Thanks to Ty Blach, the Giants have penciled themselves into either a tiebreaker against the Cardinals or the wild card showdown on Wednesday against the Mets.
The rookie left-hander dazzled in his fourth major league appearance, pitching eight shutout innings with three hits, a walk, and six strikeouts. Paired with Clayton Kershaw, who fired seven innings of three-run ball in his fourth loss of the year, the Giants clocked out at two hours and 15 minutes for their shortest game of the year.
After four innings of a pitcher’s duel, Angel Pagan finally broke through with a solo home run in the fifth, a 95-m.p.h. rocket off of Kershaw’s heater. Brandon Crawford and Gordon Beckham padded the lead with an RBI single and sac fly in the seventh inning. The Dodgers, on the other hand, were flummoxed by Blach and right-hander Sergio Romo, who didn’t allow a single runner in scoring position after the second inning.
The Giants’ win not only secured their place in a wild card contest, but granted home-field advantage to the Nationals, who will go head-to-head against the Dodgers on Friday. Max Scherzer is expected to take the hill against Clayton Kershaw.