The San Francisco Giants will attempt to become the major leagues’ first 100-game winner this season when they conclude a three-game series against the host San Diego Padres on Thursday afternoon.
The Giants (99-53) held off the Padres 8-6 on Wednesday, a victory that gave them a two-game edge over the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers (97-55) in the National League West.
The Dodgers are the second-winningest team in the majors, followed by the Tampa Bay Rays (94-59), who pace the American League.
The Giants will be seeking to reach 100 wins for the eighth time in franchise history, the first time since they went 100-61 in 2003. They won 92, 94 and 88 games in their World Series-winning seasons of 2010, 2012 and 2014, respectively.
If the Giants get their 100th on Thursday, it’s going to follow a rough back-to-back set.
On Tuesday, after the Dodgers had already won, the Giants worked for 3 hours, 45 minutes to protect their slim lead in the NL West by taking the series opener 6-5. They went even longer — 3:56 — for the Wednesday win with an opportunity to double their advantage.
Buster Posey called all 327 of the Giants’ pitches in the two victories, and he contributed two hits Tuesday and four hits Wednesday.
“Back-to-back almost four-hour games,” he said shortly after Tyler Rogers’ final pitch got Fernando Tatis Jr. to fly out with two runners aboard Wednesday. “It’s definitely nice to come out on the right side of those.”
San Francisco will send its hottest pitcher, right-hander Logan Webb (10-3, 2.79 ERA), to the mound in search of the milestone win Thursday.
The Padres (76-75) are slated to throw All-Star righty Yu Darvish (8-10, 4.13) as they aim to snap a five-game losing streak.
Unbeaten in his past 17 starts, Webb has gone 9-0 with a 1.97 ERA dating back to May 11.
He has not faced the Padres during that run. His only head-to-head with them this season occurred April 30 in San Diego, with Webb taking one of his three losses in a 3-2 defeat. He gave up three runs on eight hits in six innings.
The 24-year-old has never beaten the Padres in his career, going 0-1 with a 2.81 ERA in four games, including three starts. He is 7-3 in his career against the Giants’ other three NL West rivals.
Webb has dominated his matchup with Tatis, retiring him in all five plate appearances, including twice via strikeouts.
Tatis belted his 40th home run of the season Wednesday. His next homer would tie him with Phil Nevin (in 2001) for the second most in a season by a San Diego player, trailing only Greg Vaughn’s club-record 50 in 1998.
“What an accomplishment to get 40 home runs in one season,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “Obviously very excited for him. I was hoping for No. 41 there in the ninth inning to sort of turn the tides, but overall I thought we battled up and down the lineup.”
With their postseason hopes quickly fading, the Padres will hope Darvish can recapture his old magic. The 35-year-old veteran has gone 1-7 with a 6.23 ERA since the All-Star break, and the Padres have lost eight of his 10 starts, including the past two.
Darvish was bombed by the Giants on Sept. 13 in San Francisco, yielding eight runs in four innings during a 9-1 drubbing. That was his first loss in six lifetime starts versus the Giants, against whom he has gone 2-1 with a 5.19 ERA.
–Field Level Media