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Giants pitch, hit their way to another victory

Jose Fernandez and the Marlins Death Fog? No problem for Jake Peavy and the resurgent Giants offense.

Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Peavy's biggest problem is that he isn't a homegrown pitcher. This is a theory that's been percolating around my noggin for a while, and I'm pretty convinced. If he had won a Cy Young with the Giants instead of the Padres, and if he clawed his way back from a freaky experimental surgery with the Giants to pitch a couple solid seasons, he would be an icon. His quiet, worthwhile 2015 season would have been viewed in a much different light, and his slow start would be more of a glass-half-full thing.

Basically, it's the Padres stink that ruins everything, as usual.

But the larger point is that he gets graded on a curve that Giants pitchers don't get graded on, usually. He was a revelation in 2014, when the Giants snuck into the postseason. After a mostly forgettable postseason and first half of 2015, he was fantastic again. For the majority of the time he's been with the Giants, Peavy has been an asset.

Maybe just isolate that sentence for emphasis: For the majority of the time he's been with the Giants, Peavy has been an asset. His first three starts this season were various levels of flurp, but he's been an asset more often than not for the last year-and-a-half. So maybe it's time to reassess the kind of leash we're giving him. Are we being unfair? Are we holding him to some nebulous, undefined set of moving expectations that we wouldn't hold Cain, Lincecum, or even Sanchez to?

Probably! So let's dig into this start. Peavy missed bats. He didn't labor. He threw seven strong. He pitched the kind of game the Giants would have won if they didn't hit a whole bunch. These are the kinds of starts he threw as a Giant in 2014. These are the kinds of starts he specialized in for the second half of 2015. Six, seven innings of hardly perfect baseball, often wrapped up in a yellow bow of a win. He was so very good at it in the second half of last season.

What if he's that competent two months earlier this season?

It would be pretty neat, that's all. Jake Peavy isn't the liability he's made out to be, at least not yet. I'm skeptical, too, mostly because I'm still remembering the 2014 postseason and the start to last season, but once you excise the anecdotal to focus on the tangible, he's been pretty okay with the Giants.

This game is a reminder that pretty okay is all they need from their #4 and #5 starters. Because they're supposed to score a bunch, anyway. It sure didn't look like that was going to happen against the Diamondbacks, for whatever dumb reason, but they're back on track. They hit Jose Fernandez, fer cryin' out, who happens to be fantastically talented. They worked counts, capitalized on mistakes, and made him look ordinary.

And it led to Jake Peavy, winning pitcher. You notice the fourth and fifth starters more when the first three starters struggle, or when the offense scores two or three runs, or when the defense swallows a boot. When everything clicks, when everything goes according to plan, it looks like this. I'm okay with this.

* * *

Matt Duffy bobblehead night was tonight, which is a perfect reminder of just how much the Giants were convinced that he was an outstanding contributor. He wasn't a guaranteed member of the bench last April, and he's a bobblehead the following April. That's a helluva ride.

It's also a perfect reminder of just how hosed the Giants would be if Duffy were to disappear into the ether. He's ... sort of a necessary component of everything the Giants were hoping to build on this year. He can't just say "JUST KIDDING" and slink back into the shadows. There's too much at stake.

So it's good news that he's still kind of a badass. It's such a next-level thrill to watch Duffy hit a line drive to the opposite field right before the catcher thinks he's catching the ball. We should watch it for the next five years or so, if we're lucky.

* * *

Cory Gearrin, everyone:

My first CD was Fear of a Black Planet. I had dozens of tapes, of course, but that was the first time I went into a Wherehouse with my own money after getting a CD player for my birthday, and I settled on Fear of a Black Planet.

Dad: What's that parental advisory sticker?

Me: They put it on all of the new records, dad.

Dad: Okay.

That tweet reminded me of my first CD. And now Cory Gearrin is going to remind me of my first CD.

My second CD was Girl You Know It's True, so don't think I'm going for cool points. Though that album still holds up, you know.

* * *

How was this Gregor Blanco's first two-triple game? He hits a triple once a month. He's built for AT&T triples. Except, no, it's not that common to hit two triples, even in the AT&T Park era.

Brandon Belt 2015-06-25
Brett Pill 2011-09-17
Fred Lewis 2008-05-19
Omar Vizquel 2006-09-03
Omar Vizquel 2006-07-31
Moises Alou 2005-09-25

That's it since 2000. Before that was Mark Lewis in 1997. Before that was Darren Lewis in 2003. Willie Mays did it 10 times because he was Willie Mays, but a two-triple night is a unicorn that we should appreciate more.

The existence of Gregor Blanco is a unicorn we should appreciate more. He's the best fourth outfielder in baseball, and he's held the title since 2012. Don't get used to that of fourth outfielder. Just appreciate Blanco more. He's a unicorn in his own right. But with a fin instead of a horn. Sharkicorn!