3-2 win (10) in Philly
The Giants have won FIVE games in the last three weeks. At the All-Star Break they were the best team in baseball. Over the last 18 games they've been, along with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the worst. On the bright side the Giants are still in first place. The margin is a wee bit closer, but to play .278 ball and not lose the top spot is a miracle of sorts, perhaps the baseball gods decided our suffering would only go so far. They stuck the pin in the doll and gave it a good twist but didn't apply the killer blow.
Matt Moore had his Giants debut and he delivered six quality innings. That's eleven straight starts for the new lefty in which he has recorded at least 18 outs. Keep that up, bro! That's just the kind of steady consistency the club needs. Denard Span hit a homer in the 10th to break the deadlock--that's right, a Giants player hit a homer. That's pretty rare. Close games often get decided late with a big fly, especially in a bandbox like Citizens Bank Park. This time the Giants got what was needed. A resurgent Santiago Casilla, lashing out like a cornered beast, nailed down the save with a brisk 11-pitch 1-2-3 "see ya" after an equally clutch effort the previous night. It's been hard times and increased scrutiny for the embattled closer, it's nice to see him respond with the kind of performances we know he's capable of. Maybe a little F.O. and fan base doubt was just what he needed to get fired up. Whatever works! In fact the entire beleaguered 'pen showed up this afternoon and got it done. Tip o' the cap to Derek Law for a particularly stout 10-pitch 1-2-3 8th frame.
Here's the tale of the season at the 2/3 mark:
1st inning: 8-10
2nd inning: 10-8
3rd inning: 15-3
4th inning: 12-6
5th inning: 12-6
6th inning: 5-13
That's 62-46 (.574) and a two game lead over LA in the West. Only the Cubs and the Nationals have more wins. If the Giants play .574 for the season they will finish with 93 wins. That means 31 more wins over the final three innings. It's a trip to Washington, D.C. next with the mercurial Jeff Samardzija getting the call. You have to think his run of poor starts since his May surge convinced the club they needed another starter. Say it ain't so, Jeffy-boy. Take it as a challenge and show 'em you still have the stuff for a championship run.