PHILADELPHIA — On and off the field, the Giants did not enjoy three games with the Nationals, who have the best record in the National League. The NL East’s last-place team proved to be far more hospitable.
The Phillies showed exactly why they’re the only team still seeking that 20th win, issuing 10 walks and making several defensive misplays amid a barrage of hard-hit balls from the Giants. The offensive explosion was backed by a career-best night from Ty Blach, who threw his first complete game and first shutout in the 10-0 win. Blach has won four consecutive starts.
Here are five things to know from the night we discovered where Daniel Nava has been playing …
--- Austin Slater’s first MLB hit was a two-strike RBI single up the middle in the sixth. His parents cheered from the first row behind the visiting dugout. Slater was 1-for-5 with a walk in his debut.
--- Blach's last five starts: 37 2/3 innings, eight runs. It's hard to imagine the Giants moving him back to the bullpen when Madison Bumgarner returns. Perhaps a trade of a veteran starter will make it a moot point.
--- Jerad Eickhoff walked Blach in his first two plate appearances and Mark Leiter Jr. gave him a free pass in the fourth inning. Blach tied a franchise record for walks by a pitcher. Ray Sadecki did it twice in 1969 and Larry Jansen did it in 1952. Blach was the first MLB pitcher in eight years to walk three times, and he nearly tied the MLB record. On a 3-2 count in the sixth, Blach was called out on a pitch right at the very bottom of the zone.
--- Welcome to Pad Your Stats Weekend. The Giants will face Ben Lively in his MLB debut Saturday and then Jeremy Hellickson (4.45 ERA) on Sunday. The lineup took full advantage of Eickhoff’s lack of command, putting up five runs on six hits and five walks in the first three innings alone. Denard Span did much of the work, finishing with five hits in six at-bats.
--- Leiter Jr. took over with the bases loaded in the third, giving us all a reminder that we’re hurtling towards death. The son of Mark Leiter (obviously) and nephew of Al was making his 12th career appearance. He gave up one hit and walked three in 2 1/3 innings.