Saturday, July 30, 2016

Saturday magic

Not much has gone right for the good guys since the All-Star break with 11 losses in 13 games until today's glorious 5-3 victory over the Nats. Pence and Panik are back and the new guy replacing Duffy for now -- Eduardo Nunez -- got the Giants off the mat with a bases-loaded double in the 4th.

The Giants broke their 6-game losing streak last Saturday at Yankee Stadium and broke a 3-game losing streak today. Here's part of the coverage --

SAN FRANCISCO -- With the San Francisco Giants desperately needing a win Saturday, Giants manager Bruce Bochy strategized as if this were October, when wins count most. The result was a 5-3 triumph over the Washington Nationals, which San Francisco sealed by scoring twice in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie.
The Giants, losers of 11 of their previous 13 games, inched ahead on Joe Panik's bases-loaded sacrifice fly and pinch-hitter Trevor Brown's bases-loaded walk. Of the five Giants who scored, three reached base on walks. Eduardo Nunez, making his first start as a Giant since being acquired Thursday from Minnesota, fueled a three-run, fourth-inning outburst with a two-run double.
One of those walks was coaxed by Mac Williamson, who batted for Giants starter Jake Peavy in the fourth inning. That set up Nunez's big hit. It also forced Peavy to leave the game prematurely, yet the veteran right-hander said, "That was 100 percent the right call." Peavy added that Bochy "managed like it was a playoff game, the way we needed to win."

Washington jumped ahead, 3-0, on Anthony Rendon's two-run homer in the third inning and Danny Espinosa's RBI double in the fourth. But San Francisco's bullpen blanked the Nationals on three hits for the final five innings.
"They won the game for us, with their effort," Bochy said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED A little goes a long way: Giants right fielder Hunter Pence made a rousing return to the lineup after missing 48 games with an injured right hamstring. He doubled off the left-field wall in the second inning, walked and scored in the seventh inning and provided welcome inspiration.
"His presence in the lineup is huge for this club," Bochy said. "I know he charged up the troops pretty good by just being out there."
Pence appreciated the noisy cheering he prompted all afternoon from the AT&T Park crowd.
"It was pretty special," he said. "I'm really grateful and I really love everything about playing for the Giants."

Sunday, July 24, 2016

First victory in 13 days

That was way too long. 

We have Mac Williamson to thank for ending a 6-game losing streak. He drove in both runs in a 2-1vic in Yankee Stadium. 

He also has a pretty good personality.

Here's part of the story --


Williamson rewarded manager Bruce Bochy's faith by homering in the fifth inning and driving in the go-ahead run in the 12th. His was a redemptive performance, blending neatly with the end of the Giants' six-game losing streak.
Said Bochy, "What I like about what happened, Mac made the error and lets in a run. He put that behind him, he didn't let it bother him and he hits a home run. You have to be resilient in this game and he did a good job of it."
Each time Williamson's gaze strayed toward the pitcher's mound when the Giants batted, he received a vivid reminder of the adversity he has weathered. There stood Yankees starter Ivan Nova, who underwent Tommy John elbow surgery the same day Williamson did -- April 28, 2014, performed by noted orthopedist Dr. James Andrews.
"Fun fact," Williamson said.
As a rookie, Williamson hasn't had time to develop an overwhelming reputation, though skeptics have identified him as a right-handed batter who struggles against right-handed pitching. He entered Saturday batting .222 (6-for-27) with a .370 slugging percentage and one home run against right-handers this season, compared with .245 (12-for-49) and a .531 slugging percentage with four homers off lefties.
However, Williamson delivered his pair of big hits in this game off right-handers.

The 26-year-old won't let himself be defined by what others believe he can or cannot do. Listening to wisdom from more experienced teammates has fortified him, especially as he endured four callups and demotions between San Francisco and Triple-A Sacramento.
Williamson spoke of an inspirational chat he had in St. Louis with catcher Buster Posey. And right-hander Jake Peavy has invited Williamson to share his in-season residence with him. That has meant gleaning shreds of knowledge from Peavy's 14 Major League seasons during their leisure time.
"They've been great mentors to me," Williamson said.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Peavy at Fenway

Well, this will be kind of strange. Jake Peavy won back to back World Series rings in 2013 and 2014. He's got a lousy postseason record and has only won one game -- the first game of the 2014 NLDS against the Nats. 

 Here's the top of the story --

BOSTON -- Of the four cities on Jake Peavy's Major League resume, he has experienced the most while playing the least in Boston.
Peavy's 2013-14 tenure with the Red Sox transcended his 5-10 record and 4.48 ERA in the 30 starts he made for the club. He joined the team in a Trade Deadline deal, 3 1/2 months after the shocking bombings occurred at the Boston Marathon. The Red Sox were an integral part of the "Boston Strong" movement that rallied the city following the tragedy, and the fiery Peavy immediately got caught up in the swirl of emotions, on and off the field.
"Look," Peavy said the other day as he recalled those times. He extended his left arm. Its hair was standing on end. "I'm getting chills speaking about it," he said.
As meaningful as that period became in Peavy's life, his immediate concern as he returns to Fenway Park lies elsewhere. Peavy's now a Giant, and San Francisco needs a victory after being swept in three games at San Diego over the weekend.
San Francisco's scheduled starter for Tuesday's series opener, Peavy will strive to subdue the Red Sox, who entered Monday's scheduled off-day leading the Majors in hitting (.289), runs (501), on-base percentage (.357) and slugging percentage (.471).
"Getting ready for those guys, you see the numbers, where they rank offensively throughout the league," Peavy said. "I know what kind of challenge lies ahead. That being said, I look forward to it. And, look, I love Fenway. I love the town of Boston. It was a very, very special time in my life."
Peavy was very, very sincere in saying this. While maintaining a front-row seat for a city's rejuvenation, he played for a ballclub that surged to the World Series title. The combination of the Boston Strong movement and the Red Sox's postseason push stirred Peavy.
"A lot of people made the comment, 'Oh man, you guys really put the city on your back,'" he said. "That's the complete opposite of what happened. We got on the city's back. The energy and commitment to taking care of each other. ... There was just truly something a little bit bigger than all of us involved in that Boston Strong 2013 run."
Asked to name his best friends among the Red Sox, Peavy listed about half of the roster. But the first players he mentioned were fellow starters Jon Lester and John Lackey, along with catcher David Ross. Peavy proceeded to mention Dustin Pedroia, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes, Clay Buchholz, Stephen Drew and Shane Victorino.
Most or all of them, Peavy said, habitually gathered at a suite at a downtown hotel after games to analyze that night's outcome -- just as previous eras of ballplayers did all the time.
"There was a chemistry, a camaraderie there," Peavy said.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Belt's adjustments

Amazing that Brandon Belt is an All Star. He flew out tonight in the 8th at the All-Star Game.

He told Fangraphs that it's not an accident --
Brandon Belt, first base, Giants: “I look at a lot of my failures that I’ve had and I don’t think I’d be here now without those failures and learning from those failures. I had to make adjustments, and the hands were a big one, and overall gaining experience and learning my approach was huge for me. I can cover the most parts of the plate right now, and I feel like I’m putting the ball in play a lot more, and the more I put the ball in play the more good stuff can happen. I’ve had to work over the past five years to get to this moment where I feel I can cover the plate.”

Monday, July 11, 2016

Bumgarner's 4th 1-hitter

What a way to go into the All-Star break with Bumgarner pitching on short rest and tossing a 1-hitter against the Snakes. It's the 4th of his seven-season career. We are fortunate to have him in the Orange and Black.

Here is the top of the mlb story

SAN FRANCISCO -- Just putting the ball in played seemed like a near-impossible task for the D-backs on Sunday, as San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner struck out 14 batters and pitched a one-hit complete game in a 4-0 Giants win at AT&T Park.
Bumgarner took his latest no-hitter attempt into the eighth inning. But D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb ended the pursuit with a one-out single. Bumgarner walked Rickie Weeks Jr. to open the ninth, but after Nick Ahmed popped out, Bumgarner, whose 14 K's tied his career best, induced a double play to give the Giants their Majors-best 57th victory heading into the All-Star break.
"When you get through seven and you go up there and got six more outs to go, you feel like you got a pretty good chance," said Bumgarner, who has now recorded four one-hitters in his career. "It hasn't worked out for me, I'll take the complete game shutout any time."

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Powerful pen

The Giants took it to the Dbacks with a 4-2 win today as the bullpen got the last 14 outs of the game after Jake Peavy got the first 13.

That included Sergio Romo's second day of closing out the 8th. Here's what said --


SAN FRANCISCO -- Though the Giants took divergent paths to success in their pair of victories during this series against Arizona, there was one constant stepping-stone: Sergio Romo's eighth-inning dominance.
Activated from the 60-day disabled list Monday after overcoming an elbow injury, Romo pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the second straight game Saturday, helping San Francisco seal a 4-2 triumph over the D-backs.
Grant Green provided San Francisco's biggest hit by bashing a two-run homer in the fourth inning to erase a 2-1 deficit. Arizona starter Robbie Ray (4-8) absorbed the decision by allowing three runs, including Green's go-ahead drive, in five innings.

"I thought my stuff was good," Ray said. "My curveball was really good today. I was putting guys away with my curveball and slider and elevating my fastball when I needed to. I felt good."
But San Francisco's bullpen ultimately made the difference as the Giants improved to a season-high 23 games over .500 (56-33) with their 39th win in 54 games. After starter Jake Peavy lasted 4 1/3 innings, Romo and five other relievers combined to yield one hit in 4 2/3 innings.
Romo, a ninth-year veteran, performed his familiar role by providing the bridge in the Giants' pitching sequence toward closer Santiago Casilla, who recorded his 21st save.
"I'm actually looking forward to tomorrow," Romo said. "I'm not worried at all how I'm going to feel. Especially with the All-Star break coming, I'm going to be itching to get an inning tomorrow, too."

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Cueto's 13th, Posey's 11th

We are fortunate as Giants fans to be able to root for two of the best in the game -- Johnny Cueto, who won his 13th tonight and Buster Posey, who his his 11th homer of the year and 113th of his career.

Buster already has racked up a 31.2 WAR -- which would be 4 or 5 points higher if not for the demented Scott Cousins, who hasn't played in the MLB since 2013. Go to hell, Scott.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Jake Peavy Still Has It

He was looking absolutely hopeless earlier in the year -- when it turned out that he'd been swindled out of millions -- but has turned it around. He got two outs in the 7th and gave up only one run today.

He's been 4-2 with a 2.27 ERA in his last 8 starts. Not bad for a No. 4 starter. Here's the MLB story --

SAN FRANCISCO -- Relying on power, a seldom-tapped offensive source for them, the San Francisco Giants received home runs Monday from Buster Posey and Angel Pagan and proceeded to defeat the Colorado Rockies, 3-1.
Facing Rockies starter Tyler Anderson (0-3), Posey led off the Giants' half of the second inning with his 10th home run of the season, matching Brandon Belt's team lead and forging a 1-1 tie. One inning later, Pagan followed Ruben Tejada's leadoff single with a one-out drive to left field to put the Giants ahead. Pagan has driven in 15 runs in his last 13 games.
"Both those, they just got pitches they were sitting on," Anderson said. "Those balls were up as well. They were poorly executed and Posey is obviously one of the best hitters in the game. He did what he was supposed to with that pitch. Pagan got it just right. I wasn't sure. It looked like he was a little off-balance. But he's a strong man. This is a men's game. He is a strong guy, but even though he was out in front, he was able to get the barrel to it."

The Rockies lost their sixth consecutive game -- and their 2,000th since beginning play in 1993 -- and fell to a season-worst eight games below .500 while mustering five hits in 6 2/3 innings off Giants starter Jake Peavy (5-7). By contrast, Peavy allowed Colorado 10 extra-base hits (11 overall) and six runs when he opposed the Rockies on April 13.
"It's one of those where if he makes a mistake, we hit it, but he didn't make many of them," said Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds (1-for-4). "But he was staying out of the middle of the plate for the most part with his cutter and his sinker. You've got to wait him out, but we never got the big hit."
Peavy is 4-2 with a 2.27 ERA in his last eight starts, compared with 1-5, 8.21 in his first nine outings.
"More than anything, he's just doing a better job of pitching -- backing off a little bit, changing speeds, hitting his spots," Bochy said.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

A Hunter Strickland homer

Tonight's game in Phoenix went from good to awful tonight in the 8th as Hunter Strickland came in to give up a 3-run homer to give the stupid Dbacks a 6-5 vic.

You know that Strickland has the record, I think, for most postseason homers in a single postseason -- six. So I had to took to see how common it is. The answer is not very.

 Since then, he's given up four -- two last year and now two this year. He's been pretty stellar otherwise.

Still, I hate losing to that stupid bunch in Arizona, who lucked into a World Series title 14 years ago.