Relievers lay down the Law in Giants' comeback

June 23rd, 2016

PITTSBURGH -- It was difficult to tell whether Derek Law's pitching or his fan base left more of an impression Wednesday night.

Law blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth and fifth innings to launch the sequence of six shutout innings compiled by Giants relievers in San Francisco's 7-6 triumph.

Raised in the nearby neighborhood of Beechview, Law also drew a sizable gathering of relatives, friends and well-wishers to PNC Park. Aware that their favorite son was in line to capture the decision if the Giants stayed ahead, many of Law's backers chanted "D-Law! D-Law!" as the Pirates' half of the ninth inning began.

"It felt like a home game, honestly," Law said. "I knew I had a lot of people here, but I didn't think I had that many."

The noise fascinated Law's teammates, who were struck by his popularity.

"I think people in San Francisco heard them chant," Giants first baseman Brandon Belt said, embellishing the phenomenon somewhat.

"I don't know if it was my whole family or my fiancee's family, but it seemed like the whole stadium was [chanting] that," Law said. "I think it was just one section. ... It definitely gave me some chills, for sure."

Law's chills didn't deter him from freezing the Pirates' bats. After pitching a perfect fourth inning, he yielded singles to Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen to open the fifth. Lacking command of his curveball, Law relied on his fastball and changeup to strike out Jung Ho Kang and Matt Joyce before coaxing Josh Harrison's groundout to end the threat.

San Francisco's relievers allowed only two Pirates to stray past first base in the final four innings as Hunter Strickland, Josh Osich, Cory Gearrin and Santiago Casilla succeeded Law admirably.

"This organization does a great job of bringing big league-ready guys to pitch out of the bullpen," said starter Jeff Samardzija, whose ineffective three-inning outing was all but obscured. "I think you've seen that you're not going to pitch in these games unless you're able to throw strikes with multiple pitches, get ahead in the count and execute. You've seen a lot of these kids come up and do just that."

Allow Law to have the last word in describing the procession of relievers.

"I saw Strickland throwing 98 [mph]. Good luck hitting that," Law said. "And then Osich coming in and throwing sinkers 98. Good luck hitting that. Gearrin throwing sliders almost [Sergio] Romo-esque, I guess you could say, and then Casilla, of course. You got guys like that coming in the game, you're pretty confident that you're going to get a win."