SAN FRANCISCO — There’s a bizarro world where Zack Greinke will start for the Giants tomorrow, making the fourth start of a mammoth offseason deal. In this world, Greinke pitched for the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night, and pitched very well.
Greinke took a shutout into the seventh as the Giants had another hapless night against Diamondbacks pitching. They fell 2-1, with Madison Bumgarner taking a tough loss thanks to a two-run homer from Welington Castillo.
Bumgarner had no-hit stuff and command early and faced the minimum the first time through the order. Paul Goldschmidt had the first Diamondbacks hit, a clean single to left in the fourth on a cutter that was a good pitch, down and in.
The other Diamondbacks star showed his skill on the mound. Greinke put two on in the first but wiggled out of the jam with strikeouts of the Brandons. The Giants left a runner on in each of the next three innings, allowing Greinke to settle in. When he did, he retired nine straight in the middle innings.
Bumgarner kept it scoreless through six but gave up two runs right off the bat in the sixth. Yasmany Tomas led off with a single and Castillo mashed a two-strike fastball into the seats in left-center. The pitch, a fastball up and outside, wasn’t a bad one, but Castillo hit it 408 feet.
The Giants got a run back in the bottom of the inning and chased Greinke. Gregor Blanco smoked a one-out triple and — after Greinke got pinch-hitter Hunter Pence to pop up at the end of a good battle — Angel Pagan lined an RBI single to left.
Starting pitching report: Bumgarner pitched through seven for the first time in four starts, allowing two earned on five hits and a walk. He struck out eight, tying his season high.
Bullpen report: Derek Law’s velocity was down a tick and his breaking ball wasn’t quite as sharp, but he still put up a zero. Getting through the top of Arizona’s order without his A-game was maybe more impressive than the first two outings.
At the plate: It’s not often that Bumgarner loses the battle of good-hitting pitchers, but he did Wednesday. Greinke hit a single and is 3-for-7 this season. Bumgarner, who homered off Greinke two years ago, struck out twice.
In the field: Jean Segura tried to bunt Jake Lamb over to third in the eighth, but the ball dropped inches in front of the plate. Buster Posey picked it up and fired a strike to third for the out.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,497 human beings who in their previous visits did not buy enough crab sandwiches to up the offer for Greinke.
Up next: Johnny Cueto will try to become the first four-game winner in the National League. Shelby Miller (0-1, 8.53) will try to shake off his slow Diamondbacks start.