Patrick Corbin and the Arizona Diamondbacks take on the San Francisco Giants on Friday. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
PHOENIX -- Arizona and San Francisco will play final third of the season without a key offensive component. One loss was expected. The other came as a surprise.
Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb said Thursday that he has opted for season-ending surgery on his frayed left rotator cuff after receiving a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache earlier in the week. Lamb had been on the disabled list since July 25, and surgery had been an option all along.
The Giants, meanwhile, learned that third baseman/first baseman Pablo Sandoval will miss the rest of the season because of a torn right hamstring muscle suffered in a slide into home plate in the fifth inning of an 8-5 victory against San Diego on Sunday. An MRI showed what manager Bruce Bochy called "a significant tear that requires surgery."
"It really shocks me," Bochy said. "You never think a hamstring is going to put them out for two months, but when it is this bad a tear with surgery ... They all hurt, but Pablo is so valuable in all the roles that he had this season.
"We lost (Brandon) Belt, he played first. 'Longo' (Evan Longoria) goes down, he plays third. And not just playing but doing a really nice job defensively. He was a big part of this offense. This guy did everything. This is one that is a tough one to overcome."
The Giants won their fourth straight game and fifth straight in the season series with an 8-1 victory Thursday, and will send right-hander Chris Stratton (8-6) to face Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin (7-4) in the second contest of the four-game set Friday.
Sandoval was hitting .248 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 92 games, 36 at third base and 24 at first. He was 8-for-28 with one homer and six RBIs as a pinch-hitter.
Lamb was hitting .222 with six homers and 31 RBIs in 56 games. He suffered the injury in the fourth game of the season April 2 when he landed on his shoulder while catching a foul pop early in the game and aggravated it while scoring in the 15th inning of an 8-7 victory over the Dodgers.
Lamb, who hit 30 homers last season and 29 the year before, returned May 18, but reinjured the shoulder when he dove for a ball against the Cubs and was forced to leave the game July 26. He said he felt no pain but at the same time was unable to get full extension on his swing.
"I'm kind of thinking ahead, as far as spring training and next year's season," Lamb said. "I want to be completely ready for that.
"It was almost a little bit of a relief when I saw the tear. Not that it was an excuse. But it never felt right. It never felt the ball was coming off the bat correctly. But at the end of the day, you never want to have surgery or be hurt."
The Giants also lost right-hander Johnny Cueto, who underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on Thursday, a procedure that could keep him out much if not all of of the 2019 season.
"Sounds like all went well, so now it is going to be 12-to-14 months as far as his rehab," Bochy said. "You know those Tommy John rehabs are different wth everybody.
"Starting out the year, nobody was throwing the ball better than Johnny. What a great start he got off to, probably right up there with being the best pitcher in baseball. That's always tough when you lose one of your top guys. I look at him and 'Bum' (Madison Bumgarner) as number ones. We have to move on with this."
Corbin (7-4, 3.26 ERA) has only three decisions in his last nine starts -- two of them losses -- since beating Bumgarner and the Giants 3-2 in AT&T Park on June 5. He gave up one run on four hits and struck out seven in that game, when he improved to 6-2.
He has faced the Giants in each of the four series the teams have played this season, going 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA while winning once at home and once on the road. Corbin held the Giants to a checked-swing single by Brandon Belt in a 1-0 victory at Chase Field on April 17, his first career shutout. Corbin has given up 14 hits and struck out 29 in 26 2/3 innings against the Giants this season.
Corbin is 7-7 with a 3.00 ERA in 23 appearances (21 career starts) against the Giants, the most against any opponent. He is 4-3 with a 3.50 ERA in 11 home starts this season but has not started at home since July 4, when he gave up one run in six innings of a no-decision against St. Louis in the Cardinals' 8-4 victory.
Stratton (8-6, 5.14) will make his first start since July 3, when he gave up 11 hits and eight runs in 5 2/3 innings in an 8-1 loss at Colorado. He was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento after that start and has made one relief appearance since being recalled last Thursday.
Stratton has not received a decision in two starts against the Diamondbacks this season, although the Giants have won both games. He struck out a season-high eight in the team's 4-3 victory at Chase Field on April 18, when he gave up one run and five hits in seven innings.
He is 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA in five career starts against Arizona and is 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts at Chase Field.