While you’re never happy about losing to the Dodgers, MoreSplashHits took the Giants’ 6-3 loss to LA in stride. The Giants have been playing so well this spring that we were worried that they may using up all their wins when it doesn’t count.
What did count in this game was the performances of three pitchers vying for the final spot in the bullpen.
Jeff Suppan started and gave up two earned runs on seven hits in four innings. His spring ERA is 5.79.
Ryan Vogelsong gave up two runs on four hits in three innings. His spring ERA is now at 2.87.
And Guillermo Mota pitched the ninth and gave up two solo home runs. His spring ERA is 5.00.
But there was some good news to report from Friday’s game:
MIKE FONTENOT was 1 for 4 with two RBI from the leadoff spot. With Aaron Rowand hitting in the No. 6 spot, there was at least some hope that when Andres Torres is out of the lineup (like we was Friday) that Bruce Bochy will consider other leadoff options to Rowand.
JAVIER LOPEZ, who has had an uneven spring, threw another scoreless inning, setting down the Dodgers in order in the eighth.
The Giants continued their winning ways this spring, improving to 14-4 with wins over the Dodgers and the Rangers.
Against the Dodgers, the Giants got some extra base hits to spark an 8-7 win.
They had back-to-back triples by Andres Torres and Freddy Sanchez to open the game. Then, later, two-run home runs by Cody Ross and Pat Burrell.
Then in the ninth, Giants fans got a little glimpse of the future when three future Giants teamed up to tally two runs for the 8-7 win.
Thomas Neal and Francisco Peguero started the rally with back-to-back singles. After a double-play ball made it look like the rally would be killed, a wild pitch allowed Neal to score the tying run. After Brad Eldred got an infield single, Ehire Adrianza came in to pinch-run. He stole second and scored on Gary Brown’s RBI single.
On Sunday, the bats came out in an 11-8 win over the Texas Rangers.
All you need to know about Sunday’s game is this: Pablo Sandoval had a triple in the game AND a stolen base. AND it was his second stole base of the season. The Panda finished 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI.
And there were some solid efforts from players battling for roster spots. Nate Schierholtz went 2 for 3 with two runs, two RBI, including his first spring home run. And pitcher Ryan Vogelsong gave up two runs in four innings.
MoreSplashHits is getting caught up after a busy week. The Giants played four games over the weekend, winning three and improving to 8-3 on the spring.
The weekend included the spring debut of The Beard. MoreSplashHits always thought Brian Wilson was a member of the Beach Boys. But looking at The Beard, we’re thinking maybe it was ZZ Top.
Here are highlights from the weekend.
GIANTS 6, MARINERS 1
TIM LINCECUM: The Freak continues to get into regular-season form. He struck out seven in 3 2/3 IPs with no runs, 3 hits and 3 BBs.
BRIAN WILSON: The Beard made its spring debut, striking out two with no hits or walks in one 10-pitch inning.
BUSTER POSEY: Posey had a double, two RBI and a walk in two at-bats. He’s hitting .643 for the spring.
PABLO SANDOVAL: After back-to-back 0-fers, Sandoval went 1 for 3 with an RBI. He’s hitting .333.
TRAVIS ISHIKAWA: Ishikawa went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. He’s hitting .250 for the spring, but not a good outing.
ATHLETICS 6, GIANTS 0
MADISON BUMGARNER: Bumgarner had a solid start, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run Bumgarner was unearned as the Giants kicked the ball around, committing four errors on the day.
GIANTS (ss) 7, BREWERS 2
JEFF SUPPAN: Suppan had another outstanding outing, 3 IP, 1 HIT, 0 Ks, 0 BBs. He’s doing what he needs to earn a spot on the roster. One thing to consider: both spring starts came against the Brewers. Let’s see what he can do against another lineup.
BRANDON BELT: Belt went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI, including his first spring HR. The talk continues to be that he’ll open the season in Fresno. How long he remains there will be up to Belt and any need with the big club.
MARK DEROSA: DeRosa continues to have a solid spring, going 1 for 2 with a 2B and 2 RBI.
GIANTS (ss) 5, DODGERS 3
BUSTER POSEY: Posey belted his second spring HR, going 1 for 2.
BARRY ZITO: Just a couple of days after being mixed in controversy stirred by a Chronicle report that his status with the team was on thin ice, Zito had a solid second outing, 3 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 Ks.
It may have come on the second game of spring training, but any win over the hated Dodgers (is that redundant) is worth celebrating. The Giants spoiled the spring managerial debut of Don Mattingly with a 8-3 win on Saturday. Let’s see if we can spoil his regular-season debut on March 31.
Again, it’s early. But Saturday’s win over the Dodgers was filled with some encouraging signs.
PANDA POWER: Pablo Sandoval slammed his first home run of the spring training. Given that one of the biggest pieces of Sandoval’s dissapointing 2010 season was his lack of power, this was an encouraging sign.
“When that happens, you get excited about what you do in the cage and all the work you do in the offseason,” Sandoval told the Associated Press.
Sandoval has been working on getting deeper into counts this spring. Yet his home run Saturday came on the first pitch from Oscar Villarreal in the fourth inning.
“He threw that same little cutter to (Aubrey) Huff and Andres (Torres),” Sandoval told the San Jose Mercury News. “I know sometimes I get in trouble when I swing at the first pitch. But I was looking for that pitch.”
That’s exactly what Sandoval should be doing on the first pitch — treat it like the count is 2-0. He should look for a particular pitch and a particular spot. If he doesn’t get that pitch, take it. If he does, hammer it. That’s what he did Saturday.
DEROSA IS RAKING: Mark DeRosa had three singles in three at-bats on Saturday, looking like the player the Giants hoped for when they signed him prior to the 2010 season. DeRosa missed most of 2010 after wrist surgery.
“(Fans) don’t care if you’re hurt,” DeRosa told the Mercury News. “They look for production and it wasn’t there. … Now I’m feeling good. I really do. I’m not having to cheat on fastballs, to do certain things to relieve the pain, to force-feed every pitch to right field.”
STRIKES FOR SANCHEZ: When we last saw Jonathan Sanchez in the postseason last fall, he was struggling to find the plate on a consistent basis, and therefore struggling to get outs.
Throwing strikes is a focus for Sanchez this spring. And early signs Saturday were good.
Sanchez walked one in 1 2/3 innings of work, giving up no runs on four hits.
It’s not like we need another reason to hate the Dodgers, but here’s one.
During the Winter Meetings, ESPN proposed having the Dodgers and Giants open the 2011 season with a game on March 31 at AT&T Park. It would be a change from the original schedule, which had the Dodgers and Giants opening with a four-game series in Chavez Ravine on April 1.
So the plan was for the Dodgers and Giants playing at 5 p.m. game in San Francisco on March 31, then playing a four-game series in LA starting the next day.
MLB was on board. The Giants were all for it. But ultimately, the Dodgers said “No.”
So now the plan is for the Dodgers and Giants to open on March 31 with at 5 p.m. game, but it will take place in LA. ESPN will carry the game as a third part of a opening day tripleheader.
All games in the series were moved up on day. Here’s the schedule:
- Thursday, March 31: Giants at Dodgers, 5 p.m. (ESPN)
- Friday, April 1: Giants at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
- Saturday, April 2: Giants at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m. (FOX)
- Sunday, April 3: Giants at Dodgers, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
Monday, April 4 will be a day off. The Giants will play their home opener on Friday, April 8 with a 1:35 p.m. game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
We assume the Giants will receive their World Series rings on April 8. And the Giants had better not give Juan Uribe his ring until the Dodgers come to San Francisco on April 11.
For a complete look at the Giants, 2011 schedule, click here.
This is the perfect fit. Anytime More Splash Hits thinks about a Dodger, we think about No. 2.
So the No. 2 spot is perfect for Jonathan Broxton.
Into late June, Broxton was as good as any closer in baseball. By June 26, he was 3-0 with 16 saves and an ERA at 0.83.
On June 27, Broxton got tagged for four runs on four hits and two walks in a 8-6 loss to the Yankees. It was the fourth game Broxton had pitched in five days.
From there, things went downhill for Broxton, and the Giants contributed to his woes.
Against the Giants, it started on July 20 at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers took a 5-4 lead into the top of the ninth. Broxton was called on to get the save.
He promptly gave up an infield single to Juan Uribe and walked Nate Schierholtz on a full-count pitch. After Aaron Rowand sacrificed the runners to second and third, Aubrey Huff was intentionally walked to load the bases.
This is where Don Mattingly, the Dodgers’ acting manager after Joe Torre was ejected along with pitcher Clayton Kershawn for hitting Rowand with a pitch two innings earlier, came out to the mound to speak to Broxton. As Mattingly began to head back to the dugout, he took one step off the dirt area, spun around back onto the dirt circle to say one more thing to either Broxton or his infielders.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy saw this, and went to the umpires and contested that, by rule, Mattingly should be charged with two visits to the mound. This is would require Broxton to be removed from the game.
Now while the umpires were conferring and then began speaking to Mattingly, right-hander Travis Schlichting was throwing in the bullpen. When the Dodgers became aware that they would have to remove Broxton, they got the left-hander George Sherrill up to throw. He got about three tosses in the bullpen before the umpires summoned him into the game.
The umpires told Mattingly that Sherrill would have as much time as possible to get ready. But Sherrill was not made aware of this. After eight warm-up tosses, umpire Tim McClelland asked Sherrill if he was ready, and he said “Yes, I guess, ’cause I’m not getting any more”
Mattingly didn’t come out to make sure his pitcher was ready. And Sherrill promptly gave up a two-run double to Andres Torres. THEN, Schlichting replaced Sherrill and gave up a single to Buster Posey to score another run, the Giants went on to win 7-5.
Broxton was charged with all three runs. But the story doesn’t end there. A day later, MLB said the umpires had not ruled properly in this case. According to the rules, Mattingly should have been ejected from the game (which he wasn’t) and Broxton should have been allowed to pitch to Torres (which he wasn’t).
On July 31 in San Francisco, the Dodgers were nursing a 1-0 lead in the eighth when Hong-Chih Kuo easily retired the first two batters he faced in the inning. But then he hit Buster Posey with a pitch, and Torre came out to replace Kuo with Broxton.
Broxton faced Pat Burrell, who worked the count full before hammering a pitch over the left-field wall for a two-run homer. The Giants went on to win the game 2-1.
For the highlight go to:
On Sept. 4 in Los Angeles, the Dodgers took a 4-0 lead off Matt Cain before the Giants because to chip away at the lead. First Buster Posey homered off LA starter Ted Lilly in the seventh.
Edgar Renteria homered off Lilly to open the eighth. Lilly was replaced by Octavio Dotel, who promptly gave up a home run to Pat Burrell, cutting the Dodgers’ lead to 4-3.
After Dotel walked Freddy Sanchez, Kuo was brought in for Dotel. He ended the inning by getting Huff and Posey out on just six pitches.
Instead of staying with Kuo to pitch the ninth, Torre went with Broxton in the ninth.
Broxton struck out Jose Guillen before giving up a single to Cody Ross. Then Juan Uribe hammered a 1-0 pitch deep over the wall in left-center, and the Giants went on to win 6-5.
For the highlight, go to:
Broxton finished the season 5-6 with a 4.04 ERA.
Against the Giants, he was 0-3 with a 20.00 ERA.
There were two pitchers who the Giants managed to beat three times during the 2010 regular season. Roy Oswalt was one of them. Broxton was the other.
And while we passing out gratitude to Broxton, we should share some for Joe Torre, who had some serious man-love for Broxton. Torre kept going to Broxton, when it was clear he wasn’t very effective in the second half of the season, and when Kuo was a far better option.
Let’s review. On June 26, Broxton was 3-0 with 16 saves and an 0.83 ERA. He finished the year 5-6 with 22 saves and a 4.04 ERA.
So thanks Joe. And we should also thank Don Mattingly and George Sherrill for their contributions.
The Top 10 List of Non-Giants Who Should Be on Every Giants Fans Christmas Card List:
No. 3, Larry Beinfest
No. 4, Cliff Lee
No. 5, Chase Utley
No. 6, Andrew Friedman and Neil Huntington
No. 7, Roy Oswalt
No. 8, Bud Black
No. 9, Paul Emmel
No. 10, Bengie Molina
EDITOR’S NOTE: To San Francisco Giants fans with weak constitutions, we advise that you quickly avert your eyes from the below image and move quickly to the blog post below. Reader discretion is strongly advised.
You know, for Christmas, what More Splash Hits really would like is for some free agent baseball player to come out at the press conference announcing his signing and say “You know, I really hoped I could re-sign with the team I’ve been playing with for the past couple of seasons, but this team here offered me WAY more money. So I took it. Woohoo!!”
I get so tired of players walking up to the mic and saying how their first choice was to sign with the team that just gave them a boatload of cash.
The press conference remarks from Juan Uribe after signing a three-year, $21 million deal with the Dodgers just about sent me through the roof.
“As far as leaving (the Giants), I have no control over the teams I play for,” Uribe said through a translator.
We can only assume BS doesn’t translate well from Spanish to English.
A story by San Francisco Chronicle writer Henry Schulman makes Uribe’s words sound even more hollow.
Schulman wrote that the Giants were willing to match the Dodgers’ initial offer of three years for $20 million. So the Giants let Uribe walk over $1 million? Not quite.
When the Giants said they’d match the Dodgers’ offer, the Uribe camp responded with a request of $27 million for three years. Uribe eventually came down to $25 million for three years.
The Giants declined those proposals, and Uribe signed with the Dodgers for $21 million.
So it appears that Uribe felt the Giants owed him more than what the Dodgers did, probably because of the production he gave them over the past two seasons while being paid $4.5 million.
Giants GM Brian Sabean said: “He obviously wanted to be a Dodger more than he wanted to be a Giant.”
For any Giants fans who were reluctant about booing Uribe when he shows up at AT&T Park in Dodger Blue, do you need to know anything else?