Winners of five straight games, the San Francisco Giants finished off their first sweep of the season on Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 6-1 win.
Another solid starting pitching performance, this time from Giants veteran Trevor Cahill (5-1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BBs, 8Ks), paired with two big home runs from Alex Dickerson (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs) and Mike Yastrzemski (1-for-4, HR, RBI) capped off the Giants first sweep of the season.
Cahill made his third start of the season against D-Backs righty Luke Weaver.
The Giants (14-16) followed suit, going down quietly in the bottom of the first.
Sunday’s game followed the same flow as Saturday’s game. A pitchers-duel early on with little-to-no offense from either team. Cahill cruised through the first three innings, allowing just one base runner. Weaver (L, 1-4, 7.77 ERA) matched his performance, shutting down the Giants with ease.
Fast-forward to the fifth inning, Cahill continued to dominate. He made it through five on 76 pitches which was right around where pitches should be. Seven strikeouts to go along with it.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler discussed the contributions from veteran pitchers as of late, such as Cahill and Tyler Anderson in Saturday night’s game:
“It would be hard to predict that their performance would be this good. It really has been, collectively. We knew that [Trevor] Cahill was savvy, we knew his ability to go through a lineup a couple of times. He was really good today, he executed his changeup and his curve ball really well, he mixed in his sinker, and stayed off barrel. He got some early contact and he was able to go pretty deep into the game, given where he had been built up to. We were hoping for 80 pitches, and squeezed 88 out of him.”
In that fifth inning, Joey Bart made a great play on a pop-up all the way by third base.
Brandon Belt led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a double off the right-field wall. Evan Longoria followed with a double in the exact same spot, bouncing off the right-field wall. Belt scored, and the Giants took a 1-0 lead.
Pablo Sandoval singled, and the Giants had runners at first and third with nobody out.
Bart grounded out and the Diamondbacks (13-16) nabbed Longoria at home for the first out. Crawford grounded out, and Steven Duggar struck out. The Giants were only able to get the one run.
Making his third start of the season, Cahill is still weeks behind the other starting pitchers in the rotation. Overall a very solid performance from him today.
Cahill discussed what he’s seen from the starting rotation as a whole:
“Hitting is contagious, pitching is contagious. Watching these guys pitch, I feel like the ceiling is there, the capability is there. Just the last time through the rotation, everyone came out.”
Yastrzemski, the birthday boy, homered to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning. Giants jumped back ahead 2-1.
With two outs in the inning, Belt walked and Longoria singled to right field. Runners at first and third. Sandoval popped up to second, ending the Giants scoring opportunity.
Tony Watson replaced Baragar (W, 3-1, 7.50 ERA) in the seventh and retired the D-Backs in order. Not only have the Giants continued their starting pitching dominance, but the bullpen has consistently done a nice job throughout the homestand.
Both the offense and starting pitching have been praised for their success throughout the win streak. Kapler gave praise to his middle-inning relievers Sunday:
“I thought they did a great job. Caleb Baragar continues to come into games and attack the strike zone. You can tell how fearless he is, he’s not scared to throw five, six, seven consecutive fastballs in a row. He just believes in that pitch so much. One of the things that you need in the middle of the innings when you’re protecting a lead is somebody who’s going to come in and pound the strike zone. Just throw strikes. That provides a lot of confidence. [Tony Watson] has been great all year, I think [Tyler Rogers] executed his pitches, which he’s done all year long.’
Bart led off the Giants half of the seventh with a single to right field. Crawford was hit by a pitch, runners at first and second with no outs. Three batters later, Dickerson lined a three-run home run inside the right-field foul pole, his third of the season.
The three-run blast gave the Giants a 5-1 lead heading to the eighth inning.
Following Sunday’s win, Dickerson discussed his big seventh-inning home run:
“It felt good, especially since i’ve been in a cold streak here for about a week to ten days. Since we got back home, i made a couple of adjustments so my mechanics could be a little cleaner. I’ve felt really good about almost all of my at-bats and i’ve had nothing to show for it, so it feels good to get to a really tough pitch and found a way to put it in the seats.”
Tyler Rogers took over in the eighth inning for the Giants. A leadoff walk to Calhoun, followed by a hit by pitch of Marte spelled trouble for the Giants. Rogers settled down, retiring the next three batters and escaping the jam.
Belt swung a hot bat Sunday afternoon. He led off the bottom of the eighth with a double to left-center, his third hit, and second double of the game.
Longoria grounded out, advancing Belt to third. Sandoval tacked on another run for the Giants. A single to center gave them a 6-1 lead. Bart and Crawford struck out. On to the ninth.
Jarlin Garcia came out for the ninth inning. Walker led off with a hard-hit single off the left-field wall.
Garcia got Kevin Cron to fly out to right field, that sealed it. Giants get their first sweep of the season, riding a six-game winning streak back into playoff contention.
Currently, the Giants have a hold on the final Wild Card spot in the National League. Kapler talked about his team contending in the second half of the season:
“I believe in this club. I believe in the resilient nature of this club. I believe in the offensive strides we’ve made. Obviously the starting pitching has been one of the strengths of this club. I believe in our capability from every angle right now.”
- Prior to Sunday’s game, the Giants made a trade that ended up having big ramifications for one beloved Giant. Hunter Pence’s time with the Giants is once again over.
After Sunday’s game, Mike Yastrzemski discussed Hunter Pence and his departure from the team, and what he’s meant to him personally since playing for the Giants:
“Obviously with Hunter’s situation, it’s a little somber because he is such a big presence in the clubhouse, no matter what his performance was. To lose a guy like that is tough, especially for me because he’s somebody I look up to, someone I have worked on building a really good relationship with and learning from, aspiring to be like. That’s always tough, but that’s baseball. You have to take advantage of the opportunities and when things like that happen, hopefully, whoever steps up for him is going to do their job. Obviously that’s a life-long friendship, I’m glad to have started it here.