Thursday, May 30, 2019

Giants Snap Streak

SF 3  MIA 1
The Giants got a good start from Tyler Beede and scored a run in the 7th and two in the 8th to win. They were down 1-0 after the 2nd but Beede's performance kept them in the game. The bullpen trio of Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson, and Will Smith did their thing and the Giants finally got a win in Miami. The kid threw six, facing 24 batters and throwing 96 pitches. Five hits and three walks kept him on his toes but he got it done. Let's see some more of that!

Yesterday's loss, I should note, was the 54th game. That is one-third of the way through the season. Here's the Giants performance through those first three seasonal innings:

1st inning: 8-10
2nd inning: 8-10
3rd inning: 5-13 

There was still some hope when they were 16-20, but a seven-game losing streak puts a damper on such things. I'd like to see a seven-game winning streak at some point in the season, but the best they managed last season was five and the season before that it was six.

Regardless, the Giants won today and start their next 18-game inning with a 1-0 record. Drew Pomeranz gets another shot, this time in Baltimore, tomorrow at 4:05 Pacific.

Go Giants!


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Miami Malaise

With all due respect to MOC, there is no reason to think that the Giants are yet at the bottom.

I was all set to write a happy Madbum post, too, about how he was the first Giant starter to complete 7 innings since April 13.  Bruce Bochy, though, pulled him after the first batter reached base in the 7th (Jorge Alfaro, his 3rd of 4 hits in the game).  I don't know why.  Maddy had thrown 81 pitches and given up 1 run.  The Giants were tied at 1 - 1 thanks to Brandon Belt's solo shot in the 4th.  Madbum had thrown only 7 pitches in the 5th and 7 pitches in the 6th.  He had given up 6 hits.  Mark Melancon allowed that runner to score (credited to Madbum's era) and tacked on 1 of his own.  Sam Dyson added 1 in the 8th.  The Giants mounted a threat in the 9th against former Giant hero Sergio Romo, but could manage only 1 run.  Final score, Miami 4, Giants 2.

So we are guaranteed to lose this series against the team with the worst record in the National League, although they have now won 9 of their last 12 games.  The Giants have lost 7 straight.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Giants hit bottom

MIA 11  SF 3
Jeff Samardzija used to be a league-average pitcher who could give you 30+ starts and +/-200 innings. They weren't pretty innings, by any means, but they were reasonably effective. A league-average player is better than you think. A league-average pitcher who doesn't get hurt is a valuable guy. But the Giants over-valued what The Shark brought to the table and signed him for five years. Three would have been prudent, but the Bobby Evans-Brian Sabean-Larry Baer Triumvirate was known for paying top dollar. Hey, I was OK with it because I figured that a rich team would have youngsters--or at least other options--to step in if/when the big guy faltered. Jeff Samardzija is not that guy anymore and unfortunately the other options for the Giants aren't quite ready for prime time. I have no ill will for Smardj, it is not his fault that he is overpaid. He's 34 and thrown 1500 innings in the big leagues--that's a lot of mileage. Maybe he can bounce back and have a decent second half--I hope so. He's signed through next season ($19.8M) and is a free agent in 2021.

The Giants lost to the worst team in baseball. Actually, Baltimore is worse. Hey, that's the next place they play!


Sunday, May 26, 2019


AZ 18  SF 2
AZ 10  SF 4
AZ  6   SF 2 (today)
Does that count as improvement? Only losing by four runs instead of six or sixteen?

Nice to see Mike Yastrzemski get his first hit. In fact he had a good day today and got three of them. My earliest baseball memories are the 1967 "Impossible Dream" Red Sox. Carl Yastrzemski, grandfather of young Mike, had arguably the greatest individual season ever, and led the Sawx to the Series where they lost to the extraordinary Bob Gibson-led Cardinals in an epic seven game contest. My mom is from Mission Hill in Roxbury. Her mom, my Nana, came to Boston from the west of Ireland and adopted baseball as her favorite sport and the Red Sox as her favorite team. Even though I grew up in the Bay Area and mom always had KSFO (Lon Simmons doing both the Giants and the 49ers) on the radio, we followed the Red Sox. When we went to see the A's play in the Coliseum it was usually because Boston was coming to town.

That's all there is to write about. I note that Sam Coonrod got called up. Hey, the guys in AAA and AA have at least as good a chance of getting outs as the other guys.


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Giants Led After 1

Let's leave it at that, shall we?  The only reason for this post is to point out that not everyone agrees with Bruce Jenkins.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

L for the Blond Guy

So, after 13 innings, we lost 3 of 4 games to Atlanta.  The final score, 5 - 4 Braves.

We played 2 competitive games and 2 where the team really wasn't in it.  I guess that's an improvement over last year, and the year before that, when the team mostly wasn't in it, but it's not much of an improvement.  The Giants wind up 21 - 28.  Although, 49 games into 2018, the Giants were 24 - 25.

Madison Bumgarner was on the mound, he threw 102 pitches, got through 6 innings, gave up 2 (1 solo shot home run) on 6 hits.  He walked 2 and struck out 6.  Another fine effort.  Another fine effort to no avail.  Mark Melancon came in, pitched a scoreless 7th and Tony Watson gave up 2 in the 8th. That tied the game.

The Giants, meanwhile, showed some, although not a lot, of offense.  A single and a double by Belt and Longoria, respectively, put runners on 1st and 3rd.  A wild pitch by the Braves starter, Kevin Gausman, plated Belt and Longoria scored on a Donovan Solano sac fly.  The Braves got 1 in th e4th and a high pop-up that got blown out of the park in the 5th to tie the score at 2 each.  The Giants answered in the bottom of that inning with a Panik double and a Duggar single, and the Tyler Austin homered with no one on in the 7th.

Following Watson in the 8th, the Giants used Smith, Dyson and Gott for an inning each (which is probably a good thing, considering Arizona shows up tomorrow before a travel day Monday.  Reyes Moronta (who, by the way, dyed his hair yellow) pitched 2 and got the loss, but you really can't pin it on him.  Have you seen Atlanta?  Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, Nick Markakis and a bunch of 21 year-old superstars.  Austin Riley has hit 5 home runs and has a batting average of damn near .400.  He's been in the major leagues since May 15.  Our rookie is 25 yo Steven Duggar who has a sub-.300 OBP.  You give Atlanta an extra four innings without scoring a run, they will beat you.

Unearned runs still count

ATL 9  SF 2
Jeff Samardzija and the Giants had a nightmare 2nd inning that included a botched double play, a runner safe at first after striking out on a wild pitch, and two homers. Baseball bookkeepers called those six runs unearned but I say the team earned every one of them. Derek Holland gave up a three-run homer in relief. Madison Bumgarner goes today at 12:45 PDT.



Tuesday, May 21, 2019


SF 4 ATL 3
Joe Panik got the game-winning hit, driving in two runs with two out in the 9th to shock the Braves and give the Giants a huge home win. Down 3-1 it looked bleak but Brandon Crawford got a hit and was driven in by Kevin Pillar who then stole second. The never-say-die Panda got on base with an infield hit, Pillar to third, and Mac Williamson, pinch-running, stole second. He and Pillar scored on Panik's hit which came on a 3-2 count, the 8th pitch in the at-bat. The Giants really had to grind it out and conjure up a miracle, and by golly they did. Panik has been hitting really well lately and looks very disciplined in the box. The Braves may rue letting the Giants run freely on them in that situation. Normally a guy like Luke Jackson is pretty tough to score on so perhaps that's what they were figuring. This time it didn't work out and the fans went home happy.

Shaun Anderson should not have come out to pitch the 6th inning. He had already faced Josh Donaldson and Nick Markakis twice, there was no reason to have him do it for the third time. They both got hits and both later scored. In the old days this was considered a necessary ritual to toughen up the starter for longer outings. Five innings with one run allowed, regardless of the pitch count, is a damn fine effort, especially for a rookie. Didn't we already talk about the Times Through the Order Penalty? But I'm happy to see Anderson out there earning his stripes. Let's hope he can keep improving.

A big win tonight--those are few and far between so let's savor it.


Monday, May 20, 2019

Braves Prevail

ATL 4  SF 1
The Braves stymied the Giants with their 21-year old phenom Mike Soroka on the mound (8 IP, 2 H, 0 W, 7 K) and their 21-year old star Ronald Acuna, Jr. (3 H, 2 HR) in center field. The game was not as close as the score. Andrew Suarez delivered a decent effort (6 IP, 3 R) but the team was over-matched in the talent department. The Giants could use a couple of 21-year olds like those guys.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Pitching & Defense

SF 3  AZ 2 (10)
A couple of old friends showed up today in Arizona and led the Giants to a series victory. Starter Drew Pomeranz walked five but didn't give up the long ball. In fact he made it until the 4th before they scored off him, and he helped the D-Backs out with a walk and two wild pitches. The Giants conjured up their runs in the 3rd, capitalizing on two singles and two walks. The bullpen was spectacular, and a spectacular play by Brandon Crawford saved the game in the 9th. Both Steven Duggar and Joe Panik made big plays in the field as well. Panda got to play the hero, hammering a pinch-hit homer off Yoshihisa Hirano in the 10th for the game-winner. Will Smith struck out the side for the save.

The Giants looked terrible on Friday night and yet they bounced back with two wins against a good club. They didn't have much of an offense today (5 H, 5 BB, 11 K) but those stalwarts, pitching & defense, made the difference.

Andrew Suarez was called up and he makes the start tomorrow night at home against the Braves.

Go Giants!


Saturday, May 18, 2019

Yellow and Black, I Want my Logo Back

What's the deal with the Giants yellow logo hats?  Tribute to pollen?

Madison Bumgarner tossed another good game for the Giants tonight.  That has mostly led to speculation in our local rags that he will make a good trade candidate.  Which really irritates me, obvious though the trading potential may seem at first glance.  The assumption, of course, is that the Yankees, or some other team will be desperate for pitching and give the Giants the keys to their super good farm system in exchange for a couple months of rental.  But that's not how it works these days, there is too much data to quantify player value and teams are not going to trade away too much of their future.  Maybe the Giants, but they did that and look where it got them.

The Giants were in Arizona, and the theme, in contrast to last night, was to score early, keep the pressure on and put a few more runs on the board from time to time.  The Giants scored in the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 8th and 9th.  Arizona chipped away at the total, but the Giants were able to keep ahead of the snakes and win this one by a score of 8 - 5.

Madison threw 105 pitches and made it through 6 1/3 innings.  He walked 2 in the 7th, gave up a double to score 1 and then Sam Dyson gave up a run on a ground-out, which was charged to Madison.  He also allowed a solo shot in the 4th, after the Giants were up 4 - 0.   He struck out 6 and walked 4 (each of whom, btw, scored).  But only 5 hits on the night.   It was a team effort, and I must say, the team looked pretty good.  Joe Panik scored twice.  Steve Duggar had 2 hits and an rbi, Buster Posey had 2 hits and an rbi, and Brandon Belt had 2 hits and an rbi (on a solo shot into the chlorinated faux-asis in center field).  Evan Longoria and Mac Williamson each had an rbi and Pablo Sandoval had a pinch hit home run.  Brandon Crawford is carrying a .205 average, but had rbis in 2 innings, a sac fly that scored Buster in the 3rd, and a triple to score Longoria in the 6th.  That is the kind of team effort that is necessary for this team.  Want to hear something weird?  The Giants have scored the 2nd most runs in May per game of any team.  Who would have imagined?

Friday, May 17, 2019


AZ 7  SF 0
There is this thing called the "Times Through the Order Penalty." It is a favorite topic among the saberistas. There is a fellow by the name of Mitchel Lichtman who is very smart and writes exhaustive analyses of baseball situations and he says this:
As you can see, the “times through the order” penalty is a significant effect that should be incorporated into a manager’s decision about when to remove a starting pitcher. In fact, it would behoove managers and pitching coaches to be much more mindful of a starter’s “times through the order” than his pitch count.
Obviously you have to read the whole piece to catch his drift. (I italicized the first sentence.) I remember being in a computer science lecture decades ago where the prof really got into some deep shit and lost half the class and then whipped out "as you can clearly see" before launching into a new arcane tangent. Even among that nerdy bunch there were chortles of derision. That's how I feel about some of this saber-stuff. But they are on to something. I'm not saying Boch should have pulled Smardj after five, but it's worth thinking about. I suspect Boch knows more than me about baseball, so I'm not complaining, just noticing that the game is always changing and I'm learning new things all the time. Here's more from Lichtman:
In an article I wrote two years ago about the benefit of “quick hooks,” I showed that a typical NL team could add from a half to a full win per season simply by removing a starting pitcher who is not an ace whenever he comes to bat in a high-leverage situation after pitching at least five innings, even if his replacement is a league-average reliever.
In the end, the players gotta play better and the coaches gotta coach better, and well, the goddamn owners gotta own better! (Thank you, George Scott.)

MadBum goes tomorrow. Go Giants!


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Rookies Lead the Way

SF 4  TOR 3
Rookie Shaun Anderson had a perfectly acceptable debut: 5 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 5K. It took him 96 pitches to get through the 21 batters he faced. Not bad, really. He gave up a run in the 1st inning, but that just makes him a good teammate. You don't want to show guys up on your first day. There was a comical sequence in the 3rd where he walked a guy, wild pitched him to second, the guy went to third on an out, and then he wild pitched him home! He was victimized by an error and his own bad pickoff later, too, and that led to a run. But the youngster also had two hits himself, very impressive, and he showed some power and poise getting big outs. I'm looking forward to more Mr. Anderson. And I know you asked about Matt Cain's debut, didn't you? I thought so: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 K. And I'll answer the next question: Timmy's was 4-1/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 K.

Good bullpen work (Melancon/Dyson/Watson/Smith) and some nice defensive work to make up for the earlier sloppy stuff kept the Jays off the board the rest of the way. Panda got things started with a run-scoring double in the 1st, and rookie catcher Aramis Garcia's two-run homer in the 2nd put the Giants on top. After the Jays tied it in the 5th, Brandon Crawford's solo shot in the 6th made it 4-3 and that's how it ended. Will Smith struck out the side in the 9th--that's 11-for-11 in save opportunities.

Off-day tomorrow. They'll be in Arizona Friday night, 6:40 PDT.

Go Giants!


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

That didn't go as planned

TOR 7  SF 3
The Giants give up runs in the 1st inning. That's a fact. It matters not who is pitching! Opener Nick Vincent gave up four hits and three runs (including Vladito's--that's Vladimir Gurrero, Jr.--first ML homer) after getting the first batter on a fly out. It took him 31 pitches to get three outs from the seven batters he faced. Maybe next time. Tyler Beede flashed some pop with five Ks but also had four hits and three walks. Travis Bergen and Trevor Gott (opener candidates, don't you think?) pitched well but Reyes Moronta got tagged again. That's six hits and five runs in his last 3-1/3 IP. OK, it was another homer from Vladito! Derek Holland pitched the 9th and walked two but did not give up a run. The Giants offense was a two-run homer by the irrepressible Panda and an RBI double from Mac Williamson.


update: Beede optioned to AAA, RHP Shaun Anderson makes his debut today.

Opener Day

Many years ago I remember thinking that a team ought to try a 3-3-3 approach. Get three guys to throw three innings apiece. Heck, you could have three sets of those guys on your staff and pitch every other game that way. Anyway, it was a notion no one took seriously and that's probably good.

Despite the disappearance of the complete game every team still wants a rotation of five Max Scherzers. Of course there is only one of him and maybe a handful of guys just as good as him. There aren't 150, that's for sure. Thus we have killer bullpens and five-inning starters. The so-called "opener" has come to the fore and teams are giving it a try. Why not? If you have LOOGYs why can't you have openers?

Is it a gimmick? Will it wind up in the dustbin of baseball history? Maybe. But teams are playing baseball RIGHT NOW and they need to win ballgames RIGHT NOW. We can worry about the history books later. I say do what works. If the opener gives the Giants a better chance to win then what's the problem?

Nick Vincent gets the call today against Toronto. No, this outing is not a referendum on the new-school, analytics-driven baseball of the 21st century. It's one game. It's not going to make or break Farhan Zaidi's tenure as PoBO. But it does say something, and it's pretty simple: do what you have to do to win. Get the best matchups for your players. I appreciate that Mr. Old School Himself, Bruce Bochy, is smart and adaptable and willing to risk opprobium in order to try to make the team better. If a guy like Boch can embrace the opener, shouldn't we all?



Sunday, May 12, 2019

Giants Rally Past Reds

SF 6  CIN 5
Madison Bumgarner has thrown 18 innings in his last three starts, six innings in each. He's walked only three and whiffed 23, but has allowed 20 hits including three homers. It all tallies to eight runs allowed but more importantly three wins for the team. Today his catcher Erik Kratz didn't help him out (first batter reached on catcher's interference and was PB'd to second) and he put the team in a 2-0 hole after a two-out hit. Pablo Sandoval tied it up in the bottom half with a two-run homer, but Bum gave up another two-out hit which led to a run in the 2nd inning. After three scoreless Bum batted for himself in the 5th, striking out, and then gave up a homer to the first batter of the 6th (Yasiel Puig). That was enough to doom the Giants, normally, but they rallied late and got a big pinch-hit homer from Brandon Belt (driving in Brandon Crawford, who had walked) to tie it 4-4 in the 7th. Reyes Moronta loaded the bases in the 8th and that led to a run, but the Giants rallied again to take a 6-5 lead in the bottom half. Big hits from Evan Longoria, Panda again, and Kevin Pillar gave Will Smith a chance to save it and he did so. The Giants snapped a three-game losing streak.

It was a good start, overall, in a string of terrible starts. Bumgarner and the 'pen held the Dodgers to one run on May 1st and won that game (and the series). Here's the tally since then by the starters (IP/R): 2.1/8, 5/8, 5/4, 1.2/7, 6/3 (MadBum), 2.2/7, 5/4, and 4/3. Not pretty. Oh, that included 18 HR. That's right: eighteen homers. Dereck Rodriguez was sent back to AAA, Drew Pomeranz was put on the IL, and Derek Holland was moved to the bullpen. I can't argue with any of that. Tyler Beede will get the start on Tuesday and then it is TBD. Perhaps they'll call up a youngster like Shaun Anderson or Andrew Suarez. I don't know! It's an uncertain time out there for anyone not named Madison Bumgarner.

Apparently Derek Holland caused a bit of a local kerfuffle complaining to the media about his demotion and claiming his IL stay was "fake." Buddy, EVERY TEAM uses the IL creatively! A hangnail is almost good enough. If his ERA was other than 6.75 it would not have happened. Everyone also knows you go to your coaches and/or manager first if you have a beef, and you don't rip "the front office" (i.e., your bosses) in public without at least doing it in private first. But that's OK. If a player is happy after a demotion I think he's in the wrong profession. Pitch well, and the problems will go away. Winning clubhouses are happy clubhouses. I have to give Boch a lot of credit for keeping stuff like this under wraps these last few seasons when the team has played so poorly. You have to figure folks get grumpy when week after week they perform below expectations. With the regime change everyone also knows things are going to be different and there is some uncertainty ahead for many of the players. That has to weigh on their minds. FZ made a point to say that if he has not made it comfortable for players to come to him with problems then "that is on him" and he will do more to improve communication. He's the new sheriff in town and there's bound to be some growing pains but I remain convinced he's the right person. I particularly like that he is relentlessly positive and looks for solutions. He doesn't pass the buck or cast blame.

Off-day tomorrow and again on Thursday with two against the Blue Jays in between.


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Buster Bopped

Buster Posey took a foul tip off his mask on Sunday and was placed on the concussion list. He's out at least a week. We all know how uncertain these things are, one can only hope for the best. Buster has taken a beating back there, like all catchers. His importance to the team makes it different for Giants fans, I think. Lots of catchers get hurt, but few have the celebrity status of Posey, who advertises for the world's number one carmaker, fer chrissakes. I took this from a Baggs tweet:
Buster Posey: “I value who I am and who I will be as a husband and father first and foremost. At the same time, I enjoy my job and plan on doing my job.”
That sounds like Buster who has a real knack for saying the right thing. I wouldn't be surprised if he was a Senator some day. What I'd like to see is Posey managing. Seems like he's perfect for the job, especially in this media-saturated landscape. Aaron Boone had no experience managing but the Yankees chose him over more traditional picks and his time on TV was a selling point. Buster is really good in front of a microphone. His calm demeanor and natural reticence, along with his good looks--and that tinge of a Southern accent--make him a camera magnet. Hensley Muelens can manage the Giants until Posey retires and takes over. Wouldn't that be fun?

Drew Pomeranz also goes on the IL and Tyler Beede takes his spot. Aramis Garcia will handle the catching duties with Stephen Vogt.


p.s. The Giants got beat 12-11 in a cold, snowy Denver today. Derek Holland had a disaster start, giving up three runs in the 1st and four in the 2nd. Tyler Austin had two three-run homers, both big blasts, to lead the comeback effort (it was 8-8 after his second in the top of the 6th) but they ultimately fell short. The bullpen wasn't up to the task as Tyler Beede, Mark Melancon, and Sam Dyson gave up six hits, five walks, and five runs.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

2nd inning: 8-10

1st inning: 8-10
2nd inning: 8-10

The Giants were rained out tonight in Colorado. The game will be made up on July 15th as part of a doubleheader. Play resumes tomorrow at 12:10 PDT, Derek Holland will get the start. He was recalled from the IL for the start this evening and Williams Jerez was optioned back to AAA.

At 16-20 (.444) the Giants are tied for fourth (last) in the NL West with the Rockies. They are seven back of the 24-14 Dodgers. Their 136 runs scored is 25th in baseball. That means five teams: the Blue Jays, the Indians, the Pirates, the Tigers, and the Marlins have scored fewer runs. The Giants have allowed 164 runs. That puts them squarely in the middle of the pack at the 15th spot. The league average across MLB is 164 runs allowed. The pitching had been better-than-average for a long stretch, then they gave up 23 runs to the Yankees, 13 to the Dodgers, and 37 to the Reds.

The team comes home to face the Reds on Friday, then they have an off-day and play two against the Blue Jays, then another off-day before a weekend series in Arizona. That's five games in seven days at home after the getaway game tomorrow.

Go Giants!


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Springtime in the Rockies

2, 12, 2, 6, 4, 14.  Those are the runs scored in the Giants last 6 games.  Schizo, huh?

Coors Field in Denver.  The Giants have not won there in over 5 years, or at least, that's the way it seems.  Somehow, they shook off that curse, if only for 1 night.  14 friggin' runs!  Who'da thunk it?

Madison Bumgarner: a lead-off home run (given up, not hit), 6 innings pitched, 8 hits, 3 runs total, 1 walk and 8 K's.  And a W.  Why?  Because the Giants gave him 7 runs in those innings, after 2 or less in 8 of his previous 9.

The Mac is back, with an attack.  2 hits, 2 runs, 4 rbi (3 on a 4th inning home run).  Also: home runs for Pillar, Longoria.  Also: RBI's for Panik, Duggar, Crawford and Tyler Austin.  Also:  Williams Jerez pitched the 9th.  Not particularly well, but he allowed 0 runs.

I have to say, I like the looks of this outfield (Duggar, Pillar, Williamson) one hell of a lot better than whoever those chucklefucks were that we started the season with.

Tomorrow:  Anything could happen.  Like snow. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Pomeranz Pounded, Pablo Pitches

CIN 12  SF 4
The Panda hit a 3-run homer, too. Sandoval pitched the 8th after Nick Vincent, Pat Venditte, Sam Dyson, and Travis Bergen came on in relief. Pomeranz was responsible for the first seven runs and Venditte for the next five. Giants starters were not ready for this trip to Cincinnati. Let's hope they are ready for Coors Field.


p.s. Venditte hit three guys in one inning and Dyson made it four in the same frame, tying a record. Sandoval hit a guy, too, but then induced a double-play grounder.

p.p.s. Game was delayed because of bees. That happened before to the Giants and Reds but at Riverfront Stadium in 1976.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

B-Craw Bomb Beats Reds

SF 6  CIN 5
Brandon Crawford hit his first homer of the year in the 9th inning to lead the Giants to a come-from behind win in Cincinnati. Buster Posey had a big game as well with a double and a three-run homer. Starter Jeff Samardzija gave up three homers in a row in the 1st inning but then put together four scoreless and turned it over the the 'pen. The A-Team of Trevor Gott, Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson, and Will Smith shut the door and the Giants had their fourth win in their last six games.

They've one more in Cincy tomorrow morning (9:35 PDT) with Drew Pomeranz getting the call. It's on to Denver Tuesday with Madison Bumgarner.


p.s. Giants claimed RH starting pitcher Andrew Moore off waivers, he was with the Rays (and came up though the Mariners system). Breyvic Valera was DFAd to make a spot on the 40-man. Breyvic was a favorite for the All-Name Team, I'll be sorry to see him go.

Saturday, May 4, 2019


CIN 9   SF 2
The Reds pounded another Giants starter--this time Dereck Rodriguez--and took an 8-1 lead in the 5th inning. This time there was no miraculous comeback. Kevin Pillar made a superb leaping grab to rob a homer from Nick Senzel. Steven Duggar is hitting better. Jeff Samardzija goes tomorrow at 1:10 Pacific.



Friday, May 3, 2019


SF 12  CIN 11 (11)
You saw that one coming, eh? The Giants fell behind 8-0 after three innings but battled back to win 12-11 in extra innings. Crazy! The Reds have a really bad offense, much like the Giants, but they clobbered poor Tyler Beede who was just called up from AAA. The Reds, like the Giants, have a strong pitching staff. Not that the Giants noticed as they scored in the 4th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 11th innings, pounding out 17 hits including two doubles and three homers. FNG Stephen Vogt, now the backup catcher in place of Erik Kratz, had three hits and three runs scored. His homer in the 9th kept the Giants alive. Vogt was recovering from surgery and the Giants had him stashed in the minors until they could activate him. Looks like a good move.

In another roster move the Giants finally gave up on Gerardo Parra. His nifty glove work could not make up for a .198/.278/.267 slash line. Mike Gerber got the start in LF tonight and had a hit and a walk. He was claimed off waivers in December and was posted to Sacramento after spring training where he hit .357/.402/.655 in 21 games.

Same two teams tomorrow at 4:10 PDT, D-Rod v. Tanner Roark.




p.s. this is the win probability chart from FanGraphs:

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

First and Last

This was a game that reminds us cynics of why we were baseball fans.  It reminds us that baseball is, perhaps, the most human of sports.  The Giants scored in the 1st inning, a Belt sacrifice that scored Steve Duggar.  He hit it to triples alley, deep towards the 421 sign, but it was an out.  It would be a shame not to see that next year, even if it does give Belt a few more home runs.  Hyun-Jin Ryu, on the mound for LA, quickly found his groove and the Giants were pretty much shut down for the rest of his 8 innings.

Madison Bumgarner pitched the best he has this year.  That was the opinion of one authority, Buster Posey on the post-game show, and confirmed by the radio and tv announcers.  His fastball had the best velocity of the year, and he used it the most he has this year.  His slider had some snap, too.  Madison struck out 8 in 6 IP, threw 114 pitches and walked 2.  He gave up 4 hits and 1 run.  That run came in the 6th, Kike Hernandez doubled, then Bum got the next two batters out, then Bellinger hit what might have been the 3rd out, an infield dribble.  It would have probably required either a slower runner or a faster pitcher, Madbum didn't cover 1st, and it probably wouldn't have mattered.  Meanwhile, Kike Hernandez scored from 2nd on what was a ballsy running play.  But it tied the game.

Madbum batted in the bottom of the 6th, which gives you an idea of what the Giants offense is like, but did not pitch the 7th.  That meant that Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson, and Will Smith had to hold LA to 0 runs, and that is not easy.   Reyes put 2 runners on (1 hit and 1 error on Brandon Crawford), Watson had a 1-2-3, and Will Smith then put another 2 doggers on before getting out of the inning unscathed.

Then came the 9th.  A groundout by the Panda hitting in the pitcher's spot.  Then Duggar, the only guy on the Giants who could be called a speedster, got his 3rd hit of the night off of Julio Urias.  Parra singled him to 2nd before Brandon Belt struck out.  LA brought in Pedro Baez to face Buster Posey and Buster, on a 3 - 1 count, lined to left.  It had to have been Buster, and anyone but Duggar would have had to stop at 3rd or been thrown out, the line drive just wasn't deep enough.  The Giants scored on a Buster Posey walk-off single, beating LA by a score of 2 - 1.  Oh yeah, Bochy got tossed somewhere mid-game.

So here we are.  We beat LA 2 of the 3 games on what was looking like a real dumpster fire of a homestand.  We got some measure of redemption on what is sure to be a season to try men's and women's souls.  Why can't we summon that intensity against anyone else?  The doggers score tons of runs and we held them to 1.  And scored twice.

Tyler Beede is slated to start in Cincinnati Friday.