San Francisco Giants 3 Up, 3 Down: Beating the Cubs

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 09: Madison Bumgarner
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 09: Madison Bumgarner /
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The San Francisco Giants won their second straight series, taking two of three from the Chicago Cubs. Here’s 3 Up, 3 Down from the set.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – AUGUST 09: Madison Bumgarne /

1 – The Ace and the Rookie 

The Giants have overall been disappointing up and down this season, but one big bright spot has been Ty Blach. The rookie lefty has kept hitters off balance all season in establishing himself as a legitimate Major League starting pitcher. On Tuesday against the Cubs, he furthered his resume with another strong outing. He allowed just two runs over seven innings, and kept the dangerous Cubs’ lineup in the ballpark.

Blach has made only 19 starts after opening the year in the bullpen, but has gone six-plus innings 15 times and seven-plus innings 11 times. His 4.15 ERA and 1.289 WHIP won’t win him Rookie of the Year this season, but he should certainly garner some votes at the end of the year.

On the other side of the equation, staff ace Madison Bumgarner turned in another excellent start. He allowed only one run over seven innings while striking out seven on Wednesday, and even got enough offensive backup to earn his second win.

Questions about Bumgarner’s shoulder should be just about erased by now. Since returning from the disabled list, Bumgarner owns a 2.52 ERA and 0.992 WHIP in six starts, and is averaging nearly seven innings per start. He’s back.

2 – Parker Stays Hot

Speaking of returning hot, Jarrett Parker has been the offensive threat the team hoped he could be at the start of the year. Against the Cubs, Parker stroked a pair of doubles on Monday, added another hit on Tuesday, and drove in the game-winning run on Wednesday with a seeing-eye single. He even cut down on the strikeouts, going down on strikes just twice in 12 plate appearances versus Cubs’ pitching (he struck out 15 times in 36 PA before that).

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Parker has picked up at least one hit in all six games since coming back, matching his longest career hitting streak (he reached six games twice previously).

3 – Homers at Home

Leaving the yard at AT&T Park has been a problem for the Giants this year, but they hit a home run in all three games against Chicago. In the series opener, it was Ryder Jones connecting for the first time, taking Jake Arrieta 405 feet away into the arcade on top of the right field wall.

The next day, Buster Posey broke a power slump in the first inning, sending Jose Quintana‘s offering deep into the night. It was the Giants’ fifth three-run home run of the season, and only the second at home after Ty Blach’s shot against the Oakland Athletics. Hunter Pence provided some big excitement in the finale, going opposite field with a laser beam for an insurance run as his 10th home run of the season.