Home News Efficient Harrison, powerful Chapman lead SF Giants to first win of ’24

Efficient Harrison, powerful Chapman lead SF Giants to first win of ’24


Efficient Harrison, powerful Chapman lead SF Giants to first win of '24

SAN DIEGO — As the San Francisco Giants batted in the top of the seventh inning Friday night, a towel hung around Kyle Harrison’s neck as he sat on the bench inside the third-base dugout. Logan Webb walked over, put his arm around Harrison’s shoulder and smiled.

There was an awful lot to be proud of in Harrison’s first start of his sophomore season.

Limiting a star-studded Padres lineup to two runs over six innings, Harrison led the way to the Giants’ first win of the season, 8-3, over the Padres.

More impressively, he required only 76 pitches to do so, displaying an efficiency rarely seen from the overpowering lefty as he climbed the minor-league ranks and made his first seven major-league starts last season. He was well on his way to besting the previous longest start of his career, 6⅓ innings, but handed off a comfortable lead to the bullpen to finish the final three frames.

In his seven starts last season, Harrison averaged 16.9 pitches per inning, which would have ranked 38th out of 44 qualified starters. Against the Padres on Friday, he used 16 pitches in his most laborious inning, averaging 12.3 per frame, which would have led the league. (Webb ranked second, behind only Zach Eflin, at 14.73 per inning, while Blake Snell was third from the bottom at 17.6.)

Pounding fastballs for 70% of his pitches, Harrison threw 54 of his 76 pitches for strikes, inducing plenty of soft and early contact. But he also racked up five strikeouts, painting the inside of the plate to Fernando Tatis Jr. looking to end the third and the outside corner to get Jake Cronenworth looking to begin the fourth, and didn’t issue a walk.

Even the runs Harrison allowed were economical, coming on a pair of solo home runs from Tatis and Manny Machado.

Machado punished a slurve into the second deck in left field to get San Diego on the board in the fourth. That ball traveled an estimated 398 feet, which looked pedestrian in comparison to Tatis’ solo shot, which left the bat at 114.9 mph and cleared the second level of the Western Metal Supply Co. building, estimated at 441 feet.

In addition to a couple of 100-mph flyouts and a would-be triple from Eguy Rosario that was thwarted by a strong relay throw from Thairo Estrada, that was enough hard contact for the Giants to call it a day — and a very productive one — for their young left-hander.

From the time he took the mound, Harrison never pitched without the lead, gifted a 3-0 advantage by the Giants’ lineup in the top of the first against Padres starter Joe Musgrove.

Matt Chapman turned on a high fastball and sent it over the 396′ sign in center field, driving home LaMonte Wade Jr., to open a 2-0 lead and that was only the beginning of a big day for the newly signed third baseman in his second game with the Giants.

Chapman put a bow on the victory in the top of the ninth, unloading on his second homer of the night, a towering shot off the very top of the Western Metal Supply Co. building that was measured at 407 feet, and finished the game 3-for-5 with five RBIs, also doubling home Jorge Soler in the fourth.

Estrada singled home Wilmer Flores to make it 3-0, and Jung Hoo Lee singled home Patrick Bailey in the fourth for the Giants’ fourth run. Lee recorded a pair of hits, including a 109 mph single up the middle to lead off the game, but was erased both times by double-play ground balls from Soler.

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