Leake draws raves despite losing SF debut
New Giants right-hander allows two-run homer in 6 1/3 innings vs. Texas
ARLINGTON -- Giants fans wishing to become charter members of the Mike Leake Fan Club must wait in line. Leake's fresh set of teammates already formed the admiration society.
Leake absorbed the decision in the Giants' 2-1 Interleague loss to the Texas Rangers on Sunday. But he delivered the type of performance that prompted San Francisco to obtain him from Cincinnati before last Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Short of sensational but more than effective, Leake allowed both of Texas' runs and eight hits while lasting 6 1/3 innings. He matched Texas starter Martin Perez zero for zero through five innings. Among Leake's few lapses was a 2-1 curveball that Josh Hamilton mashed for a two-run homer with two outs in the sixth inning. It accounted for Texas' scoring, but it didn't diminish the Giants' opinion of their newly acquired right-hander, who's expected to help anchor the starting rotation down the stretch.
"He's got the ball moving in every direction at all sorts of different speeds and locations," right fielder Hunter Pence said. "He doesn't throw the ball down the middle."
"I thought he threw the ball really well," catcher Buster Posey said. "From playing against him the past five, six years, I knew he works quickly, and ... I tried to keep the tempo up for him as much as possible. Guys like that are really fun for me to catch. I like pitchers who work quickly."
"He threw great," manager Bruce Bochy said, praising Leake's control and his ability to cope with runners on base. The Rangers went 0-for-5 off Leake with runners in scoring position.
Several Giants cited the energy Leake brought to the mound. At age 27 and standing 5-foot-10, Leake seemed light on his feet, like a boxer in peak condition. Moreover, he didn't tire prematurely despite the 95-degree temperature enveloping Globe Life Park.
"I like to work fast," Leake said. "I don't like to mess around. Just attack and see what happens. Keep the fielders involved."
Any adjustments Leake and Posey must make to each other as batterymates likely will be minimal.
"I thought we were pretty much on the same page," said Leake. Echoed Posey, "It's going to take a start or two to get completely in sync, but he did a great job."
Leake acknowledged the oddity of performing for a new team after playing for Cincinnati since 2010.
"Putting on a different uniform is always a little weird," he said. "But once we got going, it felt like just another game."