San Francisco Giants – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Sat, 28 Sep 2019 18:38:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Winner of Giants – Dodgers rivalry this decade up for debate https://martineztribune.com/2019/09/26/winner-of-giants-dodgers-rivalry-this-decade-up-for-debate/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/09/26/winner-of-giants-dodgers-rivalry-this-decade-up-for-debate/#comments Thu, 26 Sep 2019 23:57:30 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13160 BY J.A. SCHWARTZ What defines success in the eyes of a baseball fan ? There is a heated rivalry between the supporters of the Dodgers and the Giants. Their fan bases are imbued with a deep-rooted contempt for their counterparts. When these two teams and their partisans reflect on the decade that concludes with the …

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BY J.A. SCHWARTZ

What defines success in the eyes of a baseball fan ?

There is a heated rivalry between the supporters of the Dodgers and the Giants. Their fan bases are imbued with a deep-rooted contempt for their counterparts. When these two teams and their partisans reflect on the decade that concludes with the 2019 season, which one will feel the greater sense of achievement ?  Which franchise is better positioned for the decade to come ? The answers to these questions are not as straightforward as they might appear at first blush.

What is most important to the fans of any team ? Should success be measured only by championships won ? Is sustained excellence without a title as satisfying as short bursts of competitiveness that lead to trophies ? The owners of sports teams might be more attuned to the value of their property-and the profit that asset generates-than fans are, but they are still driven by the ultimate prize: a World Series victory, and the right to be identified as the best in the game for that year. For all eternity.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Cody Bellinger has wasted little time becoming the heart of the Dodgers batting order since being named NL Rookie of the Year in 2017. Only 24, he’s hit 110 home runs in just three seasons, and is the favorite to win the MVP Award this season for batting .301 with 46 homers and 114 RBI’s entering the final weekend of the season while helping to lead Los Angeles to the best record in the National League.

 

The Dodgers are a model baseball franchise, and have clinched the best record in the National League at 103-56, just two games off the pace for the best record in the major leagues. They have won the NL West for the seventh straight season this year, and have won 90 or more games in every year since 2013. Their current roster is populated with young superstars: SS Corey Seager, OF Cody Bellinger, OF Alex Verdugo, C Will Smith, OF Joc Pederson and 1B Max Muncy are all hitting at above league average levels, and only Muncy is older than 27 (he’s 28).

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
After starting his career with a .195 average in two seasons with the A’s, Max Muncy has been a different player since joining Los Angeles for the 2018 season. Selected to appear in his first All-Star game earlier this year, Muncy has hit 69 home runs with 176 RBI’s since signing with the Dodgers.

 

Aside from Muncy, each of those players were drafted and developed by the Dodgers franchise, and their combined salary is nearly $11 million (which is less than the Giants are paying 3B Evan Longoria, 33 this year). Infield prospect Gavin Lux (ranked as the sixth best prospect in baseball by Baseball America) was just recalled after laying waste to the top levels of the minors, and projects as an above average hitter who will likely slot in to the Dodgers lineup at 2B going forward.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Walker Buehler has demonstrated the potential to be an ace in his first full season with the Dodgers. The 25-year old righthander has a 22-9 career record with 370 strikeouts in just 324 innings pitched.

 

Joining this young core of talented hitters is a veteran group that includes 3B Justin Turner, OF AJ Pollack, utility player Chris Taylor, and 1B David Freese, each of whom is producing at above league average rates at the plate in 2019.  Their pitching staff is led by future Hall of Fame LHP Clayton Kershaw, indisputably the best starting pitcher of the decade, as well as LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu and RHP Walker Buehler, all of whom were drafted and developed by Los Angeles. Each of those starters rank in the top 12 in the NL in ERA, and Ryu currently features the top mark in all of baseball at 2.41. Of their starting lineup and top five starting pitchers, only Ryu will be a free agent following this season. The dynastic run the Dodgers have established as the kings of the NL West figures to continue into the next decade as well.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Clayton Kershaw has been one of the best pitchers of his generation since joining the Dodgers in 2008. The 31-year old lefty has won three Cy Young Awards while posting a 2.45 career ERA, but has a losing record in the post-season. He’s 16-5 with a 3.05 ERA in 2019.

 

Despite drafting near the bottom of the first round for most of the decade, the Dodgers have built the fifth best minor league system in baseball (according to Baseball America rankings published in late August), and are poised to continue to populate their major league roster with talented, cost controlled players such as Bellinger, Seager, Verdugo, Smith and Lux.

For the 2020 season, this is the likely Dodgers lineup, with their ages and 2019 OPS listed.

C Smith           (24)                (867)

1B Muncy       (28)                (878)

2B Lux            (21)                (1028-AA/AAA)

SS Seager       (25)                (819)

3B Turner      (34)                (881)

LF Pederson  (27)                (877)

CF Bellinger   (23)               (1025)

RF Verdugo    (23)               (817)

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
In his fifth full season with the Dodgers, Joc Pederson has wasted little time establishing himself as a serious threat in the middle of their lineup. The 2015 NL Rookie of the Year has established career highs with 35 home runs and 72 RBI’s this season.

 

During the decade, the Dodgers overall record is 915-701 (.567). They’ve made the playoffs the past six seasons, and will be in the postseason in 2019 after clinching their seventh straight NL West title. They are poised to sustain their winning ways with a young, inexpensive core of stars that are still improving, and their player development system has been outstanding, regularly augmenting the Dodger roster with a seeming never ending supply of impact talent.

Their postseason record, however, does not support the Dodgers claim as the best team of the decade despite their winning percentage being the second highest (Yankees) during the period from 2010-2019. The Dodgers have been beaten in the playoffs during each of their six appearances this decade, and have failed to win a World Series since 1988. They’ve advanced to postseason play 12 times since winning that championship, and have won the NL pennant just twice since 1988.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Buster Posey has had a lot to smile about since becoming the 2010 N.L. Rookie of the Year, becoming the face of the Giants franchise and the backbone of three World Series championships, but 2019 has seen him put up career lows in nearly all major offensive categories.

 

The Giants are 77-82, 12 games out of a playoff spot, and a whopping 26 games behind their NL West leading rivals to the south. Their current roster is comprised of players who are mostly on the wrong side of 30, and they lack a signature young franchise icon. Their best players, C Buster Posey, 32, and LHP Madison Bumgarner, 29, have been at the heart of the Giants success this decade, but Posey is finishing arguably his worst season as a professional. He’s seen a precipitous decline at the plate, where his current year .256/.320/.368 levels are below league average for the first time in his illustrious career. He is signed to continue his tenure with the Giants through at least 2021, making $22 million in each of the next two seasons.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Madison Bumgarner has established himself as one of the most dominant post-season pitchers in history, pitching shutouts in two Wild Card games and fashioning an All-Time record 0.25 ERA in five World Series appearances. His impending free agency casts a huge shadow over the Giants off-season.

 

Bumgarner, the subject of trade rumors all summer, is set to be a free agent at the end of the season, casting his future with the Giants in an uncertain light.  Fan favorite 3B Pablo Sandoval, who returned to the Giants following a disastrous stint in the American League with Boston, has seen his career revitalized by the Bay. Sandoval has found his batting stroke, producing at a level that is his highest since 2013. Unfortunately, he underwent Tommy John surgery in early September, so his season has ended. Given that he’s also a free agent, the Panda may have played his last game as a Giant.

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Pablo Sandoval was a part of all three Giants World Series championship teams while becoming one of the most popular players to ever wear a San Francisco uniform. His elbow injury in August required Tommy John surgery, creating an even bigger question mark about his future as he enters free agency.

 

The Giants pitching staff is still fronted by Bumgarner, though his future with the team is uncertain based on his upcoming free agency. The rest of the rotation, should he depart, could include 34 year old RHP Jeff Samardzija (11-12, 3.52), RHP Tyler Beede, 26 (5-10, 5.23), RHP Dereck Rodriguez, 27, (6-10, 5.27) and RHP Shaun Anderson, 24, (3-5, 5.10). Bumgarner’s role as staff ace and team leader makes re-signing him all the more critical. Given the current candidates to toe the slab for the Giants in 2020, his veteran leadership and example would be welcome attributes.

The Giants farm system is ranked 14th by Baseball America, and includes top 100 prospects C Joey Bart, OF Heliot Ramos, and SS Marco Luciano. Bart and Ramos both reached AA in 2019, and could factor into a San Francisco lineup late in the 2020 campaign should their development continue. Luciano is 18 as of September 10th, and is further away from a big league promotion.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Bruce Bochy leaves the Giants as the most successful manager in franchise history, winning three World Series titles in a five year period during his 13 year tenure. Just last week he became only the 11th manager in MLB history to record 2,000 victories.

 

Perhaps the Giants most important figure, manager Bruce Bochy, is retiring following this season.  Bochy, 64, has a career record of 2002-2026, and he just became only the 11th manager ever to amass 2000 victories. Bochy, who took over as manager of the club in 2007, led the Giants to World Series victories in three of the four seasons his team made the playoffs. Given his stellar stewardship and longevity, he would appear to be a lock for Hall of Fame induction.

The Giants immediate future would appear to be far less clear, and arguably less promising, than their rivals to the south. Based on their current roster, their 2020 starting lineup might look like this (with ages and 2019 OPS listed)

C Posey                (32)           (688)

1B Belt                 (31)            (744)

2B Dubon            (24)            (718-AAA)

SS Crawford        (32)            (657)

3B Longoria        (33)            (768)

LF Yastrzemski   (28)            (845)

CF Pillar              (30)            (730)

RF Slater             (26)            (781)

 

During the decade, the Giants have a 820-796 (.507) record, and they made the playoffs in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. They won the World Series in each of the first three of their postseason efforts, but were knocked out in the LDS in 2016. San Francisco can advance an indisputable claim as the best team of the decade, having won three titles during that span. Through 2018, only the Boston Red Sox have won more than a single title, taking the championship in 2013 and 2018. Regardless of who wins the World Series this year, nobody can best the Giants three title winning seasons.

The brightest development for the Giants in 2019 might be the unexpected breakout of OF Mike Yastrzemski. He was drafted in the 14th round in 2013 by the Orioles after his career at Vanderbilt University. After a relatively nondescript minor league career that saw him reach AAA at age 25, he was traded four years later in March to the Giants for minor leaguer RHP Tyler Herb. Yastrzemski, who had never hit more than 15 HR’s in a season in the minors, started 2019 at AAA Sacramento. In 136 at bats in the PCL, he hit .316/.414/.676 with 12 HRs, which earned him a promotion to the big leagues on May 25th. In 104 games with the Giants, he’s hit .274/.333/.511 with 21 HR’s, including an emotional blast to dead center field in historic Fenway Park last week.

Hours after walking across the green outfield grass with his grandfather, Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, who patrolled left field in front of the Green Monster for the Red Sox for 23 years, the Yaz sent a Nathan Eovaldi fastball over the center field wall. In a rare show of support for an opponent, the Fenway faithful gave the younger Yastrzemski a standing ovation. “The crowd reactions, all night, were incredible,” he said after the game. “I can’t thank them enough for being supportive.” The Giants would go on to win that game in 15 innings, which was Bochy’s 1,999th win in the majors. He would get his 2,000th the following night.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
The unexpected success of Mike Yastrzemski gives San Francisco reason for optimism as it enters a rebuilding phase. A career minor leaguer, the 29 year old rookie has hit 20 homers while becoming a fan favorite since making his debut in May.

 

Yastrzemski has likely evolved into a starting player around which the Giants can build their lineup in 2020 based both upon his productivity and meager salary. San Francisco has $110 million of payroll already on the books for next season, led by the $22 million owed to C Buster Posey, 33 next year. RHP Johnny Cueto, 34 next season, will earn $21 million, and RHP Jeff Samardzija, 35 in 2020, is on the books for nearly $20 million. All are outsized figures compared to the value those players return on the field. Add in 1B Brandon Belt, 32, SS Brandon Crawford, 33, and 3B Evan Longoria, 34, who will make $17, $15 and $13 million respectively in 2020, and the Giants will be paying over $100 million dollars to players who are all over the age of 32, and each of whom is past their most productive prime. Those obligations make it very unlikely that the Giants will go after a front line free agent this winter, which will allow players like Yastrzemski to have a chance to establish themselves as being part of the next generation of Giants heroes.

The relative financial resources of the rival franchises do little to distinguish one from the other. The Dodgers have a payroll of $200 million in 2019, fourth in the majors. The Giants are at $172 million this year, which ranks fifth. During the decade, through 2019, Los Angeles has spent $2.02 billion on their players, while San Francisco has allotted $1.6 billion to theirs. Both teams have been in the top ten in payroll nearly every season during the decade, and the Dodgers have actually had the highest payroll in five of those years, sitting atop the list of franchise expenditures from 2013-2017.

It would be difficult to dispute that the Giants hold the current bragging rights over the Dodgers based strictly on their three World Series championships this decade. Going into a three game series at Oracle Park this weekend to conclude the regular season, the Giants have a 95-89 head-to-head edge over the Dodgers in the 2010’s. The experience of a fan is shaped by successful seasons that lead to playoff runs where franchise heroes and legends are born. Remarkable achievements that occur on thrilling October evenings can embed themselves forever in the psyche of the fervent supporters who witness those magical efforts. Giants fans will always be able to revel in the postseason brilliance of Bumgarner and Sandoval, even as the careers of those players crawl inexorably forward (and perhaps on other teams). The memories those players helped create, in the service of leading their franchise to glory, can never be erased, and will be lovingly and reverently shared as one generation passes fandom along to the next with stories of their determined exploits.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Brandon Crawford was a centerpiece of the Giants 2012 and 2014 championship teams, and has continued to be reliable defensively, but the 32 year old shortstop’s declining offensive numbers wil be a source of concern entering the 2020 season.

 

There are certainly merits to rooting for a team that is consistently competitive, for whom every season begins with the hope (and expectation) that a playoff berth could lead to the elusive championship that year. The Dodgers have demonstrated incredibly effective management of their resources, drafting and developing players to regularly promote fresh new young stars into a lineup and a rotation that are already packed with productive veterans. Their prolonged success in this capacity is reflected in their record during the decade and their run of seven consecutive division titles, each of which was achieved by winning 91 or more games.

No other major league franchise can make that claim this decade, and the fact that only Kershaw and Ryu were part of each of those teams speaks to the Dodgers’ ability to continually build playoff teams despite significant roster turnover. They haven’t suffered “rebuilding” seasons, consistently providing their fans with competitive baseball in Chavez Ravine. Since 1993, the Dodgers have finished below .500 only threetimes in those 27 seasons. Given the young talent that comprises their current roster, the leadership of the team, and the financial resources they boast, the immediate future of the franchise appears brilliantly promising. Even Giants fans will grudgingly concede that the outlook for the Dodgers is far more rosy than that of their own team, and that the decade to come will at least begin with Los Angeles featuring the more talented collection of ballplayers.

The betting odds in Las Vegas currently show the Dodgers as the favorite to win the NL pennant, and they’re second only to Houston to win the World Series. Those same formulas will almost surely establish the Dodgers as one of the favorites to win the 2020 World Series, while the Giants will be relegated to the middle of the pack of hopefuls depending on how their offseason plays out.

Historically, the Giants franchise (including the New York Giants) has won eight championships-five in New York, and three in San Francisco. The Dodgers franchise (which began in Brooklyn) has won six championships, all but one of them claimed since moving to Los Angeles. More recently, the Dodgers have made the playoffs 12 times in the past 30 seasons, and will make that figure 13 of 31 following this year’s NL West title. The Giants have made the playoffs nine times over that same stretch, but are all but assured of not adding to their postseason history in 2019. The athletic crucible of the 2019 baseball season has yet to reach its ultimate dénouement, so we are left to ponder what has already come to pass.

The current generation of fans, who have been indoctrinated into the legion of supporters of either the Giants or Dodgers, each has reason to feel a sense of pride about their heroes on the diamond.  The Dodgers boast an unmatched run of sustained excellence over the decade 2010-2019 (and the past 30 years), and a current core of young stars that are poised to perpetuate their dominance in the NL West for the foreseeable future. The one maxim that undoubtedly provides solace for Giants fans who reflect on the relative achievements of their team against those of their hated rivals from Los Angeles: Flags Fly Forever.  The Giants boast three such championship banners this decade, and despite having had more opportunities, the Dodgers have been unable to earn similar adornments to their palatial Los Angeles home.

By that final accounting, the San Francisco Giants and their partisans can justifiably lay claim to being the best team in California this decade, and, without hyperbole, the best team in North America as well. Regardless of what the future holds for each franchise, that statement will be forever accurate, at least by counting the rings.

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Longoria leads Giants past A’s 5-4 to take Bay Bridge series https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/25/longoria-leads-giants-past-as-5-4-to-take-bay-bridge-series/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/25/longoria-leads-giants-past-as-5-4-to-take-bay-bridge-series/#respond Mon, 26 Aug 2019 02:53:12 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13006 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER The San Francisco Giants took down the Oakland A’s 5-4 to take the Bay Bridge series before a crowd of 47,321 at the Coliseum Sunday afternoon. Evan Longoria’s three RBI’s led the Giants to a sweep of the two game weekend series in Oakland, enabling them to win the annual crosstown series …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

The San Francisco Giants took down the Oakland A’s 5-4 to take the Bay Bridge series before a crowd of 47,321 at the Coliseum Sunday afternoon.

Evan Longoria’s three RBI’s led the Giants to a sweep of the two game weekend series in Oakland, enabling them to win the annual crosstown series three games to one as the Athletics fell a 1/2 game off the pace behind Tampa Bay in the ultra competitive AL Wild Card race.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER San Francisco’s Evan Longoria blasts a third inning home run for his 1,000th career RBI during the Giants 5-4 win over the Oakland A’s Sunday afternoon at the Coliseum.

After San Francisco jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second, the A’s quickly bounced back with three runs of their own. Mark Canha took a pitch from Giants starter Logan Webb, in just his second Major League appearance, over the right field wall to get Oakland on the board. Back-to-back doubles by Jurickson Profar and Corban Joseph followed by a Chad Pinder single made it four consecutive hits to give the A’s a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the frame.

Longoria wasted no time tying it, blasting a Brett Anderson pitch 414 feet to deep center for his 17th homer of the year. It was also his 1,000th career RBI. The game would remain tied until Canha hit his second home run of the game in the in the fourth to give the A’s a 4-3 lead.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Oakland’s Mark Canha watches the flight of his second inning home run Sunday afternoon against the Giants. Canha would hit another homer in the fourth, his 22nd of the season, but it wasn’t enough as San Francisco earned a 5-4 win.

The advantage held up for Oakland until the seventh when a Longoria single off Blake Treinen drove in Brandon Crawford and Donovan Solano to give him three RBI’s on the day. Solano finished with a perfect day at the plate, reaching base in all five of his appearances with three singles, a double and a walk. The two runs proved decisive as Will Smith came on to pitch a scoreless ninth for his 30th save of the season.

Following the game, Oakland boarded a flight to Kansas City where they’ll begin a three game series with the Royals tomorrow night. Homer Bailey (11-8, 5.06) takes on KC’s Brad Keller (7-13, 3.95) in the opener. Meanwhile, the Giants will return to the friendly confines of Oracle Park for a brief two game set against the Diamondbacks, with Tyler Beede (3-7, 5.82) facing off against Arizona’s Alex Young (5-3, 4.04) at 6:45pm on Monday night.

GAME NOTES:

After 23 years of inter-league competition, Oakland now owns an 8-5 edge in Bay Bridge season series wins over the Giants with ten ties.

Sunday marked Bruce Bochy’s 4,000th game as a Major League manager, making him just the eighth to accomplish the feat. Next up is Sparky Anderson at 4,030, who Bochy should pass on the final weekend of the season.

Mike Yastrzemski’s eight home runs in August are just two shy of the franchise’s All-Time record for most HR’s in a month. Bobby Thompson hit 10 in 1947, a mark tied by Willie Mays four years later, both while the franchise was in New York. Orlando Cepeda is the only Giants rookie to hit nine homers in a month during the San Francisco era.

With 17 home runs and 47 RBI’s, Yaz is on the verge of becoming just the fourth Giants rookie to hit at least 20 homers while driving in at least 50 RBI in a single season. Only Dave Kingman (1972), Jim Ray Hart (1964) and Cepeda (1958) have accomplished the feat.

Canha’s two home runs extended his season total to a career high 22 long balls.

 

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Former mate Parra’s three run homer haunts Giants in 4-1 loss https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/07/12842/ Thu, 08 Aug 2019 02:19:01 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12842 BY RICK PORCARO The Giants post season hopes were dealt another blow Wednesday afternoon as they fell 4-1 to Washington, completing a three-game series sweep for the Nationals. Washington didn’t waste any time jumping on Giants starter Shaun Anderson (3-4, 5.33), manufacturing a run in the first on a Juan Soto RBI groundout after Trea …

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BY RICK PORCARO

The Giants post season hopes were dealt another blow Wednesday afternoon as they fell 4-1 to Washington, completing a three-game series sweep for the Nationals.

Washington didn’t waste any time jumping on Giants starter Shaun Anderson (3-4, 5.33), manufacturing a run in the first on a Juan Soto RBI groundout after Trea Turner and Adam Eaton opened the game with back to back singles. 

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Washington’s Gerardo Parra celebrates his three run third inning homer as he crosses home plate during the Natonals 4-1 win over the Giants Wednesday afternoon at Oracle Park.

But the real damage came two innings later when former Giant Gerardo Parra blasted an Anderson pitch 380 feet into the left center field bleachers to give the Nats a 4-0 third inning lead. Released by San Francisco on May 7th with a paltry .198 average after 30 games, Parra signed with the Nats two days later and has batted a solid .287 in 56 games with 36 RBI’s.

Nationals starter Joe Ross (2-3, 6.75), a native of Oakland, threw six shutout innings against the Giants, only allowing three hits while striking out five. The Giants only run came in the ninth when a Brandon Crawford double knocked in Kevin Pillar, who had been hit by a pitch one better earlier.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Washington’s Joe Ross delivers a pitch during the Nationals 4-1 win over the Giants Wednesday afternoon at Oracle Park. Ross pitched six shutout innings, allowing only three hits while striking out five to earn the win.

With the win, Washington solidified their grip on the NL’s top Wild Card spot while the Giants fell four games off the pace. It was their sixth loss in their last seven games and ninth in their past 13.

Another team San Francisco is chasing, Philadelphia, arrives for a four game series starting tomorrow night, with Phillies ace Aaron Nola (10-2, 3.60) facing Madison Bumgarner (6-7, 3.92) in the opener.

GAME NOTES:

With the win, the Nationals took the season series from San Francisco 5-1.

Today, August 7th, was the 12th anniversary of Barry Bonds 756th home run, making him the All-Time Major League leader.

On Tuesday, San Francisco announced that they placed second baseman Joe Panik on unconditional release waivers after six seasons with the Giants. If the former Gold Glove winner clears waivers, he will become a free agent and have the option to sign with any team.

The Giants also announced the acquisition of relief pitcher Ryan Dull off waivers from the A’s. Dull, 29, will report to the Giants’ top minor-league team in Sacramento.


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Cubs early homers put streaking Giants run on hold 4-1 https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/24/12680/ Thu, 25 Jul 2019 03:06:26 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12680 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Home runs by Javier Báez, Kris Bryant and Albert Almora Jr. set the tone for an off day for Tyler Beede and the Giants Wednesday afternoon as the Chicago Cubs salvaged the final game of their three game series with a 4-1 win at Oracle Park. Cubs scheduled starter Jon Lester was a last minute scratch due to …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Home runs by Javier Báez, Kris Bryant and Albert Almora Jr. set the tone for an off day for Tyler Beede and the Giants Wednesday afternoon as the Chicago Cubs salvaged the final game of their three game series with a 4-1 win at Oracle Park.

Cubs scheduled starter Jon Lester was a last minute scratch due to illness, but Tyler Chatwood stepped up to limit San Francisco to just a run on four hits before five Chicago relievers combined to shut the Giants out over the last five innings of the game.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Javier Baez laces a first inning home run during the Chicago Cubs 4-1 win over the Giants Wednesday afternoon at Oracle Park. Baez would add a ground rule double in the third, and quickly score moments later when Kris Bryant homered.

Báez 397 foot blast to deep left center as the second batter of the game gave Chicago a lead they would never relinquish as Beede (3-4, 4.85) lost for the first time in four starts in the closing game of a still highly successful (5-2) homestead for the Giants.

San Francisco would finally mount a threat in the ninth, bringing the tying run to the plate following singles by Donovan Solano and Alex Dickerson with two outs, but Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel got Brandon Belt to fly out out to record his seventh save and preserve the win for Chicago.

With the loss, the Giants dropped back into a second place tie with Arizona in the NL West, three games behind St. Louis for the final wild card spot. San Francisco will now hit the road for a nine game trip that will take them to San Diego, Philadelphia and Colorado. Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 4.08) faces the Padres Joey Lucchesi (7-5, 4.27) Friday night in the opener of a three game weekend series.

GAME NOTES:

The Giants 17-3 stretch entering Wednesday’s game has only been matched by the Dodgers over a 20 game period during the 2019 season.

San Francisco is 24-10 in one-run games this season, the best in the Majors. The Giants are also 10-2 in extra inning games this season.

Wednesday was Barry Bonds 55th birthday.

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Yastrzemski’s 12th inning walk off blast keeps Giants hot https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/21/yastrzemskis-12th-inning-walk-off-blast-keeps-giants-hot/ Mon, 22 Jul 2019 06:34:37 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12637 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Mike Yastrzemski’s 12th inning home run led the Giants to their third extra inning walk off win in four days Sunday afternoon, a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets. The win enabled San Francisco to return to the .500 mark at 50-50, 100 games into the season, and tie Arizona for …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Mike Yastrzemski’s 12th inning home run led the Giants to their third extra inning walk off win in four days Sunday afternoon, a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets.

The win enabled San Francisco to return to the .500 mark at 50-50, 100 games into the season, and tie Arizona for second place in the NL West, albeit 16 games behind the first place Dodgers. It also improved the Giants record to a blazing 15-3 since June 29th.

Yastrzemski’s ninth home run in just 48 games in the Majors, and first career walk-off, came off Mets reliever Robert Gsellman (1-2) who had entered the game in the 11th. It capped a day that saw the Giants youth brigade continue to impress by playing some of the best baseball in the game and climb into the mix for a wild card spot.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Giants hurler Conner Menez was impressive in his Major League debut Sunday afternoon, limiting the Mets to two runs in five innings while striking out six in San Francisco’s 3-2 12 inning win over New York at Oracle Park.

Giants starting pitcher Conner Menez, a Hollister native just called up from Sacramento, was solid in his Major League debut. Menez gave up solo homers to Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario in the second inning, but was otherwise impressive, striking out six in five innings and fooling a number of Mets batters badly including recent home run derby champion Pete Alonso who was so frustrated that he broke his bat over his knee after fanning in the third when Menez struck out the side.

After Menez departure, Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson, Sam Dyson and Will Smith each pitched scoreless frames to help take the game into extra innings. Mark Melancon continued New York’s woes in the tenth and 11th before Trevor Gott (6-0) pitched the 12th to earn the win. San Francisco’s seven hurlers ended up limiting the Mets to just five hits.

Zach Green also made an impressive debut for the Giants, getting a single and a double in his first two Major League at bats while playing flawlessly at third base. His fourth inning double drove in Buster Posey to tie the game at two, also giving the Carmichael native the first RBI of his career. Green already had 23 home runs and 59 RBI’s for Triple-A Sacramento at the time of his call-up.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Zach Green laces a second inning single in his first career at bat during his Major League debut Sunday afternoon at Oracle Park. Green would add an RBI double in the fourth to help the Giants stay hot with a 3-2 12 inning win over the New York Mets.

The Giants return to action tomorrow night for the start of a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs. Rookie right-hander Shaun Anderson (3-2, 4.87) is scheduled to take the mound against Alec Mills (0-0, 4.50) in the opener.

GAME NOTES:

The Giants are now a Major League best 14-3 in July, including 5-0 in extra innings since the All-Star break. For the season, San Francisco improved to a MLB best 9-2 in extra inning games.

San Francisco is also 22-10 in one-run games and 13-4 in games decided in their final at bat.

Prior to the game, the Giants made a series of moves to make room for Menez and Green. Veteran left-hander Derek Holland, 32, who led San Francisco in starts, innings and strikeouts last season was designated for assignment. The team also designated Ryder Jones, removing him from their 40 man roster. Within seven days, Holland and Jones must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable waivers. The Giants also optioned Ty Blach back to Sacramento.

Menez became the team’s tenth different pitcher to start a game this year.

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Longo’s blast and Samardzija’s arm carry Giants past Cards 1-0 https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/07/longos-blast-breaks-up-no-no-pitching-carries-giants-past-cards/ Mon, 08 Jul 2019 02:03:39 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12412 BY RICK PORCARO Evan Longoria’s seventh-inning solo home run briefly interrupted a pitchers duel, breaking up Jack Flaherty‘s no-hit bid in the process, giving the Giants all the offense they would need to reach the All-Star break on a high note with a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Flaherty (4-6) had pitched near …

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BY RICK PORCARO

Evan Longoria’s seventh-inning solo home run briefly interrupted a pitchers duel, breaking up Jack Flaherty‘s no-hit bid in the process, giving the Giants all the offense they would need to reach the All-Star break on a high note with a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Flaherty (4-6) had pitched near perfect baseball for 6 1/3 innings, yielding only a fifth inning walk, before Longoria deposited an 0-1 pitch deep into the left field pavilion for his 12th home run of the season. It was also his fifth of the week following a four homer effort in San Diego during a three game sweep of the Padres in the Giants previous series. Flaherty finished the day striking out six while only allowed two hits in seven innings.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Evan Longoria watches the flight of his seventh inning home run Sunday afternoon at Oracle Park. The blast ended a no-hit bid by the Cardinals Jack Flaherty after 6 1/3 innings and gave the Giants the only run they would need to beat St. Louis 1-0.

It would be one of only two Giants hits on the day, but with Jeff Samardzija pitching equally brilliantly by only allowing four hits while tossing seven shutout innings, it was enough to send San Francisco into the break with a 7-2 record in their past nine games.

Samardzija (6-7) didn’t allow a hit himself until Yaro Muñoz laced a two out single in the top of the fifth in route to his best pitching performance of the season. After Sam Dyson held St. Louis at bay in the eighth, Will Smith came on in the ninth to shut the door by recording his 23rd save in 23 opportunities.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER San Francisco’s Jeff Samardzija delivers a pitch Sunday afternoon during the Giants 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. It was Samardzija’s best effort of the season as he pitched seven shutout innings while limiting the Cards to four hits.

While the Giants are still in last place, their sprint has moved them within four games of second-place Arizona in the NL West, and only five games out of a Wild-Card spot.

San Francisco returns to action on Friday with Shaun Anderson (3-2, 4.23) scheduled to pitch in Milwaukee. The Brewers have yet to name a starter.

GAME NOTES:

Kevin Pillar had a pair of back-to-back defensive gems in centerfield on plays in the seventh inning to preserve Samardzija’s shutout. He made a sensational diving catch to take a hit away from Paul Goldschmidt in right-center, then chased down Dexter Fowler’s deep fly to the warning track. The Oracle Park crowd responded with a standing ovation after each catch.

With wins Saturday night and today, the Giants broke a tie with St. Louis for the advantage in their All-Time series against the Cards since moving from New York. San Francisco now owns a 349-347 advantage.

Goldschmidt’s home runs against the Giants Friday and Saturday nights gave him 13 in Oracle Park, the most of any opposing player. The long balls were also his 100th and 101st against NL West teams, the most of any active player.

Academy Award nominated musician Kenny Loggins sang the National Anthem prior to the game.

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Dahl’s 5 RBI day leads Rockies past Samardzija and Giants 5-3 https://martineztribune.com/2019/06/26/dahls-5-rbi-day-leads-colorado-past-samardzija-and-giants-5-3/ Thu, 27 Jun 2019 02:32:55 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12225 BY J.A.SCHWARTZ David Dahl’s third inning grand slam off Jeff Samardzija helped bring Colorado back from an early deficit, leading the Rockies to a 6-3 win over the Giants in the rubber match of a three game set at Oracle Park Wednesday afternoon. Dahl’s career high five RBI’s on the day raised his batting average …

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BY J.A.SCHWARTZ

David Dahl’s third inning grand slam off Jeff Samardzija helped bring Colorado back from an early deficit, leading the Rockies to a 6-3 win over the Giants in the rubber match of a three game set at Oracle Park Wednesday afternoon.

Dahl’s career high five RBI’s on the day raised his batting average to .320, and helped Rockies starter German Marquez (8-3) overcome a shaky start after allowing RBI doubles to Pablo Sandoval and Alex Dickerson in the first inning.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER David Dahl of the Rockies rounds third following his third inning grand slam Wednesday afternoon against the Giants. Dajhl’s career high 5 RBI’s helped lead Colorado to a 6-3 win.

Marquez, who threw a one-hit shutout against the Giants on April 14, allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings. Samardzija (4-7) gave up five runs in his five innings of action while striking out six.

Sandoval added a solo homer, his 10th of the season, in the third, and Dahl’s seventh-inning RBI single provided the final margin. Colorado’s Wade Davis came on to pitch a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 13 opportunities.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Pablo Sandoval rounds the bases following his third inning home run, his tenth of the season, off German Marquez of of the Rockies Wednesday afternoon at Oracle Park. Sandoval also had an RBI double, but Colorado downed the Giants 6-3.

The Giants return to action with Tyler Beede (1-2, 6.96) taking the mound for San Francisco Thursday night in the opener of a four game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Alex Young, a second round pick in the 2015 draft, will be making his Major League debut for the D-Backs.

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Giants fall to Brewers, head to LA after successful home stand https://martineztribune.com/2019/06/16/12139/ Mon, 17 Jun 2019 04:01:43 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12139 BY J.A. SCHWARTZ A successful home stand for the Giants came to a losing end on Sunday, as the Milwaukee Brewers rode a pair of solo home runs by Eric Thames and Jesus Aguilar to a 5-3 victory over San Francisco to salvage the final game of the three game set. ©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Milwaukee’s Christian …

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BY J.A. SCHWARTZ

A successful home stand for the Giants came to a losing end on Sunday, as the Milwaukee Brewers rode a pair of solo home runs by Eric Thames and Jesus Aguilar to a 5-3 victory over San Francisco to salvage the final game of the three game set.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich laces a fourth inning double, one of two on the day, during the Brewers 5-3 win over the Giants Sunday afternoon. Already the Major League home run leader, the two hits raised his average to .343.

While the Giants are still mired in last place, they held their own during the home stand, winning five out of the eight games, against three quality opponents that included the division leading Dodgers and Brewers.

It’s the first time this season that the Giants have won back-to-back series, taking two out of three from Milwaukee after sweeping two from the Padres. San Francisco is now 8-5 in the month of June.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Brewers reliever Josh Hader delivers a pitch during Milwaukee’s 5-3 win over the Giants Sunday afternoon at Oracle Park. Hader pitched two perfect innings to record his 17th save.

Reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich added a pair of doubles for the Brewers, and Josh Hader came on in the eighth to pitch two perfect innings for his 17th save.

The Giants now hit the road for a seven game road trip starting with four games in Los Angeles against the team with the best record in the league and a 10.5 game lead in the NL West. Tyler Beede (0-2, 8.06) faces the Dodgers Kenta Maeda (7-3, 3.89) in the opener.

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Muncy’s blast leads Dodgers past Bumgarner and Giants 1-0 https://martineztribune.com/2019/06/09/12086/ Mon, 10 Jun 2019 01:41:15 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12086 BY RICK PORCARO A home run launched deep into McCovey Cove off the bat of Max Muncy on the seventh pitch of the game was Madison Bumgarner’s only mistake, but it was all the Dodgers needed Sunday, sending the Giants down to a 1-0 loss on a 90° afternoon at Oracle Park. ©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Max …

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BY RICK PORCARO

A home run launched deep into McCovey Cove off the bat of Max Muncy on the seventh pitch of the game was Madison Bumgarner’s only mistake, but it was all the Dodgers needed Sunday, sending the Giants down to a 1-0 loss on a 90° afternoon at Oracle Park.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Max Muncy watches the flight of his first inning home run off of Madison Bumgarner sail deep into McCovey Cove during the Dodgers 1-0 win over the Giants Sunday afternoon at Oracle Park in San Francisco.

Los Angeles starter Walker Buehler (7-1) was lights out, pitching seven shutout innings and striking out nine while only allowing five hits. Kenley Jansen came on to pitch the ninth, recording his 19th save. It was the seventh time the Giants have been shut out this season.

The first inning pitch to Muncy was the only blemish on Bumgarner’s (3-6) performance, as the left-hander also went seven strong innings while only allowing four hits and fanning five Dodger batters.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Los Angeles pitcher Walker Buehler delivers a pitch during the Dodgers 1-0 win over the Giants Sunday afternoon at Oracle Park in San Francisco. Buehler pitched seven shutout innings, striking out nine while only allowing five hits.

Following an off day tomorrow, the Giants return to action Tuesday night for a pair of games against San Diego. Tyler Beede (0-2, 8.15) will be seeking his first Major League victory against the Padres Chris Paddack (4-4, 2.97) in the opener.

GAME NOTES:

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was scratched from Sunday’s starting lineup against the Dodgers after coming down with a stomach illness.

Buster Posey, out with a strained right hamstring, has resumed hitting and ran on a treadmill Sunday. The Giants are cautiously optimistic that he’ll be able to return to action once he’s eligible to come off the 10-day injured list on Wednesday.

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Giants ride rookie pitcher Anderson’s arm and bat past Jays 4-3 https://martineztribune.com/2019/05/15/giants-ride-rookie-pitcher-andersons-arm-and-bat-past-jays-4-3/ Thu, 16 May 2019 03:00:07 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=11712 BY RICK PORCARO The Giants beat the rain and the Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon, defeating Toronto 4-3 in Shaun Anderson’s Major League debut on the strength of a sixth inning home run by Brandon Crawford.  ©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Shaun Anderson delivers a pitch against the Blue Jays in his Major League debut Wednesday at Oracle Park. …

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BY RICK PORCARO

The Giants beat the rain and the Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon, defeating Toronto 4-3 in Shaun Anderson’s Major League debut on the strength of a sixth inning home run by Brandon Crawford. 

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Shaun Anderson delivers a pitch against the Blue Jays in his Major League debut Wednesday at Oracle Park. He pitched five strong innings as the Giants defeated Toronto 4-3.

Anderson, San Francisco’s top pitching prospect, was just called up to replace Dereck Rodriguez after he was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. He pitched five strong innings, allowing just two earned runs on two hits while striking out five. Anderson also doubled in his first plate appearance and singled his next time up, becoming the first Giants pitcher to achieve a multi-hit game in his MLB debut since 1900.

A former closer for the Florida Gators in college, Anderson was a third-round pick by the Boston Red Sox in the 2016 draft before being acquired by San Francisco in the Eduardo Nunez trade the following year.

Aramis Garcia’s two run homer in the bottom of the second staked San Francisco to a 3-2 lead. Toronto tied it in the fifth on a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. RBI ground out following a pair of Giants errors, but Crawford’s solo blast in the sixth off of Ryan Tepera proved decisive.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Toronto’s Ryan Tepera looks on dejectedly as the Giants Brandon Crawford circles the bases following his sixth inning home run Wednesday afternoon. The blast proved decisive as San Francisco knocked off the Blue Jays 4-3.

Mark Melancon, Sam Dyson, Tony Watson and Will Smith all pitched scoreless innings to shut the door on Toronto, with Smith picking up his 11th save of the year.

The Giants now hit the road for a quick weekend series against the DiamondBacks in Phoenix starting Friday before returning home for four game against the Atlanta Braves. Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 3.51) is set to face Arizona’s Merrill Kelly (3-4, 4.70) in the opener.

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