Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"He just kicked our butts"

That's Brandon Belt explaining to the SF Chron how Daniel Mengden of the repulsive Oakland A's dominated the Giants tonight


With his handlebar mustache and double-clutch windup, rookie Daniel Mengden introduced himself to the A’s-Giants rivalry in a big way Monday night, easily outpitching a woebegone Jeff Samardzija as the renewal of the series began with an 8-3 Oakland victory.
The A’s won for the fourth time in five games on their trip. The Giants lost for the third time in their past 16.
In his fourth big-league start, Mengden bulled his way to his first victory, carrying a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning and finishing with two runs allowed in 7 2/3.

“He just kicked our butts, to be honest with you,” Brandon Belt said. “He was pretty much able to do whatever he wanted to do all night.”
Mengden also benefited from a mountain of support after the A’s scored just twice for him in his first three starts, all losses.
Marcus Semien, whom Oakland got when it traded Samardzija to the White Sox after the 2014 season, was the Shark’s biggest tormentor.
Semien hit a three-run homer and RBI double to account for four of the six runs Samardzija allowed in six innings.
“Every time I face him, I know that’s the guy I got traded for,” Semien said. “We’ve had some good games against him.”
Sadly for the Giants and their $90 million acquisition, a lot of teams have been able to say that recently.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

29-9

That is now the Giants record since May 11

the mlb.com recap doesn't mention the strike-out-caught-stealing DP to end the game. Casilla-Posey-Crawford. a thing of beauty.

here it is --


PITTSBURGH -- The Giants followed a different path to a familiar destination Wednesday night at PNC Park. Overcoming a rare ineffective starting pitching performance, San Francisco rode its bullpen and a middle-innings comeback to a 7-6 win over Pittsburgh.
The Giants are 29-9 since May 11, a successful stretch built firmly on the foundation of their rotation. But Jeff Samardzija exited after allowing six runs in three innings, tied for the shortest start of his career. That left the Giants bullpen to hold the line, which they did for six scoreless innings. Sure enough, San Francisco chipped away at Pittsburgh's leaky pitching staff. Buster Posey's RBI double keyed a two-run fifth, and Joe Panik's two-run double off reliever Jared Hughes gave the Giants the lead in a three-run sixth.
The Pirates claimed a five-run lead after three innings, riding a solid start from Francisco Liriano and launching three home runs off Samardzija. But Liriano unraveled, and San Francisco's bullpen silenced Pittsburgh's bats long enough for the Bucs' latest late-inning letdown. The Pirates have lost 12 of their last 14 games and 19 of 25, falling four games under .500 on the year.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED 'Pen men: Giants relievers were forced to work overtime after Samardzija departed early. Fortunately for the Giants, their bullpen was ready to respond, having received plenty of rest while Madison Bumgarner pitched a complete game Monday and only three relievers appeared Tuesday. Derek Law, who was raised in Pittsburgh, worked two shutout innings to set the pace as San Francisco's bullpen blanked the Pirates for the final six innings.
Pair of 10s: John Jaso led off the first inning by blasting Samardzija's first pitch to right-center field. Gregory Polanco went deep in the second, and Jung Ho Kang crushed a solo shot in the third -- the 10th home run of the season for each player, tied for the team lead with Andrew McCutchen. Polanco surpassed his previous career high of nine, set last season, while Kang reached double digits in just his 140th plate appearance of the season.
WHAT'S NEXT Giants: San Francisco's two-city, seven-game trip concludes with Thursday's 9:35 a.m. PT matinee against Pittsburgh. Rookie right-hander Albert Suarez, replacing the injured Matt Cain (right hamstring) in the Giants' rotation, is scheduled to make his fourth Major League start. Giants starters own a 3.13 ERA on this trip.

Angel Pagan's veteran savvy

 Here's some veteran savvy -- Angel Pagan hit a long grand slam tonight, his third homer of the year. It was the key hit as the score was 1-0 in the 4th. It was his 55th career homer, to go along with 51 triples. As Mike Krukow pointed out, the Pirates pitcher had just walked in a run so Angel went after the first pitch.

Here's mlb.com --

 
PITTSBURGH -- Backed by the Giants' biggest offensive performance of the year, Johnny Cueto continued his dominant stretch against an opponent that's too often seen him at his best. San Francisco tallied a season-high 22 hits, Cueto fired 6 2/3 strong innings and the Giants beat the Pirates, 15-4, on Tuesday night at PNC Park.
A night after being shut out by Jeff Locke and three Pirates relievers, the Giants gave Cueto plenty of breathing room. San Francisco broke out against Pittsburgh spot starter Wilfredo Boscan in the fourth, putting up seven runs and batting around before recording an out. Angel Pagan delivered the biggest hit, a first-pitch grand slam to center field, and Conor Gillaspie followed with a two-run homer deep into the right-field seats.
"When you get seven scored on you in one inning, it changes the direction of the game immediately," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We've had some challenges along these lines. ... We didn't do enough things well to win the game. Matter of fact, we got beat pretty good tonight."

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Eight in a row, 27-8

The SF Chron's Henry Schulman notes in his game story that the SF Giants have never had a better stretch over 35 games than now.

 
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Giants have played in San Francisco since 1958. In none of those 58 seasons did they revel in a 35-game stretch this good, with 27 wins.
They began the stretch with an eight-game winning streak and now have another after beating the Rays 5-1 on Sunday to sweep the three-game series at Tropicana Field.
The Giants are on pace to win 101 games, and looking for statistical reasons might be fruitless. When they started play Sunday they ranked seventh in the National League in runs and sixth in hitting with runners in scoring position. Four pitching staffs had better ERAs.
But they win, sometimes with dominance from their starters, other times with a clutch hit, and by rarely kicking the ball around as they did Sunday.
In their 44th win, the Giants scored four runs in the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie. For the second day in a row Joe Panik had the tie-breaking hit.
“We’re obviously not at full strength, but we’re just playing the way we play,” pitcher Jake Peavy said. “This is the identity we talked about in spring training, who we are as ballplayers and who we are as a team. We just come out and play our best team game and have the best approach.”
When the Giants open a four-game series at Pittsburgh on Monday night, they might be at even less strength.
On the day he assumed the active major-league lead in consecutive games played, at 188, Matt Duffy aggravated a left Achilles injury and left the game. Manager Bruce Bochy said Duffy might miss “a day or two,” but Duffy refused to concede the end of his streak.
“I wouldn’t say I’m concerned,” Duffy said. “It’s nothing serious.”
Duffy hit third base hard as he tried to steal with two outs in the seventh inning, then rounded the bag as Trevor Brown grounded out on the pitch. Duffy had the same injury last season and said it was worse then.
His replacement, Conor Gillaspie, hit a two-run double in the four-run eighth. Buster Posey also had an RBI single.
Duffy has just started to hit consistently, with hits in 10 of his past 12 games. If he misses time, Gillaspie will play and the Giants will have six starters batting left-handed against at least three left-handed Pirates starters.
That sounds like a recipe for defeat, but the left-leaning Giants have been beating all comers.
“You’ve seen our lefty hitters,” Bochy said. “They’re doing a pretty good job against lefties. We saw a good string of them at home. This is our lineup. It’s not going to change. I think it’s good for them to see lefties. It helps their at-bats against righties because they’ve got to stay in (their stance) against lefties.”
Sunday’s game smelled like a loss at the outset. The Giants uncharacteristically made three errors in the first two innings, by Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Peavy, whose wild pickoff throw let Logan Forsythe score.
Despite the errors, a replay call that went against them, three hits, a hit batter, a stolen base and 11 Rays coming to the plate, Peavy held the weak offense to one run in the first two innings. Belt matched that with a fourth-inning homer.
In successive starts, Peavy outpitched 19-year-old Dodgers rookie Julio Urias and matched 26-year-old Jake Odorizzi. The two Jakes had almost identical lines: six innings, four hits, one run, eight strikeouts.
Peavy insisted he is not trying to carry a torch for baseball’s senior citizens, but he left no doubt about his confidence despite his early rough patch.

Tough tough Joe Panik

Seven in a row, thanks to this guy Joe Panik. He gets hit in the head in the 5th, driving in a run, then smashes a 3-run homer in the 9th. Wow

 From mlb.com --

 

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jaff Decker backed up to the right-field wall like he had a chance to catch the ball that was crushed off Joe Panik's bat. The Giants had struggled to find a big hit most of the day. But they got a two-out hit to tie it in the eighth and won their seventh straight game on Panik's three-run homer in the ninth in a 6-4 win over the Rays.
"For Panik," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before pausing, "it's hard to get a bigger hit than that."

FROM AP --


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Joe Panik bounced right back up and ran to first base in the fifth inning after a pitch struck his helmet. Four innings later his 395-foot drive into the right field seats helped the San Francisco Giants stay hot.
Panik had a career-high four RBI, including a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the ninth inning that sent the Giants to their seventh straight win, 6-4 over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday."
"Joe's so steady," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's so even-keel, day to day, he slows the game down as well as anybody. He's got a great pace to his swing and his defense and he's very calm out there."
Panik's two-out drive off Alex Colome (1-2) helped lift the NL West leaders to a season-high 17 games over .500.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I can spell Samardzija

The Giants are now 9-5 in his starts. That's pretty good for No. 3 pitcher in the rotation. 

The good guys are 16 over .500, 42-26. That equates to 100-62 season.

McCovery Chronicles has a recap, mentioning the hot hitting by Belt. 

Nice recap by Jen Mac Ramos --


 
When playing at a place like the Trop against one Tampa Bay Rays, one must not look away, because that’s how baseballs could get lost in the silver metallic dome¹.
No baseballs were lost in the dome this time, but some baseballs (or rather, a baseball) were hit into the stands² and it landed fair.
The runs were there for the Giants, hallelujah. Brandon Belt doesn’t seem to let baseballs hitting appendages get in the way of him hitting a baseball for a home run. That’s just what Belt does. And when he does it, it’s joyous.
Belt scored two runs this evening, going 2-for-3 and raising his average to .306. That’s pretty swell.
Jeff Samardzija nearly pitched a shutout. And he would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for that pesky Brad Miller. Two out, none on, bottom of the ninth. Though, to be fair, Samardzija was at around 110 pitches. One run is not the end of the world when you’ve got a four run lead.
The Giants are now 9-5 in Samardzija starts. That’s not too shabby at all, I’d say.
***
In a moment of humanity, though: The Rays wore Orlando Rays caps today, their old Double-A team in, well, Orlando. They did this in honor and in tribute to the city of Orlando and those lost in and those who survived the recent attack on the LGBTQ community and the community of Orlando.
Rob Manfred said, in a video shown prior to the game, “The LGBT community is part of the baseball community.” And in June, which is known as Pride Month, after an attack like that, on the team’s Pride Night, those words mean a lot to those in the stands, watching at home, listening on the radio. That even as they may be threatened in the world, there’s a space for LGBTQ-identifying fans in baseball.
And as baseball goes on, we remember that we can still seek solace in a game that’s there, from April to September—October, if they make it that far—and for 162 games a season. And as baseball fans, we are brought together, through tragedy, through triumphs, with a love of the game in front of us.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Four in a row, ho, ho, ho

Man, what a strange way to win a game on consecutive wild pitches to Madison Bumgarner.

That's four in a row, way to go, ho, ho, ho. The Giants got 12 hits -- 4 by Buster Posey -- and scored only three times. Here's the mlb.com recap:


SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants wasted a lot of offense and almost squandered another strong pitching performance by Madison Bumgarner as well. But they forged ahead for good with the help of a couple of wild pitches in Tuesday night's seventh inning and ultimately outlasted the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-2.
With the score tied, 2-2, the Giants set up their fourth consecutive victory as Angel Pagan and Gregor Blanco singled with one out in the seventh inning off Brewers reliever Will Smith (1-1). The left-hander's first two pitches to Bumgarner skipped to the backstop, enabling Pagan to score and allowing the Giants to ignore the 13 runners they left on base.
Bumgarner (8-2) surrendered four hits and struck out eight in eight innings while recording his seventh winning decision in a row. The Brewers kept the score close thanks to Jonathan Lucroy's fifth-inning homer and Hernan Perez's sixth-inning RBI single, which followed Jonathan Villar's double.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Decent debut: Outside of his pitch count that was at 87 through four innings, Brewers starter Matt Garza's first appearance of the season went fairly well. He pitched with runners on base all four innings but limited the damage to one run before giving way to Corey Knebel in the fifth. Garza also had good command for the most part, as he issued only one walk.
Busting out: Giants catcher Buster Posey went 4-for-5, raising his batting average from .257 to .270. It was Posey's first four-hit game of the season.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Double, single, single, single

That's how the Giants ended the game tonight. 

 10th inning, Giants down 4-3 against Kenley Jansen. Parker flies out, Span doubles, Panik singles, Belt singles, Posey singles. That's how top-tier teams win ball games.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Big Mac attack

Mac Williamson finally hit his first MLB homer when it counted

The Giants got a glorious 2-1 vic over David Price and the Bosox, ending a 3-game losing streak. They played tonight without a banged-up Buster Posey.  Giants are 4 up on the bums, wholost 1-0.
Law, Gearrin, Casilla, Lopez and Strickland get the last 9 outs with one hit, one walk and 5 Ks against a team that can really hit

Here's the mlb.com --


 Rookie Mac Williamson hit his first Major League home run off Boston ace David Price leading off the eighth, a tiebreaking shot into the left-field seats, and the Giants held on to beat the Red Sox, 2-1, on Wednesday night at AT&T Park.
Price had allowed only two hits and three baserunners while outdueling Madison Bumgarner before Williamson homered on the first pitch in the eighth, one of two by the Giants off Price. Brandon Belt had the other, the Giants' first Splash Hit into McCovey Cove since Sept. 25, 2014.
Williamson almost let the lead slip away when he dropped Hanley Ramirez's deep fly ball to left for a two-base error leading off the ninth, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy used three relievers to record the final three outs and preserve the win.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bumgarner's streak still intact: Bumgarner put together a solid six innings but left with his second no-decision in three starts, the lone mistake being Chris Young's home run on a 3-1 pitch. The good news for the Giants ace is that he didn't take the loss, meaning Bumgarner's career high-tying six-game winning streak is still going.
Young goes deep: Young hit a two-out, solo home run against Bumgarner in the fourth inning. It was Young's second career homer against Bumgarner and his first homer against a left-hander this year. Young has hit safely in each of his past 14 starts and 16 of his 25 hits have been for extra bases.
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: David Ortiz will return to the lineup Friday when the Red Sox open a series at the Twins. Right-hander Steven Wright goes for his fourth straight complete game on the road.
Giants: Right-hander Johnny Cueto takes the mound in the series opener against the Dodgers on Friday at AT&T Park. Cueto can become the first San Francisco pitcher since Rick Reuschel in 1989 to get 10 wins in his first 13 starts of the season.