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San Francisco Giants Ride Pitching Staff to Opening Day Victory

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 29: Joe Panik #12 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers with Ty Blach #50 during the 2018 Major League Baseball opening day at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 29: Joe Panik #12 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers with Ty Blach #50 during the 2018 Major League Baseball opening day at Dodger Stadium on March 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants starter Ty Blach outpitched Clayton Kershaw on Opening Day. He and the bullpen combined to pitch a shutout against the Dodgers. Just like the Giants drew up in Spring Training.

Ty Blach is not the type of pitcher who will overwhelm the hitter with stuff or velocity. Consequently, he lives on the corners of the plate. Meaning, the margin for error is low.

If he has command of his pitches, he can be effective. If he does not, then it turns into a hitting barrage by the opposing team.

Tonight, against the Dodgers, Blach had command of his pitches. He lived on the corners of the zone, did not allow too many baserunners, and minimized mistakes. Additionally, Blach even managed to get three strikeouts. So, if he could get just a couple more strikeouts each game, he would be a swell pitcher.

However, I will not be nit-picky tonight. Blach gave the Giants the shot-in-the-arm they needed. On Opening Day, Blach looked unfazed facing a stout Dodgers lineup.

Blach completed two turns through the Dodgers lineup before handing the ball off to the bullpen. Usually, the bullpen gives viewers anxiety. By the end of a typical night, fans will be cursing a reliever’s name over and over again. However, that was not the case tonight.

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The bullpen preserved the shutout. Josh Osich, who looked good all spring, carried his spring success into the regular season.

Osich faced the middle of the lineup, and managed to record two punchouts. He has the talent, but consistency issues have haunted him for the past two seasons. Hopefully, using his change-up more and simplifying his delivery leads to a better performance. So far, the results have been encouraging.

With Mark Melancon out for the foreseeable future, the bullpen roles are a little different at the moment. As a result, Tony Watson appears to be the new setup man. He looks and pitches like Javier Lopez. He struck out three batters in his Giants debut. It would be great if he could just do more of that.

As mentioned above, the Giants have a new closer:

Yes, Hunter Strickland is the new closer. This might be a tough pill for many to swallow, but he is a good pitcher, ya weirdos! Tonight, Strickland gave up a single to Matt Kemp, who is a Dodger. That was the only baserunner he allowed.

Next: Giants Set Pace for 162-0 Season

He faced two left-handed hitters, and got both out. That is important because he has a history of being bad against those types of hitters. However, he recorded the save, and looked good while doing it. Not quite the torture we were expecting from him tonight. Anyways, he helped complete a good night started by Tyson Michael Blach.

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