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Blach shows poise on mound, patience at plate

Lefty does his best to fill void with Bumgarner out
MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Ty Blach is not Madison Bumgarner. But filling in for the injured Giants ace, Blach made his mark on Friday night's 10-0 win over the Phillies both from the mound, where he spun the best start of his Major League career, and from the plate.

Blach tossed his first career shutout on 112 pitches.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Ty Blach is not Madison Bumgarner. But filling in for the injured Giants ace, Blach made his mark on Friday night's 10-0 win over the Phillies both from the mound, where he spun the best start of his Major League career, and from the plate.

Blach tossed his first career shutout on 112 pitches.

View Full Game Coverage

He became the first Giant since Bumgarner to throw at least seven innings and allow three or fewer runs in five consecutive starts. In that span, Blach holds an ERA of 1.91.

"This kid really has stepped in and done just a nice job, terrific job," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

The Giants have needed all the rotation stability they can get after losing Bumgarner early in the season. The 26-year-old Blach has done more than his part.

Video: SF@PHI: Blach forces a groundout to get the win

Blach worked with multiple runners on base for just one at-bat and forced the Phillies to pound 15 balls into the grass, two of which resulted in inning-ending double plays.

Entering the eighth inning for the third straight start, Blach's pitch count was low, his command had not wavered, and he vowed to complete what he had so often dreamed of as a kid.

"It was good to be able to get through the eighth and know that I had a chance to go the rest of the game," Blach said. "That was awesome that they had the confidence in me to let me go out there."

And while he wasn't hitting the massive dingers we've become accustomed to seeing rocket off Bumgarner's lumber, Blach chipped in offensively with patience and poise, getting on base, working counts, and setting the table for the top of the order.

Video: SF@PHI: Blach works three walks in win vs. Phillies

"[Blach] helps himself with the little things: holding runners, fielding his position, and handling the bat," Bochy said.

Blach drew three free passes in his first three trips to the plate, becoming the first Giants pitcher to walk three times since Ray Sadecki in 1969. He had never walked in a Major League game before. The Giants pitching staff had just one walk at the plate this season.

He led off the second with a walk and scored two batters later. In the third, he extended the inning with a two-out walk and scored again, this time on a Brandon Belt bases-loaded walk, which doubled his career runs scored total. In the fourth, he walked for a third time.

Had home-plate umpire Phil Cuzzi called Joely Rodriguez's sixth-inning, full-count fastball to Blach low, Blach would have been the first pitcher to walk four times since 1950.

"We were cracking up, this guy's about to walk four times," Bochy said.

But Blach admitted the offering that rung him up was "a really good pitch," the first of three consecutive strikeouts in his final three at-bats.

"I was just trying to get some good pitches to hit and was able to work some counts and draw some walks early on and then they threw me some good pitches later on," Blach said.

Ben Harris is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Giants on Friday.

San Francisco Giants, Ty Blach