SAN FRANCISCO — Momentum once again lasted just a few hours.
Fresh off a blowout win that players and coaches called the best of the second half, the Giants reached second base just twice against right-hander Tyler Chatwood and the Rockies, wasting a gem from Jeff Samardzija. The 2-0 loss made the road to hosting the wild card game considerably more difficult. With four games to play, the Giants trail the Mets by 1 1/2 and lead the Cardinals by a game.
On the coldest night of the year at AT&T Park, both pitchers took advantage of uncomfortable hitters. Samardzija piled up six strikeouts in the first three innings, but the heart of Colorado’s order got to him in the fourth. Carlos Gonzalez blasted a double off the very top of the left field wall and scored on Nolan Arenado’s broken-bat single to center.
Samardzija looked to be in more trouble in the sixth when a well-placed hit-and-run grounder put two on for Arenado. The longtime Giants-killer hit into an inning-ending double play. The Rockies did add a run in the seventh, however, with a double and single chasing Samardzija. He struck out 11, his high as a Giant.
The Giants got nothing going against Chatwood, who entered the night with a 1.88 ERA away from Coors Field. The Brandons drew leadoff walks in the seventh and eighth, but Buster Posey and Angel Pagan hit into double plays. Chatwood gave up just three hits in eight innings and struck out nine.
The Giants put runners on the corners for Posey in the ninth, but he grounded out to third.
Starting pitching report: Samardzija finished his night — and probably his regular season — at 203 1/3 innings. Five National League pitchers have reached the 200-inning mark this season and three are Giants: Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Samardzija (the other two are Washington’s Max Scherzer and Tanner Roark). The trio is the first to reach 200-plus innings for the Giants since Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Bumgarner in 2011.
Bullpen report: Steven Okert is getting a bigger and bigger piece of the bullpen pie. He pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief of Samardzija.
At the plate: Brandon Belt’s walk in the seventh was his 100th of the season. He’s the first Giant to reach 100 since Barry Bonds in 2007. Buster Posey followed with a double-play grounder.
In the field: Brandon Crawford made a slick running catch of Arenado’s pop-up in the eighth.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,426 shivering human beings.
Up next: Johnny Cueto makes his first start since straining his groin. He’ll face Jon Gray, and up-and-coming right-hander.