Giants observations: Camilo Doval clinches three-game sweep over Phillies
What we learned as Giants complete sweep of Phillies originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO -- Last September's sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies at Oracle Park didn't do much for the Giants except give them a more direct path to finishing .500. They're hoping for a bit more momentum this time around.
The Giants swept the Phillies at home for the second straight year, pulling away in the eighth inning and winning 7-4 on a day when a pitching injury put additional stress on a tired bullpen. With an off day on Thursday, manager Gabe Kapler turned to Camilo Doval for a third straight game. The young closer picked up his eighth save of the month and clinched the first sweep of the season.
On a day when the Giants were short in their bullpen, Ross Stripling was removed in the fourth because of lower back tightness. The lineup -- sparked by a two-run single by Casey Schmitt -- had given Stripling a four-run lead in the first, but the Phillies got back within a run in the fourth.
Sean Manaea took over for Stripling and got out of the jam, but he gave up a solo shot to Bryson Stott in the fifth, tying the game.
After good work from Scott Alexander and John Brebbia, the Giants retook the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Three singles loaded the bases and Thairo Estrada poked a Gregory Santos sinker into center field to bring Mitch Haniger home. Wilmer Flores tacked on a couple of huge insurance runs with a single to left.
With one out in the second, Schmitt let it rip at 91.5 mph to get J.T. Realmuto out at first. A few seconds later, he went way past that mark.
Alec Bohm hit a grounder to third and Schmitt fired a 94.1 mph strike across the diamond to end the inning. The throw was the fastest of the season by an MLB infielder and fastest assist by a Giants infielder since Statcast began tracking throws in 2015.
Schmitt already was atop both lists after hitting 92.9 mph over the weekend. You can see how he piled up 23 saves at San Diego State and posted a 2.45 ERA in the Cape Cod League.
When Stripling signed a two-year deal with an opt-out in the offseason, he noted that one reason he wanted to get back to free agency after a year was because of the contracts that other veterans were getting. Stripling mentioned Taijuan Walker (four years, $72 million) as an example of what was out there if he had a big year.
Neither contract has worked out thus far, and the two combined to throw just four innings on Wednesday, albeit for different reasons.
Walker -- who entered with a 5.75 ERA -- didn't make it out of the first and was charged with four earned runs. Stripling threw up three zeroes before running into trouble in the fourth, and he walked off the field with trainer Dave Groeschner after a two-run double by Realmuto.
Blake Sabol has quietly turned into one of Kapler's more reliable offensive options against right-handed pitching, while continuing to improve defensively in left and show that he can catch a few times a week at the big league level.
Sabol drove in a run with a single in the first inning and then put down a bunt for a single his next time up.
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After going 9-for-45 in his first 13 games in the big leagues, Sabol has 17 hits in his last 48 at-bats, including five for extra bases. He has raised his wRC+ to 121, putting him comfortably above league-average.
Sabol might be the rare Rule 5 pick who makes it through an entire season on the big league roster, even if the Giants decide to take a look at Patrick Bailey at some point. He made a couple of nice running catches in left field, where he has started 10 times.
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