SAN FRANCISCO — This was the Mike Leake the Giants have targeted for years.
Leake, a trade deadline acquisition who wasn’t quite able to put the Giants over the top, threw a dominant two-hitter in a 5-0 win over the Dodgers. This was far and away Leake’s best start since a late July deal that brought him over from the Reds, and it was possibly the best of his career. The shutout was Leake's first in the big leagues and served a little payback to the Dodgers, who one-hit the Giants while clinching on Tuesday.
Leake kept the Dodgers hitless through three and was given an early two-run lead on Matt Duffy’s 12th homer of the year. The Giants tacked another run on Mike Bolsinger’s line in the third when Angel Pagan reached on an infield single and Kelby Tomlinson followed with a double to right.
Leake worked quickly and faced little trouble. Double plays helped him get out of innings in the first and fifth and he was through six one-hit innings on just 75 pitches. He needed just 10 pitches to get three groundouts in the seventh and had a nine-pitch eighth. Carl Crawford got a leadoff infield single in the ninth, but Leake worked around it, ending the game with another double-play.
Starting pitching report: Leake has made nine starts with the Giants and gotten through six innings in seven of them despite the fact that he’s had a bad hamstring.
Bullpen report: An overworked group got the night off.
At the plate: Duffy has 89 hits in the second half, the most in the National League. His third hit came in the eighth inning after Kenley Jansen knocked him down with a cutter up and in. Duffy immediately singled and then stole second on the first pitch to the next batter, Brandon Crawford. in August, Duffy hurt his ankle sliding back into first in a game against the Cubs and they immediately threw over to first after a long injury delay. On the next pitch, Duffy stole second. Don’t anger Matt Duffy, is what we’re saying.
Nick Noonan padded the lead in the seventh with a blast to right that was the first homer of his career and missed reaching the water by a couple of feet. Noonan lost a homer on a replay review two years ago in Pittsburgh, and afterward joked, "Who invented that, anyway?"
In the field: A night after making a big error at second base, Tomlinson had one of his best plays as a big leaguer. Joc Pederson hit a hard grounder into the shift that bounced off Crawford’s glove and floated into the air. Tomlinson barehanded the ricochet and threw to first for an impressive out.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,112 human beings who didn’t all show up.
Up next: Tim Hudson makes the final start of his career. Bruce Bochy has already said that Hudson won’t go deep, so tune in early.