Monday, September 26, 2016

16 from 2014

The SF Giants web site points out that 16 of the players on the current roster were also on the 2014 World Series winners

5. Look in the mirror
The Giants have played with virtually no swagger. That comes simply from losing too often. They need to remember that Buster Posey and Hunter Pence remain capable of taking over a game, that Brandon Crawford is a big-time shortstop, that Angel Pagan, Denard Span and Eduardo Nunez (if healthy) are legitimate threats and that Joe Panik is an ideal second baseman.
Among the current Giants, 16 played for the 2014 champions. Dwelling on the past would accomplish nothing. However, figuratively and perhaps even literally, they need to hold their championship rings to the light and let the reflection guide them along this week's path.

Here are the ones that come to mind -- Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez, Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence.

Here are the others -- Gregor Blanco, Hunter Strickland, Jake Peavy, Matt Cain, Ehire Adrianza, George Kontos. The last three were not on the 2014 postseason roster

Saturday, September 24, 2016

This is why the Cubs are cursed

Jon Miller pointed out during last night's TV broadcast that the Cubs' curse dates back to 1908 and them being awarded a victory that they did not deserve on Sept. 23.

Of course, that's the 1908 Merkle game. Miller's point was that the curse stems from the Cubs going on to win a World Series that they should have never gotten to in the first place.

Ed Sherman did a nice writeup in 2008 and noted that Keith Olberman reviewed the play and concluded that umpire Hank O'Day had made the decision by invoking a rule that was never enforced after Johnny Evers got a ball that was probably not the game ball. That fact alone -- that there was no way to prove that it was the actual game ball -- should have been enough to declare the game had been won by the Giants.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Playing for the Wild Card

The Giants are now in a tie for the Wild Card with the Nats and Cards. 

They won so many games before the break that they will actually still in contention for the postseason -- despite being lousy for the past two months.  

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Boos at AT&T Park

Hard to believe, but Santiago Casilla got booed tonight as he came into the game in the top of the 9th in a save situation, then blew yet another save.

Fans can be pretty stupid but sometimes they're actually geniuses collectively. Fans who know the game and follow the Giants closely KNOW that something is not right with Casilla. He simply isn't reliable any more. It's frustrating that Bochy and Righetti believe he's still a viable option.

Come on, Bruce and Dave -- you have a dozen options out there. Let Romo finish, bring in Derek Law, Joe Nathan, Osich, Gearin, Kontos. Stop trying to make Casilla be something that he isn't anymore.

Here's John Shea's story from the SF Chron --

If the Giants reach the playoffs, their rotation seems set. If only manager Bruce Bochy could say the same about his bullpen.
Jeff Samardzija put the Giants in position to win Saturday night’s game, and Santiago Casilla put them in position to lose it.
Giants fans don’t often boo their own, especially in the wake of three championships since 2010, but Casilla was booed off the mound after blowing another save opportunity in a 3-2 loss to the Cardinals.
The Giants are five games behind the first-place Dodgers and fell into a tie with the Mets for the wild-card lead. The Cardinals are two back.
The Giants were one out from securing their third straight win over St. Louis, but the ninth inning provided another disaster. Manager Bruce Bochy began the inning with Sergio Romo but replaced him with Casilla after Jedd Gyorko’s one-out single.
Before the game, Bochy provided support for Casilla in the wake of a scoreless eighth inning Friday. “He’s in the mix,” Bochy said, “including closing.”
Casilla got booed as he jogged from the bullpen, and his relationship with the crowd didn’t improve when pinch-runner Tommy Pham stole second and Yadier Molina walked. Fans let out a collective groan when Randal Grichuk hit a tie-breaking single.
That was all for Casilla, who walked off the field and, amid the boos, began to jog and clap into his glove. Something that isn’t seen out of the long-time Giants reliever.
Matt Reynolds replaced Casilla, and Kolten Wong hit a sacrifice fly to break the tie.
Jeff Samardzija, who yielded one run in 6 2/3 innings, was denied his 12th win. He surrendered Brandon Moss’ first-inning homer and departed after 104 pitches. His ERA in his past eight starts is 2.74.
Without on-field batting practice for a third straight day, the Giants did just enough offensively for their third straight victory, at least through eight innings.
Hunter Pence singled to extend his hit streak to 11 games and scored on Brandon Belt’s double to center. It was Pence’s 15th run of September. He’s the Giants’ best hitter this month, batting .377 with four homers, 10 RBIs.
Mike Leake, a Giant the last two months of last season, got into trouble again in the fifth when Eduardo Nunez opened with a single and stole second base, beating Molina’s throw.
Nunez tried to steal third, but Denard Span, the leadoff hitter turned No. 8 hitter, singled to right. Unaware of what Span did, Nunez wasn’t able to push himself off the ground in time to score. Still, the Giants had runners at the corners with no outs.
Samardzija squared to bunt, and then he pulled back. On Leake’s second pitch, Samardzija hit a fly to medium-deep right field, far enough to score Nunez. Span was caught in a rundown on the play.
The Giants won’t have batting practice Sunday, either, but that’s because it’s a day game following a night game. Their next scheduled BP is Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

This is why the Giants got Cueto

Mike Krukow said on the postgame wrap tonight "Games like tonight are why the Giants went out and got Johnny Cueto in the offseason."

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants broke out for more runs than they scored in their entire series with the Padres and Johnny Cueto recorded his fifth complete game of the season, as San Francisco defeated the Cardinals, 6-2, at AT&T Park on Thursday night.
The win moved the Giants one game in front of the Mets and two games ahead of the Cardinals in the National League Wild Card standings. San Francisco also gained a game on the Dodgers, closing to within four games of the NL West leaders. The Cardinals' loss officially handed the Chicago Cubs the NL Central crown.

"This is an important time for us," Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright said of the team's push to advance to the postseason for a sixth straight season. "I'm not trying to downplay the game, but we do have time left. We have plenty of time left to make this happen."
After combining for just five runs while getting swept by the Padres, the Giants' offense resembled a much more complete group. Hunter Pence hit a two-run homer to extend his hitting streak to nine games, Buster Posey recorded four hits and Cueto even supplied a sacrifice fly to score the go-ahead run. Denard Span, who batted eighth for the first time this year, added to the lead with a two-run base knock in the seventh inning.
"We tacked on," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "Guys did a good job. It's been an issue in some of these games. They kept fighting."

Monday, September 12, 2016


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Best game of the year

Kelby Tomlinson delivered the goods once more in a game the Giants had to win. 

Henry Schulman of the SF Chron calls it a "crazy" game. Casilla blew a save in the 10th; Bochy pitched Cory Gearrin in the 12th, put him in left and brought in Lopez and then had Gearin go back on the mound to close it out.

Here's part --

PHOENIX - With two outs to go in Friday night's 7-6, 12-inning victory against the Diamondbacks, reliever Cory Gearrin stood in left field facing incredulous stares from Denard Span and Hunter Pence.
"They were asking me, 'What are you doing out here?'" Gearrin said with a huge grin. "I asked them where I should go. They told me to just play straight up. I said, 'What's straight up? Where do I line up for that?' It was fun. It was definitely a first for me. It's something I'll never forget."
The entire 5-hour, 23-minute game was hard to forget, not just Gearrin becoming the first Giants pitcher since Noah Lowry in 2007 to play another defensive position, and the first since Keith Comstock in 1987 to start an inning on the mound, move to a different position, then return to the mound.
Gearrin earned the save after Santiago Casilla blew another one in the 10th inning, a remarkable occurrence in so many ways, starting with manager Bruce Bochy's surprising decision to let him try to save a 6-5 game.
On Friday afternoon, two days after Casilla allowed a ninth-inning homer in what became a 7-6 loss to the Rockies, Bochy declared he would use different relievers to preserve games, ending Casilla's reign as the singular closer.
With 11 other relievers his disposal, Bochy let Casilla start the 10th. Even more incredible, with one out, Bochy let Casilla face his personal Torquemada, Jake Lamb, whom Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale sent to pinch-hit.
Lamb was 2-for-2 with two homers against Casilla this season and had three homers against Casilla overall.
Sure enough, Lamb homered again to tie the game 6-6 and pinned Casilla with his eighth blown save, the most by a Giant since Armando Benitez in 2006.