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San Francisco Giants’ Relief Struggles as Offense Pulls Off Extra Inning Win

San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants starting pitchers have been polished for the better part of a month. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for their closers, as the bullpen has been prone to collapse after the starter retires from the mound. Over the past few games it’s become normal for Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy to make at least two pitching changes in one inning, as the struggle for reliable closers is an issue that has yet to be solved. In game one of the inter-division series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night, Giants’ closer Santiago Casilla gave up a home run in the ninth which resulted in a loss.

“It was a close game both starters threw great…but the home run in the ninth got us,” were Bochy’s comments for Friday.

And game two was threatening to end exactly the same way. Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija managed 4.2 average innings on Saturday night where he threw for seven hits and two runs. But the relief collapsed soon thereafter, causing Bochy to recycle through nearly the entire bullpen to ensure the win.

“You make these moves early in the game to try and hold onto the lead and it usually catches up with you toward the end especially if you go into extra innings,” said Bochy.

The Giants ultimately beat the Dodgers 3-2 in extra innings from Buster Posey’s RBI single.

“We fought out there today for sure,” said Samardzija who now has a 7-3 record. “It was great to watch. We battled through and that’s the thing with this team is you keep these guys close no matter what it takes and give them the chance to win it late.”

The Giants still stand at the top of the division with a 37-26 record and a .587 PCT. But if they can’t figure out how to close a game without the entire bullpen stepping on the mound, the Giants may lose their lead as the season progresses.

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