Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 5/29/12
The Diamondbacks have faced two kinds of pitchers this -- righties and wrongies.

Arizona went 24-24 against left-handed starters last season, but it has had unexpected difficulty against them these days, a problem exacerbated in a 4-2 loss to San Francisco's Barry Zito on Monday afternoon.

Zito has two of his four victories against the D-backs, who have lost seven of the 10 times they have faced against lefties in May. They appeared to turn the corner with recent victories over the Dodgers' Ted Lilly and the Brewers' Randy Wolf, but they again had trouble against Zito, who held them to two runs in seven innings Monday. He beat the D-backs 7-3 on May 13.

The D-backs have lost to defending NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw this month, but they also have fallen to Chris Capuano and soft-tossers like Zito, Bruce Chen, Jamie Moyer and Johan Santana. They are 7-11 against lefties this year.

The key, manager Kirk Gibson said during the middle of the streak last week, is patience.

"They add and subtract (speeds) a lot," Gibson said. "What you have to tell yourself (is), you don't try to pull them. If you do, they have such good arm motion on their secondary pitches and such good location that you leave yourself exposed."

Many of those losses came when productive Chris Young was on the disabled list, and things could change now that Young has returned. He hit .285 against lefties last year and had two singles Monday, when Justin Upton doubled home a run and John McDonald hit a pinch-hit home run. Zito caught a break on Upton's double, which would also would have scored Willie Bloomquist from first base had it not bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double.

"They have been around as long as they have because they know how to pitch and they know how to change speeds and get guys out," Bloomquist said of some of the veteran lefties. "They live off deception. They feed off guys being overaggressive and thinking they are going to get a fastball, and they don't get it. They're pitching backwards a lot.

"They play with your mind, and that's what makes them good."

NOTES, QUOTES

--C Miguel Montero was 0 for 4 and struck out with the tying run on base for the second out in the ninth inning in a 4-2 loss to San Francisco on Monday, his first game since suffering a strained left groin May 21. It also was Montero's first appearance since he signed a five-year, 60 million contract extension Saturday.

--RHP Trevor Cahill, 3-0 with a 1.30 ERA in four career starts against San Francisco while with Oakland, has lost two starts against the Giants this year after joining the D-backs in the offseason. Cahill gave up four runs in six innings in Monday's loss after giving up four runs in 5 23 innings against them on May 12. Cahill was removed after walking  Zito to open the seventh Monday, the fourth time he has worked into the seventh inning in 10 starts this season. "We have to get more innings out of our starters," manager Kirk Gibson said. Cahill got his first hit and scored his first run of the season, singling and scoring in the second inning to break an 0-for-17 drought.

--1B Paul Goldschmidt continued to swing a hot bat, extending his hitting streak to seven games with a double and a single in three at-bats. Goldschmidt is 13 for 35 (.371) with five doubles and a homer while hitting safely in eight of his last 10 games. He has 12 doubles, one behind team leader Jason Kubel.

--D-backs manager Kirk Gibson turned 55 Monday. Gibson homered on his birthday in his last season in the major leagues, with Detroit in 1995, during a streak in which he homered six times in six games at Tiger Stadium. He hit the last of his 284 major league homers on July 27, 1995, at Yankee Stadium.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Home runs in SS John McDonald's last four at-bats, after a pinch-hit homer off Zito on Monday. McDonald has three homers this season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I just wanted to play in the big leagues. I thought about being a good teammate and a good clubhouse guy. That way, if I didn't make it to the big leagues, I'd at least be a coach or something like that." -- C Miguel Montero, after receiving a five-year, 60 million contract extension. He signed for 13,000 in 2001.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

76ers trading Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for Tiago Splitter, pick

Budapest drops 2024 Olympic bid, leaving only Los Angeles and Paris, which could ban some participants

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

Hernandez's prison calls to Pouncey could come up in trial

Josh Hamilton experiences pain in reconstructed knee, leaves camp

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker