Giants Observations

What we learned as Wade's homer lifts Giants to win vs. D-backs

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SAN FRANCISCO -- There seems to be no stopping the Giants in a bullpen game.

San Francisco deployed the opener strategy again Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Once again, it worked to perfection.

Scott Alexander got the start against D-backs righty Brandon Pfaadt and quickly gave way to the bullpen. The Giants' offense was kind enough to score one run, which proved to be the difference.

Here are three observations from San Francisco's series-clinching 1-0 win over Arizona:

Early Afternoon LaMonte

Arguably one of the Giants' most important players down the stretch will be LaMonte Wade Jr. The first baseman received a trickle of All-Star buzz with his early-season production at the plate and, at one point, his National League-best on-base percentage, but quieted down in June and July as he dealt with lingering injuries.

Wade not only appears healthier, but also came up huge for the Giants in this series. After launching the go-ahead home run in Tuesday's 4-3 win, Wade roped a 103 mph shot over the right-field wall in the bottom of the fourth that gave the Giants a 1-0 lead.

The Giants will rely heavily on veterans like Wade and shortstop Brandon Crawford down the stretch. Both appear to be rising to the challenge.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it

The Giants, for the 20th time this season, used an opener. And for the 15th time, it resulted in a win. San Francisco has won 75 percent of its bullpen games, and it's clear the strategy not only is here to stay but will play a big role down the stretch.

Alexander pitched one inning and gave way to long reliever Tristan Beck, who blanked the D-backs for four innings and struck out three batters. Then Sean Manaea, who recorded his first career save Tuesday, entered in the top of the sixth and recorded two outs before he was replaced after allowing a walk.

Luke Jackson took care of business in the seventh, Taylor Rogers ran into some trouble in the eighth but worked out of it, and Camilo Doval closed the door in the ninth and picked up his MLB-leading 34th save.

Bullpen games work.

Did someone have dinner reservations?

Thursday's game moved at lightning speed either because both offenses struggled, which they did, or the Giants were eager to get a head start on a rare Friday off day.

Giants manager Gabe Kapler was asked pregame about the rare end-of-week day off and mentioned he and his players were a little unsure what to do with themselves, but nonetheless happy to have Friday off before heading out on the road (kind of) for two games against the Oakland Athletics and three against Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels.

The official time of the game was a breezy two hours and six minutes.

That'll do.

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