The San Francisco Giants moved to a season high 26 games over .500 this evening, but more importantly, they captured their second National League West crown in three years thanks to an 8-4 victory over the San Diego Padres.
Knowing their magic number was reduced to one with a Dodgers loss earlier in the day, the Giants wasted no time in getting to business – loading the bases with their first three batters. Buster Posey and Hunter Pence both knocked in a run, each with a sacrifice fly before adding another in the second thanks to a Madison Bumgarner single. The scoring didn’t stop there though as Marco Scutaro continued his scorching play, knocking in three, helping the Giants add insurance to their hefty lead in front of a sold out crowd. The offensive outburst was plenty enough for Madison Bumgarner who pitched effectively, giving way to the Giants’ pen in the 7th who shut down the Padres, en route to the Giants’ 89th victory of the season.
MARCO. SCUTARO. – What can you say about the Giants’ second basemen? While most of groaned through Ryan Theriot and Emmanuel Burriss for the first half of the season, Scutaro’s play since he was acquired from the Rockies around the trade deadline has been nothing short of MVP-like. Hitting over .350 with 37 RBI in 55 games for the orange and black, Scutaro has been as vital as any member of the Giants during this amazing second half run that has seen the team go 43-23 since the All-Star break.
Mad Bum Comes Back – Madison Bumgarner hadn’t been himself in his past few starts. Bruce Bochy felt the young arm might be getting tired, but Bumgarner said it was just mental and at least for the evening, he quieted those qualms as he pitched an effective 6.1 inning of two run ball. A moonshot from Yonder Alonso was Madison’s death blow as Bochy removed Bumgarner a pitch shy of 100, but the native North Carolinian looked much better than he had earlier in the month where he struggled with location.
The Giants, who once sat 7.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers at the end of May made quite the turnaround in their bid for the NL West as they currently sit 11 games ahead of those second place Dodgers with 10 games remaining. With the win, the Giants now sit 3 games behind the Cincinnati Reds for the second seed, 3.5 games behind Washington for the first.
A big congrats to the boys for the wonderful regular season – it’s the perfect time to be peaking (15-5 in September) and to get a bit of rest before the postseason begins.