Saturday, April 19, 2014

I hate 3-game losing streaks, so bring back Barry

That's what the good guys have now. I'd bring back Barry Bonds myself.When the Giants were clobbering the ball, it was within memory of his week in Scottsdale. It couldn't hurt!

Dammit. No one is hitting.

Henry Schulman's recap -- The Giants have their first three-game losing streak of 2014, and it’s all on an offense that has gone into hibernation.
For the first time since September, 2011, the Giants have gone three consecutive games without scoring as many as two runs. They have scored once in each of the past three games, including Saturday night’s 3-1 loss to the Padres at Petco Park.
The Giants were looking at a third straight 2-1 loss until pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia squeezed home Will Venable in the eighth inning. The Giants’ streak of one-run games ended at eight.
Tim Hudson had been the lucky charm of the rotation. The Giants had won his first three starts, all after losses.
But Hudson committed the cardinal sin these days of allowing two runs, in seven innings, enough to doom the Giants to their second series loss of the season.
Hudson set a franchise record in the fifth when he completed 28 innings to start the season without a walk. The previous record-holder was Hooks Wiltse in 1913. His actual inning streak cannot be determined because of incomplete record-keeping, but it was no more than 28.
Hudson also became the second major-league pitcher in the past 80 seasons to begin a season without walking a batter in four starts of at least seven innings. The other was the Yankees’ Tiny Bonham in 1944.
Left-hander Eric Stults, who entered wit ha 5.52 ERA, held the Giants to three hits in six innings, one a long Michael Morse home run.

"Wasted a superb performance"

Who in the world could that be about? Matt Cain, that's who. 

The upside is that the pitching has been fine; the historical perspective is that the Giants have now had 8 straight one-run decisions and gone 4-4.

Here's the Chris Haft story on Giants site --

 The Giants wasted Matt Cain's superb performance Friday night by mustering four hits in eight innings off right-hander Tyson Ross in a 2-1 loss to the San Diego Padres.
The Padres nicked Cain for their first run in the first inning. Chris Denorfia tripled to right-center field and scored as the final pitch on a walk drawn by Jedd Gyorko eluded catcher Hector Sanchez for a passed ball.
Cain proceeded to retire 16 of the next 18 batters he faced, including 11 in a row between the third and sixth innings.
The Giants generated their closest semblance to a scoring threat in the seventh inning, which began with Pablo Sandoval's single and Hunter Pence's walk. Ross escaped by inducing Sanchez's double-play grounder and Brandon Crawford's low line drive directly to shortstop Everth Cabrera.
San Diego added an important insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on Yasmani Grandal's solo homer for a 2-0 lead.
San Francisco runners reached second base on three other occasions but advanced no farther until Brandon Belt's home run in the top of the ninth.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Seven in a row for the Orange and Black

What in the world am I talking about? 

Steve Kroner of the SF Chronicle files a solid game coverage story, noting that the 2014 Giants, like the 1910 Giants, have gone through seven straight one-run games. 

Some pretty fine writing here --

So after the Giants dropped a 2-1 decision to the Dodgers on Thursday afternoon, you almost expected to see the ghosts of manager John McGraw, pitcher Christy Mathewson and outfielder Fred Snodgrass hovering over AT&T Park, watching the seagulls perform their postgame ritual.
McGraw, Mathewson and Snodgrass were part of the 1910 New York Giants. That was the last team in franchise history to have a longer streak of one-run games than the 2014 San Francisco Giants put together over the final seven games of their just-completed nine-game homestand.
The 1910 N.Y. Giants played eight straight one-run games in August. The 2014 S.F. Giants managed to win four of those seven games, and they took two of three from Los Angeles despite going 5-for-30 with runners in scoring position.
Their lone hit in eight RISP at-bats Thursday was Ehire Adrianza's RBI single with two outs in the ninth. Adrianza's third hit of the day left the Giants with the potential tying and winning runs at second and first, respectively.
Kenley Jansen stranded those runners and picked up his fifth save by getting pinch-hitter Brandon Crawford to fly to left.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pitching, pitching, pitching

Tonight's 2-1 vic over the dodgers was one of the best of the young season and it showed that Ryan Vogelsong still has some life in him.

He made the Dodgers look silly tonight. Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle recaps --


Normalcy must have returned to AT&T Park because manager Bruce Bochy is joking again about the stress these close games are placing on his heart, which, like the rest of him, turned 59 on Wednesday.
All those home runs in the first week were fun, but they were not Giants baseball, which is predicated on the manner of pitching the team displayed in its third and latest turn through the rotation.
The starting five had a 2.97 ERA after Ryan Vogelsong righted himself and allowed one run over six-plus innings in a 2-1 victory over the Dodgers, which clinched a winning homestand and the Giants' second series victory this season against their ancient rivals.
The 10-5 Giants went 4-1 during the rotation's third turn, all one-run games, all the victories enhanced by a bullpen that has a 0.63 ERA over the first eight games of the homestand. It ends Thursday with Madison Bumgarner on the mound.
Bochy offered a familiar thought when asked what the spate of one-run games has done for his boys.
"It gives you a lot of gray hairs," he said. "I guess that's what it does for us. That's our strength. It's been like that for years. It's good for the guys to know that every play, every pitch, counts. We're in a stretch where we're playing a lot of one-run games, and the guys have done a good job."
The pitching has had to step up because the offense has stepped down some from its heady start. Bochy fielded a lineup with three hitters below .200, none of them Vogelsong.
The Giants scored the winning run in the seventh inning when Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had left-hander J.P. Howell walk .183 hitter Hunter Pence to face .172 hitter Pablo Sandoval.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hector Sanchez again

The big hit came at 12:15 am at ATT Park thanks to the backup catcher

It was such a tight game that I hardly left my seat in Section 315.

How did that taste, dodger fans? mmmmmmm

"I was hungry," he told the San Franciso Chronicle.  

The Giants were out of reserve infielders, outfielders and catchers and down to their final reliever. But they still had Hector Sanchez.
In a game that started on Jackie Robinson Day and ended on Bruce Bochy's birthday — 14 minutes past midnight — Sanchez hit a two-out single off Brandon League in the 12th inning to beat the Dodgers 3-2 before a lively crowd at China Basin.
The Giants struggled in most of their important at-bats, going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position before Sanchez's at-bat and 0-for-5 with the bases loaded.
The final rally began on Brandon Crawford's one-out single. He took second on a groundout and third on a wild pitch before Sanchez won it, his sharp grounder glancing off second baseman Justin Turner's glove.
"I was hungry," Sanchez said after the 4-hour, 54-minute game – he also expressed concern about getting his daughter to school on time.
It was his fourth career walk-off hit.
"It's a long game, and we used almost all our players," Sanchez said. "In extra innings, you have to get the victory no matter what."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Splash hit number 64!

Brandon Crawford ended the game in the bottom of the 10th on the second pitch of the inning. Eat it, Rox

I keep thinking that perhaps some of the instruction that Crawford got from Barry Bonds aka Mr. Splash Hit may have paid off.

Chris Haft of notes that Sandoval's HR would have also been a splash hit if it had not hit a flagpole on its way to the water. 

All in all, a great day at the yard. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

No 9th inning magic today

Outside of superb pitching there really wasn't much magical today at the park as the Good Guys lost a very winnable game, 1-0.

The final batter was Hector Sanchez, which took me back to last August 15 -- when Hector hit a 3-run pinch HR with two out and two strikes in the 9th in DC for a 4-3 vic.

I couldn't help but think, "He's done it before; he'll do it again!"

Alas, it was not to be.

Not since Shawn Estes

That's how long it's been since a Giants pitcher hit a grand slam, notes Chris Haft of --

In his first at-bat, Bumgarner brought fans out of their seats as he lifted one high in the air to left field, sending Carlos Gonzalez to the warning track for a long sacrifice fly that scored Brandon Crawford from third base. The next inning, Bumgarner hit a no-doubt shot to the left-field bleachers on the first pitch he saw, clearing the loaded bases and giving himself a nice 6-3 lead.
"I'm just thankful to run into something and score some runs for us," Bumgarner said. "It's a good ballclub they got, all the talent they got. They've really got some good hitters in there and good pitching."
It marked the first grand slam by a Giants pitcher since Shawn Estes did the deed on May 24, 2000. With his five-RBI night, Bumgarner has driven in more runs than San Francisco regulars Pablo Sandoval (four) and Hunter Pence (three) have all season.
Upon learning of his production compared to the two key Giants sluggers, Bumgarner laughed.
"I hadn't really thought about it," Bumgarner said. "I'm sure it won't last long."

The game in 2000 was an 18-0 whipping of the Expos. The Giants were still 3 games under .500 at that point ...

Marvin Benard CF-LF-RF 4 1 1 0

   Felipe Crespo RF 0 0 0 1

Bill Mueller 3B 3 2 1 0

   Ramon Martinez 2B 2 0 1 1

Barry Bonds LF 3 3 3 3

   Calvin Murray CF 3 2 2 0

Jeff Kent 2B 3 3 1 1

   Russ Davis 3B 1 0 1 0

J.T. Snow 1B 4 2 3 5

   Armando Rios 1B 0 0 0 0

Ellis Burks RF 3 1 0 1

   Terrell Lowery LF 1 1 1 1

Bobby Estalella C 5 1 1 0

Rich Aurilia SS 5 1 1 0

Shawn Estes P 4 1 2 5

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sandoval slumping