San Francisco Giants: Pitchers Who Rake

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Mike Leake

Sep 13, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Mike Leake (13) rounds the bases on a three run home run against the San Diego Padres during the second inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

When the Giants acquired Leake ahead of the trade deadline, they got another pitcher who can rake. He didn’t show it off immediately though, as he went zero-for-nine at the plate in his first five starts for the Giants.

In his sixth start, he was very shaky to start on the mound. He allowed three first inning hits, all for extra bases, and two runs. In the second, he gave up Travis Jankowski‘s first career home run. He settled in after that, and retired 14 of the last 16 hitters he faced.

Leake hadn’t gotten much run support in his first five starts, with the offense scoring just six runs while he was in the game. But in the second inning, Leake took matters into his own hands. With two outs and two on, Leake drove a first-pitch fastball from Odrisamer Despaigne over the wall in left-center field. The home run was the shot that put the Giants ahead for good, and earned Leake his first win as a Giant.

That was Leake’s second home run of the season, after hitting one while with the Cincinnati Reds earlier this year. The blast was Leake’s sixth career, and made for his third season with a pair of longballs.

A lot of Leake’s appeal lies in his ability to do things besides pitch. He can field his position well, and he can really hit too. It’s easy to see why Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy is a big Leake fan.

Next: Honorable Mention