him. He is a guy who when he comes back will pitch in a prominent role." ... Bench coach Kirk Gibson missed Wednesday's game with the flu. Tickets
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KTAR 620, KSUN 1400 (Español) Up next
Saturday: Diamondbacks (Max Scherzer, 0-1, 3.60) vs. Giants (Randy Johnson, 1-2, 6.32), 5:10 p.m. MST
Sunday: Diamondbacks (Jon Garland, 2-1, 5.71) vs. Giants (Matt Cain, 2-0, 2.37), 1:10 p.m. MST
Monday: Diamondbacks (TBD) vs. Cubs (TBD), 6:40 p.m. MST
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.