When the Giants' schedule came out, the bunched-up series with the Arizona Diamondbacks looked like a problem. They had reloaded in the offseason, and most picked them to finish second in the division to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But in a short season, the Diamondbacks never got going. Madison Bumgarner got hurt, the lineup scuffled, and they turned into sellers at the deadline. The Giants were there to take full advantage.
With a 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Monday, the Giants finished 8-2 against them this season and finally finished their climb back to .500. At 21-21, the Giants evened their record for the first time since Aug. 2, and fully worked their way out of an 8-16 hole.
Here are three things to know about win No. 21 ...
End of a Record Run
Zac Gallen might be the most underrated starter in the big leagues right now, and he started his career with an obscure record. Through 23 big league starts, Gallen had never allowed more than three runs ... until the sixth inning Monday.
The Giants got their 7-8-9 hitters on with a series of really good plate appearances and Mike Yastrzemski lined a game-tying single to right. Darin Ruf followed with a single up the middle that scored two more, and after Gallen was pulled, Brandon Belt's walk made it 4-1. That was the end of Gallen's streak.
Fear the Split
Kevin Gausman's game plan was pretty incredible, and it worked. Gausman threw 100 pitches in six strong innings and 51 of them were splitters. At times he went through at-bats throwing nothing but splitters, and the Diamondbacks didn't really have an answer.
Of the 51 splitters Gausman threw, 14 were swung and missed at and nine more were fouled off. In all, Gausman got 20 swinging strikes, the most by a Giant this season.
Gausman allowed one earned in six innings, lowering his ERA to 4.05. He struck out nine and now has 62 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings.
Down Goes Dickerson
Alex Dickerson fouled a ball off his front leg in the fourth inning and wasn't able to continue.
Dickerson tried to walk it off, but he ended up hobbling off the field with trainer Dave Groeschner. Ruf replaced Dickerson. The Giants did not give an immediate update on their left fielder's status.