The SF Giants notched a 3-0 victory against the San Diego Padres on Friday night thanks to a first-inning rally. They also recorded their 18th shutout of the season.
SF Giants: First inning rally helps notch 106th win of the year
The offense did not take long to get it going. Darin Ruf, who batted second for the Giants, stepped to the plate and launched a laser over the left-field wall to give them a 1-0 lead. The Giants did not stop there.
Brandon Crawford reached on a throwing error and then moved to second base on a walk by Wilmer Flores. With two outs, Mike Yastrzemski battled against young Padres starter Pedro Avila, but on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, the left-handed hitter blooped a single over the third baseman’s head on a check swing.
The Giants have had a lot of breaks go in their favor in 2021 and hits like the one Yastrzemski had remind fans of how fortuitous the season has been. This is not to take away anything from what the Giants have accomplished as they have clearly been the best team in baseball.
However, even the good teams get a base hit on a check swing or record the third out of an inning because the ball hits third base and deflects right into Evan Longoria’s glove so he could tag out the runner.
The Giants added an insurance run in the sixth inning thanks to a sacrifice fly by LaMonte Wade Jr. to score Donovan Solano. Other than that, the bats were mostly silent. Both Flores and Yastrzemski worked two walks apiece but Longoria could not capitalize on either of those potential rallies.
The Giants continued to get fantastic results from the pitching staff. Anthony DeSclafani completed five scoreless innings before giving way to the bullpen. The right-handed hurler had a strong September (2.67 ERA, 5 starts) and he is getting hot at the right time.
On a different note, DeSclafani pitched his final game of the regular season. He easily exceeded expectations after inking a one-year, $6 million contract in the offseason. His final line includes a 13-7 record and a 3.17 ERA. The veteran hurler is a free agent at the end of the year and he should see plenty of interest on the open market.
The Giants’ bullpen completed four scoreless innings to secure the win. Tyler Rogers pitched the eighth inning, whereas Camilo Doval notched his third save of the season in the ninth inning. It is apparent the Doval has quietly overtaken the closer role but it will be interesting if that remains the case when Jake McGee returns.
This year’s team tied the 1904 New York Giants for the most wins in a regular season in franchise history at 106. If they win either of the final two games of the season, they will set a new franchise record. Plus, a win by the Giants or a loss by the Dodgers means that San Francisco will capture the NL West title for the first time since 2012.