Friday, August 19, 2016

Back in first

I hate the All-Star Game

Everything was going fine until that damn four-day break, then everything fell apart. Things were improving until last Sunday when Santiago Casilla gave up a 3-run homer with two out in the 9th to give the Orioles an 8-7 vic, which led to a sweep by the Pirates. In short, that was a rough month with the stupid dodgers moving into first as of Wednesday

The dodgers have since lost two and the Giants won two from the Mets. Here's the MLB recap.


SAN FRANCISCO -- For one of the few occasions since the All-Star break, the San Francisco Giants looked like themselves again.
They played the brand of baseball Friday that suits their ballpark and their roster -- highlighted by pitching and defense -- in an 8-1 triumph over the New York Mets. Saddled with an 11-21 record since the break, San Francisco reclaimed first place in the National League West, a half-game ahead of Los Angeles.
Johnny Cueto (14-3), winless in six previous second-half starts, surrendered New York's lone run -- Curtis Granderson's homer -- and eight hits in seven innings. With the score tied, 1-1, the Giants launched a two-out rally in the seventh that featured RBI singles from pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza and Denard Span off reliever Jerry Blevins.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Flashing the leather: The Giants supported Cueto in the seventh inning with one of their finer defensive sequences of the season. Right fielder Hunter Pence deftly handled Granderson's leadoff fly, then raced into the right-center-field gap and left his feet to snare Asdrubal Cabrera's bid for extra bases. Eduardo Nunez, who is steadily adjusting to third base, ended the inning with a diving, backhanded stop of Rene Rivera's smash.
Baserunning blunder: The Mets appeared to be in prime position to break a 1-1 tie in the top of the fifth, after Kelly Johnson hit a two-out single to right field with runners on first and second. Seth Lugo held at third base, but Jose Reyes apparently didn't catch the sign and rounded second. Reyes got caught in a rundown before Lugo took off for home. Eventually, Lugo was tagged out by Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, wasting a scoring opportunity for New York.



Saturday, August 13, 2016

Rough night for Matt Cain

Just when we thought that Cain had gotten it together, he had a lousy outing Friday night, per MC O'Connor at Raising (Matt) Cain --- 

The Baltimore Orioles like to hit home runs and they hit two big ones off Matt Cain to send him packing and that was the night, mostly. Cain faced 23 batters and gave up 11 hits. It was line drive this way and hard smash that way. Seven of the 12 outs Matty recorded were via strikeout--everyone was hacking. It was ugly. The 'pen (Kontos-Peavy) did fine, that bodes well, but the hitters couldn't get it done, that doesn't. It was the all-too-familiar anemia offensivia, and I'm hoping they find a cure soon. With the starter getting hammered they had a tough task, but five hits (three singles and two doubles) isn't cutting it. I don't know what to think about Cain. Just when it looked like he was making progress this happens. The O's are a good team, but still, this was bad. Meanwhile Madison Bumgarner, coming off a superb start in Washington, pitches tonight.
GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Crawford's 7-hit night

It was the first seven-hit game in 41 years since Rennie Stennet did it in 1975

Here is the top of mlb.com's story --

 

MIAMI -- Brandon Crawford tied an all-time single-game National League record with a franchise-record seven hits, including the go-ahead single off Andrew Cashner in the 14th inning, to power the Giants to an 8-7 win over the Marlins on Monday night at Marlins Park.
With the win, the Giants remain a game ahead of the Dodgers for first place in the National League West. The Marlins fell to 7 1/2 games back of the NL East-leading Nationals and are tied with the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card.
"It's crazy to me," Crawford said. "The history of the Giants with all the great players that have come through here, you would think that someone would push across seven hits in one day."

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Matt Cain is back

M.C. O'Connor at Raising (Matt) Cain notes that the Giants have won only 6 games since the All-Star break and lost 13. Three of those six wins have been in games Cain has started.


7-1 win in DC
Since the All-Star Break the Giants have won only six games--three of those wins have come the last three times Matt Cain has been the starting pitcher. Just another nutty circumstance in this increasingly nutty season. Today Matty had to match up with Stephen Strasburg. The first-pick phenom was not his usual dominant self: he could not get out of the 5th inning, surrendering eight hits and four runs to the Giants. Cain didn't overwhelm the Nationals, yielding five hits, three walks, and hitting two batters in his five-plus frames, but they couldn't score a run against him. And runs, of course, are what matter in this game. You can have all the baserunners you want but if you can't push them across no one gives a damn. The Giants found some life in their bats with Eduardo Nunez, Brandon Belt, and Buster Posey delivering the bulk of the big hits. Six relievers got the final 12 outs--well, five relievers got the final 12 outs as Jake Peavy, on to get the final out of the 8th, gave up three straight hits before being yanked. That was really the only blemish on the day. Unless you count the face blemish Hunter Pence applied to himself by fouling a ball off the plate into his cheek. He toughed it out and stayed in, managing a hit and run scored as well as a great catch in right to end the game.

This drought of winning baseball makes every win seem like manna from heaven. The team is still wandering in the desert, but a 4-3 record in the last seven games is something to celebrate, don't you think? String a bunch of those 4-and-3s together and you have a winning month. Or two.

Rubber match tomorrow (10:35 am PDT), Madison Bumgarner gets the call.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Three of five

The Giants have gone 5-13 since the All-Star break. Or they have gone 3-2 since Saturday. Let's hammer the Nats!!!

So the Giants gave up Duffy for Matt Moore.

Here's part of the mlb.com story -- 

PHILADELPHIA -- After contributing significantly to the Giants' 3-2 victory Thursday over the Philadelphia Phillies, Matt Moore was asked about his initial impressions of his new teammates.
"I get the vibe that something good's always right about to happen," Moore said. "[Based on] some of the conversations the last few days with some of the everyday guys, they know it's going to happen. I don't see that panic or some kind of urgency."
Of course the Giants weren't alarmed. They were merely waiting for Moore to pitch.
Acquired from the Rays shortly before last Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline to deepen San Francisco's starting rotation, Moore demonstrated his considerable skill in his first start with the Giants. He allowed two runs on three hits and walked six in six innings, employing a fastball that reached 96 mph and breaking pitches that surprised even some of his new teammates.
"I didn't realize his curveball was that good," Giants center fielder Denard Span said.
Moore wasn't breathtakingly dominant. He walked two of the first four batters he faced and yielded Aaron Altherr's RBI double in the first inning. The 27-year-old found a solution, though: be himself on the mound.
"I calmed myself down and got back to some simple things," he said.

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 mlb.com 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 mlb.com 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.