If San Francisco Giants pitcher Jake Peavy is out to redeem his less-than-stellar playoff career this postseason, Friday was a convincing start. 

The Giants ace allowed just two hits through five and two-thirds innings, silencing the Washington Nationals’ loud bats in their home ballpark and emerging with a 3-2 Game 1 victory to take a 1-0 series lead. 

Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg made his much-anticipated October debut and was strong at times through his five innings, but gave up eight hits and two runs. The Giants’ bats constantly found ways to crack singles and advance runners to score in a quiet offensive game. 

Washington eventually found its collective swing with two seventh-inning solo shots from Bryce Harper and Asdrubal Cabrera, and generated pressure in the eighth inning, but it wasn’t quite enough to complete the comeback.

Take a look at the inning-by-inning score and final from Friday’s game:

Although he’s a former Cy Young winner and won the World Series as a Red Sox pitcher last year, Peavy had never won a game in the playoffs before Friday. In his first five starts from 2005-2013, he notched an 0-3 record with a 9.27 ERA.

Before making his Giants playoff debut, though, the 33-year-old conceded his mindset wouldn’t be changing from the regular season. 

“It comes down to executing better than I had in previous starts,” Peavy told MLB.com’s Paul Hagen. “Say what you want to say, other than the emotions and the atmosphere, nothing else is different about this game than a game we’d play a hundred times in the season.”

He made it apparent with his performance that he wasn’t joking around.

Peavy was untouchable in the early goings against one of the NL’s best offenses. He kept his no-hit bid alive through four innings, and was one pitch away from going six innings in a playoff game for the first time in his career.

Throughout, Peavy was the fiery, emotions-on-his-sleeves dynamo on the mound that fans have come to know quite well. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Sports Illustrated‘s Peter King came off impressed:

The 26-year-old Strasburg struggled to keep the Giants hitters at bay in a similar fashion. Although he showed his blistering fastball and some of the command that makes him great, San Francisco’s hitters were smart and took what he gave them—mostly singles, but they added up.

He allowed eight hits on the game and although none were for extra bases, it didn’t much matter as San Jose Mercury News‘ Tim Kawakami noted the pressure was constantly on:

Starting pitchers are often the scapegoat for any losing team in a playoff game. But despite allowing eight hits, Strasburg’s performance didn’t come off as poor to Newsday‘s Marc Carig:

Things didn’t start out too hot for Strasburg. He allowed Travis Ishikawa to open up the third with a single, and the hitter would later score on a Joe Panik RBI single that made it 1-0. 

One inning later, it was Pablo Sandoval jumping on Strasburg—again on the first at-bat of the inning. Hunter Pence then got on base via a fielder’s choice, and Brandon Belt came up big with a one-out RBI single. Suddenly, it was 2-0 Giants.

Belt proved huge all game long, going 2-for-4 and making some big plays in the field. Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles observed the Giants might be in a different position had they gotten this level of production from Belt all year:

The Nationals watched their ace get exposed thanks to early hits in innings, and turned it around to attack Peavy in the sixth. Pitching spectacularly but only holding a 2-0 lead, Peavy allowed Nate Schierholtz to open the bottom half of the sixth with a double to put him in by far his toughest position of the game.

Peavy came back to force two straight outs, then Javier Lopez and Hunter Strickland both came in to help close out the inning and leave the bases loaded for Washington. In the top half of the seventh inning, the Giants brought around another to score on a Panik triple followed by Buster Posey’s infield single that made it 3-0.

Washington had nearly pulled back into the game before seeing its deficit grow even larger. But instead of wilting, the Nationals simply took advantage of a Peavy-less Giants bullpen to get back in the game.

Harper bombed one—and I mean bombed one—into the upper decks of right field in the seventh inning off Strickland to make it 3-1 Giants. Two batters later, Cabrera hit his own solo shot to right to put the Nationals one run off the lead as their Twitter account illustrated:

ESPN Stats and Information observed just how far Harper hit his homer:

Looking to take that momentum into the next inning, the Nationals started the bottom of the eighth strong with an Anthony Rendon single. They put two runners on base with just one out for Ian Desmond and Harper, but both came up short when one swing would have taken the lead. 

In the ninth, closer Santiago Casilla came in to close the door and preserve the victory to make it a surprise 1-0 series lead for San Francisco.

Coming off an inspiring wild-card victory over Pittsburgh, the Giants couldn’t have hoped for a better start to the postseason. Despite going up against the NL’s top team and their best ace in front of a raucous crowd, they had it going from the get-go and held on late.

As for the Nationals, well, they’ll be the first to tell you that one game is just that—one game. There will be plenty of chances to even the score as the five-game series goes on, but the home loss means Washington will have to work some magic on the west coast to make it to the NLCS.

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