Schmidt tossed a complete game and set a career and franchise high fanning 16 strikeouts as the Giants reeled in Florida 2-1 Tuesday night.
The Giants ace did not allow a hit until the fifth, breezing through the first eight innings with little trouble before making things interesting in the ninth. After Dan Uggla and Mike Jacobs led off the inning with back-to-back singles and then moved up on a wild pitch putting runners at second and third with no outs, it appeared as though Schmidt was running on fumes. However with his back up against the wall, the right hander saved his best for last striking out Miguel Cabrera, Josh Willingham, and Jeremy Hermedia in dramatic fashion to end the game. All three batters worked the count to full before being punched out.
Schmidt (6-2) continued his torrid pitching of late, winning his sixth consecutive decision and hurling his third complete game of the season. He also tied Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson's franchise record of 16 strikeouts and also broke the San Francisco record for punch outs in a game which was previously held by Gaylord Perry who had 15.
Both Schmidt and Marlins starter Josh Johnson were locked in a pitchers duel early on until Florida went up 1-0 in the top of the fifth when Josh Willingham cracked a solo shot deep into the left-field bleachers. It was his ninth homer of the season.
It looked as though Florida was poised to add to their lead in the top of the sixth. Successive singles by Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla put runners at first and third with one out, but Schmidt got Mike Jacobs to ground into an inning ending double play.
San Francisco's bats finally came to life in the bottom half of the inning against Johnson (4-4), thanks to some shoddy defense by the Marlins. Randy Winn reached base to start the inning because of Ramirez's throwing error, and then came around to score when Lance Niekro lined a sharp single to left. After Niekro moved to second on a wild pitch, Moises Alou, playing his first game in nearly a month, laced a double into the gap in left center to drive him in, giving San Francisco a 2-1 lead. That was all the support Schmidt would need as he cruised from there.
With the win, and an Arizona loss, The Giants moved to within three games of first place and have won five of their last six games.
Game Notes: Moises Alou was activated from the 15 day DL before the game. Kevin Frandsen was sent back to AAA Fresno to make room for Alou... RHP Tim Worrell is set to be activated after today's game. Brian Wilson will mostlikely be sent packing to give Worrell a roster spot... Schmidt improved to 8-0 lifetime against Florida.
SFDugout's Player of the Game: Schmidt turned in one of the greatest pitching performances in Giants history striking out 16 batters, and tossing his third complete game of the year.
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