San Francisco Giants 3 Up, 3 Down: Stealing a Series from Cleveland

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 18: Eduardo Nunez
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 18: Eduardo Nunez /
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The San Francisco Giants fought hard against the Cleveland Indians, stealing away a pair of wins to take their first post-break series.

San Francisco Giants
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JULY 18: Eduard Nunez /

1 – Nitty Gritty Wins

The Giants took two games from the Indians, and they had to work hard for both. On Tuesday, their lone run in regulation came after a dropped flyball in right field and a seeing-eye single through the middle. Eduardo Nunez capped it off in the 10th inning with his first career walkoff hit.

On Wednesday, the Giants battled back from a two-run deficit, using an error at first base to score a run, and the extra out to drive across two more on pinch-hitter Buster Posey‘s clutch eighth-inning double.

This is the old style of Giants’ wins. They compound great pitching efforts with opportunistic offense, taking advantage of the other team’s mistakes to make just enough noise in the run column. It’s taken a long time, but if the Giants can get back to their old formula, they can get back to playing respectable ball.

2 – Starting Pitching

Giants’ starting pitching was a lot better back at home, doing their best to hold down a tough, albeit slumping Cleveland lineup. Matt Moore opened things on Monday, and while he couldn’t pitch well enough to earn a win, he did show massive improvements from the pitcher who entered the day with an MLB-worst 6.04 ERA to go with a .307/.371/.526 opponent slash-line. He allowed two earned runs over seven innings, while giving up six hits and a walk.

Ty Blach followed on Tuesday with one of his best starts of the year, holding the Indians to a run over seven innings. Matt Cain was up next filling in for the shelved Johnny Cueto, and did well to allow just three runs on five hits and two walks over six innings, certainly a palatable stat-line for a fifth starter.

3 – Gearrin Up

Cory Gearrin‘s ERA has been great all season, but he’s started to cut down on the hits and walks that made his outings an adventure. On Monday, he twirled a clean seventh inning for his 13th 1-2-3 inning in 38 appearances. On Wednesday, he worked his way out of a tight spot in the eighth inning. With a run already across, Gearrin entered with two runners, a situation that he has had plenty of trouble with.

He entered the game having stranded only nine of 23 inherited runners, but was able to strand both on Wednesday. That kept the deficit at two, allowing the Giants to jump on the eighth-inning mistakes and snatch away a victory. Gearrin continues to whittle away at his WHIP, cutting it down to 1.321 from as high as 1.548 at the end of May.