The San Francisco Giants found a bit of offense on Wednesday night, springing past the last place San Diego Padres to capture game one of the series.
While the Pads are squarely out of the playoffs this season, they have given the Giants trouble in the second half. Coming in to tonight’s game, the Pads were undefeated in six games against the Giants since July. Locked in a Wild Card race with the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants needed to beat a team they have been baffled by since they began their dismal second half two months ago. They did.
“We need our guys right now,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We need them to come through for this team to win, and they did tonight.”
Bochy was referring to the Giants slumping offense, which had scored just six runs in three games against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Second baseman Joe Panik was perhaps the most snakebit of the starters, having put together an 0-24 going in to tonight’s ballgame. He wound up singling and scoring the game’s first run on an Angel Pagan Texas-leaguer that dropped in to right field in the eighth inning.
“It’s easy to get down on yourself and then chew through your bat,” Panik said. “Actually, I felt pretty good yesterday swinging the bat, my rhythm, and I kind of rolled that into today and got a nice hit.”
In that same inning, right fielder Hunter Pence smoked a line drive double down the left field line, scoring third baseman Eduardo Nunez. The Giants were up 2-0.
The Padres would counter with a booming Alex Dickerson home run to right field in the bottom of the inning, but that would be all they would get. After Jeff Samardzija threw seven shutout innings with impeccable command of all his pitches, Law, Will Smith and Sergio Romo combined to hold off San Diego and get their team a win.
Samardzija was stellar, striking out nine and walking none en route to his twelfth win of the season.
“Like I’ve always said, I’m going to throw my fastball in the zone and live and die by it, and if it’s really going where you want it to, you’re going to have a good day,” Samardzija said.
Tomorrow, the Giants will play game two of this four game series against the Pads before heading back home to take on the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.