A tight, well-fought series win at home, 3-1, created still more distance between the Giants and the cellar-dwelling D-backs as San Francisco climbed to 0.500 and sole possession of third in the division.
It has been a long, slow crawl back to 0.500 but the San Francisco Giants – whom my lawyer called a “quadruple A team” when this 60-game season started – have a genuine opportunity not only to make the expanded post-season playoffs, but to face the Bums from Chavez Ravine in the first round.
This ragtag group of rookies, pass-around minor leaguers and veterans past their prime, led by a sabremetric-driven front office and young manager in his first season with the team, has been a blast to watch come together. The new park dimensions, coupled with closing off the alleyways in right has added to the power numbers and the team is peaking at the right time. It’s thrilling.
We have found gems in Yastrzemski, Solano, Dubon and Tromp. Brandon Belt is hitting a stride we haven’t seen in a long time and it’s lasting. Evan Longoria is having a renaissance. Slater, Ruf, Dickerson and Flores have all performed exceptionally well – win or lose, we have a lot of talent for winter trade talks.
Our greatest weakness is our bullpen – which is a season killer for playoff teams. But the opportunity to play the Nemesis and possibly end their shot at the title is a great motivator.
The Giants were patient last night, struggling against one of the best pitchers in baseball nobody’s heard of. The Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen was masterful for 5 innings but the walk to Pablo that started the 6th was a ray of light that burst into a beam.
Gallen’s record-setting streak, not allowing more than three earned runs in his first 23 career starts – a major league record to begin a career – ended after that walk.
Darin Ruf hit a two-run single, Belt drew a bases-loaded walk , and the Giants won for the sixth time in eight games. Mike Yastrzemski added a pair of singles. G-men win 4-2, same score as the night before.
In this series the Giants overcame Jhonny Cueto being out of sorts early and last night’s tension versus Gallen with patience, timely hitting and smart ABs.
It feels good to be here, but I still think we can do more. Could we take Seattle and then beat the Padres, too? Amazingly, with just 17 to play, the Giants have a shot at the 2-spot in the NL West! One step at a time.
Let’s Go Giants!
Beat The Mariners!
Use the DH!