Giants Win 4-2; Gain Another Game in the NL West


The Giants came into today’s game needing the series win against the Diamondbacks to keep their playoff hopes alive. Today wasn’t going to be an easy game at all though, given the fact the Giants were facing Andrew Chafin, a lefty that they’ve never faced before. The Giants never have good success against lefties or pitchers they’ve never seen.

The Giants countered with their ace: Madison Bumgarner. Madison Bumgarner came into this afternoon’s game riding a five game winning streak, and is having one of the best seasons of his career with 18 wins (career high) and a 2.91 ERA.

The D-backs immediately made it a stress inning after back-to-back singles from Ender Inciarte and Chris Owings. After a deep fly ball to center field advancing Inciarte, Bumgarner threw a wild pitch that bounced straight back off the back stop to Andrew Susac who applied the tag on Inciarte who tried to take home on the pitch for a lucky out number two. Bumgarner ended the threat by striking out Mark Trumbo for the final out of the inning.

In the second inning, the Giants were able to push across their first run of the ball game after a two out walk to Susac, Brandon Crawford hit a two out double to left center field to give the Giants an early 1-0 lead.

Bumgarner clearly wasn’t having full control of his pitches today. He was flailing his arm and leaving his fast balls belt high. The D-backs took advantage of it too after a walk and a single from Tuffy Gosewisch, the pitcher, Chafin, hit a two out single past Buster Posey into right field to tie the game at one a piece.

The Giants put a rally together in the top of the third inning by getting the first two batters of the inning on base, but nothing came of it as the Giants’ bats continued to look deflated since their 17-0 loss Saturday.

A.J. Pollock put Bumgarner into the stretch again after a one out single. He then walked Aaron Hill with two outs to put two runners on, but Bumgarner escaped the jam by striking out Cody Ross. Bumgarner’s pitch count was starting to get a bit high already though. He was at 60 pitches through three innings.

Bumgarner continued his struggles in the game after issuing a lead off double to Gosewisch in the fourth inning. Nick Ahmed then hit a deep fly ball to Pence in right field that was able to advance Gosewisch and give the D-backs one out and a runner on third. But, Bumgarner was able to escape the another jam after back-to-back strike outs of Chafin and Inciarte. His pitch count now was at 78 through four innings.

Crawford led the top of the fifth inning off with an infield single and would soon advance to second on a pitch in the dirt. Juan Perez walked on four straight pitches. Bumgarner was able to move both runners over on a sacrifice bunt, setting up two runners in scoring position and less than two outs for Gregor Blanco, who put down a safety squeeze scoring Crawford giving the Giants a 2-1 lead.

The Diamondbacks got that run right back though. Pollock tripled with one out and scored after Trumbo struck out on a pitch in the dirt forcing a throw to first base. Pollock then took off home on the throw and scored easily tying the game 2-2.

Bruce Bochy burned his challenge in the sixth inning on a Pence double play ball. There wasn’t definitive evidence that Pence was safe, so the called stood.

Bumgarner finally had his first one-two-three inning in the bottom of the sixth inning, which happened to be his final inning as he was at 101 pitches at the conclusion of the sixth.

Brandon Crawford recorded his third hit of the game after singling with one out in the seventh inning. Travis Ishikawa pinch-hit for Bumgarner with two outs in the seventh inning officially marking the end of Bumgarner’s day. Ishikawa walked,  advancing Crawford to second base to again give the Giants another scoring opportunity with a runner in scoring position, but the Giants failed to score again. They were 0-5 with runners in scoring position up to that point in the ball game.

Bumgarner’s line for the day: six innings, seven hits, two runs, six strike outs, and 101 pitches.

Jean Machi was brought in in the seventh for the Giants. He was able to wiggle his way out of a scoring opportunity for the D-backs after giving up a one out single and a walk to set up two on for Pollock. Pollock hit a deep fly ball to Perez advancing the runner to third to give the D-backs runners on the corners and two outs for the dangerous Trumbo. Machi pitched Trumbo perfectly getting him to strike out on a pitch off the outside corner.

The Giants’ offense remained quiet after going down in order in the eighth inning. Through eight innings, the Giants only had four hits.

Sergio Romo pitched a very nice eighth inning, allowing just an infield single.

In the ninth inning the Giants were given another scoring opportunity: this time they took advantage of it.

Pablo Sandoval led off the inning with a walk. Crawford got his fourth hit of the ball game after hitting a liner to right field for a single. Brandon Belt then was put into the game as a pinch hitter. It was his first at bat since August 6th. Belt had an excellent at bat working it to a 3-2 count and then earning a walk to give the Giants bases loaded with only one out. Matt Duffy had the at bat of the week. He took some great pitches to work the count to 3-2 and got a fast ball that he smacked to center field to knock in two runs giving the Giants a 4-2 lead.

Santiago Casilla was given his second save opportunity in as many days. He pitched great again striking out two and getting a ground out to seal the Giants 4-2 win and a series victory.

The Dodgers lost their game today too 16-2, so the Giants gained another game in the NL West. They’re now two games back with just 10 games left in the regular season.