SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Deafening screams of "Schmitttteee!"
greeted San Francisco's ace as he made his way from the dugout back
to the clubhouse after another outstanding outing.
All those cheers -- not to mention his brilliant pitching of late
-- are providing a big boost for Jason Schmidt's ego.
Schmidt pitched eight dominant innings to win consecutive starts
for just the second time all season, and the Giants defeated the
Arizona Diamondbacks 4-0 Wednesday night.
"It was huge," Schmidt said. "When you get late in the year
like this and you're struggling, it really becomes a confidence
issue. My confidence is back. I made a lot of adjustments mentally
Schmidt (5-3) hadn't won back-to-back outings since beating Los
Angeles and Colorado on April 5 and 10 to start the year. He built
on his best start of the season last Friday, when he pitched eight
shutout innings in a 4-0 win at Detroit.
This time, he struck out a season-high 10 and threw several
fastballs clocked at 95 mph, and said, "I feel like there's a
whole lot more in there." He also extended his scoreless streak to
17 innings dating to June 11 against Cleveland.
"He's a big part of their success, one of their workhorses,"
Arizona's Luis Gonzalez said. "For those guys to compete, he's got
to be on his game."
Schmidt, who hasn't pitched a complete game this year, went out
to start the ninth, but gave up a leadoff single to Gonzalez. Scott
Eyre relieved and got one out, then Tyler Walker finished the
five-hitter. The crowd booed when Schmidt was removed.
"It's been a while since I've heard the crowd that way, just
the excitement," Schmidt said.
Schmidt, an 18-game winner last season and one of the top vote
getters for the NL Cy Young Award the past two years, seems to be
regaining his form after an inconsistent first half. The lanky
right-hander has been working to vary his pitches and become less
"We all have to make adjustments in this game," catcher Mike
Matheny said. "I'm very proud he made the adjustment. He needed to
have it proven to him how good his stuff is, and he did that the
last two games. ... For him to get right, no question it's a huge
boost for us, a shot in the arm."
And manager Felipe Alou is going to be cautious with Schmidt's
pitch count to make sure he doesn't experience the fatigue that
hindered him earlier in the year. Schmidt threw 116 pitches, and
that's around the target number for him these days.
Arizona manager Bob Melvin said before the game that Schmidt
causes opposing batters problems and "gets your attention" even
when his velocity is down as it had been recently.
Melvin was more impressed afterward.
"He changed his style a bit," Melvin said. "It doesn't matter
how you pitch as long as you get guys out. His fastball was topped
at 95 and his changeup was between 83 and 86. The good pitchers
After Kelly Stinnett singled in the fourth, Schmidt retired the
next nine batters he faced, including striking out the side in
order in the seventh.
The Diamondbacks, who ended their five-game losing streak with a
6-4 win Tuesday, only got four baserunners past first and none
advanced further than second.
Brad Halsey (4-6) remained winless in June with his fourth
straight defeat -- three of those have come on the road. His last
victory came May 31 at New York.
Troy Glaus, who fell hard on his right wrist at Cleveland on
Sunday, returned to the lineup after landing on the wrist again in
Monday's game. He struck out all four times up.
Giants manager Felipe Alou tweaked his lineup by moving Durham
back into the leadoff spot after a long stint in the No. 5 hole.
Rookie outfielder Jason Ellison, who had been leading off, batted
seventh and had an RBI bunt single in the second to give the Giants
a 1-0 lead.
"Elli did extremely well as a leadoff hitter," Alou said. "I
believe Elli will do well anywhere."
Schmidt is 7-0 with a 2.26 ERA in his last 11 starts vs.
the D-Backs. ... The Giants are 102-52 since 2003 when Durham has
scored at least one run. ... Felipe Alou was named a coach for the
All-Star game next month in Detroit. He will coach under close
friend Tony La Russa, the St. Louis skipper. Alou has turned down
chances to coach in the game before, but looked forward to the
chance to stand alongside La Russa in the NL dugout. ... D-Backs SS
Royce Clayton got the day off. Alex Cintron started in his place a
day after playing 3B in place of Glaus.