WASHINGTON (AP) — Never much of a postseason performer, Jake Peavy sure outpitched Stephen Strasburg in the former No. 1 pick’s playoff debut.
Guess that October aura the San Francisco Giants proudly own has rubbed off on Peavy.
The intense right-hander took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, San Francisco’s bullpen barely held onto a lead, and the wild-card Giants won their ninth consecutive postseason game by beating Strasburg’s Washington Nationals 3-2 on Friday in an NL Division Series opener.
Peavy won the 2007 Cy Young Award but was 0-3 with a 9.27 ERA in five previous starts beyond the regular season. This time, the 33-year-old right-hander threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only two hits.
Buster Posey, Joe Panik and Brandon Belt drove in San Francisco’s runs.
Game 2 is today, with Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann facing Tim Hudson.
Peavy was lifted after his third walk, then screamed and cursed as he stomped toward the dugout with two runners aboard in the sixth. Reliever Javier Lopez walked his only hitter, loading the bases.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy turned to Hunter Strickland, a rookie with all of seven innings on his major league resume. Calm as a 10-year veteran, Strickland took care of Ian Desmond — 8 for 12 with a grand slam and 17 RBIs with the bases full this season — on four pitches: 99 mph ball, 98 mph swing-and-miss, 99 mph called strike, 100 mph swing-and-miss.
But in the seventh, Strickland allowed Bryce Harper’s upper-deck homer to right on a 97 mph fastball and, one out later, Asdrubal Cabrera hit pretty much the same pitch over the wall in right, too, making it 3-2.
Reliever Jeremy Affeldt for the last out in the seventh. The Nationals put runners on first and second with one out in the eighth against Sergio Romo, but he struck out Desmond and got Harper on a grounder.
Santiago Casilla pitched a perfect ninth for the save.