Six Giants pitchers combined to shut out the Brewers, striking out 13 and allowing just six base runners. The sustained excellence from San Francisco’s bullpen made its all-hands attack as pristine as the club could have scripted it.
Michael Conforto, with his fifth career four-hit game, had as many hits than the entire Brewers team.
LaMonte Wade Jr. went 3-for-5 with an RBI and Conforto (4-for-4, walk) cracked his seventh home run in his past 14 games. A rookie-fueled rally and a season-high four stolen bases added to the offense that supplied more than enough runs for the dynamite pitching effort.
The Giants (25-25) have now won eight of their last 10 games and improve to 3-1 in games without a traditional starter. From Scott Alexander to John Brebbia, the Brewers never posed a threat in a 5-0 San Francisco victory.
The game’s conditions were strange from the beginning. Veteran Julio Teheran, on the same day he signed with the Brewers, started his first game since April of 2021. Darin Ruf, on his third team of the year, hit second for Milwaukee against his former club. And Alexander — not the go-to Brebbia — opened up a bullpen game.
Throw in a unique National Anthem rendition, an inconsistent strike zone, a pitch timer violation on a hitter and a rundown into the makings of a wacky game.
Mike Yastrzemski robbed Ruf of a home run in his first at-bat, leading to smiles from both former teammates. That near solo shot was one of four balls hit at least 100 mph, plus another to the track, that found gloves in the first two innings.
Yastrzemski’s web gem was one of several steller Giants defensive plays. Coming off a disgusting performance in which SF coughed up three errors and committed several other damaging plays, the rebound was encouraging. J.D. Davis made a beautiful bare-handed play at third, LaMonte Wade Jr. converted a diving stop and Jakob Junis caught Willy Adames between second with a well-timed pickoff.
Teheran, the All-Star turned journeyman, shut down the Giants for four innings. Then with two outs in the fifth, SF broke through when Wade drove in Casey Schmitt — who singled and stole second — with a single up the middle.
Sean Manaea got Junis out of a jam and struck out three in 1.1 flawless innings. That duo, along with Alexander the opener and the Rogers twins, allowed four base runners while striking out 12 in seven innings.
Then Conforto and company gave SF’s bullpen breathing room with a four-run eighth inning. Conforto’s 11th homer of the season soared 424 feet as he admired it out of the batter’s box. Five batters later, the rookies delivered.
Schmitt ripped a two-RBI double and Patrick Bailey drove him in with a double right after.
That rally allowed Brebbia to work the rest of the game comfortably. Over the past nine games before Thursday, SF’s bullpen that endured its early season bumps had posted a 1.13 ERA. Their relief resurgence has been the biggest factor in San Francisco’s best stretch of the season.
And their ERA is only heading in the right direction with the near-flawless night in Milwaukee.