They’ve gone streaking! The San Francisco Giants looked to make it five straight Saturday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The offense is rolling, the pitching has been dominant, it’s been quite the recipe for success.
Saturday night the Giants (13-16) had just about everything working. Tyler Anderson (W, 9 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BBs, 4 Ks) pitched arguably the best game of his career Saturday night, as his complete-game masterpiece propelled the Giants to their fifth-straight win, 5-1, and a series victory over the D-Backs.
Anderson squared off against D-Backs righty Zac Gallen. The D-Backs went down quickly in the top of the first against Anderson. Just a single from Ketel Marte.
Mike Yastrzemski led off the bottom half of the first with a walk, his 22nd of the season. Alex Dickerson a walk of his own, runners at first and second with nobody out. Donovan Solano watched four pitches, all balls. Gallen walked the bases loaded, throwing 12 balls to only three strikes.
Brandon Belt grounded into a double play, scoring Yastrzemski from third. Giants took a 1-0 lead.
A 1-2-3 inning for Anderson in the top of the second.
Coming into this season, Anderson’s role with the team was still yet to be determined. After the game, Giants manager Gabe Kapler recalled a conversation he had with Anderson before the season started, regarding his role as a starter:
“I think about the conversation i had with [Tyler Anderson] in spring training. He said ‘I want an opportunity to start every time through the rotation,’ and what I told him was ‘look, if you’re dominant, and you’re good every time through, we’re not just going to take you out of the rotation.’ I think he’s going to continue to make starts, continue to be in our rotation, and today was a great performance for him.”
With one out, Brandon Crawford walked in the bottom of the second. Two batters later, Steven Duggar followed with a double that just snuck past the first-base bag. Runners at second and third with two outs.
Yastrzemski struck out, leaving both runners stranded.
Anderson continued to cruise, shutting down the D-Backs in order in the top of the third inning. 34 pitches through three, a very nice pace at this point.
Giants followed quietly in the bottom of the third. We had a pitchers duel on our hands. Anderson with a quick top of the fourth inning.
Fast-forward to the top of the sixth inning. Anderson continues his dominance, but it’s a phenomenal play by Yastrzemski in right field that ends the inning.
Yastrzemski met with the media after the game, and explained how he made the highlight-reel catch:
“In the moment, you have to work for your pitcher who’s working his tail off. [Tyler Anderson] pitched an unreal game, and that was kind of a big moment, it was a 1-0 game. You just want to go make a play for that guy, and make sure that he can keep his momentum and keep rolling. As I got close to the wall, just got a glimpse of my surroundings and just left my feet in hopes of making a play instead of trying to play it off the wall.”
Anderson’s bid for a complete-game shutout came to an end in the top of the seventh. Marte reached first on an error from Crawford at short to lead off the inning. A stolen base later, Marte came around to score on a base hit from David Peralta. D-Backs tied the game at 1-1.
Despite losing the lead, he did complete seven innings on only 82 pitches without allowing an earned run. Still room for another inning or two.
Kapler discussed Anderson’s dominant outing Saturday night:
“He earned the right every time an inning ended to go back out and get the next three hitters. He attacked with his changeup, and early in the game was really off barrels, and as the game went on he made adjustments, used his cutter. His fastball maintained velocity which gave us confidence to keep sending him back out there. Just an all-around gutsy performance.”
The Giants bats woke up in the bottom of the seventh. Crawford walked, and pinch-hitter Joey Bart crushed a double off the top of the center-field wall, coming mere inches away from his first career home run. Nevertheless, the Giants had second and third with nobody out.
Mauricio Dubon pinch-hit for Duggar, and walked to load the bases for Yastrzemski. The D-Backs seventh walk of the game forced in Crawford from third. Giants re-took the lead 2-1.
Arizona could not find the strike zone at all. Dickerson followed with a walk, forcing in another run with nobody out. The fourth walk of the inning.
Solano grounded out, scoring Dubon from third. One out, runners at first and third. The line kept moving in the seventh. Belt singled to center, scoring Yastrzemski. Evan Longoria flew out to right field for the second out.
Wilmer Flores came to the plate and popped out to end the inning. A very busy, patient inning for the Giants offense. They scored four runs, and successfully batted around, sending all nine hitters to the plate. Heading into the eighth, they led 5-1.
Anderson came back out for his eighth inning of work. A whopping nine pitches was all he needed to send the D-Backs down 1-2-3. With a favorable pitch count of 91 pitches, Anderson had a good chance at complete-game.
Bart was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. A quiet inning came to an end. Anderson came back out for the ninth, leading 5-1.
Marte doubled to lead off the ninth inning. Starling Marte lined out to Solano at second base, one down. Fly ball to center, two down. Peralta grounded out, and that wrapped it up.
After completing his first career complete game, Anderson was pleased he was able to take a load off the Giants bullpen Saturday night:
“It felt great. Our bullpen has been getting a little worn out, so it’s nice, they’ve had to cover a lot of the innings in games I’ve thrown. Having them not throw today is great.”