Monday, April 30, 2018

The Giants comeback of the year

 The Good Guys are now a game over .500 at 15-14. The Dodgers keep gagging.

They were Down 5-3 in the 9th with two out and one on. Buster Posey walks on a 10-pitch at bat. Evan Longoria bloops a hit into left. Brandon Belt walks. Nick Hundley lines a pinch-hit single into the gap.

Here's Chris Haft's story on --

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nick Hundley drilled a pinch-hit single up the middle with two outs in Monday night's ninth inning to cap a three-run surge that led the Giants past the Padres, 6-5.
Initially, the Giants provided no hints of sustaining a rally in the ninth, which opened with San Diego leading, 5-3, though pinch-hitter Austin Slater was hit by a pitch from Padres closer Brad Hand to lead off the inning. Hand proceeded to strike out Gorkys Hernandez and Andrew McCutcheThen Buster Posey walked to prolong the inning, which became even more interesting when Evan Longoria blooped a single to left field. Hand walked Brandon Belt on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases.
Up came Hundley, who drove his game-winner up the middle as Posey and Longoria raced home.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Dodgers GAG

The Giants bullpen was stellar, not allowing a run in five plus innings. Not so the Dodgers pen, per the SF Chron ---

Pedro Baez fell off the mound. There was no gust of wind that made him tumble. Nobody pushed him. He didn’t faint. He simply got his spike caught as he delivered a seventh-inning pitch.
And that’s essentially how the Giants beat the Dodgers 6-4 in the opener of a four-game series.
Because a runner was on third base during Baez’s mishap, a balk was called. Gorkys Hernandez scored, breaking a 4-4 tie. Moments later, Joe Panik’s sacrifice fly scored Kelby Tomlinson, and another chapter of Giants-Dodgers lore, this one goofier than most, was in the books.
The Giants trailed 4-2 before their unusual game-deciding rally that began with Brandon Belt’s bunt single, included run-scoring hits from, of all people, Hernandez and Tomlinson and featured the mother of all balks.
The Baez moment reminded old-timers of the tale of Stu Miller, the Giants reliever who supposedly was blown off the mound in the 1961 All-Star Game at Candlestick Park. That didn’t happen exactly like that, but it remains a heck of a story.
Baez didn’t need a nudge from Mother Nature. His fall was all on him, and it proved costly. Tony Watson pitched into and out of an eighth-inning jam, stranding two runners when retiring Austin Barnes in a 12-pitch at-bat. Hunter Strickland pitched the ninth and earned his sixth save.

The Giants opened the scoring with solo home runs in the second inning by Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford. Longoria’s traveled 425 feet and barely reached the MacBleachers, the section in right-center that Mac Williamson reached with ease the other day. Crawford’s landed in the right-field arcade.
The Giants have 27 homers this season, tied for fourth most in the National League. Quite a change from last year when they homered just 128 times, by far the fewest in the majors.
On the flip side, the Giants have had major issues manufacturing runs and hitting with runners in scoring position, Hernandez’s RBI single and Tomlinson’s RBI double notwithstanding.

Handed a 2-0 lead, Derek Holland gave it back and then some. The Dodgers rallied for four runs in the fourth inning on RBI doubles by Yasmani Grandal and Yasiel Puig, and when pitcher Hyu-Jin Ryu also doubled to drive in a pair, Bruce Bochy had seen enough and pulled Holland.
As Holland struggles -- one quality start among five and a 5.76 ERA - another lefty is dominating in the minors and could pitch his way into a long-term rotation spot. That would be Andrew Suarez, who’s expected to be called up Tuesday to start against the Padres.
The Giants need a sixth starter because of the double-header, but Suarez could force the issue if he pitches anywhere close to how he’s pitching in the minors: 1.93 ERA and 1.157 WHIP with 23 strikeouts and nine walks, though four of those walks came in a chilly and wet season opener in Tacoma following a 1½-hour rain delay.
After facing three batters over the minimum in seven innings Thursday at Raley Field, where he struck out nine and walked one and 63 of his 85 pitches were strikes, Suarez said, “I haven’t had my command this good in a while.”

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Brandon Belt's day

He hit his 5th homer and he had a 21-pitch at bat, a new MLB record

The Giants won the game 4-2 and took the series from the Angels.

He also homered for the fourth game in a row  

Here is the MLB coverage -- 

The Giants' Brandon Belt has owned the stage Sunday, not only for his historic 21-pitch at-bat, but also hitting a home run in his fourth consecutive game played.
Belt hit 16 foul balls in the first-inning plate appearance against Angels starter Jaime Barria that ended with a fly ball to right field.
He had an eight-pitch at-bat in the third inning when he singled to right field and then crushed a deep home run to right in a nine-pitch at-bat in the fifth.
Belt hit a home run at Arizona on Wednesday and another on Thursday against the Diamondbacks. He did not play in Friday's game at Anaheim, which was his 30th birthday. Belt then hit a home run Saturday against the Angels and added another Sunday, his fifth of the season.
The last Giants player to hit a home run in four consecutive games played was Hunter Pence in 2013.
Belt's marathon first-inning at-bat bested the previous record of a 20-pitch duel between the Astros' Ricky Gutierrez and the Indians' Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

About damn time

The Giants were 7-11 with lowest runs scored in the majors with 1.82 runs per game.

So they won 8-1 tonight in Anaheim.

They brought Mac Williamson back ....

 Williamson's no-doubt-about-it laser into the seats in right-center field had an exit velocity of 114.2 mph, with the home run traveling 434 feet. After hitting six home runs in 11 games at Triple-A Sacramento, Williamson added his first with the Giants in his second at-bat in the Majors this year.

And the pitching was decent per McCovey Chronicles -- 

Jeff Samardzija had the best debut that could have been expected from him. His stuff was working for him for the first few innings. He ended up pitching five innings, allowing two hits, striking out four four. Well, it was his first game back and the Giants were quite busy in the top of the fifth inning. And in the bottom of the fifth, he walked the bases loaded. That’s not great, but not an indicator of anything other than the fact that he’s not quite at full strength yet.
During his sole rehab game, he gave up a grand slam in his first inning before settling down. And with the bases loaded in the fifth inning of this game, it was starting to look like he was going to do the same, but in reverse. Justin Upton hit a fly ball out to left field that seemed like it might go out, but Williamson squared up on the warning track and saved him from a replay of that appearance.
Not that it would have mattered, because the bullpen closed it out fairly smoothly. Reyes Moronta continued to impress, pitching two completely clean innings. The Angels only managed to score one run, a Mike Trout home run off of Pierce Johnson. Josh Osich got into a bit of trouble, giving up a lead-off single to Shohei Otani (who went 2-for-4 as the designated hitter) but got out of it with a fly-out and a double play to end the game.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Dodgers Really SUCK

They are 4-9 after getting hammered at home by the Dbacks, 9-1. 

The Giants have not been much better, getting edged by the Pathetic Padres, 5-4, so they are now 6-8. At least they got the season off to a great start by beating the dodgers 1-0 back to back on Joe Panik homers.

The LA Times unloaded on the team tonight -- 

Anemic at the plate, imprecise on the mound and indifferent on the field, the Dodgers (4-9) have produced a trifecta of unsightly baseball this year. The calendar still features 24 more weeks of games, enough time for the team to rediscover the ballast that sustained them last season. Yet the calendar also serves as a taunt: Can you imagine watching five more months like this?

"It's definitely not panic, it's frustration," manager Dave Roberts said. "The way to sum it up is we've got to play better baseball. We've got to pitch better. We've got to hit better. And the defense has been spotty at times. To sum it up, we have to play better baseball."
In losing for the third game in a row, the Dodgers could not bother an opponent with a wounded pitching staff. Rich Hill could not pacify his guests. Hill gave up seven runs in five innings — and it would have been worse if Arizona not been docked a run for a bizarre gaffe on the bases. Trying to fit in, Wilmer Font surrendered a pair of home runs in the eighth and ninth inning.
At the plate, the Dodgers remain hapless. the offense mounted little challenge, even after Arizona starter Taijuan Walker left the game after two innings with tightness in his right forearm.
Arizona (11-3) has now defeated the Dodgers in 11 consecutive regular-season games, a statistic that does not account for the Dodgers' three-game sweep in the National League division series. It is the longest string of futility against one opponent in franchise history.
"You can definitely relate to the way they're playing right now," Hill said. "It's the way we were playing last year."
An answer to the 2018 team's woes appears unclear. The problems are widespread, a virus Clayton Kershaw cannot solve on his own when he starts the series finale against Arizona on Sunday. Alex Wood wobbled Wednesday, Kenta Maeda unraveled Friday and Hill imploded Saturday. The team's best hitter, Turner, has yet to take batting practice as he recovers from a fractured wrist. The best hitter in triple-A Oklahoma City, Andrew Toles, injured his hamstring Friday.
"It's early," Roberts said. "But whether it's early, it's in the middle, or it's late, you still want to play good baseball. And right now we're not doing that."
Another ailment Saturday added to the team's issues. Logan Forsythe exited the game after experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder and underwent an MRI. Forsythe has hit .174 this season, but with Turner on the shelf, he was also the team's most reliable defender at third base.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Cutch keeps the Giants from falling apart

What a game yesterday. Thanks to Andrew McCutcheon, the Giants are now 4-3 for the season and the Dodgers are 2-6.

Here's part of Brian Murphy's recap at McCovey Chronicles --


If the Giants had lost tonight, it would’ve ruined your entire weekend, and I can prove it. First, this game should’ve ended in the afternoon. But an historic rainfall in San Francisco yesterday pushed it back to this bizarre 3pm start, smack dab in the middle of your Saturday. So, it’s bad enough your Friday (if you live in the Bay Area) was basically underwater, but now the baseball game you had looked forward to was rescheduled to have some “evening creep”. And anything weird like extra innings would push it fully into your Saturday night. And if the Giants had lost, it not only would’ve ruined your night, it would’ve ruined your weekend, because the only way to salvage a split would be to beat Clayton Kershaw on Sunday. Even if the Giants were to beat Kershaw, it couldn’t have erased the lost Saturday and the tense Sunday of wondering if the Giants could beat Kershaw until they finally did. Therefore, it was an extraordinarily good thing that the Giants beat the Dodgers tonight.
Andrew McCutchen was the hero. Buster Posey homered. The Dodgers were feeling good about themselves and the Giants ripped that away from them at the last possible second. The top of the 14th inning unraveled in an oh-so-familiar way, even if you could forgive Roberto Gomez for giving up the lead. He shouldn’t have had to come into the game, and Kelby Tomlinson is not Brandon Crawford’s defensive equal at shortstop. Yasiel Puig was due and once the Giants took a 3-1 back when the sun was still out, the momentum of the game switched. Yet somehow, after Chase Utley muscled a ball over the right field wall to tie the game at 4-4, the Giants didn’t do what they’d done since July of 2016 and embarrassingly fall to pieces.
In fact, it was Kelby Tomlinson who started that 14th inning rally despite missing a hard hit ball up the middle off the bat of Yasiel Puig. I think Brandon Crawford would’ve gotten to it, but I am also dumb. The bullpen gave up 2 runs in 9 innings of work. There wasn’t a 9 inning stretch last season where that happened (do not fact check this). Andrew McCutchen had the first 6-hit game of his career... as the pressure mounted, the Giants didn’t wilt. It’s not a matter of this team “remembering how to win” but instead “relearning how to be a Major League Baseball team”. After these first seven games, you can’t say this is the same team as last year and you can’t say the Giants aren’t competitive. Every tool of that success was used tonight and the result was that they walked off the Dodgers to send their rival to their worst start in 45 years.