Jake Peavy took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, surrendering a bloop single to Mark Reynolds with one out, and the San Francisco Giants went on to baffle the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-1, Saturday night at AT&T Park, the win the Giants’ fifth in a row. At almost the same minute the Giants game ended, the San Diego Padres scored a walk-off victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, reducing LA’s lead over San Francisco to two-and-a-half games.
The significance of the win is that it gave San Francisco its first series win over a team with a winning record since early last June when they took two of three from Cincinnati, which had a winning record when the Giants played them.
The big hit for the Giants came from Michael Morse, who laced an opposite-field double in the fourth inning, with Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence, each having singled to left field, scoring on the play. Brandon Crawford then singled home Morse to complete the scoring for the Giants.
Peavy was dominant, retiring the first nine batters he faced before giving up a lead-off walk to Carlos Gomez in the fourth inning. Buster Posey gunned him down at second base, trying to steal on the first pitch to Jonathan Lucroy, who then went on to strike out. A ground ball to Morse at first ended the inning.
Peavy gave up two walks in the sixth, but escaped harm when Lucroy grounded into a fielder’s choice, 6-4. He finally gave up the bloop single to Reynolds with one out in the eighth. After he got Jean Segura swinging for the second out, Bruce Bochy figured that was it, and brought in Jeremy Affeldt.
Affeldt gave up a single to Rickie Weeks and Bochy, maybe seeing visions of last Sunday in Washington, lifted Affeldt immediately for Sergio Romo, who got Carlos Gomez swinging, to end the inning.
Santiago Casilla made things interesting in the ninth by giving up a leadoff double to Lucroy and an RBI-single to Ryan Braun, and then, with two outs, hitting Khris Davis with a pitch, putting two on with two outs. Fortunately, Reynolds, who broke up the no-hitter in the eighth, then grounded out sharply to Pablo Sandoval, who got the unassisted force-out at third.
Every Giants starter had one hit except for Pablo Sandoval, who had two singles, and Buster Posey, who went 0-4, after getting five hits in Friday’s game. Morse’s double was the only extra-base hit.
Mike Fiers started for the Brewers and went seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, with two walks and nine strikeouts. Jeremy Jeffress pitched the eighth, eventually loading the bases, before getting pinch-hitter Matt Duffy to ground into an unassisted fielder’s choice to Aramis Ramirez at third base.
The defensive play of the game occurred in the top of the seventh with one out and the no-hitter still going, and Aramia Ramirez on first base after being nicked by a pitch, Peavy’s third base runner of the game.
Scooter Gennett hit a one-hop scorcher up the middle that Brandon Crawford fielded while horizontal with the ground. With no time for a-hand-to-glove exchange, he glove-flipped the ball the ten feet to Joe Panik, who fired it on to first to get the double play. “That is brilliance!” exclaimed Mike Krukow.
Earlier in the fifth inning, Crawford had fielded a sharp grounder to his right, and then heaved the throw on to Morse while going away from the play. If Peavy had been able to complete the no-no, Crawford would have been able to claim his share of bragging rights.
This win was critically important on so many levels, it’s ridiculous. To take the series, to gain a game on LA, to win their fifth straight, to keep the momentum at AT&T Park going, and to give Jake Peavy some run-support, were all examples of what a team that has clawed its way back into the picture, needs to do to regain control of the division.