Sunday, May 31, 2015

Tomorrow is another day

Thanks, Scarlett O'Hara

That was one of the toughest losses in memory as the pen gave up a 5-3 lead in the 9th


Friday, May 29, 2015

The 5-year anniversary

Buster Posey replaced Bengie Molina as the Giants starting catcher 5 years ago today. The Giants won that game 12-1 to lift their record to 26-22. Posey went on to become Rookie of the Year and get three World Series rings. The only other guy who played that night for the Giants and is still on the team was Sergio Romo.

So it was fitting that he crushed a 2-run HR tonight as the Giants went into 1st place with a 4-2 vic. Here's part of Alex Pavlovic's report for CSNBay Area....

SAN FRANCISCO -- For once, the “MVP! MVP” chants at AT&T Park weren’t aimed at Buster Posey. The catcher did, however, remind the sellout crowd that he can still do the heavy lifting. 
On a night when Stephen Curry and his family watched from the front row, Posey hit a two-run blast in the first inning and later added an RBI double in a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves. The win, coupled with a Dodgers loss in St. Louis, moved the Giants into sole possession of first place in the National League West. They were 5 1/2 games back as late as May 15. 
The Giants entered with a streak of 37 consecutive scoreless innings at home and they tied their franchise record (set by the 1948 New York Giants) when Tim Hudson got through the first two innings. 
The Braves got on the board in the third, but just barely. Andrelton Simmons was on third with two outs when Cameron Maybin shot a bouncer up the middle that hit off Hudson’s glove. Brandon Crawford scooped it up with his barehand and made an off-balance throw to first, but Brandon Belt couldn’t complete the scoop. The infield hit finally got an opponent on the board here at AT&T Park. 
Posey hit a 95 mph fastball from Mike Foltynewicz out to left in the first, but the hard-throwing rookie was dominant from then on. He touched 99 mph a few times while pitching into the seventh, and only was pulled because A.J. Pierzynski couldn't handle a pair of strikeout pitches that got to the backstop in the seventh and loaded the bases. 
The Giants wouldn’t bring an insurance run across during that inning, but Posey added one in the eighth with a double that scored Joe Panik. Crawford's single gave the Giants a three-run lead that was cut into when Freddie Freeman took Santiago Casilla deep in the ninth. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The 9th shutout

The Giants lead the MLB with 9 shutouts so far in 2015. The As and the Dodgers have seven each

Chris Heston has come up big for the Giants who are no longer going to be under pressure to rush back Jake Peavy and Matt Cain. He made it into the 8th tonight.

SAN FRANCISCO — Juan Uribe was in the visiting dugout last week when Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner led the Giants to three straight shutouts over the Dodgers. A trade later, Uribe was in the lineup when Chris Heston paced a shutout of the Braves. 
Uribe was around for some light-hitting stretches at AT&T Park in 2009 and 2010, but even he likely thinks this is taking it to an absurd level. 
The Giants, after a 7-0 blanking of the Braves on Thursday, have eight shutouts in their last 12 home games. Thursday’s came on the right arm of Heston, who joined the other four starters, all of whom have at least one shutout during this streak that started May 3. Heston extended the Giants’ streak to 37 consecutive shutout innings at home.
“I didn’t even realize we had a streak like that going,” he said. “I’m just trying to put up as many zeroes as possible.”

He got seven full zeroes Thursday while pitching into the eighth, and in doing so, Heston held on a little tighter to a rotation spot that may be up for grabs due to circumstances out of his control. Heston has been a revelation for the Giants, posting a 3.82 ERA and saving a staff that had no other options. But even though he’s a rookie, he’s experienced enough to look around a room.
Jake Peavy is on a rehab assignment and could be back in two weeks. Matt Cain is throwing bullpen sessions and could return soon after the All-Star break. If the Giants have to shed a starter, Heston is the only one with minor league options, but he has managed to push the situation out of his mind.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"The baseball Lazarus rose up again Wednesday"

That's some fine deadline writing from Andrew Baggarly at the Mercury-News....

Ryan Vogelsong ended April as a bearded, 37-year-old spot starter and long reliever with a 9.31 ERA.

One of these years, he might run out of comebacks. Not yet.
The baseball Lazarus rose up again Wednesday, battling and subduing the Milwaukee Brewers over six innings. Joe Panik hit a two-run home run in the fifth, and the Giants won 3-1 to sweep a three-game series at Miller Park.
The Giants went 5-2 on a draining trip, managing to make hay despite seeing very little sun. Vogelsong wielded the scythe, stepping into two softball beer gardens (Coors Field and Miller Park) and yielding just one run over 12 innings.

"Well, not just me," Vogelsong said. "The rest of the guys were great. This is one of the tougher ones I've ever been involved with, to have a doubleheader in Colorado with all the rain delays and come here with two day games. For us to come out 5-2 really, really shows what this team is made of, and everybody should be proud of what we were able to make of this road trip."

A clean shave brought a clean start for Vogelsong. He finished May with a 4-0 record and 1.14 ERA in five starts. He held opponents to a .184 average. The Giants eventually hope to fold Jake Peavy and Matt Cain back into the rotation, but the way it stands now, Vogelsong (4-2) won't be the one to yield.

He was his unyielding self against the Brewers, content to win the chess match with a king and two pawns on the board. He worked deep counts and refused to give in with runners on base, striking out Ryan Braun and Adam Lind after Khris Davis hit a one-out triple in the first inning.
Davis tripled again to start the fourth when right fielder Hunter Pence fanned on a leaping attempt at the wall. Once again, the Brewers failed to score him. Braun fouled out to Pence and Lind followed with a ground ball to first base. Davis hesitated before breaking for home, Brandon Belt made an accurate throw to the plate, and Buster Posey applied the tag.

The Brewers managed to push across a run when Aramis Ramirez and Elian Herrera hit consecutive two-out singles. But Vogelsong kept mixing his pitches to get weak contact.
"While it's going on you're just trying to minimize the damage," Vogelsong said. "But when you get that last out and keep them from scoring, to be able to do it, it definitely helped to set the tone for the day and gave us momentum going forward."
Vogelsong hadn't thrown more than 99 pitches all season and his count stood at 94 when his turn in the order came up in the sixth inning. Manager Bruce Bochy allowed Vogelsong to bat, and the move paid off. Vogelsong worked an efficient sixth inning and got Ramirez to ground into a double play to end a day's labor.
"It's good to see him get stretched out and maintain his stuff the way he did," Bochy said. "There's times he had his struggles, but he finds a way to right the ship. He's got that great focus that you like, and he's got his stuff back. He's throwing 91, 92, his curve is better, his changeup is better. He's a four-pitch guy with command right now."
The Giants lacked a clutch hit in the early innings against right-hander Mike Fiers, who started on short rest because the Brewers put Wily Peralta on the disabled list. But they broke through in the fifth after former Brewer Nori Aoki singled for his ninth hit in three games here. Panik, the No. 2 hitter, did better than get the runner over. He sent a two-run shot into the Giants bullpen for his third homer of the season.

Sort of a laugher - no hit for Romo

Zo at Raising (Matt) Cain speculates that Romo could match Bumgarner and hit a homer. I think he was being facetious

 Another win!  Another W for Madison Bumgarner, although, perhaps, not his best outing.  He went 6, 99 pitches worth, and threw 61 strikes.  Madison gave up 3 runs on 4 hits, uncharacteristically walking 2 and gave up a home run.   Madison also got a hit and scored a run.  After a solo home run in the 4th by Aramis Ramirez, the damage to Madison was done in the 6th.  George Kontos pitched the 7th, and Sergio Romo found the last out in that inning and then went through the 8th.   Santiago Casilla got a save for a 2 hit, 2 K 9th.

Nori Aoki had another fine night with 3 hits.  7 other hits were scattered throughout the lineup, with Matt Duffy delivering a 2 run homer and Brandon Belt adding a solo shot in the 7th to top off the score at 6 - 3.

In the 8th, Sergio Romo came to the plate.  No doubt Ron was apoplectic.  Sergio had a chance to tie Madison Bumgarner for home runs in 2015, but, as it turned out, he did not get a hit.  Nor did he hit into an out.  In fact, he struck out looking.  No matter, though, as he held the Brewers scoreless in the bottom of the 8th.  I personally believe the man has a hit in him somewhere, but perhaps tonight was just not the night for it.  Sergio will make it known when the time is ripe. 

Bumgarner has 7 HRs in 363 plate appearances

Romo has now gone 0 for 5 since 2008.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The magic 6th

Hasta la vista, Travis Ishikawa

That's what Henry Schulman of the SF chron believes. He says that the Giants have decided to keep Hunter Strickland as part of a 13-man pitching roster instead of bringing up Travis.

The Giants were forced by rule to option Strickland back to Sacramento after Saturday night's game because he was promoted to be the 26th player in the doubleheader. But the same rules allowed the Giants to recall Strickland immediately, without having to wait at least 10 days under the traditional rules.
Another big decision looms. The Giants must decide by Monday whether to place Travis Ishikawa on the 25-man roster or designate him. Given that the Giants need the extra pitcher and just removed a position player, the writing on the wall seems clear there, too.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hasta la vista, Casey McGehee

The Giants just designated Casey McGehee for assignment

He had racked up a negative 0.7 Wins Above Replacement performance this year, according to Baseball Reference.

He was leading the MLB with 12 grounded into double plays in 110 ABs.

He seemed like a good guy and he had 2 big homers - one in the first week in Arizona that took the lead from 3-2 to 5-2; and his May 8 grand slam at AT&T.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Win streak ends as Giants score only 3

Brandon Crawford's power surge

It looks like it's here to stay -- if you're persuaded by this Fanfraphs piece. I  was.

Here is the end ----


This year, Crawford is starting with his hands a little lower. He has what seems to be a shorter path to the ball. But he also just seems to have a more forceful swing, deriving more power from his lower body. His back leg gets closer to a 90-degree angle. It appears there’s more force being transferred to his front leg. Crawford is getting more of himself into his swing, and while swing analysis like this can’t be conclusive, you can consider the signs. It looks like Crawford is swinging more powerfully. His statistics have gotten more powerful. And pitchers are treating Crawford like more of a power hitter. It all fits. Maybe we’d learn more if Crawford moved up in the Giants’ order, further from the pitcher’s spot, but here we are and everything’s promising.
Crawford had already done enough. He’d already worked to turn himself into something like an average hitter, which is valuable when you’re a plus defensive shortstop. There are people who never thought such a day would arrive. But now it looks like Crawford is raising his game to even another level still. He’s trying to move beyond being a decent hitter, toward being a good one, an intimidating one. In the early going, it’s working. By average batted-ball velocity, Crawford’s right there with Jose Abreu and Josh Donaldson. If this is all noise, it’s doing a hell of a job of being convincing.
I can’t imagine we’ll ever think of Brandon Crawford as a power hitter. But he’s developing into a pretty good hitter, with power. Who knew? I guess you could say the Giants knew, but I’m not sure they expected this much.


I love writing that

 ver. I was at Dodger Stadium watching the scoreboard go 1-0 in the 3rd, 3-0 in the 6th and 7-0 in the 7th. Then, by half innings, it went 7-3, 7-4 and 11-4. And then it stopped for an hour and finished 11-8 for the SEVENTH WIN A ROW!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The shutout sweep of the Dodgers

I'm floored -- three straight games in the San Francisco against the dodgers -- three straight shutouts. 

Here's a bottom line for you -- Clayton Kershaw is no longer an MVP-type player. We'll let the True Blue blog describe it --


Cruel sadist Madison Bumgarner kept the Dodgers' bats on ice, and at the plate the Giants ace homered against Clayton Kershaw in a 4-0 San Francisco win and a scoreless sweep at AT&T Park.

The Dodgers were shutout in all three losses to the Giants, the second scoreless sweep in San Francisco in four years, the first since June 25-27, 2012. Three straight shutouts ties the Dodgers record, dating back to 1914, which has been done four other times: 1937, 1962, 1966 and 2007.

The club's offensive futility, which has reached 31 consecutive innings without a run, even made Vin Scully think twice after keeping tabs on the scoreless streak with each passing frame.

"The Dodgers," Scully began, sending the game to commercial in the middle of the third inning, before pausing, "I'm not going to bother doing it anymore. It will only wear you out."

The Dodgers have scored two runs in their last five games, tied for the lowest-scoring five-game stretch in franchise history. The club also scored two runs in five games in 1984, 1992, and twice in 2012, though those two streaks three years ago saw four games overlap.
On Thursday afternoon, the Dodgers' story was the same old song and dance, with the Dodgers giving themselves a few chances. They actually had nine runners reach base against Bumgarner, and ran up his pitch count enough to get pulled with one out in the seventh inning. But the club couldn't cash anyone in.

The Dodgers were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Thursday, and were 0-for-17 with runers in scoring position in the series. They are 1-for-32 with RISP at AT&T Park this season, which has coincided with six Dodgers losses in six games.
San Francisco scored the run they needed in the third inning, when 2014 National League Silver Slugger award winner Bumgarner took Kershaw deep to left. Opposing pitchers had hit .093/.141/.105 in 410 career plate appearances against Kershaw entering Thursday, with four doubles as the only extra-base hits.

Kershaw for his part was fine, even including the home run allowed to Bumgarner. Kershaw struck out seven and pitched 7⅓ innings, matching his longest start of the season. He left allowing two runs, but also left runners on first and second base with one out.
Naturally, both scored, giving the Giants a 4-0 lead that might as well have been 20-0.
Kershaw this season has left a total of eight runners on base when departing his starts, and five have scored, with only the bacon-saving Pedro Baez strikeout of Troy Tulowitzki with the bases loaded on May 10 in Colorado not smudging Kershaw's ledger.
In 2014, Kershaw only bequeathed three runners all season, and one scored. He also left a start mid-inning only twice all season, including never in his final 23 regular season starts. This year, Kershaw has left mid-inning in five of his nine starts, including each of the last four starts.

"A glorious night"

Chris Haft of said that about the 4-0 buttkick of the dodgers tonight...

 When Bruce Bochy said that Tim Lincecum had "a lot of confidence and swagger right now," that wasn't a clip from the archives. The Giants' manager made that remark Wednesday, on a glorious night for the Giants.
They watched Lincecum awaken echoes of the past, albeit without his once-dazzling fastball, as he allowed three hits in seven innings to hasten the Giants' second straight shutout of the Dodgers, this time by a 4-0 score.

Lincecum's results recalled his prodigious accomplishments of yesteryear. He won his fourth consecutive game at home, a streak he last sustained from July 4-Aug. 1, 2009. That happened to be the second year of Lincecum's two-year reign as National League Cy Young Award winner. Lincecum also lengthened his streak of consecutive scoreless innings at AT&T Park to 22, helping him reduce his overall ERA to 2.08. That's his lowest figure after eight starts since 2010 (1.76).
But, as most observers realize by now, Lincecum relies more on location and guile and less on sheer, overpowering stuff. Having weathered the trials of the previous three seasons, when he compiled a 32-38 record and a 4.76 ERA, Lincecum has remained calm throughout his renaissance. He's happy, but he's also resisting the temptation to get carried away.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"Giants 2, Dodgers Nothing"

That's how Dave Flemming said it tonight. The ptichers shut the dodgers down. They are still the highest scoring team in MLB but have scored two runs in the last 3 games - portending a total collapse, we hope.

we can hope that the dodgers continue to play like idiots, per this snippet from the story --

The Dodgers are only 9-for-23 in attempted steals after Scott Van Slyke was caught jumping the gun on what was apparently a two-out hit-and-run on an 0-2 pitch to Andre Ethier, ending the eighth inning. Van Slyke broke when Giants reliever Sergio Romo made a pick-off throw, and first baseman Belt nailed Van Slyke at second.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Casey at the bat for the Giants

A fine bit of reporting and writing in "Joy in Mudville" by Frank Johnson of the Hardball Times, focusing on Casey Stengel the player -- who hit his heights in the 1923 World Series between the Giants and the Yankees. Here's part -- 

Since Stengel made so much World Series history as a manager at Yankee Stadium, it is fitting that he was there at the beginning as a player. In fact, he was the first man to hit a World Series homer there (Joe Bush went into the books the first pitcher to give up a postseason home run there). Stengel’s Game One four-bagger was also the first postseason inside-the-park home run at the Stadium. Since it broke a 4-4- tie in the top of the ninth inning (and the Yankees did not score in the bottom of the inning), it was a true game-winner.
The sight of the aging, gimpy Stengel chugging around the bases after his long drive to left-center inspired memorable descriptions from a number of sportswriters. According to legend, his shoe came off as he was rounding the bases. This has never been verified, but it certainly sounds Stengelesque.
Figuring Casey was winded, John McGraw took him out of the game and replaced him with Bill Cunningham in the bottom of the ninth. Given Stengel’s age and injuries, it is surprising that he was the Giants’ center fielder, especially in such cavernous ballparks as Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds. But his original position, right field, was owned by Ross Youngs, whose credentials were good enough to garner him a plaque in Cooperstown despite a premature death, and left field was manned by the capable Irish Meusel. So Casey was the center fielder by default, no matter his physical faults.
Since left-hander Herb Pennock started for the Yankees in Game Two (a Yankees victory), Stengel did not play. But in Game Three, he lined a conventional home run to right field – the first “outta here” World Series home run (served up by Sam Jones) at Yankee Stadium. This seventh-inning circuit clout was less dramatic than his Game One homer, but since the solo shot accounted for the only run of the game, the Giants likely thought it was a thing of beauty.
Giants fans would find little to cheer about the rest of the way, however. In fact, Stengel just might have jinxed his teammates. He blew a kiss and thumbed his nose at the Yankees while he was in his home run trot – a luxury he did not enjoy while circling the bases on his first home run.

Assessing a Barry Bonds grievance

Barry Bonds haters have unloaded on him for having the temerity to consider filing a collusion grievance.

I am constantly amazed -- though I should not be -- about how eager many people are to defend the rights of billionaires to trample over everyone else.

Fangraphs Nathaniel Grow has an unemotional assessment of how a Barry Bonds collusion grievance would play out. It sounds as if a lot of this will depend on what kind of evidence the MLBPA has come across in the last 7 years...

So if Bonds does choose to file a grievance, he will have to prove that two or more MLB teams reached an agreement not to sign him for the 2008 season. In contrast, MLB will argue that there was no agreement among its teams to drive Bonds out of baseball, but instead that each of its 30 teams individually decided not to offer him a contract, with each club acting independently of one another.
Notably, the MLBPA has never publicly revealed what sort of evidence it uncovered back in 2008 relating to MLB’s alleged collusion. It is possible, for instance, that the union found some sort of memorandum circulated among MLB teams explicitly stating – or, at least, implicitly suggesting – that teams should not sign Bonds to a new contract. Alternatively, the union may instead be planning to rely on more circumstantial evidence of collusion, emphasizing the mysterious circumstances surrounding Bonds’ inability to procure an offer for 2008. Indeed, one would usually expect that the reigning National League on-base percentage leader would receive at least one contract offer for the following season, especially after he publicly stated that he was willing to sign a contract for the league minimum salary.
This is the sort of evidence that helped the MLBPA win its initial collusion grievance case against MLB back in the 1980s, for example. The MLBPA alleged that MLB teams had agreed not to compete for the services of each others’ free agents following the 1985 season. The union’s allegations were not only based on the fact that only a single free agent – Carlton Fisk – had received an offer from a new team that off-season, but also on a memorandum circulated among MLB teams urging clubs to “exercise more self-discipline in making their operating decisions and to resist the temptation to give in to the unreasonable demands of experienced marginal players.” This evidence ultimately convinced an arbitrator to rule that the MLB franchises had improperly colluded in violation of the CBA. (The MLBPA would subsequently win two more grievances for similar collusion by MLB teams following the 1986 and 1987 seasons as well.)

Here's one response to someone who argued that teams didn't want to sign Barry because he was a "clubhouse cancer" --

What does that even mean? “Clubhouse cancer” seems to be something sportswriters say about players they don’t like. He didn’t get along with Jeff Kent, apparently. Who did?
The only things I know about Barry Bonds are what I’ve read by sportswriters. Filtering for that, I really don’t know much about him at all.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Belt belting

Three HRs in three days. Not bad.

Unfortunately, it was Chris Heston's worst outing of the year. Here's the top of the story ....

  Using home runs from Brandon Belt and Hunter Pence and three RBIs from Nori Aoki, the Giants outlasted the Reds for a wild 9-8 win on Sunday to claim three of four games in the series. San Francisco scored 30 runs over the three straight wins.
There were a combined 28 hits in the game, with every Giants starting position player notching at least one hit and every Reds starter in the field but Zack Cozart getting a hit.
The Giants took early leads of 4-0 through two innings and 6-1 after the third. In the second against Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani, San Francisco sent nine to the plate with five hits and four runs -- including Aoki's two-run single. Pence hit a two-run homer in the top of the third inning, his first of the season following Saturday's return from the disabled list. DeSclafani finished with a season-high six earned runs and six hits allowed over a season-low three innings.
Cincinnati scored a run in the second inning and provided its own nine-batter rally in the bottom of the third against Chris Heston, scoring four runs on four hits. Heston was pulled six batters into the inning without retiring a batter and had his shortest outing of 2015.

Pence returns, Giants score 11

It's the first time they've scored 11 since Game 4 of the World Series.

Hunter Pence is back and bringing the offense with him. 

Here's part of Andrew Baggarly's coverage  for the Mercury News --

The Giants inched a game over .500, their 15-8 record is the best among N.L. teams since April 21 and they clinched no worse than an even record on a trip to Houston and Cincinnati in which they've set a season high for runs three times in a five-game span.
The difference this time: Pence was right in the middle of it. According to announcer Jon Miller, Pence texted Giants manager Bruce Bochy earlier in the week from Las Vegas, where he was getting at-bats on a minor league rehab assignment, with words to the effect of, "I am a ridiculous weapon right now. IT'S TIME."
When he arrived in the clubhouse Saturday morning, Pence calmly told the gathered reporters: "I feel extremely strong and extremely fast and the wrist feels healthy. So yeah. I feel my potential is very strong to come help us."

Saturday, May 16, 2015

10 runs for the Orange and Black

Despite the presence of Casey McGehee in the lineup, the Giants scored 10 runs for the first time since Game 4 of the World Series

Fittingly, it happened last night with Brandon Belt getting his first HR of 2015.  

Here's part of the story --

"I'm proud of the guys," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose team came into Friday having scored the second-fewest runs in the National League. "They showed they can break out of it, put some big runs on the board and have some big innings."
Bumgarner finished with two earned runs on eight hits over his seven innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Barry Bonds update - kids and collustion

Barry Bonds has filed a collusion grievance against MLB for the failure of the 30 teams to sign him in the wake of a promise that he'd be willing to play for the union minimum of $390,000. I'm not a lawyer but this seems pretty clear cut. Players who have done far worse things than Bonds -- allegedly lying about PEDs -- with far less talent have been signed againand again.

It's set off the usual round of "Barry = Satan" declarations by the Bonds haters, who will always hate him no matter what.

Has it occurred to anyone that he is standing up for employee rights not getting trampled by billionaires? I guess not.

I'm pleased to report that Barry's making an effort to be a respectable citizen. Per the SF Chronicle, he's opening a three-day baseball instruction camp next month for kids 10 to 14.

Well, that's my 2 cents

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Heston "superb" as McGehee sits

That's right -- a complete game 2-hitter for Chris Heston as Matt Duffy drove in 5 runs as the starting third baseman.

McGehee got benched again. Send to Sacramento, please. Maybe he can find his stroke in the PCL.

Duffy now has 15 RBIs. He's tied with Maxwell for second-highest on the team. Crawford has 17.

 Here's the recap --

HOUSTON -- Matt Duffy drove in a career-high five runs with a three-run double in the second inning and a two-run single in the fifth to lead the Giants to an 8-1 rout of the Astros in an Interleague matchup Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.
Astros starter Collin McHugh (4-1) saw his 11-game winning streak come to an end when he lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs (three earned) and seven hits. The Giants scored five times in the fifth to take a seven-run lead, including a two-out infield single by Justin Maxwell on a play that may have ended the inning scoreless had shortstop Marwin Gonzalez not made an errant throw to second.
Giants starter Chris Heston (3-3), facing the Astros for the first time in his career, handcuffed the struggling Houston offense in his first career complete game, allowing two hits and one run on a second-inning homer by catcher Jason Castro. Heston notched a career-best 10 strikeouts and retired the final 22 batters he faced.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Please, no more McGehee

Who was the last third-baseman for the Giants before Pablo Sandoval?

No, it was not Pedro Feliz. For most of the 2008, it was an awful guy named Jose Castillo, who spent 5 years in the majors and racked a -2.8 WAR. He couldn't hit worth a damn.

It got so bad in August of that year that the Giants waived him after 420 plate appearances got us 6 HRs and 35 RBIs. The club decided to take a chance on Sandoval, was 21 at the time and delivered a .345 average, 3 HRs and 24 RBIs in 140 plate appearances.

Casey McGehee is the second coming of Jose Castillo. After his grand slam on Friday, he grounded into 2 DPs and then went hitless on Saturday and Sunday, killing rally after rally. He had a 2-run homer in the second game of the year so he's now got 7 rbis in 85 ABs. And 11 GIDPs. And he has microscopic range at third.

He's got a -0.6 WAR so far this year. My suggestion -- send him to Sacramento, let Duffy or Arias start at third. 

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Mighty Casey

Giants Win got to sit in Section 220 tonight. It was well worth it. Casey McGehee grounded into high 9th and 10th DPs -- AFTER hitting a grand slam. Lincecum and Petit combined for a 3-hit shutout. Belt had 4 hits.

Also -- the scoreboard had no stats all night. Perhaps one of the players (McGehee?) had complained....

Here's the top of Chris Haft's story for MLB

SAN FRANCISCO -- The trophy Casey McGehee received Friday night for winning last season's National League Comeback Player of the Year Award should have been engraved "To be continued."
Demonstrating the resilience that baseball demands from its performers, McGehee earned himself a reprieve from his dreadful start to the 2015 season. The embattled third baseman drilled a second-inning grand slam that highlighted a 2-for-4 effort and propelled the Giants to a 6-0 triumph over the Miami Marlins.
Before the game, Bochy hoped the ceremony recognizing McGehee would bolster his confidence.
"If you let the tough times define who you are, that's not how it should be," Bochy said. "It should be all the good things. Because you are one of the best players in the world. You should appreciate that. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves."

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Hurry back, Hunter

The Giants have scored 90 runs so far this year -- third lowest in the MLB, ahead of only the Chisox and Phils. Hudson was damn lousy in a loss to the Fish. I hate the Fish.

Meanwhile Hunter Pence will be rehabbing in Sacramento on Friday.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Five in a row!

It's about damn time. What does this mean?

This means that all 5 guys in the rotation - Vogelsong, Bumgarner, Heston, Lincecum and Hudson -- have been pitching well. The ERA for the streak is 0.98, according to Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area.

Vogelsong threw seven shutout innings to pace a 6-0 win over the San Diego Padres that was the fifth straight overall and eighth straight at AT&T Park. It was also the third consecutive shutout for the Giants, who are riding a red-hot starting staff. Since Vogelsong’s implosion at Dodger Stadium, Giants starters have a 0.98 ERA. 
The Brandons gave Vogelsong a 2-0 lead in the second when Belt hit a leadoff double and Crawford followed with a walk. Belt scored on Justin Maxwell’s single to center and Crawford alertly took third, which allowed him to score on Matt Duffy’s groundout. 
Buster Posey lined a two-out single in the third and Belt followed with a walk. Crawford’s single scored a run and both Brandons raced home when Yangervis Solarte whiffed on Gregor Blanco’s two-out grounder to first. 
Joe Panik made it 6-0 an inning later with a leadoff homer.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Back to .500

It was Madison Bumgarner's 70th win. May I add that he's only 25?

Hard to believe that despite that 8-game losing streak, the Giants have gotten back to .500 as of May 4. 

Here's part of the recap --  -- Madison Bumgarner took a no-hitter into the seventh inning Monday before allowing a hit to Justin Upton, one of the few blights in a dominant start as the Giants defeated the Padres, 2-0, at AT&T Park.
Bumgarner (3-1) allowed consecutive singles to Upton and Yangervis Solarte to begin the seventh inning but little else. He allowed one walk and had six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.
The Giants (13-13) got both runs in the third inning as Angel Pagan singled in a run and Justin Maxwell walked with the bases loaded against Tyson Ross, who started for the Padres (14-13).

Saturday, May 02, 2015

I'd rather be lucky than good

Despite the best efforts by the bullpen to gascan the game away to the Angels, Providence intervened today and let the Giants win in the 9th.

Thanks, Taylor Featherston!  

Dave Flemming said on the air that he'd never seen a game end that way -- with the final out coming on a runner hit by a liner. Here's part of the coverage -- which asserts that Panik would have made the play anyhow...

 Nori Aoki and Casey McGehee had some timely hits, and Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey went deep, providing enough cushion for a highly effective Tim Hudson in the Giants' 5-4 win over the Angels at AT&T Park on Saturday.
The 39-year-old Hudson held the Angels to two hits -- solo homers by Mike Trout and Albert Pujols -- in eight-plus innings, leading his team to its seventh win in the last 10 games and dropping his ERA to 3.78.
"I felt pretty good," Hudson said. "It was just a day where things worked out for us really good. Buster [Posey] called a good game and I was able to change some speeds and locate the ball pretty well."
The Angels made it a one-run game in the ninth, on back-to-back, two-out RBI singles by Kole Calhoun (off Jeremy Affeldt) and David Freese (Santiago Casilla). The next batter, Matt Joyce, lined a ball off the leg of pinch-runner Taylor Featherston for a game-ending automatic out. Giants second baseman Joe Panik was shifting Joyce to pull and was well positioned to make the play, but didn't have to.