Sunday, June 13, 2021

Bupkes

WSH 5  SF 0

The Giants were blanked by Joe Ross today, the second time they were shut out this weekend. In fact they only scored three runs in the series, so it's amazing they won two of the four games. Kyle Schwarber hit two homers off Johnny Cueto to go along with the game-winner he hit off Kevin Gausman yesterday. His second homer, a three-run shot in the 2nd inning, came on a neck-high fastball. It's hard to imagine anyone hitting a homer on a pitch like that! Giants bats have gone stone cold. Let's hope home-cooking heats them up!

Alex Wood takes the ball tomorrow night in San Francisco at 6:45 Pacific, opening a four-game set with the Diamondbacks.

Go Giants!

--M.C.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Giants eke out a split

WSH 2  SF 0

SF 2  WSH 1 (8)  

The Giants did not score today until the very last inning, and that was an extra inning, the 8th frame in a 7-inning contest. They've had trouble scoring in D.C., plating only three runs total in the three games, but three runs was enough to take two of the games! Craziness! 

Kevin Gausman gave up two runs in the first game and that was enough for the Nationals as the Giants lineup could not get anything going. That offensive feebleness continued for seven frames in the nightcap. Fortunately the bullpen matched up and put up zeroes of their own. In the 8th, LaMonte Wade, Jr. roped a single to score the magic runner, and the Giants followed that by loading the bases with no outs. Wilmer Flores poked a single to score one run, and we all had thoughts of a big inning. Alas, the Giants hit three weak ground balls and failed to score any more runs. Caleb Baragar then gave up an RBI double to open the bottom half and followed that by hitting the next batter, Victor Robles. A deep fly to center saw the two runners tag up and try to advance. Robles, inexplicably, over-slid at second base and was tagged out. It was a weird play but good for the Giants as Baragar got the final out and the Giants got their 40th win.

You can win pretty and you can win ugly. Friday was pretty and today was ugly but they both go in the win column. Tomorrow it's Johnny Cueto (10:05 a.m. Pacific) with a chance to take the series.

Go Giants!

--M.C.

Friday, June 11, 2021

39th win is a doozy

SF 1  WSH 0 

Anthony "Disco" DeSclafani was groovin' in D.C. tonight, dominating a tough Nationals lineup for a complete game shutout, his second of the season. But believe it or not, that's not the whole story! After all, Washington's ultra-ace Max Scherzer was the starter and it figured to be a pitching duel from the get-go. Max, unfortunately, got gone after only ten pitches, tweaking something on a delivery that led to him leaving the game. If the Giants thought they'd get a break they were soon proved wrong by some inspired bullpen work from the Nats relief corps. Buster Posey broke through with a solo shot in the 4th, but that was it. The lineup mustered up a mere four hits and struck out ten times.

DeSclafani cruised into the 7th clinging to the 1-0 lead and up came super-stud Juan Soto with one out. It was the third time through the order and Soto whacked a 3-2 pitch to left-center that for all the world looked like a homer. In the way was--who else?--Mike Tauchman, who made a perfectly-timed over-the-fence leaping grab to pull the ball back and make the out. It was a sensational moment, one of those belief-defying baseball occurrences that keep us tuning in every night. Tauchman also made another superb catch on a foul pop to get the first out of the 9th. He's hitting under .200 but finding ways to help the team win.

And win they did. The Man They Call Disco said "we don't need no steenk-een bullpen" and he nailed down the outs in the 8th and 9th to complete the shutout. That's a hell of a story all by itself. But magic moments from Posey and Tauchman added to the excitement and made it an even better story. Imagine if Scherzer had pitched: the Giants would have raked him for heap o'runs, I've no doubt!

Doubleheader tomorrow, the first game is at 11:05 Pacific. Kevin Gausman gets the start, and the bullpen gets the nightcap.

Go Giants!

--M.C.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Legends

SF 9  TEX 4

Mike Tauchman's biggest moment in orange-and-black, the game-saving catch in LA against the Dodgers, upstaged a Giants legend. Last night in Texas his grand slam, the second-biggest moment in his orange-and-black career, was upstaged by another Giants legend. The first time, Buster Posey's three-run homer got lost in the shuffle of a highlight-reel victory. The second time, Brandon Crawford's historic day took center stage in a blowout win.

It was 4-2 Rangers in the 8th and a frustrated Giants lineup kept missing out on their many scoring chances. Tauchman, batting ninth in an AL park, came up with the bases loaded and two outs and calmly stroked a liner into the right-field seats for a game-changing blow. It was a big hit for the team and also for the struggling lefty who has had a hard time getting results with the bat.

That's not the case with Brandon Crawford who is hitting as well as he ever has. He hit a solo homer in the 6th to give the Giants a short-lived 2-1 lead. He hit a three-run shot in the 9th to make it a laugher. That's the fifth time he's hit two homers in a game. But the real accomplishment was becoming the Giants all-time leader in games played at shortstop. His 1326th game is the most in the 138-year history of the franchise. That's one hell of an accomplishment and we got to watch all of it. In addition to the two homers he--of course--made a couple of brilliant Crawfordian plays to help shut down the Rangers.

Early game today (11:05). Zack Littell will get the opening nod with Sammy Long making his debut in long (we hope!) relief.

Go Giants!

--M.C.

 

p.s. Update: Giants lose getaway game 4-3 in 11 innings. Late-game relief let the team down. Tyler Rogers blew saves in back-to-back chances and Jake McGee gave up the winning run in his inning. A mostly punchless offense must shoulder some of the blame, too. Fine debut from Sammy Long, at least. They are in Washington, D.C. tomorrow, game time 4:05 Pacific.

p.p.s. Update: Thursday's game postponed. Friday will play as scheduled. Saturday is now a doubleheader. Anthony DeSclafani tomorrow against Max Scherzer. Kevin Gausman will pitch one of the DH games.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Cubs avoid sweep

CHI 4  SF 3

The Giants jumped on Kyle Hendricks for three runs in the first two frames but could not chase him from the game. He lasted into the 7th and the bullpen took over from there, denying the lineup any more scoring. Johnny Cueto was not sharp and he allowed all four runs in his 4-1/3 innings. One scored on an error, but the real damage was done by Patrick Wisdom who hit two homers. He homered yesterday off Kevin Gausman and has seven in his 13 games with the Cubs. I was greedy this morning and eager for a sweep, but I have to like them taking three of four from the NL Central leaders.

Tomorrow is a travel day. The team opens a two-game series in Texas on Tuesday at 5:05 Pacific. The Rangers are 23-38 and in last place in the AL West. Alex Wood is the scheduled starter.

Go Giants!

--M.C.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Gausman gets it done

SF 4  CHI 3

A near-nightmare 9th didn't spoil the afternoon for the Giants and they chalked up their 37th win. Kevin Gausman was great again, this time striking out ten in his seven innings of two-hit work. One of the hits was a two-run homer in the 2nd, but that was the only blemish on an otherwise outstanding start. The Giants quickly recovered from the early 2-0 hole, scoring in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th to take a 4-2 lead. Alex Dickerson had an opposite-field homer to get things going, and a three-hit rally in the next inning netted two more. A Brandon Crawford double added the final run.

Jake McGee got it done quickly in the 8th and Tyler Rogers was called on for the 9th. The first batter hit a grounder to Mauricio Dubon at second base and he flubbed it. The next grounder to BCraw got an out on the lead runner but Dubon flubbed the exchange. He was in there as a defensive replacement and he looked bad on back-to-back plays! A ground ball single put two on with one out, and then another grounder between third and short resulted in a collision between Craw and Evan Longoria. A run scored. Rogers then got a huge strikeout, and finally another grounder to end it. Longo had to come out of the game and Dubon moved to third. Donovan Solano was inserted at second base and he handled the final chance.

Whew! Torture! But a win, and that's what matters. The Giants have played eleven games since being swept at home by the Dodgers and they've won nine of them. They've taken the first three from the Cubs and have a chance for a sweep behind Johnny Cueto tomorrow. Game time 1:05 Pacific.

Go Giants!

--M.C.

Four more homers

SF 8  CHI 5

The Giants have hit 83 home runs in their 57 games this season. That's second only to the Braves who have 85. Last night they got the big hit from Alex Dickerson, a three-run bomb in a six-run 2nd inning. Steven Duggar had a solo shot hit a two-run homer in the same frame, and LaMonte Wade, Jr. and Jason Vosler each added solo shots in the 4th. Vosler was pinch-hitting: that's the 7th PH HR by the Giants, they lead the league.

Starter Scott Kazmir didn't fare well, giving up two in two IP, and Dominic Leone gave up two more in his two IP. Zack Littell pitched the 5th and gave up a run, but Conner Menez followed with a scoreless 6th and 7th. Jake McGee and Tyler Rogers closed out the 8th and 9th, with Rogers only needing eight pitches for three groundball outs. For a banged-up team with an emergency starter they fared pretty well!

NL Pitcher of the Month Kevin Gausman goes today at 4:15 Pacific. It's a Fox Saturday game.

Go Giants!

--M.C.