PHILADELPHIA — Only two National League teams have swept the Giants this season: the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Philadelphia Phillies — who last swept the Giants in May of 2006 — were looking to become the third member of that club in Thursday’s series finale at Citizens Bank Park.
New Giants starting pitcher Matt Moore had other plans.
In his first start with the Giants since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, the 27-year-old right-hander allowed just three hits through six innings.
“What a quality outing,” said Bochy of his starter. “He just did a terrific job.”
Though Moore struggled in parts of two innings, he pitched himself out of trouble by relying on a fastball that topped out at 95 mph.
“If I can get my fastball going, I get a lot more good looks on my change-ups and breaking balls,” said Moore, who has pitched six or more innings in his last four starts. “It helps me to not have to throw those pitches in the zone.”
Moore did, however, walk five batters to create a fair amount of traffic on the basepaths.
“He did a good job getting out of jams,” continued Bochy, “and he had good velocity on his fastball, limiting the damage.”
The Phillies’ burgeoning ace, Vincent Velasquez, was also sharp, striking out six while holding the Giants to just two runs on three hits.
Much like Wednesday’s game — and most of the season’s second half — the Giants offense struggled at the plate. They couldn’t get much going against Velasquez, and continued to falter against the Phillies’ pen.
One player whose bat has refused to be hushed of late is lead-off hitter Denard Span. Coming into today’s game, he was 4-for-9 in the series with a double and three runs scored.
“He’s a very important part of this offense,” said Bochy of Span. “Top of the order makes you go. They’re the table-setters”
In the top of the 10th with the scored tied at two, facing right-handed reliever Severino Gonzalez, Span cranked a solo shot to right field on a 2-2 pitch, his fifth homer of the year.
“That’s one of our bigger hits,” said Bochy. “Couldn’t have come at a better time.”
Span’s timely blast ushered in closer Santiago Casilla, who retired the side to give the Giants a much-needed win.
“He saved us again,” lauded Bochy, “just like in New York.”
Casilla’s name had been mentioned in trade rumors last week, but Bochy was steadfast in his endorsement. “He’s making a statement that that’s his job. He had to hear rumors, but it’s good to see guys doing what he’s doing, and that’s saying, Hey, I’ll show you.”
The whole team showed something on Thursday — resilience.
In the clubhouse afterwards, when asked about joining a club facing adversity, Moore drew a deep breath and said, “I get the vibe that something good’s always about to happen. In some of my conversations with the everyday guys, they know it’s gonna happen, they believe it. I don’t see a panic or an urgency that comes over them. They know that something right here’s about to go our way.”