SAN FRANCISCO -- The young players may have proven themselves at the plate on Tuesday, but the young pitchers showed they still have a little ways to go on the mound as the Giants fell, 9-4, to the D-backs on Wednesday. Experience can be a valuable commodity for pitchers, and more experience than just two previous starts probably would have come in handy for Jonathan Sanchez after he gave up back-to-back home runs to open the second inning. But it ended up being a high pitch count, not the home runs, that hurt him most. "[He] got up to 80 pitches in the fourth," manager Bruce Bochy said. "You're asking for a little trouble there, whether it's as far as possible injury or you make a mistake."
Sanchez's seven strikeouts in three-plus innings were impressive, but it took more work than it should have. "I didn't have command today, I guess," Sanchez said. "I was getting 3-2 to a lot of guys. That's why the pitching count was high." Sanchez had already logged 69 pitches as he entered the third and when he opened the fourth inning by loading the bases, that was the end. Sanchez's performance was a sharp contrast to that of Brandon Webb, who was perfect through the first three frames, using only 22 pitches. The reigning Cy Young winner saved himself some work with first-pitch strikes, and the Giants helped with seven groundouts through the first three innings. The Giants finally managed to get to Webb and started digging out of the early three-run deficit in the fourth inning. Dave Roberts found a hole in center field and launched a triple to open the fourth. Nate Schierholtz then singled him home, stole second and came home on a groundout. The rally chopped the D-backs' lead down to one run, but they surged ahead again in the sixth, scoring four runs off relievers Scott Atchison and Scott Munter. The Giants gave a final fight in the sixth inning, when Randy Winn knocked an RBI double down the right-field line and came home on a groundout, but the D-backs hung onto a two-run lead. Reliever Erick Threets made his Major League debut in the ninth inning after almost two weeks of waiting anxiously on the bench. He gave up two inconsequential runs but was mostly just glad to get the waiting over with. "I'm sure the kid was nervous making his debut, but he showed real good stuff," Bochy said. "After a couple walks, he settled down and made some good pitches." Threets walked the first batter on four straight balls and looked pretty relieved when he threw a first pitch strike to the next batter. "That's always a huge moment in your career," Bochy said. "You've got to where you've been dreaming about, so the first one you'll always remember."
Becky Regan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.