Giants first to 100 wins, hold NL West lead

San Francisco launches 4 homers vs. Colorado, stays 1 game ahead of LA

September 25th, 2021

DENVER -- For the first time since 2003, the Giants are a 100-win team, and they got there by continuing their historic onslaught of power on Friday night at Coors Field.

San Francisco became the first team in the Majors to reach the century mark by slugging four home runs to cruise to a 7-2 win over the Rockies. With the win, the Giants (100-54) maintained their hold on first place in the National League West with eight games left in the regular season.

Games remaining: 8
Standings update: One game ahead of the Dodgers
Magic number for division title: 8

The 2021 Giants became the eighth team in the franchise’s 138-year history to reach 100 wins and only the fourth in the San Francisco era, joining the 1962, 1993 and 2003 clubs.

“It’s a huge accomplishment, a huge benchmark that I’ve never gotten to on a Giants team,” Brandon Crawford said. “It’s very cool. Obviously, I think going into the season, nobody really expected that. I think with how we’ve played all year, it’s really not all that surprising.”

The Giants remain on the cusp of another impressive benchmark. Tommy La Stella, Brandon Belt, Mike Yastrzemski and Crawford each went deep to give the Giants 234 homers on the year, leaving them one shy of matching the single-season franchise record set in 2001. Friday marked the Giants’ 17th four-homer game this season, the most in the Majors.

La Stella, Crawford and Belt launched solo shots to give the Giants a 3-2 lead before Yastrzemski broke the game open with a three-run blast in the seventh inning. La Stella kicked off the laser show with his fifth career leadoff homer, while Crawford (22), Belt (27) and Yastrzemski (25) continued to reach ongoing career highs.

“Our guys have been really good about elevating the ball to the pull side,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “That’s one of the reasons we’ve been able to hit so many home runs. A lot of it is a function of training, but more than anything else, it’s a function of talent and engines, and these guys have those.”

While they don’t have a 30-homer hitter on their roster, the Giants have 10 players who have reached double-digits this season, and the power they’ve displayed up and down their lineup helps explain their stunning success.

Estimated to win 75 games by Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections at the beginning of the year, the Giants have blown away their modest expectations thanks to resurgent seasons from key veterans like Buster Posey, Crawford and Belt, along with steady contributions from a robust cast of supporting players. They’ve held the best overall record in the Majors for 116 days and have continued to pile up wins, as they were the first team to 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 victories this year.

“We’ve just played great team baseball throughout the course of the year,” said left-hander Alex Wood, who gave up two runs over four innings in his second start since returning from the COVID-19 IL. “Obviously, when you hit these benchmarks, it’s a special achievement, but I think the biggest thing for us is just holding onto that consistency.”

To reach their goal of winning the ultra-competitive NL West, the Giants will have to sustain their relentless pace down the stretch, as they remain neck and neck in the standings with the Dodgers, who won the past eight division titles.

“We knew that our division was extraordinarily talented,” Kapler said. “Obviously, in Spring Training everybody was talking about, and rightfully so, the Dodgers and the Padres. But I think we also knew that we were a talented group. I think our veteran players set the tone and said that the goal was to win the division. It wasn’t to sneak into the playoffs.

“I think that goal remains to this day, obviously. I don’t think anybody sets out to get to 100 games, but I think it’s certainly an indication that we’ve done good work along the way and that we’re continuing to grind.”