DENVER -- It was a surprise when the Giants became the first MLB team to reach 50 wins this season, and again when they crossed 60 and 70 first. But after a while, it just became clear that this team is really, really good, possibly historically so.
The Giants were also the first to 80 and 90 wins, and on Friday night they became the first team to hit the century mark when they beat the Colorado Rockies 7-2 at Coors Field. This is the first time since 2003 that the Giants have won at least 100 games, and just the eighth time in franchise history.
The milestone is nice, but more importantly, the victory guaranteed that the Giants would remain at least a game up on the Los Angeles Dodgers with just eight to go. The Dodgers face the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend.
Tommy La Stella got the fun started with a leadoff homer and the Giants added three more from Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and Mike Yastrzemski. Buster Posey's single made it 7-2. Even a five-run lead isn't anywhere close to safe at Coors Field, but with the way the refreshed Giants bullpen was pitching, this one was never in doubt. The Giants' magic number to win the division is down to eight.
The Giants have been chasing the franchise home run record all season long and they're going to get it this weekend. They almost got it Friday night. The lineup entered with 230 homers, five short of the 2001 club's record, and La Stella immediately got them going.
Crawford set a career-high with his 22nd and Belt extended his career-high with his 27th. Yastrzemski did the same with his 25th, which turned a 3-2 game into a 6-2 game. In Belt and Yastrzemski, the Giants have a pair of 25-homer hitters for the first time since 2006, when Barry Bonds and Ray Durham did it.
The box score says Alex Wood didn't have the greatest day at the office, but the box score is lying. Wood was charged with two earned on six hits and threw just four innings, but he was on a pitch count and the two-run Rockies rally in the first was a classic Coors job. Wood pitched really well, striking out seven and showing the kind of stuff he had in the first couple of months of the season, particularly while twice making Trevor Story look foolish.
Wood missed time this month as he battled COVID-19, but he looks like he'll be able to get built up in time for the postseason, and he's definitely throwing like someone capable of giving the Giants a good start. After a stretch of bullpen games, the starting staff can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Johnny Cueto made a rehab start on Thursday night and reported that his elbow is feeling much better.
That's what they call Kervin Castro in the clubhouse, and The Tank continues to look like someone who will force his way onto the postseason roster. Castro pitched two quick innings in relief of Wood, allowing one hit and striking out two. A day after he made Manny Machado look foolish with his breaking ball, he threw a few more hellacious curves:
You're not supposed to do that at Coors Field. Since getting recalled, Castro has thrown 9 1/3 scoreless innings. The 22-year-old is quickly climbing the bullpen depth chart, and on Friday he got a milestone out of the way. By handling the middle innings, he picked up his first career win.