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Doval joins Beck in Giants record books with nasty save

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Camilo Doval

It got a bit obscured by the Brandon Belt update, a few other scares and the fact that the Giants keep reaching absurd numbers in the win column, but Tuesday night was a big one for Camilo Doval. You wouldn't have realized it by watching his reaction to the final out, though. 

Doval worked around a one-out double to pick up his first career save, and as Buster Posey whipped the ball down to first for the 27th out, the rookie took one big hop off the mound and then calmly waited for Posey to start the handshake line. The poise in big moments is what has encouraged manager Gabe Kapler to use the 24-year-old in close games, but the stuff is certainly what stands out on a nightly basis.

Doval averaged 100.3 mph with his fastball on Tuesday night but the slider has actually been his out pitch this season. He has 25 of his 31 strikeouts with the breaking ball and has gotten whiffs nearly 40 percent of the time a hitter has swung at it. Doval threw a particularly nasty one to Josh Rojas to clinch the 6-3 win.

What made the pitch even more impressive was the way Doval and Posey set it up. Two pitches earlier, they tried to shave the outside corner at 101.7 mph and just missed. Doval tried again but left a 101.3 mph fastball in the zone and Rojas fouled it off. He had no shot on the ensuing slider in the dirt. 


Doval is just three months past his 24th birthday, making him the youngest Giants pitcher to record a save since Rod Beck in 1992. Doval and Shaun Anderson are the only 24-year-old relievers to record a save for the Giants since Brian Wilson's rookie year of 2006. 

Jake McGee is still on the IL, but Gabe Kapler chose Tony Watson for the seventh and had Tyler Rogers face the heart of Arizona's order in the eighth. Doval and Dominic Leone were the obvious choices remaining when the Diamondbacks cut the deficit to two against Rogers, but Kapler downplayed the significance of Doval getting the shot. 

"We saw that it was the bottom of the lineup and obviously Doval had been pitching so well and filling up the zone with both his fastball and his slider. We saw more of that today," he said. "Obviously he was in pure attack mode. Even his misses were close misses.

"It's a very uncomfortable at-bat, as you can tell, and we felt like he was the right guy for the job in the moment."

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Doval worked around a one-out double to get his 12th scoreless appearance since returning from Triple-A on Sept. 5. He and 22-year-old Kervin Castro have combined for 21 2/3 shutout innings in September with 23 strikeouts. 

"First of all, they've got the stuff to be in the big leagues," veteran Wilmer Flores said. "But the one thing I'm surprised about is how they react under pressure. When they're on the mound it looks like they've been here forever.

"Today, Doval is trying to close a game and he looks relaxed. He trusts his stuff. They're just looking like they belong here."

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