SAN FRANCISCO -- The AT&T Park audience began cheering Matt Moore before he left the pitcher's mound Friday night. Aware that Moore's effort was well worth saluting, those fans couldn't wait to express their appreciation for him.Moore earned the applause by yielding two hits in 7 1/3 innings to guide
SAN FRANCISCO -- The AT&T Park audience began cheering Matt Moore before he left the pitcher's mound Friday night. Aware that Moore's effort was well worth saluting, those fans couldn't wait to express their appreciation for him.
Moore earned the applause by yielding two hits in 7 1/3 innings to guide San Francisco to a 10-2 triumph over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Afterward, Moore savored the crowd's serenade.
"I definitely noticed it," he said. "It's something that is one of the coolest parts about playing here -- just how loud it can get and the appreciation coming off the hill."
Most of those noisy people surely were familiar with the adversity that Moore (4-12) has endured this year.
He entered the game having allowed 66 extra-base hits and a .292 opponents' batting average, both the fifth-highest figures in the National League. He also had yielded at least one home run in seven consecutive outings, the longest such streak by a Giants pitcher since Ryan Vogelsong experienced the same fate early in the 2013 season. Though Moore coupled this game with a capable effort at Washington last Sunday (two runs allowed in seven innings), he owns an inflated 5.54 ERA.
Despite Moore's struggles, Giants manager Bruce Bochy and his braintrust ignored the public's calls for the left-hander's removal from the starting rotation. Moore doggedly reached the 25-start mark Friday night and celebrated that mini-milestone with one of his finest efforts of the season.
"He got a good rhythm going," Bochy said of Moore, who threw 65 strikes in his 111-pitch collaboration with Buster Posey. "He wasn't overthrowing at all. It looked like he was playing catch with Buster."
Moore agreed that avoiding undue stress helped him thrive.
"I think for a lot of the season I was overthrowing," he admitted. "I found myself throwing each pitch too hard. ... It was something I was working on, making sure I wasn't white-knuckling too many [pitches]."
Giants center fielder Denard Span had an ideal vantage point for viewing Moore's handiwork.
"He had his cutter going. It seems like that's when he has good nights," Span said. "His fastball seemed like it was electric. From the cutter, the fastball was more effective."
Moore lost his previous five decisions in a nine-start stretch. The Giants were 6-18 in his outings. Yet they never gave up on him.
"We all know what he's capable of doing," Span said. "It doesn't surprise me at all that he has continued to battle, despite everything he has gone through this year."
Through seven innings, Moore blanked Philadelphia on one hit -- Jorge Alfaro's second-inning single. Moore retired 15 of the next 17 Phillies hitters until Alfaro singled to lead off the eighth. Cory Gearrin relieved Moore two batters later and allowed Freddy Galvis' two-run single. Josh Osich and Hunter Strickland each retired a batter to end the eighth, and Kyle Crick pitched the ninth to seal the Giants' third victory in four games.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.