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.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Worst game of the year

The Giants bullpen self-immolated tonight in Denver, only getting one out in the bottom of the 9th as Casilla, Osich and Joe Nathan gave up 3 runs.

There are still 23 games left so perhaps we can say they got an awful one out of their system tonight. I hate the Rox and their stupid park.

Henry Schulman's stpry for the Chron tells you all you need to know --

DENVER - Some stats and notes jump off the page and seem incomprehensible, like the Giants having played 26 road games in the second half without consecutive wins.
The Giants were three outs away from checking that off their list Wednesday night when they ran into a painful and familiar problem: Santiago Casilla's inability to shut the door consistently.
The Rockies came back from two runs down in the ninth to beat the Giants 6-5 on Cristhian Adames' two-run double off Joe Nathan with one out in the ninth inning.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Kelby returns

That guy with the glasses was clutch tonight. He drove in the winning run and started a game ending DP. Here's the SFChron's story - 

DENVER - This is the glory of baseball.
The Giants were ready to sell their souls for a clutch hit and finally got one in the ninth inning Tuesday night from a September callup who is here for his baserunning and bunting and atoned for getting picked off first base and failing to execute a suicide squeeze.
It was Kelby Tomlinson's night at Coors Field, good and bad, with the good prevailing in a 3-2 victory that prevented the Giants from falling out of the top Wild Card spot.
"He saved himself rom a fine there with that base hit," manager Bruce Bochy said through a smile that had been missing in action.
The game was tied 2-2 and the Giants had runners on the corners thanks to a two-base Daniel Descalso throwing error and a Hunter Pence infield hit.
After Boone Logan struck out Brandon Crawford, Bochy gave Tomlinson the suicide-squeeze sign even with slow-footed Buster Posey at third base. Tomlinson fouled his bunt to the right side. First baseman Gerardo Parra nearly caught it with a dive.
Logan threw another strike before he mislocated an 0-2 fastball that Tomlinson lined into left to bring Posey home with the winning run.

Bochy then turned to Santiago Casilla to close, seven blown saves be damned. Casilla retired Giants-killer Nolan Arenado on a flyball, walked David Dahl then got Parra to hit sharply into a double play to end the game. Fittingly, Tomlinson started it.
A team that seemed to forget how to do the little things succeeded in enough of them to beat the Rockies.
"That's what it's all ab0ut, especially in September. You've got to find a way to win," Jeff Samardzija said after he set the table with seven superb innings. He allowed two runs and lowered his ERA in three career starts at Coors to 2.01.
Apparently, guys who can use a 97-mph fastball with three good secondary pitches to strike out nine need not fear the elevation.
The Giants won for the fifth time in 55 games this season when trailing after seven innings. They tied it in the eighth on an Eduardo Nuñez infield out after Gorkys Hernandez and Trevor Brown started the inning with singles against starter Tyler Anderson.
Nuñez homered for the first Giants run, ending a team scoreless streak at 19 innings.
Management did two things in a bid end a five-game stretch with four or fewer hits, which tied a modern big-league record. Bochy sat badly struggling regulars Brandon Belt, Denard Span and Joe Panik, and played Tomlinson, Brown and Hernandez, with Posey at first base.
Batting coach Hensley Meulens also conducted a 15-minute hitters meeting before batting practice. Brandon Crawford, said no new ground was broken. Meulens just reminded everyone what they have been told.
"Anytime you can bring yourselves together and refocus and make sure we know what everyone is striving for at the end, it gives you energy," Tomlinson said.
The Giants then outhit Colorado eight to four.
Bochy also said a lot by turning to Casilla two days after his devastating blown save in the getaway game at Wrigley Field, his seventh. Bochy said he had not considered replacing Casilla.
"I know he's had some hiccups," Bochy said. "They all have. It's the nature of being in the bullpen. You've got to stay behind him. He's got great stuff. I just didn't feel there was a need for a change right now."
Casilla appreciated the gesture.
"When I see the manager have confidence in me, it makes me keep my head up," he said through translator Erwin Higueros. "The manager is the one in charge. He makes the last decision. He knows me. We've been together six years. He's like a father to me. Whatever decision he makes, I'm going to go for it."