What we learned as Giants finish sweep with rare Coors shutout originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO -- Coors Field opened in 1995, and in all that time, the Giants have swept a four-game series there just four times. The latest one happened in a surprising way: With dominant pitching.
In the game's best ballpark for hitters, the Giants finished off a four-game sweep with three straight outstanding performances from the pitching staff, with the bullpen carrying a heavy load in two of them. Thursday's game was the second bullpen day of the series and the group led the Giants to a 3-0 win.
The shutout was the Giants' fifth at Coors Field and their first since April of 2012, when Barry Zito stunned the Rockies -- and his own teammates and coaches -- with a four-hit complete game.
The four-game winning streak got the Giants back to 73-77 on the season, giving them a much better chance of finishing at .500. They'll now head to Arizona for three against an up-and-coming Diamondbacks team before hosting the Rockies and Diamondbacks next week at Oracle Park.
Here are three things to know from the final Giants game this season at Coors Field:
Right At Home
Mike Yastrzemski broke out as a big leaguer during a visit to Coors Field in 2019, and he hasn't stopped hitting there since. Yastrzemski entered Thursday's game with a .327/.402/..694 slash line in 26 career games in Denver and he added to that with a solo shot off the facing of the second deck in the sixth inning.
The homer was Yastrzemski's 10th career blast at Coors and gave him 32 RBI there. A year after hitting 25 homers, he's at just 14 total this season. Three of those 14 have come in nine games at Coors.
The (Latest) New Guy
Right-hander Jharel Cotton made his Giants debut in the fifth inning, becoming the 63rd player to take the field for them this season. Cotton, a 30-year-old who has seen previous big league time with the A's, Rangers and Twins, went 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out one.
Cotton gave up a leadoff double to Charlie Blackmon in the sixth inning but struck out Michael Toglia and caught a break when Elehuris Montero hit a liner to center. Yastrzemski made a shoestring catch and threw the ball back to the infield for an easy double play; Blackmon had taken off on contact and never turned around to see where Yastrzemski was.
John Brebbia started Tuesday's game as an opener and then did it again Thursday. Since 1969, the Giants only have had one other pitcher start two games in a series. You have to go all the way back to ... last year, when Dominic Leone was the opener.
Brebbia has had the role this season and has thrived. In eight "starts," he has yet to allow a run. He needed just 14 pitches to get through a scoreless first on Thursday before handing the ball over to Tyler Rogers and the rest of the 'pen.