San Francisco Giants Sweep the Pirates, Win Sixth Straight

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 02: Buster Posey
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 02: Buster Posey /

Don’t call it a comeback. Ok well, at least today’s win you can. The San Francisco Giants were down 2-0 and came back to knock off the Pirates. The hard part is the best position they could be in after today’s games is 15 back of a wild card spot.

The San Francisco Giants came back for the second game in a row. Yesterday, Austin Slater provided the big shot in the arm, and today it was Brandon Belt.

Belt’s RBI Single got the party started in the bottom of the seventh. The Giants were down 2-0 thanks to a Jordy Mercer home-run in the fourth inning. Belt’s RBI single brought the game to 2-1. After another RBI hit, Belt was brought home on a sacrifice fly from Kelby Tomlinson to take the lead to 3-2.

In the eighth inning Belt stepped up to the plate. Joe Panik led off the eighth with a double but Buster Posey and Hunter Pence failed to move him over. Up stepped Belt, who blasted the ball up into the stands in right. A no-doubter, gone in any park. That extended the Giants lead to 5-2.

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A John Jaso home-run in the bottom half of the eight cut the lead to 5-3, but the Giants never looked back. Sam Dyson closed out the game in the ninth, further making a case for him to stick in a big role in the bullpen, even when Melancon comes back.

Jeff Samardzija‘s only blemish today was that home-run. The Giants current ace struck out five and didn’t walk anyone in his six innings of work today, boosting his insane K/BB ratio to 9:1.

Three Things:

  • Samardzija is the Giants best pitcher this season by far, but his record and ERA are no indication of that. He might be the perfect case for advanced stats. He’s 13th in K/9, second in BB/9, and has the best K/BB ratio in the league. He also is tied for 19th in WHIP, fifth in xFIP, and 13th in FIP. Yet when you look at standard stats like ERA, he’s ranked 51st. It’s been a weird year, and maybe Samardzija’s resume is mirroring that.
  • Belt only needs two more homers to match his career high, which he might do by the All-Star Break. While his average has dipped big-time from his career average, he’s finally showing the run production that Giants fans have pined for all along. But now that his average is low, apparently a significant portion of the FanBase has found a new bone to pick. Crazy.
  • Sam Dyson has been nails. I was very quick to admonish the trade. At best I thought he would be a year or so project. I was dead wrong, and I’m quite happy to concede that. The Giants have gotten Dyson back on track in the matter of a month, and now he’s probably the most reliable arm in the Giants bullpen. Throw in what the Giants actually traded for him, and we’re talking a Sam Presti type fleecing.

Next: Youth Movement Sparking Success

The Giants next series starts Tuesday, as the Giants take on the lowly Tigers in a three game series in Detroit.