San Francisco Giants’ Jake Peavy helps defeat Padres


Behind a lineup comprised of only two regulars-one if you discount Brandon Belt-the San Francisco Giants defeated the San Diego Padres, 3-1, Saturday afternoon at AT&T Park, as Jake Peavy made his first start against the team for whom he won 92 games.

Gary Brown made his debut as a starter for the Giants in center field, going 2-4 with neither hit leaving the infield. In the third inning he led off with a bunt single and in the decisive eighth, he led off with an infield hit to Cory Spangenberg, who made a fine play but could not nail the fleet Brown.

Matt Duffy singled in the first inning and scored on a double by Brandon Belt. Duffy singled again in the fifth and got on base in the eighth on a fielder’s choice. He ended up scoring in both the second and the eighth innings, as he continues to do exactly what he did at the double-A level all season-get on base. 

Brandon Belt’s RBI-double in the first, coming on the heels of Thursday’s performance, in which he homered and had the tying RBI in the crucial seventh inning, is further evidence that some of the sting of losing both Angel Pagan and Michael Morse can be lessened. Belt’s experience in the 2012 World Series is going to be needed.

Andrew Susac added a base hit for the Giants, but the big hit came from a seasoned veteran, Brandon Crawford, who has been hot in September.

Over his last 30 games, Brandon Crawford has hit .346 with 17 RBI’s.

Over his last thirty games he has batted .346, with a couple of homers, five doubles, one triple and seventeen RBI’s. For the year he has sixty-nine RBI’s. The Giants have two players who have had ten triples:

Hunter Pence

and Crawford.

Brandon Crawford has been getting it done with his bat as well as his glove. He knocked in the winning runs in the bottom of the eighth inning with a bases-loaded single.

Eric Stults started for San Diego and was excellent, going seven complete, allowing one run on six hits, while walking none and striking out five. Dale Thayer came in to pitch the eighth, and gave up two runs on two hits, and walked two, before R. J. Alvarez came in to get the final out.

Jake Peavy, who had made a start against every team in the majors except San Diego, pitched five innings, giving up one run on four hits, with three walks and three K’s. He has posted a 6-4 record for the Giants since being acquired in July, and has recorded a 2.17 ERA. It is safe to say the he has played one of the most substantial roles in helping San Francisco to claim a playoff spot.

Jeremy Affeldt pitched the sixth and seventh innings, allowing one hit and striking out three. Hunter Strickland, looking every bit as though he belonged in a Giants’ uniform, threw a 1-2-3 eighth, earning his first win as a major leaguer, and Santiago Casilla closed out the game for his nineteenth save.

The game was meaningless in terms of standings, as San Francisco will not have home-field advantage at any point in the playoffs, but it was good to see how well the rookies played. It was also satisfying to see Jake Peavy, who could play a monumental role in the upcoming playoffs, have such a good tune-up.

Tomorrow, the 162-game marathon will come to a close, and we will look forward to the next leg of the journey, beginning Wednesday, on the road in either Pittsburgh or St. Louis. Having won 87 games so far, if the Giants could win Sunday, it would mark the 88th victory of the year. 

Eighty-eight wins, one for each key on a piano. Now if the Giants could just get that old piano rocking in the playoffs, we could all sing Journey songs again at the end of October. Stranger things have happened.

February 20, 2013; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants outfielder Gary Brown (10) poses for a picture during photo day at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports