San Francisco Giants Morning Minute: Birthday Boy Peavy Turns Back the Clock

May 31, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jake Peavy (22) delivers a pitch to an Atlanta Braves batter in the first inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
May 31, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jake Peavy (22) delivers a pitch to an Atlanta Braves batter in the first inning of their game at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

On this edition of the San Francisco Giants Morning Minute, we discuss birthday boy Peavy turning back the clock, and Span spearheading the offensive attack

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Good morning, San Francisco Giants’ fans, and welcome to another edition of the Giants Morning Minute. On Tuesday, the Giants got back into the win column by beating the Atlanta Braves, 4-0, and evening the series at a game apiece. Jake Peavy was the winner for the first time since his fourth start of the year, while Matt Wisler was hung with a loss.

One-third of the season is already officially in the books (can you believe that?), and the Giants are 33-21 on the year. As has been the case for over a week now, the Giants’ lead in the National League West remains at 4.5 games, as the Los Angeles Dodgers also won on Tuesday. They even beat the unbeatable in Jake Arrieta! Luckily, it still counts as only one game.

Here’s what went on Tuesday.

1 – Birthday Boy Jake Peavy Turns Back the Clock

Giants’ starter Peavy celebrated his 35th birthday on Tuesday, but he turned in a performance against the Braves that looked more like the 26-year-old Peavy that won the 2007 National League Cy Young with the San Diego Padres. But not even that younger, more dominant version of Peavy boasted the type of game that the 35-year-old version put up.

In seven shutout innings, Peavy allowed just one hit and didn’t walk anyone. That one baserunner he allowed was erased on a double play, meaning he faced the minimum, 21 batters, in his seven frames. He didn’t miss many bats completely, striking out three batters, but he missed the barrel of the bat just about every time. He even added a base hit in the sixth inning, and scored the game’s inaugural run on Denard Span‘s triple.

Peavy was good for the second straight outing, and has thrown 13.2 innings of one-run ball (seven hits, one walk) in the past two starts. His control has been noticeably better, and he hasn’t been missing his spots very often. Even when he does miss, he’s keeping the ball down instead of giving hitters balls up and over the plate to hit, as he was doing earlier in the season.

The competition hasn’t been particularly great in his past two starts, but facing two bad teams is a great way to give a struggling pitcher the confidence he needs to get back on track. With his next two starts coming against the St. Louis Cardinals and the Dodgers, he needs every ounce of confidence he can get.

Peavy’s seven-inning start is the 19th time this season that a Giants’ starter not named Madison Bumgarner has gone at least seven innings. Last season, non-Bumgarner Giants’ starters went seven innings only 24 times.

2 – Denard Span Leads Offensive Charge

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Peavy was great on Tuesday, but he was matched every step of the way by Braves’ youngster Wisler through the first five innings. The second-year hurler allowed two baserunners through five, a single by Span and a walk to Brandon Belt, but both were erased on double plays. The Giants finally cracked the right-hander in the sixth.

After the first two outs were made quietly in the sixth frame, a seeing-eye single for Peavy would get things started. On the first pitch to the next batter, Peavy decided it was a good time to get a head start. With his pitcher running with the pitch, Span smoked a ball into the right-center field gap, scoring Peavy from first and putting Span on third with his third triple of the year.

The Giants’ leadoff hitter added another RBI later in the game, getting a run home from third on a chopper that bounced over a drawn-in infield. Tuesday marked Span’s fourth three-hit game of the season, and second in three games. In the past six games, Span has 10 hits in 23 at-bats, and is getting on base at a .428 clip.

Next: Giants Morning Minute: Former and Future Giants

And that will do it for this edition of the Giants Morning Minute. Up next, the Giants and the Braves do battle for another day, squaring off in game three of their four-game set. Albert Suarez makes his first major league start in place of the injured Matt Cain, while Williams Perez goes for Atlanta.