© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
If all you’d seen of Andy Suarez were his last two starts, you might assume he’s the ace of the Giants rotation. On Friday night, Suarez pitched a second-straight seven-inning gem to lead the Giants to a 7-0 win over the New York Mets, while a pair of rookie debutants led a late scoring effort.
The 25-year-old’s rookie season has been a mixed bag, and his 4.19 ERA might fool you into thinking he’s a worse pitcher than he is. While some nights – like the five earned runs he allowed in 2 2/3 innings to the Cincinnati Reds – have been abysmal, nights like Friday remind you why he was drafted in the second round.
Suarez commanded the ball tremendously against the Mets, at one point retiring 17-straight batters. By the end of the night, he’d thrown just 89 pitches over seven shutout innings and relinquished two hits.
The vast majority of the game was a pitcher’s duel. But the Giants’ dynamic debutants, Chris Shaw and Aramis Garcia, ended the deadlock. Both Shaw and Garcia started the game with a pair of strikeouts swinging, but in the seventh, Shaw ended that streak. After Brandon Belt doubled to open up the inning, Shaw hit a deep fly ball to center field, scoring Shaw to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.
Then, it was Garcia’s turn. To lead off the eighth inning, Garcia smoked a ball to left field and watched it fall over the fence for a home run. His family was in attendance and ecstatic as he rounded the bases. The home run sparked a massive, six-run eighth inning for the Giants.
Gregor Blanco doubled and a pair of strikeouts followed. Then an intentional walk to Evan Longoria saw Brandon Belt step up and smash a two-run triple off the wall and into triples alley to put the Giants up 4-0.
The onlsaught was far from over. Austin Slater singled next to score Belt before a pinch-hitting Hunter Pence drew a walk. Gorkys Hernandez singled to right field next, scoring Slater and moving Pence to third.
Once again, Garcia stepped up to the plate. After leading the inning off with a home run, he kept the runs flowing with a single into shallow right-center field to score Pence and move Hernandez to third, putting the Giants up 7-0. A strikeout by Blanco ended the inning, but Garcia was showered with a standing ovation after jogging into the dugout from first.
After the offensive explosion in the bottom of the eighth, Ty Blach came in to close out the game for the Giants (68-68) in 1-2-3 fashion to move the team back to the .500 standing it seems to love.