Belt blast lifts Giants past Dodgers
Sunday night’s rubber match featured a battle between past and present, surprising composure, not-so surprising hustle, and a 19-year-old prospect battling for his first win against a 35-year-old Cy Young winner looking for his 150th.
Experience won this round, as Jake Peavy (W, 3-6, 5.83 ERA) led his Giants to a 2-1 win over the Dodgers. San Francisco hasn’t lost a series to their SoCal rivals since September 2014.
That win 150th doesn’t mean a whole lot to Peavy. He told Chris Stratton, after Stratton’s first last night, to mind every individual win as a bigger accomplishment:
“It’s something that I recognize that’s not easy to do, is get one at this level.”
Peavy took the mound Sunday not looking to defy his age against a teenage phenom, but with a mindset that he was going to beat the best:
“I showed up today thinking I was gonna beat Clayton Kershaw.”
That mindset showed. His stuff was locating, his change-up was mystifying, at times, and he fought for every out through his six innings of shutout ball.
At 90 pitches deep, it seemed like Peavy had one more inning in him. But he re-aggravated a nagging stiff neck after a tumbling attempt to oust Chase Utley, who already had two hits, at first.
Utley was called out. Review deemed him safe. Peavy took himself out:
“That there in the sixth kind of re-aggravated it a little bit at the point where I had to make the call to come out of the game.”
Julio Urias (L, 0-2, 5.82 ERA) matched Peavy nearly out-for-out in his third career start. The southpaw was breezing through the Giants’ lefty-heavy lineup, showing 94 mile-per-hour velocity, command on both sides of the plate, and pitches his victims could only describe as “lively.” Said Brandon Belt:
“I think he’s got quite a bit of life on there. He definitely hides it from the lefties pretty well.”
The Giants’ only option was to wait for a mistake. Belt got it: a slider that he pummeled to right field to give his team the 2-0 lead, said Belt:
“I felt like I wasn’t looking for anything specific in the first couple of at bats and then I felt like I had to switch it up a bit … You gotta hope he makes a mistake right there and fortunately he did.”
That one mistake was enough to hand Urias the loss and end his longest start yet in the big leagues (5-1/3 innings). Bruce Bochy was astounded, nonetheless:
“For a 19-year- old, he showed a lot of poise out there.”
The Giants will have to live with the idea of facing Urias for many years to come. They can’t rely on mistakes, said Belt:
“Yeah, so I better figure something out.”
The Dodgers retaliated, a bit, against Hunter Strickland. Joc Pederson launched a 98 mile-per-hour fastball deep to right, cutting the Giants lead to 2-1. The ball came off Pederson’s bat at 107 miles-per-hour.
But the bullpen kept it clean and dealt 4-2/3 innings of shutout ball to preserve the win for Peavy, who is now just the sixth active pitcher in the Majors with 150 wins.