Chris Heston shuts down Brewers, continues excellent rookie season

Just a reminder that the Giants designated for assignment and later released Chris Heston in 2013 to add Jeff Francoeur to the active roster.

After winning 11 of 12 games after the All Star break the Giants found themselves just a game back of the Dodgers in the National League West. They were hosting the Brewers as their last home series for awhile as they hit the road to Arlington, Atlanta, and Chicago on Thursday.

Giants’ 27-year-old rookie Chris Heston took the mound to try to continue his astounding breakout season. He struggled throughout the game walking three hitters, but got three double play balls to get him out of jams.

After a sacrifice fly from Brandon Belt and a monstrous two-run homer from Brandon Crawford in the fourth, Heston could relax. He ended up giving up two runs in the 6th, but settled down and exited after 7 strong innings. He finished with two runs given up, four strikeouts, five hits, and three walks as he earns his unimportant 11th game of the season. You can watch the Crawford bomb here via MLB.com:

Heston now sits at a 3.14 ERA in 126 innings pitched with a 3.19 FIP, 3.44 xFIP, and a 56.5 ground ball rate. He leads all rookie pitchers in fWAR at 2.2 and innings pitched while keeping his home run rate down below 8 percent per fly ball. You can watch his highlights from tonight here via MLB.com:

ZiPs projects Heston to post a 3.55 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 0.7 fWAR in 61 innings for the rest of the season, which would be more than ok. Even though the Giants’ rotation is sub-par overall, Heston has been one of the only bright spots so far. Reports have said the Giants are interested in many starting pitchers on the market.

San Francisco is 55-44, 0.5 game back of Los Angeles in the NL West, but are up 2.5 games for the second wild card spot.

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