Monday, August 3, 2020

Coors strikes again

Johnny Cueto came out to pitch the 6th inning with the Giants leading 4-1. He probably should not have. I get that Kap needs to stretch out his guys, the team can't rely on the bullpen every night. But Cueto got burned, predictably, on his third time facing the Rockies batting order. A Charlie Blackmon single and a Nolan Arenado homer made it 4-3 and that was it. He'd thrown 85 pitches to 22 batters, yielding five hits and three runs. Wandy Peralta came in and got a ground ball out, but the next batter hit a ball off the glove of Alex Dickerson and it went for a triple. A couple of hits followed and Dick made a throwing error that allowed two more to score. It was an ugly half inning! The Rockies added another in the 7th to make it 7-4, that final run making a difference, unfortunately. The Giants fought back in the 9th and scored two, and poor Dick got to make the last out. He had two hits in the game including a homer, but his fielding misplays were costly. It's been the story of the season so far--poor fielding. They need to tighten that up just like they need to get more innings out of their starters.

Tomorrow Colorado sends out German Marquez at 5:40 p.m. PDT.

Go Giants!

--M.C.


p.s. Caleb Baragar continues to impress. The lefty had another good outing tonight, retiring Blackmon, Arenado, and Daniel Murphy.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Not today

TEX 9  SF 5
Jeff Samardzija became the first Giants starter to log five innings. Unfortunately he gave up two extra-base hits with men on base (a two-run double and a two-run homer), much like his last start (a two-run homer and a three-run homer), and the result was the same in both cases--the team lost. The Giants clawed their way back to a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the 6th, but the bullpen let them down in the 7th. Andrew Triggs, activated today when Drew Smyly went on the IL, walked three to open the frame. Tyler Anderson gave up a sacrifice fly and a three-run homer (Joey Gallo) and suddenly it was 9-5 Rangers. I have to like that the Giants battled back. And that Chadwick Tromp hit his first ML homer! The pitching stunk today and that ruined the chance for a sweep.

They go to Colorado for four starting tomorrow, and follow that with three in Los Angeles (Dodgers) and three in Houston. That's a tough ten-game stretch. They have an off-day on the 13th.

Go Giants!

--M.C.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Two in a row!

SF 7  TEX 3
Drew Smyly looked like he might be the first Giants starter to get through five innings but a finger injury ended his night after four. It was a strong four, three hits and two walks, along with seven strikeouts. The Giants blew a rundown at third base with two out in the 1st and the next batter drove in two runs, otherwise Smyly would have had a clean slate. Catcher Tyler Heineman has only appeared in ten major league games, it's not surprising that he would make a mistake on a play like that. His brother Scott is an outfielder for Texas--Tyler got to tag out Scott later in the game! He also got his first extra-base hit, a double in the 8th.

The Giants managed seven hits but they also collected ELEVEN walks (four by Yaz). Donovan Solano and Evan Longoria had the big RBI blows. Solano, aka Donnie Barrels, leads MLB in RBI with 13!

Once again the bullpen had to put up a string of zeros and they delivered the goods. Shaun Anderson (2/3), Caleb Baragar (1/3), Rico Garcia (1), Tyler Rogers (1), and Trevor Gott (1) kept a lid on the Rangers. Sam Selman gave up a solo shot in the 9th but whiffed three. I don't know how long you can play this all-hands-on-deck style, it seems like it will come tumbling down soon if the starters and "bulk innings" guys can't get it done. But nothing is normal so I don't expect normal baseball. The Giants are doing what they have to do with the players they've got. Tonight, it worked.

Tomorrow they have a chance to sweep.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Texas Tromp Stomp

SF 9  TEX 2
Chadwick Tromp made his debut on Wednesday and struck out three times. Tonight he got two hits (including an RBI double) and two runs scored and also caught SIX different pitchers! It was a supreme bullpen effort, 5-1/3 innings with only two hits and no walks or runs and seven whiffs. And we can't forget the real game-changing blow in the 5th, a 3-run homer by Wilmer Flores that erased a 2-1 Rangers lead. It was all Giants after that. Darin Ruf was a beast, Mauricio Dubon seems to be finding his stroke, and Evan Longoria is obviously healthy. I note Brandon Belt sat against the lefty starter (Mike Minor). Dubon made a nifty play at short and then later made a couple of bad throws. It seems like the whole team is still figuring out how to play together. It's a challenge with all the shifts and the changes, although tonight Kap stuck with one crew, mostly. Steven Duggar subbed for Pence at the end, Hunter is still hitless for 2020.

The 'pen, after Logan Webb's 3-2/3, was Conner Menez (1-1/3), Shaun Anderson (1), Wandy Peralta (1), Tony Watson (1), and Sam Selman (1). Watson seemed to be back on track. Selman is up for the injured Sam Coonrod.

What a great win! Nine runs! Let's see some more of that.

Tomorrow's game is the same early start, 6:10 p.m. PDT. The Rangers have righty Jordan Lyles.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.

Extra in extras

SD 12  SF 7
The Giants got a look at the new extra-inning rules last night but things didn't work out too well. Somehow Tyler Rogers gave up six runs in the top of the 10th. I'm still not sure how that happened, it seemed too quick yet there were no homers in the frame. That spoiled a great fightback by the home squad who were down 6-1 in the 7th but tied it in the 8th. The lads should have taken the lead then but they stranded Yaz at third (he'd tripled in the tying run) with no outs. Wilmer Flores led off the 9th with a hit but it was to no avail and the Padres broke it open in the 10th. The Giants had 11 hits and 7 walks and probably should have scored more runs in regulation. They had four homers on Wednesday and none last night.

Kapler made a boo-boo in the 10th as well, pulling Rogers after a mound visit by pitching coach Andrew Bailey and bringing in Rico Garcia. Under the rules, a pitcher has to face one more batter after the visit. Rogers had come off the field and had to go back out. Garcia finished the frame. Kap pulled a boner in Philly with a pitching switch in his first stint as a manager, so he's going to wear that tag for a while. Fortunately it didn't make a difference as the Padres had already piled on Rogers.

I was impressed by the team's ability to come from behind. It was not a good game for the pitching staff. Tonight's game is at 6:10 PDT. The Rangers come to town and are throwing lefty Mike Minor. The Giants are TBD.

Go Giants!

--M.C.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Giants Blast Past Padres

SF 7  SD 6
I was so wrong about this team! They CAN come back! They CAN hit the big home run! Wow, I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around tonight's game. Let's see if we can hit the highlights: Johnny Cueto got hammered. Not much of a highlight--he threw 87 pitches to get 11 outs. Trailing 6-2 after four innings, the Giants used Tyler-power (Anderson and Rogers) to put up zeros from the 5th through the 9th. Meanwhile Alex Dickerson hit a solo homer in the 6th and Donovan Solano hit a three-run game-tying bomb in the 8th to set up Mike Yastrzemski to be the hero. Yaz had homered in the 3rd inning and he wasted no time in launching the game-winner leading off the bottom of the 9th. I did not think this team was capable of such a power surge and I did not think this team could fight back from an early deficit. It is especially gratifying to win a game in which the putative ace of the staff got knocked around. (Let's hope JohnnyC finds his mojo!) Not to mention the Padres threw their ace and he only lasted five innings.

What a great win! It was nice to see Brandon Crawford break out with three hits. He kept the rally going in the 8th before Solano's homer. That blast is the clutch-iest clutch hit of the young season. What a great win. Did I say that already?

The Giants have not announced a starter for tomorrow. The Padres are going with RH Dinelson Lamet who won his last start with five strong innings against the D-Backs on Saturday.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.


update: AmyG says Kevin Gausman is starting tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Padres Spoil Giants Homecoming

SD 5  SF 3
The Giants don't have the firepower to come back from a 5-1 deficit. They tried, but the best they could do with the bases loaded was to score a run on an out and a run on a single. The Padres only mustered five hits but one was a three-run homer and one was a two-run homer. Of the Giants seven hits, five were singles and two were doubles, although one of the doubles was really just a no-man's-land pop fly. Like I said this version of the Giants lacks the power hitting to put together a credible comeback.

Jeff Samardzija was something of a mystery: why didn't they use him in Los Angeles? The answer was obvious tonight: he's not, in baseball hipster parlance, "missing bats." His final line was 17 batters, 75 pitches, 4 IP, 5 H, 5 R 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HR. Conner Menez went nine up and nine down in an impressive three inning stint. Sam Coonrod had some drama but put up a zero in the 8th, and Dany Jimenez delivered a scoreless 9th. There's some pitching on this team, but it remains to be seen if it is in the starting rotation!

The Giants called up RH C Chadwick Tromp and DFAd LH C Rob Brantly. Switch-hitting Tyler Heineman has been impressive so far, especially hitting lefty, so that made the more experienced Brantly a bit redundant. Not to mention the Giants added veteran LH C Chris Herrmann to the taxi squad. Tromp should be a nice platoon partner with Heineman and potentially has pop.

Johnny Cueto tomorrow night at 6:45 PDT.

GO GIANTS!

--M.C.