Sunday, September 29, 2019

It's Over

LA 9  SF 0
Dereck Rodriguez, bless his heart, had to play the sacrificial lamb this afternoon as the Dodgers took control of the ballgame in the 1st inning. He got burned on a few weakly-hit balls, but the boys in blue are absurdly good (106 wins) and the Giants have had no answers at any time this weekend. D-Rod was hit hard this year and mostly unable to replicate his rookie-year successes. Let's hope he can up his game before next spring and compete for a roster spot. The team needs all the young arms it can gather together. In fact, the team needs to improve everywhere. But that's another post.

Bruce Bochy talked about managing Team France in the next World Baseball Classic (2021). That sounds like a perfect fit. He is the only MLB manager born in France. Competitive guys like Boch probably never really retire, they just find less-stressful ways to keep the juices flowing. I thought it was interesting how many people, in their tributes to Boch, remarked on the same personal qualities like his patience, his tolerance, his loyalty, his genuine concern for their well-being, that sort of thing. He cultivated relationships and maintained them with grace and good humor. Boch comes across as a genuine good guy and living proof that Leo Durocher was full of shit.

Giants made history this season. They used 64 players, the most ever by an NL club. They went 35-46 at home (.432), and I think that may be their worst-ever or tied for their worst-ever home record, including the New York days. I saw that factoid on Twitter, but I am unwilling to do the research to verify it. I understand Timmy was in the house today. He's like Area 51, you are never really sure what's true and what isn't. He's alive and was photographed, that I know. Madison Bumgarner pinch-hit against Clayton Kershaw in the 5th (who was a good sport and kept pumping in fastballs) and lined out to third. Kershaw tipped his hat to Boch, and Bum tipped his helmet to the crowd. I hope that is not the last time we see no. 40 in orange-and-black, but I'm expecting a lot of changes and you just never know how things will shake out. I think I will avoid predicting what will happen as I'm usually wrong.

We'll have a lot to talk about over the ensuing months, but for now I think we all need a break!


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Webb and Cueto

LA 9  SF 2
LA 2  SF 0
Logan Webb turns 23 in November and is hoping to earn a spot on the 2020 roster. Today he pitched well, going a full six against a very tough lineup, striking out five and giving up two runs. He threw 90 pitches to 23 batters, following up on a good start in Atlanta in which he also went six and threw 90 pitches (to 22 batters). Webb is emerging as a dark horse favorite to be the fifth starter despite the relatively brief audition (8 starts).

Johnny Cueto turns 34 in February and his starting spot is assured for both 2020 and 2021. His four outings this September were really just workouts for the veteran righty who has recovered remarkably from Tommy John surgery. It would be wonderful to see him make 30+ starts next season with something closer to his career marks (121 ERA+, 3.81 FIP), or even recapturing some of his memorable (5.5 bWAR, 5 CG, 18-5, 2.95 ERA) 2016 magic.

I'm happy the Giants honored Peter Magowan this weekend, he deserves the accolades for saving the team and building the ballpark. And I think Kevin Pillar is an excellent choice to receive the Willie Mac Award. I thought he did a nice job with his acceptance speech, too. I see Pillar on the team next year. His fielding and power hitting make up for his poor on-base percentage, especially if he hits lower in the lineup. A guy can be bad at something and still be a good ballplayer. Pillar seems to have a knack for dramatic moments and has a lot of fan appeal. If he can be a 2-WAR everyday player or even part of an outfield mix I'll be happy. You need superstars on your ballclub, but more importantly you need a heap of solid major-leaguers (i.e. 2-WAR players).

The Giants go winless in the first two games of this final home series. Perhaps they can step up and deliver a better performance for Boch's swan song. Bumgarner is sitting, not starting, although he will be suited up to play. D-Rod gets the call. It's the right move, the game itself is meaningless and development of young players for 2020 is more important. I suspect Bum will pinch-hit at some point. I hope the Giants sign him in the off-season. With Shark and JohnnyC that could be a strong foundation to build a team around.

One more time: GO GIANTS!


Thursday, September 26, 2019


SF 8  COL 3
The Giants take the rubber match with the Rockies this afternoon with a team-wide effort. Tyler Beede looked good at the start, whiffing seven and walking none in his 3-1/3 IP. He did not allow a hit or a run. Unfortunately he had to come out of the game in the 4th inning with the Giants up 1-0. Apparently he injured himself but I've seen no details so far. Nice to see him throw well regardless. The Rockies tied it against Burch Smith, the Giants went ahead 2-1, Smith gave up another run, then the Giants went up 3-2, then 4-2, then the Rockies came back to make it 4-3 in the top of the 8th. The home squad then scored four in the bottom half and it finished 8-3.

Mauricio Dubon was the hitting star with two doubles and a homer. Mike Yastrzemski had pinch-hit homer plus another RBI hit later. Kevin Pillar had two hits, and clutch doubles from Alex Dickerson and Aramis Garcia added more runs to the tally. Smith had a rough time in his stint, and Enderson Franco gave up a run, but Sam Coonrod, Fernando Abad, Jandel Gustave, and Ryan Barraclough (who closed it) were unscored upon. Like I said, it was a team effort.

That's 77 wins for the season with three to play. Last year they won 73 and the year before 64. Johnny Cueto goes tomorrow night at 7:15 against the Dodgers.



Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Jaylin Jack

SF 2  COL 1
Jaylin Davis is in the bigs because he can hit homers. He hit a heapin' pile of 'em at AAA this season, and the expectation is that he'll hit a few in the show. It took 13 games and 33 ABs but he finally got the big fly and it won the game in the 9th for the Giants. It was another anemic offensive display by the home squad, but the pitching was very tough and that kept it close and that gave the good guys a chance. Jaylin Davis is 25 years old and is from North Carolina and has over 1800 PAs in the minor leagues, mostly in the Twins system. He killed it (1.112 OPS) at Rochester (International League, AAA) and at Sacramento (1.105 OPS) and earned his call-up. Let's hope we see more good stuff from Davis--that was only his fourth hit! He was acquired in the Sam Dyson trade. His walk-off winner tonight made history: only twice before had a first career homer decided a ballgame.

Tyler Beede goes tomorrow afternoon, 12:45 Pacific.



A Stumble on the Last Lap

Did you know that the Giants had already won the division series with the Rockies before the game started?  I was surprised, given the way that Coors Field has been so inhospitable to the Giants in the last couple years.  The Giants are in their final home stand, 3 against Colorado and 3 against LA.  I guess fans at the park got their money's worth, if you measure by innings.  The Giants played 16, only to cough up 3 runs in the final frame and lose by a score of 8 - 5.  Derek Rodriguez got the loss.  25 pitchers threw in the game, an MLB record, and the Giants used 13 of them.  The Giants used, by my count, 33 players and the Rockies used 28.  Oh, and their chance for a .500 season was thwarted by their 82nd loss.

Buster Posey hit his 7th home run of the season.  Evan Longoria hit his 20th, giving the Giants 3 20-home run hitters for the first time since 2006.  2006!  Madison Bumgarner hit a home run, his 2nd of the year, giving me a chance to use my favorite label.  Trevor Story has homered in each of his last 6 games against SF.  The Giants and Rockies were tied, 5 - 5 after 9.

Madison Bumgarner was on the hill.  He is determined to lead the National League in innings pitched.  After the 7 he threw last night, he has, after 2 years of injuries, given us 207.2 innings, with one start remaining on the last day of the regular season.  Stephen Strasburg is second with 203 innings.  Madison is a horse.  He threw 106 pitches, struck out 9 and walked 2.  He also gave up 3 home runs for 4 total.  In fact, 12 of the 13 runs scored were as a result of a home run, including Blackmon's final, 3-run blast.  It's warm in SF.  Madison did not, of course, get the decision, just like 14 other times this year.

Yet, Madison had a 3.62 ERA at the end of August, but has given up 19 (earned) runs in 31 innings since then.  Yesterday he threw a couple of pitches, like the one to Desmond, that were very, very fat.  He seems to lack concentration sometimes, although I really have no idea if that is the case or not.  I think that, as most of us cannot experience what it is like to compete at that high a level, and as we have no good descriptors of the randomness and elements of luck that make up the game, we often hear about things like a player's concentration, or desire, or heart, or team spirit, or lack thereof.  Sometimes this is just coded racism, but it is probably often an attempt to put an explanation when the real explanation hinges on such non-predictable events, like the flight of a round ball when struck by a round bat.  In any case, some of Madison's location mistakes wound up over the center of the plate, and then in the stands.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Webb-based solution

SF 4  STL 1
The Giants close out a 3-3 road trip with a tidy win over the Braves. Rookie Logan Webb threw the best start of his very young career, yielding only two hits and fanning seven in six solid frames. The only run came on a ground out by Freddie Freeman, driving in Adeiny Hechevarria who had tripled. Even that was a bit of bad luck as Kevin Pillar had that one in his glove up against the wall in center but could not hold on. A fine effort by the 22-year old from Rocklin who had only one start at the AAA-level in his relatively brief stint in the minors (80 G, 60 GS, 320-1/3 IP over six seasons). Webb was picked right out of high school in the 4th-round of the 2014 draft and played rookie ball as a 17-year old. Other picks from that draft were Tyler Beede (1st round), Aramis Garcia (2nd round), Sam Coonrod (5th round), and Austin Slater (8th round). Stanford alum Slater leads that group with 1.3 bWAR (171 games) in the bigs.

Dallas Keuchel kept a lid on the Giants until the 6th when doubles by Evan Longoria and Joey Rickard made it 3-0, and Longo added another RBI hit in the 7th off Luke Jackson. All in all, a quality outing by the ballclub who come home for the final six games of the season. At 75-81 there is still a chance (very slim, I admit) for a .500 finish. Boch is 1050-1050 in orange-and-black, perhaps he'll walk away with a winning record if the Giants can play good ball at home, something they have not done this season.

Madison Bumgarner goes Tuesday and is also scheduled to pitch in the finale on Sunday.



Thursday, September 19, 2019

Not quite enough

BOS 5  SF 4
Madison Bumgarner gave up hits to the first four batters he faced and turned a 1-0 Giants lead into a 2-1 deficit. It didn't get better. A fluky sequence of bloopers and bleeders in the 2nd made it 5-1 Sox and they held on to win. The Giants had a late comeback to cut the deficit to 5-3, then loaded the bases in the 9th with no outs but could only scratch out one run. Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out ten in his six innings and only allowed two hits. Bum whiffed seven in his five and was tagged for nine hits. The Red Sox bullpen was shaky (3 IP, 3 R), the Giants bullpen solid (3 IP, 0 R), but the deficit was too much to overcome. Obviously it was a good series--they took two of three from a good team in a tough park. An even better team is next as the Giants go to Atlanta to take on the 94-win Braves. Tyler Beede gets the ball at 4:20 (seriously) Pacific.



Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Giants Clobber Red Sox

SF 11  BOS 3
It's 2000 managerial wins for Bruce Bochy, certainly a great milestone. To do anything uninterrupted for 25 years is pretty impressive, to do it in the big leagues is remarkable. So few managers have been able to keep a job for multiple seasons, but Boch managed in San Diego for 12 straight years and followed that with 13 in San Francisco. To be that competitive and that accomplished and yet remain humble is a great personal quality. I also like that he never threw anyone under the bus. He didn't point fingers or blame people when things went bad. In fact, he's gone out of his way to praise others and spread the credit around. Boch always stayed calm and even-keeled in the most trying of circumstances, and maintained his relentless optimism and positive energy day after day. No wonder players loved him! We got to see him at his best in the championship years, his tactical boldness and skilled poker-playing making other talented managers look over-matched, but all the other seasons, especially the losing ones, showcased his abilities as a leader, teacher, and communicator. We were certainly lucky to have him around!

It was a laugher tonight in Fenway. The lineup jumped on Jhoulys Chacin right away and handed Jeff Samardzija the early lead. The Shark was the very definition of "effectively wild" and held the Sox hitless into the 6th inning. The fastball was lively and had a lot of movement and once he started hitting the corners it was tough for them to get anything going. Everyone in the starting lineup got at least one hit and six of the nine scored at least one run. Boston got a couple of late runs to make it feel tight but then their 'pen gave up seven runs in the final two frames and we all got to relax.

This Giants team is, well, bi-polar. You just don't know which version you are going to get on any given night! The getaway game starts at 10:05 Pacific tomorrow morning with Madison Bumgarner on the mound. Ten games left in the season.



Tuesday, September 17, 2019

River Cats are AAA Champions!

SAC 4  COL 0
The Sacramento River Cats, the Giants Pacific Coast League affiliate, won the AAA national title tonight with a win over the Columbus (Ohio) Clippers. The Clippers are the International League affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. So, a bit of good news for the Giants organization. It's a remarkable accomplishment when you consider the roster turnover. The B-R page lists 65 players for the River Cats this year.

Current Sacramento manager Dave Brundage led the Richmond Braves to the AAA championship game in 2007, and that team lost to the River Cats! Brundage is from Oregon and played for the OSU Beavers before turning pro. He never made the bigs but did play in nearly 800 minor league games over ten seasons. At age 54 he has 22 years of managerial experience, 14 at AAA.

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes of the Northwest League (A-), the Augusta Green Jackets of the South Atlantic League (A), the San Jose Giants of the California League (A+), and even the Orange Giants of the Arizona League (rookie ball) made the playoffs this season. Not bad!

In other news, the major league club played a game in Boston at Fenway Park. Mike Yastrzemski hit a homer with grandpa Carl in attendance, which was pretty cool. The game lasted 15 innings. The Giants looked good early, then they looked bad and let the Red Sox back in the game in the 6th, but hung on to scratch out a run and take a 6-5 lead in the 13th which was around midnight Eastern Time. The ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth Giants pitchers, Sam Selman, Burch Smith, Wandy Peralta, and Kyle Barraclough could not get the job done and the Sox tied it up and sent it to the 14th inning. But Dereck Rodriguez, the lucky thirteenth pitcher, got the next six outs, and the Giants finally finished it off 7-6. D-Rod gets the win, but shouldn't he get the save as well? If you are going to pass out credit, I think you should go all the way!

Next year we won't likely see thirteen-pitcher games (Boston used eleven guys) as the September rosters will only be increased to 28 players instead of 40.

Jeff Samardzija tomorrow. GO GIANTS!


p.s. Number 1999 for Boch. First SF Giants win--ever--in Fenway.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

An ugly win is still a win!

SF 2  MIA 1
The Giants put on a display of offensive ineptitude again today but they managed to prevail over the equally-pathetic Marlins. Good work from the bullpen saved the home squad from embarrassment, with Tyler Rogers getting three outs on ten pitches, and Will Smith returning to close it out. Mauricio Dubon gave the Giants early hope with a solo shot, but an Evan Longoria throwing error led to the tying run against hard-luck reliever Burch Smith. The winning rally featured singles by Yaz and Belt who both moved up on a wild pitch. After a walk to Longo and a whiff from Vogt reliever Ryan Stanek threw another wild pitch and Yaz scampered home. It's a win, I'll take it, but damn it is a discouraging thing to watch. The Giants have scored 254 runs at home in 75 games (3.39 rpg) and that's why they are 33-42 there. Johnny Cueto pitched well again (5 IP, 0 R) and that feels good.

It is a blessed travel day tomorrow and--another blessing--the boys go on the road, this time to Boston. They'll have to hit better there. Logan Webb gets the ball on Tuesday at 4:10 p.m. Pacific.



Saturday, September 14, 2019


MIA 4  SF 2
Naturally after I get excited about Shaun Anderson he gets the call tonight and gives up the ghost and the Giants lose. But that's OK. Relievers give it up some of the time. Bumgarner pitched well but his team let him down with another feeble offensive effort. They used to call that getting Cained, but now it is just a Bummer. This offense is pathetic at home. I'm glad there are only 13 games left, I don't think I can watch them flail and fail too many more times. But Bum pitched well, that's always good. Cueto tomorrow.


Friday, September 13, 2019

Lucky 13th

SF 1  MIA 0
The Harvest Moon of Friday the 13th brought good luck to the win-starved Giants. Tyler Beede pitched well (6-1/3, 3 H, 1 W, 5 K), and that certainly had a lot to do with it. Superb relief work from Tyler Rogers (5 batters, three whiffs) and new closer Shaun Anderson  helped a hell of a lot, too. If you like old-school get-'em-on, get-'em-over, get-'em-in baseball you were in luck. The Giants did that once. The Marlins did it zero times, and one is bigger than zero. Brandon Belt had three hits including two doubles but did not figure in the scoring. It was that kind of game. The fielders helped, turning two big double plays, and Buster Posey threw out a wannabe base-stealer. He also drove in the game-winner with a bouncer through a drawn-in infield. I'm a big fan of wins, no matter how weird they are, and this game was weird. Tyler Beede pitched well and that's something we want to see more of, and Shaun Anderson is "serving notice" that he's a genuine closer candidate. That's the team's eighth shutout.

Madison Bumgarner goes tomorrow night at 6:05 and Johnny Cueto goes Sunday afternoon at 1:05. That's Pacific Daylight Time. I like this Bum-JC two-step. I hope they sign Bum and we get to see it for a couple more years.



Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Johnny Joy

SF 5  PIT 4
Johnny Cueto pitched beautifully in his return to action. The flashy righty threw a first-pitch strike to 12 of the 17 batters he faced. One hit, one walk, and four strikeouts in five innings (69 pitches) made for a tidy night's work. The Giants put up three runs right away against Pirates starter Mitch Keller and added two more in the 5th. It was just enough. Kyle Barraclough started the 6th but had to be bailed out by former starter Andy Suarez. He got through the 7th as well but Sam Coonrod and FNG Wandy Peralta made a mess of the 8th, giving up four runs. Former starter Shaun Anderson stepped up and got the final four outs, an impressive effort considering last night's ugly loss.

Speaking of last night, that was Game 144, the end of the 8th seasonal inning. It was ugly. The team went 6-12, nuff said. Here's the big picture:

1st inning: 8-10
2nd inning: 8-10
3rd inning: 5-13
4th inning: 10-8
5th inning: 11-7 
6th inning: 13-5
7th inning: 8-10
8th inning: 6-12

Giants get their 70th win and are now 70-75, and more importantly 1-0 in the 9th seasonal inning. There are 17 games left!

Logan Webb goes tomorrow night, 6:45 Pacific. GO GIANTS!


Bullpen Implosion

The Giants were 55 - 0 in games in which they led after the 8th inning.  Until last night, they were the last team in the National League with a perfect record in that regard.  The Pirates, however, scored 4 in the 9th to win by a score of 6 - 4.

Madison Bumgarner started the game.  He pitched well, although I think his concentration may be a bit better when something big is on the line, like the wild card spot for the playoffs.  He threw 7 innings, gave up 2 runs (1 on a fat pitch that left the park) on 6 hits, struck out 5 and walked 2 in 99 pitches.  In the 5th, 6th and 7th innings, he gave up extra bases to the lead-off Pirate (the 5th was the home run) but then pitched through that, giving up his 2nd run in the 6th.  Tyler Rogers threw a scoreless 8th.  Then came the 9th.  The Giants were up 4 - 2, mainly thanks to Brandon Belt's 3 hits and 2 rbi.  Will Smith was unavailable due to back tightness.  Trevor Gott and Tony Watson and Reyes Moronta are all hurt.  So Boch turned to Fernando Abad and Jandel Gustave, who gave up 4 before the Pirates closer, Felipe Vasquez, shut us down.  No win number 1996 for Bochy.  Abad and Gustave were excellent against LA, but they are inexperienced in a 9th inning shut-down role.  The Pirates had a look-what-we-found looks on their faces as they routed the Giants.  That included Brian Reynolds, possible Rookie of the Year, who had the gwrbi.  He's a 4.1 WAR rookie who was drafted by the Giants.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

SF 1 LA 0

It took seven pitchers to get the shutout, but the Giants 1-0 victory over the Dodgers tonight in LA has to be one of the most satisfying wins of the season. Eking out a run in the 1st on a bases-loaded Kevin Pillar ground out, the Giants made it stand up against the best offense in the NL. The Dodgers have 253 homers in 143 games, an average of 1.77 per game or roughly seven homers every four games. Not tonight!

In the 5th inning starter Tyler Beede, who had looked great through four, loaded the bases with two outs and had to face Cody Bellinger. In a pennant race there's a good chance he gets pulled (76 pitches), especially with his youth and recent history. Bring in a LOOGY there and go after the putative MVP. But this is a rebuilding team and there is an opportunity to develop a young pitcher, so Boch left in Beede to face Bellinger. Four pitches later he got a fly out to left field and walked off with five of the best innings of his rocky rookie campaign.

With Reyes Moronta on the IL, Tony Watson recovering, and Will Smith unavailable, it took a fresh bullpen approach for the late innings. Shaun Anderson, a closer in college, threw a scoreless 6th with two strikeouts. Tyler Rogers got two outs in the 7th and Andrew Suarez closed the inning and got the first out of the 8th. There was a tense moment when Sam Coonrod hit Justin Turner with a pitch but Fernando Abad induced a double play from Bellinger to finish the 8th. In the 9th Jandel Gustave gave us tooth-gnashing moments with a walk and a scary line out but Kike Hernandez obliged with a double play grounder and the Giants had their win. You have to love the creative use of the pitching staff, and the fact that they executed--in new roles--against a very tough opponent. It was torture, of course, I would have preferred a 10-0 lead, but it all worked out. That's back-to-back one-run wins!

Bruce Bochy has the most wins (107) of any visiting manager in Dodger Stadium. That's only the fifth time this season the Dodgers have been shut out.

Dereck Rodriguez gets the start tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 PDT.



p.s. Johnny Cueto starts Tuesday night at home against the Pirates.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Dubon Leads Giants

SF 5  LA 4
The Giants survived a three-homer game from A.J. Pollock, all solo shots, and hung on to win in Dodger Stadium. Closer Will Smith struck out LA phenom Will Smith to end it. It was an agonizing 9th, in contrast to the brisk work from Tyler Rogers in the 7th and Fernando Abad and Jandel Gustave in the 8th. Jeff Samardzija delivered a solid six (5 H, 3 R) to keep the Giants close against Clayton Kershaw. I often joke that Kershaw is the greatest pitcher in San Francisco Giants history. We have all watched his exceptional dominance against our favorite team, but they prevailed over him this time. They worked counts and ran up his pitch total in the first few innings but were unable to capitalize on some big chances. Finally after a 12-pitch walk to Kevin Pillar to open the 5th Dave Roberts came out for his super southpaw and the Giants were able to crack it open against reliever Dylan Floro. The big hits were from Yaz, pinch-hitting for Joey Rickard, and young Dubon.

Speaking of Mauricio, he doubled and homered off Kershaw, his homer tying the game in the 4th. His single in the 5th off Floro scored the final two runs that proved to be the difference. I like watching him in the field, he is very smooth and he makes everything look easy. Looks like he has a great arm as well. Big night for the rookie. Giants need infielders who can hit, let's hope he can be a fixture on the 2020 club.

That's only the 19th loss at home for the Dodgers this season. Tyler Beede goes tomorrow night at 6:10 Pacific. GO GIANTS!


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

1st September Win - It Wasn't Easy

It is my good fortune to post something when Madison Bumgarner pitches.  He gets wins and that makes me post in a much better mood than when the Giants lose.  You, in turn, benefit by being spared my vitriol.  At least some of it.

Madison Bumgarner pitched for the Giants tonight and the Giants beat the Cardinals by a score of 9 - 8 in a wild game.  40 different players made appearances in this game.  The Giants went up 4 - 0, then the Cardinals caught up, then the Giants went up 7 - 4, then the Cardinals went up 8 - 7, and finally Kevin Pillar hit his 21st home run of the year with Brandon Crawford on base for the GWRBI in the 8th inning.

The Cardinals have been playing excellent ball, they had won 20 of their last 25 games.  OMG if only the Giants could put together a run like that.  Last night, if you recall, Derek Rodriguez pitched superbly but came away with the loss and the Giants gave up 1 solo home run but were held scoreless by Jack Flaherty.  They said that August was the best month of pitching for a Cardinal since Bob Gibson, one of my childhood heroes.  Madison was not nearly so good, nor anywhere near as good as he can be.  He gave up 9 hits in 5 innings, walked 1 and struck out only 2.  1 of those hits was a home run and he gave up 6 total.  The Giants were charged with 1 error, on a Corban Joseph bobbled grounder, but there were a couple of other near misses that led to runs.  Jaylin Davis had one clang off his glove at the wall and Mike Yastrzemski missed one at the fence in left.  Both of those would have been spectacular catches, but on another night, that might have prevented Cardinal runs from scoring.  The Cardinals also erred once, on a bizarre 3rd-out ground ball in the 6th.  DeJong at shortstop picked up the ball, started to throw to 1st to retire Longoria and then choked and tossed the ball to Wong at 2nd, who was totally surprised and off the bag when he snagged it to allow Posey to reach base.  That put 2 men on for Brandon Crawford who homered for 3 runs to make the score 7 - 4.  Yaz also homered, a solo shot in the 3rd.  Kevin Pillar has had 8 4-hit games in his 6-year career, 4 of them have been as a Giant.  The Giants used 6 pitchers, the Cardinals 7.  So that's Bochy win # 1993.  1 win out of their last 5, 2 out of their last 9, 4 of their last 14.  Please, please, please don't go into the final weekend needing a sweep against LA to give him 2000. 

Monday, September 2, 2019

Dubon goes long

STL 3  SF 1
My dream of a .500 finish for the Giants is slipping away. There are 25 games left, if they can win a dozen I suppose I'll take that as progress. Speaking of progress, Mauricio Dubon had two hits including his first career double and his first career homer. That's pretty cool. I'm thinking a lot about 2020 these days!


p.s. The Giants were 11-15 in April with a minus-20 run difference (91 RS, 111 RA) and 10-16 in May with a really ugly minus-63 (112, 175). In August they were 11-15 with only a minus-10 (125, 135). They had three one-run losses and three two-run losses.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

1-5 homestand

SD 8  SF 4
I said the Giants needed a winning streak. More like a team-wide blood transfusion!

Perhaps they'll play better on the road.

Pablo Sandoval, it seems, got his final at-bat of 2019. Was it his last time in a Giants uniform? Probably. His next step is Tommy John surgery. He'll be 34 next August and has logged almost 10,000 innings (9646) in his career.

The Panda is certainly a unique, unforgettable ballplayer. He gets full-page treatment in The Big Book of Giants Lore.

No rest for the weary. Tyler Beede goes at 11:15 a.m. Pacific in St. Louis tomorrow.



Good things on a bad night

SD 4  SF 1
The Giants lost and Reyes Moronta went down--literally--with a shoulder injury. But there are usually some silver linings, and last night one of them was Logan Webb. He threw five shutout innings and didn't give up a run until there were two outs in the 6th. It was a fine effort (one walk, seven whiffs) by the youngster who hit 97 on the radar gun. He has scary-looking stuff and it is exciting to watch him emerge.Tyler Rogers also pitched well in relief (four outs on 14 pitches). Outfielder Joey Rickard had two hits. Austin Slater hit a homer.

Those things all matter. Something that matters a lot less, but is a silver lining in a way, is that Jon Miller, on the radio, mentioned The Athletic and quoted an article by Grant Brisbee. Miller, as you know, embraces modernity with the enthusiasm of an eight-year old forced to kiss his great aunt. It's nice to know that he uses the internet, maybe he'll even try Baseball-Reference or, god forbid, FanGraphs*.

The Giants could use a winning streak!


*Must-watch FanGraphs plug from Daniel Murphy. It's only a few seconds, so check it out. It's scary when the players are better informed than the media covering them.