San Francisco Giants continue to roll, beating Cubs 6-4 and Brandon Belt, Justin Ruggiano and Joe Panik all homered.
San Francisco Giants’ bats slugged a season high three home runs, as Ty Blach pitched seven innings to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-4 at Wrigley Field.
San Francisco began scoring early and kept tacking on for the remainder of the game. Panik homered to lead off the game as the Giants continue to show signs of a rebound.
Panik didn’t just shine offensively, as he put on a Gold-Glove caliber game at second base. In the second inning, he made back to back diving plays. Although the first play was barely safe, the second diving attempt forced the out at second.
Gorkys Hernandez began the third inning with a walk and reached second by stolen base. Panik kept a hot bat and doubled him in to make the score 2-0. Brandon Belt then sent a pitch low and away to the opposite field in left for a single and successfully scored Panik to extend the score to 3-0.
This was the first time in 2017 that Ty Blach received three runs of support this season, and it was a relief to see them early. Speaking of Blach, he pitched a good game to open the four-game series.
Blach threw seven innings of three-run ball, while scattering eight hits and collecting three strikeouts.
Justin Ruggiano followed the same plan that started the third inning, by doubling in Eduardo Nunez, who singled and stole second the at bat before. Another thing that stood out during the fourth happened during the bottom half.
Ty Blach is keeping the ball down and producing weak ground balls, as was evident by all three batters softly grounding out. Blach is forcing groundballs at 45.8 percent of at bats according to Fangraphs, which is a recipe for success with a Gold-Glove caliber infield.
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Brandon Belt continued his case to be traded(sarcasm) by hitting the San Francisco Giants’ club-leading ninth home run of the season to the opposite field. He used all sides on the field in this game, and his average has continued to rise steadily.
Chicago threatened in the eighth inning after getting to Blach who took the mound with 94 pitches. Jason Heyward stroked a lead off single and scored off of Javier Baez’s double to the wall. Ty Blach was finally taken out for Derek Law, who ended up allowing a triple to Ian Happ to score Baez and charge Blach with his final run.
World Series MVP Ben Zobrist then hit a two-run homer that cut the lead to 6-4. Jon Jay kept the rally going for the Cubs by collecting their fifth consecutive hit of the inning. Finally, Law got Kris Bryant to pop out for the first out of the inning. Steven Okert entered the game and hit the only batter he faced in Anthony Rizzo. Hunter Strickland came into the game to get an inning ending double play. His ERA now sits at 1.06
Mark Melancon entered the game and collected ninth save of the season and the San Francisco Giants finished up the win 6-4.
Three Notes From Game:
- Christian Arroyo needs to continue to work with the hitting coach and building an approach for outside pitches. The league has made an adjustment to him, and while he is a legit talent, he needs to adjust back to the league. One at bat in the fourth stuck out to me, where John Lackey pitched him soft outside of the plate and instead of taking the ball the other way, he rolled over and pulled it for a ground out. It’s an easy adjustment I believe he can make quick.
- Ty Blach continues to provide solid to outstanding performances for the Giants. He lives down in the zone, and if you’re not throwing 95+ like himself, you better be locating well like he does. He also gets the ball inside to right handers very well. Lastly, as mentioned earlier he’s doing an outstanding job producing groundballs for an infield known to handle them with ease. He’s going to make the decision very tough on what to do when Bumgarner returns if he continues to pitch well.
- Something that won’t show up on the stat sheet is this teams ability to rebound after losses now. San Francisco has responded well after losses the last stretch of games, and it’s a trend they demonstrated during their best title runs. The resiliency is returning, and with that resiliency and belief, the Giants have proven anything is possible for them. Attitude plays a huge roll in performance and the players’ body language looks different, so that’s the most encouraging sign for me personally.
Stay tuned to Around the Foghorn for all your San Francisco Giants breaking news and game recaps this season!