Friday, August 31, 2018

Young Giants Shine

SF 7  NYM 0
It was a nice combination of youth and experience that led the way for the Giants tonight. Rookie Andrew Suarez allowed only two hits and no walks in his seven shutout innings. He was especially impressive in the top of the 7th, wriggling out of a jam with the game still scoreless. The Giants would break through against Zack Wheeler in the bottom of the 7th with a double by Brandon Belt. The big fella scooted over to third base on a grounder to shortstop, probably surprising Jose Reyes who hesitated just enough so that he had to get the out at first base instead of taking a chance with a throw to third base. Belt then came in on a sacrifice fly by rookie Chris Shaw who was making his debut. The Giants led 1-0 and Wheeler was done after that inning, having allowed only four hits while whiffing nine. He got the loss, his first since June 22nd.

Rookie catcher Aramis Garcia, also making his debut, homered in the 8th to start a barrage by the Giants. He batted again later in the same frame and drove in another run. It took four Mets relievers to stop the six-run outburst. Brandon Belt had a two-run triple to really get things going. I'm happy to see him hitting the ball again! Veteran Tony Watson took care of the 8th and youngster Ty Blach covered the 9th. A lovely game, to be sure, and one we thought we might see more of this season.

Congratulations to Aramis Garcia who not only was filling in for Buster Posey--no pressure there--but playing in his first major league game. He called a shutout, the team's thirteenth. And he hit a homer, joining quite a list of guys who hit a homer in their debut while also in the starting lineup: Orlando Cepeda, Bobby Bonds, Will Clark, Randy Kutcher, Eliezer Alfonzo, John Bowker, Brandon Crawford, Brett Pill, Adam Duvall, and Jae-gyun Hwang.

Derek Holland tomorrow. Go Giants!


Adios, Andrew

Andrew McCutchen won a lot of fans with his play and demeanor in his short time in San Francisco. Predictably he was traded before the deadline after he cleared waivers. The business part of the game still intrudes rudely despite five decades of fandom. I knew the odds he would be in another uniform by the end of the season were pretty good, and it is a move the organization has to make, but it still stinks. Cutch played with grace and class and was well-liked almost immediately. At 31 and in his tenth season, he's not the 7+ WAR player he was from 2012-2014 when he won the MVP ('13) and finished third in the voting twice ('12, '14). But that doesn't mean he isn't a good player! He leaves leading the team in hits, runs, doubles, homers, RBIs, total bases, and stolen bases. Of the Giants 135 games Cutch has started in 128 and appeared in 130 (most on the team), and also has the most plate appearances. The guy has been a rock in a season of inconsistency. So, farewell to our short-timer, and I would normally wish him well but he wound up on the Yankees, and they're no fun to root for. Maybe he'll hit a bunch of homers in the playoffs but the Bombers will still lose. That'll be OK by me.

McCutchen was the 11th pick of the 2005 draft. Here are some guys drafted ahead of him: Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, and Troy Tulowitzki. Here are some guys drafted after him (still in the 1st round): Jacoby Ellsbury, Jay Bruce, Jed Lowrie, Clay Buchholz, Colby Rasmus. The Giants did not have a pick until the fourth round that year, and the only significant piece from that draft came with the 852nd pick (28th round): Sergio Romo. The Giants had to give up their picks in the first three rounds as free agent compensation for Armando Benitez, Mike Matheny, and Omar Vizquel.

In return the Giants get two youngsters from the Dominican Republic. One is a 23-year old utility infielder named Abiatal Avelino. He's been in the Yankees system since he was 17 and has some time in the Dominican Winter League but no ML service. The other is an almost-21-year old right handed pitcher named Juan De Paula. He was in the Seattle organization and has seen some time in the Domincan Summer League as well as low-A ball with New York. He also has no ML service. Welcome aboard, FNGs!


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Thriller Gets the Giants to........ .500?

I love me a 1 - 0 game, especially when my favorite pitcher is on the mound.   But this was a weird one.

This game felt like the Giants were going to lose.  They allowed a lot of base-runners.  Clay Bucholz didn't seem to allow much to the Giants, each hit he allowed was shortly erased.   The Giants grounded into double plays to end both the 1st and 2nd innings.  Brandon Crawford grabbed a line drive, only to have the ball bounce out of his glove.  Madison Bumgarner was called out on a 3rd strike that was at least 9 inches outside, and no, he did not get that call when he was on the mound.  In fact, there seemed to be numerous bad ball / strike calls and those bad calls didn't favor the Giants.  I don't think I've ever seen a 3-base error, but Austin Slater made one that put Jon Jay on 3rd with one out.

Yet, they held on.  Madison Bumgarner threw 107 pitches to go 7 full.  He gave up 4 hits, but walked 4 and struck out 5.  He got some pop-ups and grounders when he needed them.  And a relay, Duggar to Crawford to Hundley, at least 9 1/2 feet in the air, that Hundley caught to tag out Nick Ahmed at the plate in the 8th.  Clay Bucholz left the game after 7, the game was scoreless at that point.  Sam Dyson gave up 2 hits in the 8th, but no runs (well, thanks to that tag at the plate).   Will Smith worked the 9th, and looked good doing it.  In the bottom of the 9th, Steve Duggar walked with Brad Ziegler on the mound, went to 2nd on a Nick Hundley single, and then jammed his left arm coming back to 2nd base as he thought better than to try for 3rd.  But he stayed in the game.  Alen Hanson was to hit for Will Smith, so the snakes swapped pitchers, bringing in Jake Diekman.  So Bochy swapped Hanson for Gorkys.  Gorkys saw one pitch, hit one pitch and Duggar scored before a throw from left got close.  Then, I assume, he immediately went to get his arm iced and examined.  The score was 1 - 0 Giants.

Steve Duggar scored the Giants only run.  He also has been responsible for 4 of the Giants 5 runs they scored in the last 2 days.  The Giants have now won 4 in a row and are a .500 club.  In their last 9 games, the Giants are 6 - 3 with a 1.84 era.  Colorado picks up a game, as do the blue goo.  Derek Rodriguez pitches tomorrow.

Strat Attack Sinks Snakes

SF 2  AZ 0
Chris Stratton had his best start ever last night (8 IP, 0 R) and got just enough support for the Giants to slip past the first-place Diamondbacks. The 28-year old former first-rounder from Tupelo has been in the organization since 2012 but has yet to throw 200 ML innings. Maybe this opportunity late in the season will be what he needs to put his game together for next year. With Cueto out the team will certainly need lots of quality innings from the starters. Time to make yourself part of the mix, Strat! Speaking of serving notice, rookie centerfielder Steven Duggar hit a two-run homer in the 2nd to provide all the scoring. His glove will keep him in the outfield mix, it will be nice to see if he can add a reliable bat to go along with his great speed.

Madison Bumgarner tonight. GO GIANTS!


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Giants Edge Rangers

SF 3  TEX 1
Bullpen woes Friday night cost the Giants a win and made things uncomfortably close yesterday afternoon. But today the 'pen delivered a scoreless 2-2/3 in support of a strong start from Derek Holland (6-1/3, 3 H, 1 R) and that led to a series win for the home squad. Mark Melancon got the save, just like yesterday. Steven Duggar's two-out triple drove in two in the 4th, and Evan Longoria scored on a passed ball after a triple in the 1st and that was just enough to prevail. How often have the Giants scored in an inning in which they hit a triple? I'd venture not too often. The triple, a feature of PhoneCo Park, is one of those baseball appendages that has fan appeal but not much value in the age of the home run. According to B-R there have been almost seven times as many homers (4484) as triples (662) this season, and ten times (6685) as many doubles.

Chris Stratton is apparently the starter tomorrow night against the Diamondbacks. I'm guessing we'll see MadBum Tuesday and D-Rod Wednesday, but they may take advantage of the off-day on Thursday to to push the rookie (just off the DL) back to Friday. In that case they'll probably use Ty Blach. Go Giants!


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Giants Hang On

SF 5  TEX 3
After blowing a 6-0 lead last night the Giants looked like they might blow today's 4-0 lead but they hung on to win 5-3. Rookie Andrew Suarez had an excellent start: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, righting the ship after a disastrous start in Cincinnati. Last night rookie Dereck Rodriguez delivered 6 IP and only 2 R but the 'pen couldn't hold the lead and the Rangers prevailed in extras. This afternoon the 'pen was shaky but ultimately shut down the Texas lineup when it mattered and the team managed to notch one in the win column. The Giants sit in fourth place at 64-67, 8-1/2 off the pace in the West. Getting back-to-back solid outings from the young starters is nice to see. Let's hope they can carry their successes over to next year as the rotation will be without Johnny Cueto.

Buster Posey goes for surgery on Monday, ending his season. The hope is that he will be healthy for the start of next season. Aramis Garcia will be called up to take his spot. Garcia was a second-round pick in 2014, the 52nd overall, five spots above Andy Suarez. Tyler Beede was the team's first-round pick that year (#14), and Austin Slater was acquired in the 8th round (#238 overall). Derek Holland gets the start tomorrow in the rubber game. The rotation has not been announced for the Arizona series.



Thursday, August 23, 2018

Shitty Road Trip Ends With a Win

The marquee match-up: Madison Bumgarner facing Jacob deGrom on a fine looking Thursday afternoon in New York.  DeGrom, as you may be aware, is a leading candidate for the Cy Young award because of these numbers:  214 K in 174 innings; 1.71 ERA; 0.97 WHIP; .205 BAA.  He doesn't have so many wins, though, actually, after today he is 8 - 8.  That's because the Mets are actually a worse team than the Giants, clocking in with a 56 - 71 record.

DeGrom struck out 10 today in 6 innings, allowing 1 earned run and 2 total.   He allowed only 4 hits but put 4 Giants on base via the walk.  Madison pitched better.  He went 8 innings, threw 109 pitches (but only 73 to get through 6 innings), hit one Met with a pitch, but walked none.  Also, the 2nd run was a Madison Bumgarner rbi double in the 4th, scoring Austin Slater.  The first was Steve Duggar, who walked and went to 3rd on a ground out before scoring on a passed ball.  Todd Frazier homered for the Mets in the 7th.  Evan Longoria hit a solo home run in the 8th to make the final 3 - 1 Giants.  Will Smith got the save.

This road trip started with 2 victories over a good Los Angeles dogger team.  It ended with today's victory to give the Giants a 4 - 6 road trip record.   There are 6 teams in the 15-team National League that have a record that is sub-.500.  The Giants aren't even on the top of that pile of dog doo, Pittsburgh is.  The split the 4 games with the Mets (15 games under .500) and lost all 3 to the Reds (also 15 games under .500 which includes the victories over the Giants).  The Giants climb back to 3 games under.  It never ceases to amaze me how the Giants have the talent to play with the elite teams, but manage to play down to the crappy ones.  They come home to face the Rangers (last in the AL West at 15 under, so THEY should be a problem) and Arizona (still in first place in our division of deplorables) before they get a day off.

Monday, August 20, 2018

7th inning: 8-10

1st inning: 7-11
2nd inning: 12-6
3rd inning: 6-12
4th inning: 10-8
5th inning: 11-7
6th inning: 8-10
7th inning: 8-10

Tonight the Giants had the joy of facing their 2009 number one pick, Zack Wheeler, who is having a great season. Predictably, he kicked ass. He's part of a formidable three-headed rotation that also features Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard. Wheeler missed all of 2015 and 2016 and much of 2017, but is now popping 98 mph with his fastball. Not that it matters: the Giants make everyone look like an ace. Mickey Calloway probably left Wheeler in for one inning too long, and the Giants tied the game in the 7th, but he still struck out ten against only one walk. It was all for naught as the good guys prevailed in 13 innings, 2-1, the winning run the result of two Mets colliding in left field.

The Mets, like the Giants, expected much more of their season. They were NL Champs in 2015, the year after the Giants won the Series. And they made the Wild Card game the next year, losing of course to the Giants and Madison Bumgarner. Like the Giants, they stunk last season (70-92) and are stinking this season (54-69). They are also on the hook for some big salaries with aging stars: Yoenis Cespedes, David Wright, and Jay Bruce have $113.5M coming in 2019 and 2020. But this isn't about the Mets. It's about the Giants.

At the trade deadline the Giants stood pat. They were 55-54 on July 31st, and five games back, and optimists could say they still had a chance. They followed that with a 6-10 run to effectively jump off the cliff and take themselves out of the race. I know, there are 36 games remaining, but the team can't win games consistently enough to generate any enthusiasm among the fans or strike fear into their NL West opponents. At this point they'll be lucky to finish with a .500 record.

Andrew McCutchen has been placed on revocable waivers (according to Baggs). That's not surprising. They'll give him a chance to exit with some grace and style and it will save the team a few shekels the rest of the way. You have to assume this means the organization is waving the surrender flag. Will another poor season force the staid and conservative Giants into big changes? I can't answer that. They should make some big changes, but I'm not much for should. I'm only interested in what they will actually do. (Not that I don't want to hear what you guys think! The comments section awaits your words.) I'm patient--the big stuff will have to happen in the off-season.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

One Run a Game, That's All We Ask

Well, that sucked, didn't it?

32 innings, 3 games, 3 runs.  Remember back, earlier in the season, when the Giants were among the league leaders in home runs?  WTF happened?  We hit fly balls to the track, they hit home runs.  When we go to a bandbox on a warm night, we hit fly balls to the track.

Madison Bumgarner pitched against the Reds and Matt Harvey.  The Reds are in last place in their division, by a substantial margin.  The Giants are now 2 games below .500.  Matt Harvey was at one time a pretty good pitcher with the Mets.  Then he sucked.  But maybe seeing his name in the lineup to start against the Giants is like a super B vitamin/steroid/line of coke/adrenaline rush.  Or maybe it's magic, because it seems to work for everything from untested rookies to washed-up rehab projects.

Madison pitched well for 3 innings, then he didn't.  After 6, it was 6 - 0 Reds.  Then Hunter Strickland, who is here solely to be showcased before he can be moved for, hopefully, someone with at least half a brain added a run.  Matt Harvey threw 6 1/3.   The Giants loaded the bases in the 8th with NO OUTS.  They got 1 run, and were lucky to get that.   Final score: 7 - 1 Reds.

Ron's right - short of astounding reversal at this late date, there has to be a change.   Probably several, and look for many of our favorites to be gone in the off season.  Waiting for guys to get healthy is not going to win more games - everyone IS healthy except for Cueto and Smardjy, and you're not going to see better performances from them than you've seen from DRod and Holland lately.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Giants Slide Past Dodgers

SF 2  LA 1
If the Giants want to serve notice to the rest of the NL West that they are indeed contenders there's no better way than to beat the Dodgers in LA. For the second straight night they rallied in the 9th inning for a stirring win and have put themselves in position for a sweep. And a sweep is what it will take. At this point in the season the Giants have to think about winning streaks. The Dodgers have been vulnerable since their ace closer Kenley Jansen went on the disabled list--tonight's defeat was their 5th in a row--and they've had a hard time finding his replacement, giving up runs in the 9th in their last four games.

Alen Hanson gets the hero's wreath for delivering both RBI hits, one from the right side (off Alex Wood in the 2nd) and one from the left side (off Kenta Maeda in the 9th). Nick Hundley and Yasiel Puig got into it in the 7th and both were ejected. It seemed that Hundley took exception to Puig's antics (gee, that's news) and gave him an earful to which Puig responded by throwing punches. The Giants weren't happy that Hundley had to go and felt it was Puig's problem all the way, but the umps had their say and that was that. Fortunately the Giants won the game and the Dodgers couldn't boast about how the fight fired them up. They did come back in the 8th to tie it up after being behind 1-0 all night, but that only set up the Giants last at-bat heroics. Brandon Belt returned from the DL and entered the game when Hundley left (Buster was at first and had to move to catcher) and wound up getting a hit and scoring the winning run. Nice to see him back.

Derek Holland goes tomorrow night. The Dodgers have struggled lately against lefty starters, let's hope that continues. GO GIANTS!


Monday, August 13, 2018

Nick the Stick

Nick Hundley has been a very valuable pick up for the Giants.

Madison Bumgarner vs Clayton Kershaw in Los Angeles.  These guys are supposed to be (along with Greinke, who has more wins this year than Madbum and Kershaw combined) the elite pitchers in the NL West, but the stadium was half-empty.  LA.   It was much as advertised.  Kershaw threw his best game of the year in 18 starts.   Madbum struggled, although pitched well.  He gave up 2 runs, a weird play that took Brandon Crawford out of the game on a collision with Gorkys Hernandez on a bloop hit that scored 1, and a Justin Turner home run that scored the second.  He threw 97 pitches in 6 innings, gave up 7 hits, struck out 4 and walked 2.  Kershaw threw 8 full innings, striking out 9, walking none and giving up 4 hits.  A couple of those hits scored Steven Duggar who joins the list of Giants who manage somehow to get hits off of Kershaw (he had 2).  So the score going into the 9th, after Sam Dyson and Ray Black pitched a scoreless 7th and 8th, respectively, was 2 - 1 LA.

Kenley Jensen is on the DL.  With 1 out, d'Arnaud singled.  Posey singled.  Longoria hits into a fielder's choice, Posey out at 2nd.  2 outs.  Slater works the count, but is hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Hundley is brought in to pinch hit.  On the first pitch, he lines a shot to right field, scoring 2 for the Giants lead.   Gorkys singles to score Slater, and then steals second.  Duggar should have been out, but the doggers muff the play and Nick Hundley scores, only to bounce around the dugout like a little kid.  Will Smith gets the save, the Giants win, 5 - 2.

So the Giants climb back to .500.  They aren't really a factor in the NL West race right now, and they aren't really a factor in the Wild Card race, but for tonight, at least, they rocked just like old times.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

D-Rod Does It Again

SF 4  PIT 3
The best story of the Giants 2018 season is the excellent work from rookie right-hander Dereck Rodriguez. For the third straight start the 26-year old from Arlington, Texas finished seven frames and allowed three or fewer hits and one or fewer runs. Today it was 7/2/1, and both times before that it was 7/3/0; he logged Game Scores of 72 (today), 78 (August 6th) and 71 (July 31st). Today he gave up just TWO HITS, and has given up a mere 61 hits in 80 innings pitched. Whatever he is doing it is working.

The bottom of the lineup got it done this afternoon, with Nick Hundley's (#8) two hits and two RBI, Steven Duggar's (#7) two hits and a run scored, Joe Panik's (#6) two RBI, and Gorkys' (#5) two runs scored. Reyes Moronta and Tony Watson combined to give up two runs in the 8th in relief of D-Rod, making a 4-1 game a 4-3 game, but Will Smith closed it out on 15 pitches (and two whiffs) in the 9th.

On June 9th Dereck Rodriguez' ERA was 5.25 and after today--ten starts and one relief appearance later--it is 2.25! You have to like that.

It's Bumgarner vs. Kershaw tomorrow night in LA. GO GIANTS!


Friday, August 10, 2018

Giants Outlast Pirates

SF 13  PIT 10
The Giants lineup enjoyed a rare fruitful evening, battering Pirates rookies starter Clay Holmes for seven runs in the first three innings. (Holmes was born in Dothan, Alabama, birthplace of Matt Cain.) They battered reliever Casey Sadler for four more in the next three innings. Fun fact: Buster Posey had four hits in the first four innings! Former Giants pitcher Kyle Crick was crazy wild and generated some bad blood on the home bench when he drilled Evan Longoria in the 7th, that led to another run. Crick was a first-round draft pick (#46) in 2011 and went to Pittsburgh in the Andrew McCutchen deal. The Giants also got Joe Panik (#29) in the first round that year.

You'd figure 12 runs would be enough, and it was, but the Bucs battled back with three off Derek Holland in the first five innings and four in the 7th with a grand slam off Pierce Johnson (two runs were charged to Holland). Johnson was a first-rounder (#43, Cubs) in 2012, the year Chris Stratton was the 20th pick. I only mention that because new pitcher Casey Kelley, just promoted from Sacramento, was also a first-round pick (#30, Red Sox). That was back in 2008 when Buster Posey was the fifth pick overall.

Tony Watson had a rare bad outing in the 8th, giving up two more runs, and the Giants 11-3 lead dwindled to 12-9, but they added on in their half to make it 13-9, which was good as closer Will Smith gave up a run in the 9th. It was ugly, it should have been a cakewalk, but there's no sense complaining about esthetics when the team is desperate to put together a winning stretch.

The Giants have yet to name a starter for tomorrow's game at 6:05 Pacific. Let's hope they keep swinging the bats!


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Another Gem, Wasted Of Course

You really didn't expect anything different, did you?

Madbum threw a fine game.  7 innings, 100 pitches, 0 runs, 3 walks, 5 hits and several scrapes escaped.  He exited with the lead.  Brandon Crawford was again responsible for the Giants offense, with a double and the run scored courtesy of Chase d'Arnaud.

Ray Black gave it up in the 8th.  He has pitched well, not giving up a run in about 10 outings since his first, shaky debut.  Houston hit a home run with a man on base, because, of course they did.  The final score was 2 - 1.

Giants failed to score Alen Hanson after his lead-off triple in the 7th, because, of course.  I heard the announcers claim that the Giants have more blown saves (25) than any other major league team.  I assume they mean blown saves and holds, as today's fail was not technically a save situation.  It was not in the 9th inning.  No matter.

I like well pitched, low scoring games.  I realize that's an anomaly in today's market, where the goal seems to be more runs in less time elapsed.  I did not enjoy today's game.  As the innings mounted, I expected the Giants to cough it up, and they did.  I do not like listening to a game with this feeling.

Monday, August 6, 2018


HOU 3  SF 1
Dereck Rodriguez made the best start of his young career last time out, a seven-inning, three-hit, one run effort against the Padres on July 31st that resulted in an extra-inning win for the Giants. D-Rod got an ND, of course. Tonight the rookie righty topped that performance with a seven-inning, three-hit, zero-run effort against a much better club, the Astros. Brandon Crawford backed him with a solo shot in the 6th and the Giants went to the 9th with a 1-0 lead. Alas, closer Will Smith was not sharp and gave up a two-out, three-run homer to Marwin Gonzalez that tipped it for Houston. It was Smith's first blown save, he's been a rock in the 'pen otherwise. D-Rod, of course, had another ND.

It was a tough loss for the team especially because it was so close to being one of the best wins of this frustrating season. Charlie Morton, having a great year, delivered seven strong and the Astros 'pen did the rest. The Giants never got anything going on offense, BCraw's blast was the only breakthrough. The takeaway from tonight of course is the fine work, once again, by Dereck Rodriguez. I'm sure you all remember the many heartbreaking losses and no-decisions accumulated by Matt Cain in his early seasons. D-Rod has enjoyed a little more success (he's 5-1, after all), but his two best starts have resulted in two "atta-boys" and that seems particularly Cain-esque. The Giants are back to .500 and seem determined to stay there, but at least we can get excited about a new young arm no matter what else happens.


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Giants Eke Out Split

I heard on the radio that since June 20 (I'm pretty sure that was the date mentioned) the Giants have the best ERA, save Boston, of any team in the major leagues.   Obviously, Boston has been doing a lot more winning in that time frame.  Can that even be right?

Giants salvaged a split in Arizona, which gives them a win for their road trip (4 - 2).  That is their first winning road trip this year.  They won behind some good pitching from Derek Holland and a spate of relievers by a score of 3 - 2.  Nick Hundley got an rbi and Evan Longoria got 2, the second an 8th inning solo shot to give the Giants the lead.  Ray Black was on the mound in the 7th, so he was credited with the win.  Watson and Dyson pitched the 8th, and Will Smith the 9th.  (Also, Reyes Moronta pitched 2/3 of an inning after Holland was pulled after 5 1/3.)  The Giants scored 8 runs in the first game of this 4-game series, and 3 in each game thereafter, for a total of 17.  The snakes scored 18 total.

So if the Giants are now only 1 game over .500, but their pitching has been very good, I guess you can figure out why they aren't posting a better record.  We seem to be in pretty good shape as long as DRod, MadBum or Dutch is on the mound.  Maybe Andrew Suarez and Chris Stratton need nicknames.  Or maybe Blach needs to start a game, although he has been damn good as a reliever.  Maybe Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutcheon can carry a bit of the load until Crawford can get a bit more consistent at the plate and Belt comes back.  But the season's running along, the Giants need to improve if they are going to have any hope of an impact.  Buster Posey played at first, he went 1 for 3.  Houston up next at the Phone.  That's not going to be easy. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

An August Victory

After scoring less than 4 runs per game for July, the Giants beat the dbacks behind Madison Bumgarner tonight by a score of 8 - 1.   That suggests that Madison dominated and that the Arizona starter flailed, but neither of those things are true.  Zach Greinke threw for the snakes, he was effective and made it through most innings in very few pitches as the Giants made quick outs.  Evan Longoria put the Giants on the board with a 1st inning solo home run, and Madison loaded the bases before getting the 3rd out in the 1st.  Maddy also loaded the bases in the 2nd, and allowed a tying run to score on a sac fly.  He allowed 2 runners on in the 3rd, 1 in the 4th and 1 in the 5th.  Somehow, no further runs scored, but by that time he had thrown over 100 pitches and was done for the evening.  Maddy's line: 5 innings, 101 pitches, 7 hits, 3 walks, but only 1 run.  Meanwhile Greinke allowed only 4 hits and 1 walk.  2 of those hits came in the 5th, when Austin Slater, who is the only Giant who has a batting average that is not totally unimpressive these days, doubled, went to 3rd on a Steve Duggar ground out, and then scored on a Madison Bumgarner rope to left.  That was the Giants' second run and Greinke left the game at 2 - 1 Giants.

The game fell apart for the dbacks with their relief - recently acquired Jake Diekman was a mess, walking 2; recently acquired (or, re-acquired) Brad Ziegler gave up 4 runs on 3 hits and TJ McFarland added the 8th.  Melancon, Black and Blach allowed no runs in relief.

So that's 4 wins in a row for the Giants, just 1 short of their season's best streak.  It is also their 5th consecutive win against the dbacks.  LA won (by a lot), so the win only moves the snakes 1 game behind, although Colorado also loses a game.  The Panda will need hamstring surgery, so is out for the year.  Brandon Belt will need another 8 - 10 days on the DL, according to Alex Pavlovic.  Chris Stratton is expected to re-join the Giants.