Penny (8 shutout innings) is money in Giants’ debut
PHILADELPHIA - After a sensational and surprising debut with San Francisco, Brad Penny kept his eyes on the Red Sox game on TV as he dressed.
“Those are my buddies over there,’’ he said. “I love all those guys.’’
Penny would still be with Boston if he pitched like he did against Philadelphia last night. He threw five-hit ball over eight shutout innings in his first start with the Giants, leading the NL wild-card contenders to a 4-0 win over the Phillies.
“It’s more than we expected, but I just think this guy was on a mission and it showed,’’ Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Penny (1-0) was back in his old All-Star form in his first outing since he was released last week by the Sox. Penny went 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA this season - including 1-6 in his last 11 starts.
“Some things are hard to explain,’’ Bochy said of Penny’s Boston collapse. “And that’s one of them.’’
Penny’s lone jam came in the fifth inning when the first two batters reached base. He got All-Star Raul Ibanez to fly out, and escaped the inning without any further damage.
Ibanez, whose torrid first half got him voted an All-Star starter, continued his dreadful second-half slide. He went 0 for 3 and has only 10 hits in his last 75 at-bats. He hit 10 homers in May.
Still, no one in the World Series champion Phillies lineup did much of anything against a suddenly-effective Penny.
The Red Sox might be nipping at the Yankees in the AL East if the righty pitched like this the last two months. It was Penny’s longest outing in 28 starts this season and he nearly tossed his first complete game in three years.
“This is what you put a uniform on for, to get into the playoffs and play in the World Series,’’ Penny said.
Penny was clocked at 97 miles per hour in the first inning and his fastball remained in the mid-90s over 102 pitches for his first win since July 24.
Penny said he felt no nerves as he took the mound for the first time since Aug. 21. His explanations for his performances in Boston was an odd one.
“A lot of those foul balls to first base that they catch for outs are foul balls in Fenway because there’s no foul territory,’’ Penny said. “It’s an extended at-bat, and who knows what could happen? Plus it was the Yankees. There’s not a lineup better than the Yankees in baseball.’’
Juan Uribe and Aaron Rowand each homered for the Giants, who won their 73d game, surpassing last season’s total. The Giants trail Colorado by one game in the wild-card race.
J.A. Happ (10-4) lost his second straight start for the Phillies.
Jeremy Affeldt pitched the ninth to close out the five-hitter.