San Francisco Giants 3 Up, 3 Down: Taking the Season Series from Pittsburgh

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 26: Brandon Belt
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 26: Brandon Belt /
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The San Francisco Giants took 2 of 3 from the Pittsburgh Pirates, and won the season series by taking 5 of 6. Here’s 3 up, 3 down from the series.

San Francisco Giants
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JULY 26: Brandon Bel /

1 – Feeding the Shark

In his last start before the trade deadline, Jeff Samardzija put together a more than solid effort. Over seven innings, he held the Pirates’ offense to one run on four hits, even though he worked more than one batter for the first time since April 23rd, a span of 16 starts. He struck out eight, and kept the ball in the ballpark. He didn’t allow a home run for the first time since his last start in June.

He also helped himself by making a tremendous play in the second inning. With a run already in and the bases loaded with one out, opposing pitcher Trevor Williams chopped a ball weakly up the third base line. Samardzija pounced off the mound and grabbed the one-hopper with his bare right hand. The big righty didn’t have a chance to set his feet, so threw off-balance to the plate, gunning down another potential run to keep it tied. A pop-up from Starling Marte ended the threat, and Samardzija’s play turned out to be one of the biggest plays of the day.

2 – Posey Back on Track

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July hadn’t exactly been kind to the Giants’ lone All-Star Buster Posey, and he entered the Pittsburgh series hitting just .224 on the month. Against the Pirates, the catcher got right back on track. Posey picked up six hits in 10 at-bats, drove in three runs, and took three walks.

Posey’s average had fallen to .319 on Sunday, the first time it had gone below .320 since April 8th, but this great series boosted him right back up. He’s again up to .328 on the year, good for the fourth in the National League.

3 – Improvements from Belt

After going through a cold snap, first baseman Brandon Belt put together a better series against Pittsburgh. He picked up four hits versus Pirates’ pitching, all doubles, and drove in a pair of runs, including the game-winner in the seventh inning on Wednesday. He also took a pair of walks while limiting his strikeouts to just one.

Belt has been up and down, but has mostly been down since a wrist injury suffered immediately after the break. Getting him back on track will go a long way to gaining some measure of respectability in the final two months of the season.