SF Giants home again, home again

Giants versus Reds

San Francisco Giants’ Denard Span (2) slides safely into second base on a double against Cincinnati Reds’ Brandon Phillips (4) in the first inning at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, July 25, 2016. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

You know you’re at AT&T Park when a gamer babe picks a foul ball and hands it off to a kid, in other parks–can anyone say Minute Maid?–we watched a grown woman snatch a foul ball right out of a kid’s hand.

The Giants game back from their miserable road trip–we needed to use the flashy thing from MIB so we could put that road trip behind us, but you know, in the words of the late, great Yankee backstop, Yogi Berra, “it ain’t over till it’s over.”

It ain’t over yet, we brought that miserable road trip home.

The Cincinnati Reds came into town and showed off their power bats. They hit three two-run homers off Jake Peavy. Peavy started out well-his first two innings were three-up, three-down, and the third inning could have been if it not for a defensive error. He gave up two of the two-run homers in the fourth, both on a walk and a long ball. In the sixth he gave up a double and and another home run, for the third two-run homer.

The Giants started out looking pretty good. Denard Span led off with a double and Buster Posey drove him home with a single. Then the Giants joined the home run derby and scored two two-run homers themselves. In the fourth Brandon Crawford drew a walk, and Brandon Belt–who is hopefully over his slump–hit it out of the yard over Levi Landing. In the fifth, Denard Span hit a single and Angel Pagan followed with home run–his sixth on the year.

The Reds scored another run in the ninth–no homer, this one they manufactured. The final score was:

Giants 5, Reds 7

I don’t know what to say. Our guys need a shot in the arm. I tried to come up with a reason for their droopy offense, their less-than-stellar defense and I got nothing. All I have is this: no need to get all in a lather about it because there’s plenty of baseball left. Like the old Yankee said, “it ain’t over till it’s over.”  And this ain’t over, not by a longshot. Plenty of baseball left.

Tuesday’s game starts at 7:15 pm and will be on CSN-BA and KNBR 680. Matt Cain is pitching. Let’s hope he has a good game.

Join the friendly crowd on Facebook’s SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat to hear about what’s gonna happen, what should happen and what just happened. Monday I gave the group Garlic Fries, Tuesday I’m all about the Crazy Crab’z sandwiches. Show up! Follow the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

 

SF Giants one step forward, one step back

San Francisco Giants v New York Yankees

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 24: Pitching coach Dave Righetti #19 of the San Francisco Giants visits Jeff Samardzija #29 during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 24, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Well, that was fast. I thought maybe, just maybe we had a shot at another win in New York. Didn’t happen.

Jeff Samardzija was on the mound for the Giants and he looked good out there–giving up a solo home run in both the first and the second–all the way up to the sixth, when he allowed three runs on five hits. Twice through the Yankees line up was good, when it came to the third time through–not so much.

The Giants were held scoreless until the seventh. Buster, as DH,  came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. His single to right scored Ramiro Pena and Angel Pagan. Neither team scored after. The final score was:

Giants 2, Yankees 5

I am so looking forward to having the guys home. They’ve been gone too long. I think the injury bug is plaguing them and they are missing key players that have been off for longer than expected. The kids have been great–don’t get me wrong–they’re a shot in the arm and they’ve given us some solid at-bats and stellar defense, interspersed with very few rookie mistakes. I just think the chemistry is ever-so-slightly different, that’s all.

Meanwhile, the rumors about pitching trades continue to swirl around the baseball world. Henry Schulman from The San Francisco Chronicle reports the Giants wish-list includes Angels closer, Huston Street. Street will turn 33 in August and is, by all reports, having the worst season of his career. He spent a month on the DL with an oblique strain and will likely go for a bargain price because of his struggles. Sounds like our kinda guy. When do we sign him?

Monday’s game is back in the friendly confines of AT&T Park. Game time is set for 7:15 pm and will be broadcast on CSN-BA and KNBR 680. Peavy’s on the mound. Should be fun.

Strap on your home jerseys and join the crowd at Facebook’s SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat. For a welcome home treat, garlic fries for everyone! Follow the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

SF Giants win-brought to you by Mac Williamson

I know it’s a team sport, but everywhere you looked in Saturday’s game, Mac Williamson was there. Kinda like Visa–

07.23 72216-blog004

He was everywhere.

The Giants were looking to turn the tide Saturday in Game Two of the series with the Yankees before losing became a habit.

First of all, it was hot in the Bronx. Adding insult to injury–the game was tied after nine. Extra innings. Free baseball. In the broiling heat. Let’s hear it for New York, New York. Our guys are troopers–they sucked it up and toughed it out. One good thing: Buster Posey was in the game–catching. When they said he was day to day, I worried we wouldn’t see him so soon.

Johnny Cueto was on the mound for the Giants–in my Friday blog I said Jeff Samardzija was scheduled to pitch, I was wrong. Bochy snuck Cueto in and didn’t tell anyone until the last minute. Cueto did a great job, even though the Yankees scored first. It wasn’t for lack of trying.

In the second inning, with Jarrett Parker on board, Mac  hit into a force out, the Yankees took out Parker at second. Ramiro Pena doubled on a line drive to left and Williamson jetted for home from first base. He didn’t make it, but it was a valiant effort.

In the bottom of the fourth, with a man on first, The Yankees first baseman hit a line drive to right. When Mac attempted to field the ball, he fumbled it a little and the runner at first, who is swift of foot, made it home before Mac could get the ball to the plate. The Yankees score one. Mac was charged with an error, which saved Cueto’s ERA.

So what did Mac do? He was the lead-off man in the top of the fifth, he went to the plate and with one swing of the bat, took that run back with a solo shot right into the Giants bullpen. Nice work.

I know Angel Pagan missed the opportunity to score in the 11th when an intentionally pitched ball went high and wide, but Angel had trouble reading the play and thought better to be safe than sorry, so he stayed near the bag at third base. I know Bochy was irritated, but the Giants took care of it in the next inning.

The game stayed tied at one a piece until the top of the 12th. The bullpen kept the Yankees scoreless. They all did a great job, but the late innings hero was Santiago Casilla. He got the Giants out of a big jam in the tenth and pitched a scoreless, one-hit 11th.

Trevor Brown doubled in the top of the 12th and then it was Mac’s turn again. Mac singled on  a ground ball to center, scoring Brown, giving the Giants a one-run lead.

Hunter Strickland held the Yankees to a 1, 2, 3 shut-down inning and just like that, the Giants snapped a six-game skid. I clapped and screamed my head off. The final score was:

Giants 2, Yankees 1

The best part about the whole game? It was the first time Mac’s family got to see him play major league ball. Pretty cool, right? Unofficially, it was Mac Williamson Day at Yankee Stadium. Go ahead kid, take your bow.

If you’re up for it, we have Sunday breakfast baseball. Put the pancakes on, pour the mimosas and put your feet up. The game will be on at 10:05 am in all the usual places–CSN-BA and KNBR 680, plus TBS for the out-of-market fans.

Join the Facebook group for the SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat, visit with your virtual ballpark neighbors and cheer on the guys with other fans.If you make mimosas in the morning, be prepared to share. Follow the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

SF Giants slip sliding away

Giants Yankees BaseballThere is still no relief from the slippery slope we’ve been sliding down. I saw a glimmer of hope in Friday’s game, but it passed quickly, like a mild case of agita. Really, that’s all this is-it has my friend Richard reaching for his Brioschi.

I thought the day off would help. I thought since we had Madison Bumgarner set to pitch, it would be a tough day to be a Yankee. I thought, since the Giants bats came to life during Wednesday’s game in Boston, we would see some offense. I was partly right and mostly wrong. That’s what I get for thinking.

Madison Bumgarner pitched a great game–once he got past the second inning. The first two innings he got into some trouble, but he limited the damage each time. The bottom line is he pitched seven innings, gave up two runs on seven hits and three walks. He struck out six.

Brandon Crawford had a bad day. It happens to everyone. I can’t remember the last time he looked that awkward on the field. Friday’s loss doesn’t belong to him alone, but three errors didn’t help the cause. The last error he committed, that scored the Yankees go-ahead run in the eighth was more like a calamity of errors. Crawford’s throw was slightly high to Belt, the Yankee runner knocked into Belt, the ball got away and the runner from third scored. You can’t practice stuff like that.

Our bats looked alive enough to put men on in the second, third and fourth (the bases were loaded in the fourth) but they were left stranded when the innings ended. The Giants finally scored in the seventh-Jarrett Parker drew a walk, advanced to third on Denard Span’s double and scored on a wild pitch with Angel Pagan at the plate. In the eighth, Trevor Brown got a base hit, advanced to third on Grant Green’s single and scored on Mac Williamson’s double. Game tied.

The Yankees scored the go-ahead run and the Giants didn’t score again. The final score was:

Giants 2, Yankees 3

Damn Yankees. Fortunately for us, we won the consolation prize-again-and we live to hold off the Dodgers one more day. Four games back. Final score in St. Louis: LA 3, Cards 4.

07.22 1469238751046Our guys are battered and bruised–and it’s only six games into the second half. The bad news is Buster Posey left the game after fouling the ball off his foot. The good news is the X-Rays are negative and it appears to be a contusion. It was enough to cause near panic in the park. Speaking of panic, apparently the SF Giants Twitter fans were all atwitter because of a Panik trade rumor. Read all about it in McCovey Chronicles:

http://www.mccoveychronicles.com/2016/7/22/12259060/sf-giants-joe-panik-trade-rumors

Saturday’s game is at 1:05 pm with Jeff Samardzija on the mound. I can’t wait to see him handle Yankee Stadium. Not kidding, I haven’t stopped believing and Samardzija is our guy. The game will be on CSN-BA, Fox Sports and KNBR 680.

Join the crowd in the Facebook group SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat, for some baseball watching, baseball talking and the ever-present “if I were Bochy” philosophers. Bubble gum and sun seeds are optional, but I find them necessary. Here’s the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

SF Giants-so close…and yet so far

07.20 578132288

Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Everybody knows that former SF Giants manager Frank Robinson came up with the line:

“Close don’t count in baseball. Close only counts in horseshoes and grenades.” 

Of course he said that. He managed the SF Giants. He knew all about ‘close’.

Tuesday night the SF Giants showed up in Boston holding the historic Giants Baseball record of 0 for 100+ years at Fenway Park. The SF Giants were shut out the first night.

Things didn’t look so hot the second night of the two-game series, either.

Matt Cain was flawless. Matt Cain was brilliant. That was the first inning. It took him seven pitches to retire the side. I said to my husband, “he keeps this up, we’ll have ourselves a ball game!” Then he pitched the second inning. He walked Big Papi to lead off the inning, then gave up back-to-back jacks.

In the third, the Red Sox put up five more runs, including another two-run home run hit by Hanley Ramirez, the slugger who brought Big Papi home in the second. Matt Cain left and Bochy turned the ball over to Albert Suarez. After that Boston doubled and tripled their way to their third out, leaving the SF Giants with an eight-run deficit. No big whoop, right?

I said that tongue-(firmly planted)-in-cheek, but turns out it wasn’t the impossible dream. Somebody lit Jobu’s cigar and made him a daquiri because the SF Giants bats started humming.

In the fourth, Buster Posey drew a walk,  Brandon Crawford singled and Mac Williamson brought the boys home with a big fly to right field. That’s not all. Grant Green drove a single to right and Trevor Brown launched one over the Big Green Wall for a two-run home run. The Giants held Boston scoreless in the bottom of the inning.

Grant Green drew a two-out walk in the fifth and Trevor Brown followed with single. Ramiro Pena hit a single to score Green and Denard Span singled scoring Brown. All-in-all a colorful inning. The Giants comeback put us so close…just one run  from tying it up. I think even Frank Robinson would have been impressed.

Boston scored three more runs in the game, but the Giants didn’t. The final score was:

Giants 7, Boston 11

The SF Giants leave Boston with their historic 0 for 100 + years streak holding. We’ll get ’em next time.

Another day of R & R for the guys tomorrow. They head to the Big Apple and take on the Damn Yankees Friday. Somebody should write a song.

Game time is 4:05 pm and Madison Bumgarner is on the mound. He’s just what we need to snap out of the funk. You can catch the game on CSN-BA or KNBR 680, or for those out-of-market fans, there’s always the MLB Network. Join the Facebook group SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat for seats that are even better than the Yankee’s Legends premier seating. The beer is cheaper too. Follow the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

 

SF Giants-no consolation Tuesday

07.19 77712482

Generated by IJG JPEG Library

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I get the feeling we’re not going to be able to rely on “the Dodgers lost, too” until October. I think we need to pick up a win or two along the way. I could be wrong.

Jake Peavy was on the mound in his old stomping grounds, but Big Papi did the stomping. Peavy gave up a solo home run in the third, and in the fourth he walked the lead-off batter, the next guy hit a single and then it was Big Papi’s turn. He let it fly. The Giants went from down one to down four with one swing of the bat. In six innings pitched, Peavy allowed four runs on three hits and one walk. He struck out six.

Here’s the kicker: top of the first, our lead-off man Denard Span hit a single and Angel Pagan followed with a base hit. The Boston pitcher-Rick Porcello-struck out the next three hitters: Brandon Belt, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford. The table setters set the table, but the heart of our line up skipped dinner. The final score was:

Giants 0, Boston 4

07.19 577711382

Generated by IJG JPEG Library

Amazingly, the Giants had more hits than Boston-we had five to their four-but two of their hits were home runs. We drew two walks and they only drew one, we struck out five times-three strike outs from their starter and two from relievers-and we struck out six. As far as numbers go, this was our game to win. Things, unfortunately, didn’t line up like the numbers. On paper we looked good, but in the ballpark? Not so much.

It’s baseball. We’ve lost four in a row since the All∗Star break.  It’s gonna happen. That’s the bad news-we lost. The rest of the bad news is we even lost out on the consolation prize because LA swatted the Nats.

It’s been over 100 years since the Giants won a game at Fenway. A win Wednesday would be nice. The guys will  get things going again. I haven’t stopped believing.

Wednesday’s game is set for 4:10 pm on CSN-BA, KNBR 680 and ESPN for out-of-market fans. Join the SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat on Facebook for that almost, sort of, real ballpark experience. Order a dog and a beer. It’s Fenway!  Here’s the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

SF Giants lose three in a row

San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – JULY 17: Johnny Cueto #47 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on July 17, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

That’s right. Three in a row.  Swept by the Padres. You know what? It happens. Even to Johnny Cueto. The good news is this is baseball. It’s gonna leave a permanent mark, but we’ll forget about it tomorrow. Well, at least by next week, right?

I didn’t get a chance to watch all of Sunday’s game, but what I caught was the most important part-top of the seventh. For once my timing was impeccable. After throwing six no-hit innings, the Padres pitcher gave up a home run to Conor Gillaspie-with two men on. Gregor Blanco reached on a fielding error and Ramiro Pena drew a walk. Gillaspie’s three-run home run got the Giants back in the game. It narrowed the Padres lead to just one run.

That’s as far as the Giants got. San Diego took back one of the runs right away. The final score was:

Giants 3, Padres 5

07.17 920x920The Giants have Monday off. This might be a good time to take a breather and put the weekend behind them. I plan to. Like I said it happens. Turn the page. Move on. Get over it. You get the picture.

I’m sure by now you heard we got a consolation prize: the Dodgers lost Sunday. They lost Saturday too. Satisfying? Maybe a little. It’ll have to do until the Giants bounce back. Tuesday would be a good time to start bouncing.

Tuesday at 4:10 pm is the  Giants next scheduled start. Jake Peavy will face off against his old team at Fenway Park. The game will be on CSN-BA and KNBR 680. Join the crowd on Facebook’s SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat, where you can chat with other fans and share the love. Or the misery. It takes all kinds. Follow the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

SF Giants-whiskey, tango…you know

07.16 samardzija_qgp7zj7v_9ezqo43a

WTF. That’s the way many Giants fans reacted to Saturday’s loss to the Padres. The Padres. Another almost as popular, equally incredulous response: a balk off? seriously? A balk off. WTF?  No matter what the folks were saying it always came back to Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Let me just say this about that-it is not the way Santiago Casilla pictured ending the game either. In case you haven’t noticed, he’s one of us.

I’m not going to recap the whole game-partly because I snoozed through some of it-but I thought I should mention the fact that the Giants turned the game into their own personal home run derby. Angel Pagan hit a home run in the third with Jeff Samardzija on base, Denard Span hit a single in the fifth and Buster Posey doubled him home. In the sixth, Mac Williamson and Ramiro Pena hit back-to-back solo jacks and tied the game.

07.16 San+Francisco+Giants+v+San+Diego+Padres+Bh6gSXm6PcrlThe game went to extra innings and Buster hit a solo shot for the go ahead run in the tenth. Unfortunately, Casilla couldn’t get the outs needed to end the game. Simple as that. The final score was:

Giants 6, Padres 7

It was one of those games where you see things you don’t expect to see. Samardzija walked the first two hitters he faced and they ended up stealing bases and scoring on a Buster Posey error and a base hit.

Two guys-Drunk 1 and Drunk 2 were part of the evening entertainment, and of course, Kuip couldn’t help but point out the couple who held up the sign for Kruk saying they were on assignment too.

Then there was Casilla’s balk off. He caught his spike on the mound as he went into his pitching motion. Everybody got to take a base. Including the guy on third. Game over.

Sunday’s game is an afternoon game. I’m going to a family BBQ-I doubt I’ll have the chance to see it or write about it. Johnny Cueto will be on the mound. I hate to miss it. Game time is 1:40 pm on CSN-BA and KNBR 680. Join the friendly folks on Facebook at SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat. Tell them Toni sent you. You can have my seat. You can even have my sunflower seeds-if there’s any left. Follow the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

SF Giants-Murphy’s Law Rules

07.16 576532086Shoot. That didn’t go at all like I thought it would. We had Madison Bumgarner on the mound, Brandon Crawford in the line up. We faced the Padres already nine times this season and we beat them nine times. What could go wrong? Apparently, just like Murphy’s Law says: everything.

Bumgarner was his usual self as he fanned nine Padres, but not so much when the Padres took him yard or scored on hits and extra base hits. He allowed four runs (two home runs) on seven hits and one walk. Like I said, he struck out nine.

The Padres pitcher pitched a helluva game. You gotta give him credit. We handed it to him the last time he pitched to us and I think he decided to get even. He did a great job. In the second inning our main RBI guy, Crawford, led-off with a double and Conor Gillaspie drove him home with a single to right.That was our only run. The final score was:

Giants 1, Padres 4

07.16 576532056I don’t know about the rest of the guys, but Brandon Belt appears to have a limit. Who would’ve thought? Our Baby Giraffe had had it. Fed up. Hit the wall. That umpire kept calling strikes on Belt that were, simply put–everywhere but the strike zone…letter high, below the knees. Belt finally had enough, threw his bat down and gave that ump a piece of his mind. He got bounced. Good for him. When that ump reviews his strike zone I hope he takes note. It was lousy. Belt struck out four times. I don’t think Belt struck out four times in a game when he was in a slump. Bochy came out to back Belt and he got bounced too. It was the ninth inning. It was over anyway.

Jon Miller and Kuip pointed out how much better Belt knows the strike zone this season. That’s true.  He’s gotten much better at not chasing pitches that are out of the strike zone like some of these clearly were. Frustrating.

Saturday’s game starts at 5:40 pm with Jeff Samardzija taking the hill for the Giants. I’m keeping positive thoughts. You can catch the game on CSN-BA or KNBR 680. Join the fun on Facebook at SF Giants Game Time Thread & Chat. Bring your own dinner-make sure you include garlic fries. Beers are on the house. Your house. Follow the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1754172101534296/

 

SF Giants practically perfect

07.10 sanfranciscogi715All the zany antics the Giants fans were treated to in Saturday’s game were missing from Sunday’s game, but Sunday’s game was no less exciting. The reason for the excitement was our All∗Star, World Series Champion Ace-Madison Bumgarner. He came within a nose of pitching the perfect game.

Of course, I always remind you what our great former leader Frank Robinson said in 1973: “Close don’t count in baseball. Close only counts in horseshoes and grenades.” He’s right. The whole idea still made me nervous. Through the third inning, Bumgarner faced nine batters and sent them all packing with five strike outs and four ground outs. In the fourth inning, though, I got kind of a tingling feeling when Bumgarner fanned the side in order. I thought maybe, just maybe…

In the fifth inning, a ball was hit out to right field and Gregor Blanco tracked it down. You remember the amazing catch Blanco made for Cain’s perfect game? This wasn’t anything like that. Blanco dropped the ball and got charged with an error. Perfect game gone, but no-hitter still intact.

Bumgarner kept the no-hitter until the top of the eighth, when he allowed a one-out single. He induced a grounder from the next hitter and the defense turned a double play. The no-hitter was gone, but he still had a shut out going. In the ninth, he walked the lead off man, but got the next guy out with a pop up and the third guy with a grounder for another nicely turned double play.

Bumgarner shut out the Snakes. He struck out 14. He allowed just one hit and walked one hitter. He pitched a complete game. No bullpen required.

Even though he lost his bid for the perfect game, Bumgarner will always be the perfect Giants pitcher in my book.

The Giants offense got busy right away. In the first, Denard Span hit a single, Angel Pagan followed with a double and Buster Posey got a base hit, scoring Span. Pagan scored on Brandon Crawford’s sac fly, earning Crawford his 59th RBI.

07.10 546060832

Generated by IJG JPEG Library

The Giants struck again in the seventh with a single by Belt, a single by Posey and a double from Crawford. He gets two more RBI’s for scoring Belt and Posey. Make that RBI total 61. That’s ok, Terry Collins apparently doesn’t need the best defensive shortstop-who’s not bad at the plate either-in the NL when he takes on the AL Tuesday. Good for him.

We ended the half on a high note. We swept the DBacks with this win and we take the best record in baseball into the half. The final score was:

Giants 4, Arizona 0

We’re off until Friday when we open a three game series in San Diego. Our All∗Stars won’t have to travel far. Neither will Bochy.

I’m taking the week off. I’m gonna work on world peace. I’ll let you know how I do.

MLB.com Blogs

Official Affiliate / Unofficial Opinions

Gamer Babes from Half Moon Bay

For All Fans Following the Greatest Team in Major League Baseball

Filthy and Gorgeous

The musings & ponderings on all that is pretty.

MLB.com Blogs Central

Welcome to the MLB.com community blog! See other people's designs, post comments & questions, get tips and see if you made the Latest Leaders at the big-league home for baseball bloggers!

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Brandon and Brandon

Another Season with Belt and Crawford

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 419 other followers