WP: Yusmeiro Petit (1-0)
Sorry about the mid-afternoon blog post on Tuesday’s game. But it was a late night.
The night might have ended sooner — and with a much less happy result for the Giants — if not for the heroic efforts of one person in AT&T Park.
And he wasn’t wearing the No. 42. And every player Tuesday was wearing the No. 42.
No, instead it was the fan down the left-field line, who held back at least one person in the stands to prevent someone from possible interfering with Brandon Belt’s game-tying double in the ninth inning.
He was making the rounds as “Stand-Back Man” on Twitter. He could also be called the Anti-Bartman.
Here’s the situation: with one out and Angel Pagan on first base, Belt slaps a ball down the left-field line. The ball kicked off the wall along the stands. One fan held back another to keep from going after the ball in play. Pagan raced around the bases and scored the tying run of Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.
Had a fan touched the ball in play, it would have been ruled a ground-rule double and Pagan would have been forced to return to third base.
Considering that Pablo Sandoval would strike out, Buster Posey would walk and Hunter Pence would fly out, it’s very likely that had a fan interfered with the ball, the Giants would have lost while leaving the bases loaded.
Well played, sir, well played.
Considering the Giants’ issues with the bases loaded, maybe the Dodgers should have walked Hector Sanchez and Angel Pagan to load the bases in the 12th.
The Giants loaded the bases in the fourth, but Michael Morse struck out and Brandon Crawford grounded out.
They loaded the bases in the fifth, but Posey flied to center.
They loaded the bases in the 10th, but Pagan popped out and Belt flied to left.
In the 12th, Crawford singled, went to second on a fielder’s choice and to third on a wild pitch.
Sanchez delivered a single off the glove of second baseman Justin Turner for the win.
BENCH TO THE RESCUE
Before Gregor Blanco’s triple on Sunday (when he was thrown out at the plate), the Giants’ bench of Blanco, Joaquin Arias, Ehire Adrianza, Juan Perez and Sanchez were 5 for 66 (.076).
Starting with Blanco’s triple, those five players have gone 4 for 7 with two walks.
That’s an encouraging sign.
Tuesday’s game was the Giants’ fifth consecutive one-run game. Three of those games went extra innings.
It was also the Giants’ second consecutive walk-off win.
If the Giants are going to continue to play tight games like that they are going to need two things: Solid production out of the bullpen and the bench.
They’ve received the production from the pen. They need more out of the bench.
Ryan Vogelsong faces Paul Maholm in Game 2 of the series at 7:15 p.m. The Giants pounced on Maholm in his first start of the season. Vogelsong had better results in his most recent start after a sloppy debut in L.A.
When news broke Tuesday that Brian Wilson had signed had signed with the hated Los Angeles Dodgers, Twitter blew up with a mix of reaction from San Francisco Giants fans that ranged from “thanks for the memories” to “burn in Hell, you traitor.”
MoreSplashHits is convinced that if Wilson had signed with any other team, the reaction from Giants fans would have been almost universal “Thanks, and good luck.” But the Dodgers?
We finally heard from Wilson on Wednesday via post on gossip site TMZ.com.
Oh, and on a side note, is it odd to anyone else that this is the second time in the last few months that TMZ has been lucky enough to “catch” Wilson strolling down a public street? I mean, if there’s any place Wilson with his trademark beard could bleed into anonimity, it’s on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
Anywho, in the video (which can be viewed above), Wilson said: “I don’t worry about rivalry, bro. I just want to play baseball. You know, if there are 30 teams out there and 29 teams don’t want me, what am I going to do, say I’m not going to play baseball?”
He continued: “I’ve got much love for San Francisco. We had a good time. But there’s nothing I can do. They don’t want me back, so it’s all good.”
We get it. If you’re a free agent, you can choose where you want to play. And the Dodgers are an attractive destination. They are a contender. Wilson lives in Malibu. And the Dodgers have deep pockets.
Just don’t expect to get Buster Hugs from Giants fans. For the record, the Dodgers play three more games in San Francisco this season: on Sept. 24, 25 and 26 (Games No. 157, 158 and 159 of the season).
Wilson had a public tit-for-tat with the Giants last offseason when negotiations between the two parties broke down because the Giants didn’t offer him a guaranteed contract and Wilson felt the Giants owed him more — even though the Giants paid him more than $8 million in 2012 for two appearances.
Why wouldn’t you expect a guy like that wouldn’t go running to the free-spending Dodgers?
Giants CEO Larry Baer thanked Wilson for his service with the Giants, and added that Wilson signing with the Dodgers “doesn’t mean he’ll never be a Giant again. People go and come back.”
I’m sure Baer was speaking in broader terms, as in Giants who leave the Giants, then return later.
But if you’re talking about San Francisco Giants who left to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers then returned to the Giants, we could only find one example of that.
Jose Vizcaino, who started his career as a Dodgers in 1989-90 before being traded to the Cubs, was traded from the Indians to the Giants after the 1996 season. After the 1997 season, Vizcaino signed with the Dodgers and played there for two-plus seasons. Six years after leaving LA, Vizcaino re-signed with the Giants for the 2006 season. He hit .210 in 136 games that season before being released in August.
What’s the price of one’s soul? Brian Wilson will soon find out.
The former Giants closer reached a minor-league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, USA Today reported on Tuesday.
Wilson has not pitched since undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2012 after making just two appearances for the Giants in the 2012 season. Then he became grumpy when the Giants didn’t offer him a contract in the offseason for what would have cost the Giants more than $6 million.
Wilson vowed to be ready by spring training. But workouts last January showed that Wilson was still a long way off from being ready.
Then we lost sight of The Beard, until he showed up in San Francisco last week to throw for scouts that included the Giants.
But ultimately, Wilson, who lives in Malibu, decided to join Big Blue. Reports say Wilson could be called up to the big club in as soon as two weeks.
When that happens, Wilson will join a long and storied list of players who have played for the Giants and Dodgers.
But since Ned Colletti left the Giants to become the Dodgers general manager after the 2005 season, the outcome for players leaving the Giants and directly joining the Dodgers have not been good.
Played for Giants in 2005, signed by Dodgers as free agent before 2006 season
With the Dodgers
- 2006 — 8-7, 4.73 ERA, 112.1 IP in 44 games, 15 starts
- 2007 — 2-11, 5.80 ERA, 104 IP in 33 games, 15 starts
DFA’d on Aug. 24, 2007
Played for Giants in 2006, signed by Dodgers as free agent before 2007 season
With the Dodgers
- 2007 — 1-4, 6.31 ERA, 25.2 IP in 6 starts
- 2008 — Did not pitch, injured
- 2009 — 2-2, 5.60 ERA, 17.2 IP in 4 starts
Retired from baseball after 2009 season
Traded by Giants to Dodgers on Aug. 9, 2007
With the Dodgers
- 2007 — 0 HR, 3 RBI, .273 in 33 ABs in 30 games
- 2008 — 0 H, 5 RBI, .130 in 92 ABs in 98 games
Retired from baseball after 2008 season
Played with Giants in 2010, signed with Dodgers as free agent before 2011 season
With the Dodgers
- 2011 — 0 HR, 1 RBI, .000 in 34 games
Released after 2011 season
Played with Giants in 2010, signed with Dodgers as free agent before 2011 season
With the Dodgers
- 2011 — 4 HR, 28 RBI, .204
- 2012 — 2 HR, 17 RBI, .191
- 2013 — 5 HR, 30 RBI, .262
Just when you thought you’ve seen every possible way the Giants could shoot themselves in the foot, they managed to come up with something new on Saturday.
After Madison Bumgarner set the Dodgers down in order in the top of the first, Gregor Blanco opened the bottom of the frame with a double down the left-field line.
After Marco Scutaro bunted Blanco to third (we could have another blog post on WHY Scutaro feels he needs to bunt Blanco to third), Buster Posey spanked another double to score Blanco.
Then Dodgers manager Don Mattingly came out of the dugout with his lineup card in hand. Mattingly pointed out that Posey was not slotted to bat third; Pablo Sandoval was. Posey was slotted to bat fourth.
The umpires conferred and agreed. The Giants batted out of order. Posey’s double was negated, Blanco went back to third, Sandoval was ruled out, and Posey returned to bat again as the No. 4 batter. Posey then flied to right to end inning. The score was 0-0, instead of 1-0 Giants.
“I just at that point said “What else? What ELSE?” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, expressing a sentiment most Giants fans would echo.
Bochy said the mix-up was a product of a “perfect storm” of circumstances.
Circumstance No. 1
Ever since Sandoval came off the disabled list June 24, Posey had batted in the No. 3 hole in every game — nine games — until Friday’s game, when Bochy put Sandoval at No. 3 and Posey at No. 4. We can only guess he did this in an effort to get Sandoval going. If Posey is batting behind Sandoval, perhaps Sandoval gets better pitches to hit.
Circumstance No. 2
When the Giants returned home from the road trip, the team had installed an electronic display where the lineup was posted in the clubhouse. On that electronic display, it listed Posey No. 3 and Sandoval No. 4.
Bochy said the lineup he wrote up on the actual lineup card that were exchanged at home plate said Sandoval No. 3, Posey No. 4.
Circumstance No. 3
Bochy was so busy trying to finalize the All-Star selections during the day that when Posey went up to bat in the first inning, he had a brain-lock. He said he began doubting which lineup he had submitted.
“When Buster was up, actually I was telling (coach Ron Wotus), ‘Actually, I wanted Buster hitting fourth.’ I didn’t think to look at my lineup card, I thought I wrote it down wrong, because I got a little tied up with the All-Star stuff.
“And when he was getting up there to hit, I realized, I looked, I said, ‘We just hit out of order, hoping they don’t notice it.’ But they picked it up.”
Bochy later said: “I looked up there and I thought I was losing it (when Posey went up to hit). I wanted to flip-flop those guys. At that point I should’ve looked at my card just to verify it, but I thought, well, inadvertently I went back to (Posey) in the 3-hole.”
Luckily, the lost run didn’t come back to haunt the Giants largely because of gifts they got from from the Dodgers in the second inning.
- Brandon Belt was hit by a pitch
- Andres Torres reached on an infield single when Hanley Ramirez took too much time to throw to first.
- Brandon Crawford reached on an error when Nick Punto’s throw to force Torres at second drew Ramirez off the bag.
- Madison Bumgarner walked to score the first run.
- Blanco got another infield single when Punto got to the ball, but tried to flip the ball to Ramirez at second toss the ball behind his back, and it went wrong. That scored the second run.
- Marco Scutaro’s sacrifice fly scored the third run.
That would be enough for Madison Bumgarner and the bullpen.
And now the Giants will try to steal Game 3 on Sunday against Clayton Kershaw. Let’s just hope they get the lineup right.
The Giants completed a three-game sweep of the Dodgers on Sunday night with a 4-3 win. But what’s more important — alright, at least AS important — is that Matt Cain got his first win of the year.
Cain pitched 7.1 innings, giving up one run on 5 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 4. It was his walk to Matt Kemp in the eighth that led to his exit after 109 pitches. When three relievers could not prevent Kemp from eventually scoring, that’s when Cain picked up his lone earned run.
For only the third time in seven starts this season, Cain did not allow a home run. Not too surprising since eight of the nine homers Cain has allowed have come on the road.
But it’s also important to note because prior to Sunday’s start, 14 of the previous 17 runs Cain had allowed had scored via the home run. His ERA this season on balls that did not leave the yard: 2.57 — and that includes the disastrous nine-run inning against the Cardinals on April 7.
So the morale to the story is: If Cain can keep from giving up the long ball, he’s the Matt Cain we’ve all grown to know and love.
Or is it something else? Could it be, perhaps, the Dodgers?
Consider this: Cain’s ERA this season in two starts against Big Blue: 0.68 in 13.1 innings. Against everyone else: 7.85 in 28.2 innings.
We may get a better idea after his next start, which is slated for Friday at home against the Braves, who ranked second in the NL in home runs.
After that, his next start comes against the Rockies. Colorado leads the NL in home runs, and the game will be played in Coors Field.
Here’s a breakdown of Cain’s starts this season, courtesy of Baseball Reference
|1||237||1||Apr 1||SFG||@||LAD||L,0-4||GS-6||99||6.0||4||0||0||1||8||0||1||0.00||1b start tie||6b 3 out tie|
|2||238||6||Apr 7||SFG||STL||L,3-14||GS-4||L(0-1)||5||3.2||7||9||9||2||2||0||0||8.38||1t start tie||4t 1-3 2 out d5|
|3||239||11||Apr 12||SFG||@||CHC||L,3-4||GS-7||4||7.0||7||2||2||2||6||2||0||5.94||1b start tie||7b 3 out d2|
|4||240||16||Apr 18||SFG||@||MIL||L,2-7||GS-6||L(0-2)||5||6.0||7||7||7||0||4||3||1||7.15||1b start tie||6b 3 out d6|
|5||241||21||Apr 23||SFG||ARI||L,4-6||GS-6||4||6.0||5||4||3||1||6||1||0||6.59||1t start tie||6t 3 out d4|
|6||242||26||Apr 29||SFG||@||ARI||W,6-4||GS-6||5||6.0||5||4||4||4||6||3||0||6.49||1b start a 2||6b 3 out tie|
|7||243||31||May 5||SFG||LAD||W,4-3||GS-8||W(1-2)||5||7.1||5||1||1||3||4||0||0||5.57||1t start tie||8t 1– 1 out a4|
Really, we should be immune to the San Francisco Giants’ flair for the dramatic. But then they do something we just didn’t see coming.
Duane Kuiper said it best: “You think you know, but you just don’t know.”
After Hunter Pence struck out to open the bottom of the 10th inning, manager Bruce Bochy sent Guillermo Quiroz to the play to face Brandon League. Quiroz was the Giants’ last available position player on the bench.
After loading the bases with one out in the ninth and failing to score with their best hitter at the plate — Buster Posey grounded into a double play — it didn’t look promising in the 10th with one out and Quiroz at the plate.
Then the reserve catcher who only had eight plate appearances so far this season served a League pitch into the left-field bleachers for the second game-winning home run in as many nights.
It was only Quiroz’s third career home run in 110 big-league games spanning over nine seasons from 2004-2013. He hadn’t homered in a big-league game since 2008.
It was the Giants’ fifth consecutive victory — including the last four in which the Giants hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning or later:
- Tuesday, Pablo Sandoval, two-run HR, 9th inning vs. Arizona
- Wednesday, Belt, three-run HR, 8th inning vs. Arizona
- Friday, Buster Posey, solo HR, 9th inning vs. LA Dodgers
- Saturday, Guillermo Quiroz, solo HR, 10th inning vs. LA Dodgers
OTHER WILD NOTES FROM SATURDAY
- The Giants looked as if they were headed to an easy win as they took a 5-0 lead after three innings thanks to Ryan Vogelsong’s first start of the season in which he opened with three scoreless innings. After the Dodgers scored a run in the fourth, the Giants responded to take a 6-1. Then the Dodgers tallied for seven runs in the fifth.
- As bad a seven-run inning looks, Vogelsong did not get help from his defense. Shortstop Brandon Crawford double-clutched on a potential double-play ball, resulting in only one out. If the Giants turn two there, the Dodgers likely score only one run that inning.
- With the seven-run fifth on Saturday, it means the Giants have surrendered at five-run inning (Rockies), six-run inning (Padres), seven-run inning (Dodgers), eight-run inning (Brewers) and nine-run inning (Cardinals) this season.
Friday night started in rocking fashion with members of the band Metallica performing the National Anthem. Afterall, it was Metallica Night.
The Giants helped celebrate the night by mocking up Giants players as hard rockers on the stadium scoreboard.
Then it was Buster Posey delivering the final encore by leading off the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run over the left-field fence for a 2-1 victory over the hated Dodgers.
And it was just another dramatic finish fed by more unlikely series of events. Consider …
- The walk-off home run was the first in the career of Buster Posey. In fact, it was his first walk-off hit of any kind.
- The home run came off Ronald Belisario, who Posey had gone 0 for 6 with five strikeouts before Friday’s blast.
- The Giants won despite another shutdown performance against them by Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw took a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
- The Dodgers scored one run on 11 hits and SEVEN walks. They stranded 13 and hit into three double plays.
- The Dodgers lost despite putting the leadoff runner on base in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings. They put runners on first and second with no outs in the second and third, and didn’t score either time.
- That run was the first allowed at home this season by Barry Zito. His ERA at home this season sits at 0.35.
- The Dodgers’ lone run probably should have been prevented. With Kershaw on third and one out in the fifth, Nick Punto grounded into the hole at short. Joaquin Arias’ best play would have been to simply stop the ball and prevent Kershaw from scoring. Instead, he tried to glove the ball with a slide in an effort to get off a throw to first and ended up missing the ball. It went for an RBI single. The next batter, Matt Kemp, grounded into an inning-ending double play.
- It was the seventh time that the Giants have hit a game-tying or go-ahead home run in the eighth inning or later this season. They’ve only hit 22 home runs all season, fourth fewest in the NL (The Dodgers have the second fewest with 20; apparently money doesn’t buy home runs, either).
- To add injury to insult for the Dodgers, Hanley Ramirez, who just made his season-debut earlier this week after a stint on the DL, went back on the DL Saturday morning after pulling his hamstring trying to from first to third on a single. Hunter Pence threw him out.
- That was the second consecutive game at AT&T Park that Ramirez had to exit early because of an injury. The previous game came in the World Baesball Classic.