SAN FRANCISCO -- Watching Tuesday's game, if you didn't know better, you would have thought the D-backs were the team with a playoff spot clinched and the Giants were the team with a slim-at-best shot at making the postseason.
Of course it's the other way around, but that didn't stop the D-backs from roughing up Tim Lincecum en route to a 7-2 win over the Giants at AT&T Park.
The win was the seventh in the last nine games for the D-backs, who remain 5 1/2 games behind the Cardinals for the final National League Wild Card spot with just eight games remaining.
The D-backs were led offensively by Paul Goldschmidt, which should not be a surprise given that Lincecum was starting for the Giants.
Goldschmidt drove in a career-high five runs on the night, with the biggest blow being a three-run homer in the third inning off Lincecum that ricocheted off the left-field foul pole. The homer was Goldschmidt's fifth long ball off Lincecum, the most that any player has hit against the two-time Cy Young Award winner. Goldschmidt is now 8-for-14 in his career against Lincecum.
"It's unexplainable," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "But he's just had great success against Tim Lincecum, and again tonight it was big for us. It's pretty amazing, and let's hope it continues."
Goldschmidt continues to downplay his success against Lincecum, reminding reporters regularly that things like that can turn quickly.
"I don't know," Goldschmidt said. "You look at the pitch I hit tonight -- it was probably a little up, the wind kind of blows it back fair, it barely gets out. It's like I haven't hit a home run in a month, it's like a perfect storm. I wish I knew how to explain it; I'd try to do it more often."
After the last time Goldschmidt had his way with Lincecum, the right-hander vowed he would come up with an answer. That remains his mission.
"Obviously he's kind of got my number right now," Lincecum said. "I haven't found a consistent way to get him out. I'm just going to go back to video and see what he's been doing against me, just try to fix it for the next time I face him."
While he obviously knows the success he's had against Lincecum, Goldschmidt said he tries not to think about it when he's in the batter's box.
"No, I mean you try not to let it," Goldschmidt said. "I mean, sometimes you have success off guys and then there's other times they have success off of you, so every time you step in, at least for me, you just try to hit the ball hard and regardless of what happens swing at the right pitches, have a good at-bat and the results will hopefully take care of themselves."
The D-backs jumped on Lincecum for a pair of runs in the first inning, one of which scored on a wild pitch and the other coming home on Goldschmidt's sacrifice fly.
Goldschmidt's three-run shot in the third put the D-backs up 5-0, and they increased their lead to 7-1 with a two-run fifth that chased Lincecum (10-15) from the game.
While Lincecum struggled from the get-go, D-backs starter Josh Collmenter did not allow a hit through the first three innings.
Collmenter (5-3) did not find out he would be starting until late Monday night when the team decided to scratch rookie Tyler Skaggs. The right-hander, making his first start since July 27, allowed just one run on two hits over five innings.
"It's fun pitching in this atmosphere," Collmenter said. "The crowd is loud; they even chanted 'MVP' a few times when I was out there, so I thought that was pretty cool."
Collmenter was kidding, of course, as the "MVP" chants were for the Giants' Buster Posey.