The Giants tied the San Francisco-era record for most wins in a season with 103 thanks to a 6-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks last night at Willie Mays Field. The win came with a few lumps as two more Giants were plunked on the night they discovered they will be without their Captain, Brandon Belt for at least 2-3 weeks after he was hit on the hand in Denver. Last night it was Alex Dickerson (hit on the ankle) and Thairo Estrada (hit on the hand) were the victims of errant DBack pitches. X-Rays were negative on Dickerson and both could be missing time. Estrada was just called up to replace Belt’s spot on the roster. Tommy LaStella was also removed from the game with soreness in his Achilles tendon. Yikes. This is no time for the injury bug to strike the Giants again!
The Giants and Manager Gabe Kapler are officially in peeved mode after those two HBPs.
“I think there’s some frustration any time we see our hitters having to get out of the way of pitches. I think there’s some frustration any time we see guys get hit like Estrada did, particularly around some other injuries that are happening. Just kind of creates a heightened level of sensitivity.”
The Giants matched the 1993, 1962 and 1912 teams for third-most wins in team history, behind only the 1905 (105) and 1904 (106) clubs which were Managed by John McGraw. That is some pretty historic territory. Raise your hand if you saw this coming in Spring Training.
We’ve now tied the franchise record for wins in the SF-era with #103#ResilientSF | #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/F1qOJNRHp3
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 29, 2021
The win reduced the Magic Number to four as the Bums won as well. For those of you new to the Magic Number formula it works this way: Any LA Loss or Giant win reduces the Magic Number, meaning the number of games necessary to clinch the National League West divisional title. Since the Giants have a two game lead with five to play any combination of Bum losses or Giant wins that totals four will win the division. This means the Giants need only four of their last five to clinch. Or, if the Giants go 3-2 the rest of the way the Bums would have to go 5-0 to tie for the division, in which case a playoff game would be played in San Francisco.
The folks at MLB did something cool yesterday:
The @SFGiants begin today with a magic number of 2, to clinch an NL West title for the ages. Here’s our @MLBNetwork tribute to the rivalry they share with the @Dodgers. @MLB pic.twitter.com/3uxXABOwMS
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) September 29, 2021
The Giants plated a run in the bottom of the first on a bases load walk to Yaz. After the Diamondbacks scored one run in the top of the third the Giants would strike back with a four-run sixth that was the difference in the game. Wilmer Flores hit an RBI single with the bases loaded and BCraw would add an RBI of his own later in the inning right after Buster drew a bases loaded walk to score another run. The DBacks would answer with a run in the top of the seventh and two in the top of the 8th after the Giants added on in the bottom of the seventh.
Doval’s First Career Save
One of the key subplots of this game however is the first career save for Camil Doval who allowed one hit in the ninth and recorded a strikeout before preserving the win. This game might be the answer to a trivia question in ten years: Against what team did Camilo Doval record his first save?
Absolutely disgusting pitch by Doval to close out the game 😲 pic.twitter.com/jJUeQElUjq
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) September 29, 2021
Buster had two hits to raise his average to .302.
Logan Webb’s Incredible Streak
The Giants had nine hits in all in a game that was started by Logan Webb. Webb pitched five innings and allowed only the one run. He was pulled after 98 pitches, a few too many after five frames. His big moment was escaping a bases loaded one out jam in the top of the fourth with an inning-ending double play. The DBacks threw an all lefty line up against him. Webb now has four straight no decisions and has not lost since May 5th in Denver, a remarkable achievement, a phenomenal stretch of consistency and dominance that is surely one of the keys to the Giant success this season.
A Word About BB9
Without a doubt Brandon Belt was having his best season. He was hitting huge home runs at critical moments. See last Saturday’s win in Denver. He was playing his usual exceptional defense at first base (see his game-ending double play, also against the Rockies), and he has become a leader in the clubhouse with his light-hearted self-appointed captaincy. At the age of 33 it is especially cruel to experience a fractured thumb for Belt as we near the postseason. It does not mean he will miss the entire postseason however and there is hope that he will return in time for the World Series. I think it is important to note as well that the Giants played over .600 baseball when Belt was out with a knee injury earlier in the year. This team is deep. This teem is resilient. This team is confident.
Tonight it will be Merrill Kelly against Alex Wood. Game time is 6:45 PM, Willie Mays Field time.