San Francisco Giants podcast with Charlie O: Giants will miss Belt’s bat for NLDS; SF’s photo finish to division title

San Francisco Giants Brandon Belt swings for a single against the Colorado Rockies on Sep 25, 2021 the next day he broke his thumb on a bunt at Coors Field. Belt will be out for most of the post season and could be eligible for the World Series. (AP News file photo)

On the Giants podcast with Charlie O for Morris Phillips:

#1 Charlie no breathers for either the San Francisco Giants () or the Los Angeles Dodgers () both teams who got to the finish line, both team who made post season but one team won the division by a photo finish.

#2 The Dodgers series with the Atlanta Braves was no picnic, the Dodgers were on a six game win streak before the start of Sunday’s game but still remained two games behind the Giants in the NL West standings.

#3 Charlie, will the absence of Brandon Belt make a huge impact going into post season and going a club like the Dodgers or the St Louis Cardinals.

#4 The Giants got some crucial pitching out of their starters this season Johnny Cueto, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood, Logan Webb and Kevin Gausman.

#5 How did players like Tommy LaStella, LaMonte Webb Jr, and Donavon Solano make a difference in the mix to win 107 games.

Charlie O is filling in for Morris Phillips for the Giants podcasts heard on Mondays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Giants crowned NL West Champs, Dodgers streak of division titles end at 8; SF picks up 107th victory over SD 11-4

The San Francisco Giants celebrate their 2021 Western Division Championship clinch at Oracle Park in San Francisco vs. the visiting San Diego Padres on Sun Oct 3, 2021 (AP News photo)

San Diego 4 – 7 – 0

San Francisco 11- 10-0

By Lewis Rubman

October Sunday, October 3

SAN FRANCISCO–It’s over. The Giants are the champions of the National League’s Western Division. They trounced the Padres 11-4 behind the brilliant pitching and hitting (yes, hitting!) of Logan Webb. There will be no tie-breaker tomorrow. The Giants won’t have to face the Cardinals in a wild card game, and they will have the home field advantage for as long as they last in the postseason..

This afternoon’s game against San Diego opened auspiciously for the Giants. It took Webb, who brought a record of 10-3, 2.93 with him to the mound, a mere 14 pitches to strike out Trent Grisham, Fernando Tatís, Jr., and Manny Machado. He pitched two more innings without allowing a base runner.

Webb’s counterpart for the Padres, rookie Reiss Knehr (1-1, 4.85 at game time) pitched well, but not as commandingly as Webb, for two innings but ran into trouble in the third. With one man out, he gave up an improbable single to Webb, who advanced to second on a wild pitch to Tommy Lastella, whose subsequent fly to center resulted in the second out of the frame.

Wilmer Flores singled to center, sending Webb to third, and advanced to second on Grisham’s throw. A walk to LaMonte Wade, Jr., loaded the bases with Giants. Buster Posey’s single to left drove in Webb and Flores. Only an impressive diving catch of Brandon Crawford’s sinking line drive to right center prevented San Francisco from opening up a bigger lead.

The Padres countered with a lead off double by Grisham. He held his ground at second while Longoria threw Tatís out at first and then broke for third and made it safely. Maldonado plated him with a sacrifice fly to center that brought the Pads to within a run of the Giants.

Dinelson Lamet took over for Knehr in the bottom of the fourth. The Padres’ starter had given up two runs, both earned, on three hits, two walks, and a wild pitch in three innings, during which he threw 45 pitches, 28 for strikes. Lamet walked the first two batters he faced, Bryant and Yastrzemski, but got Longoria on a called third strike .

The brought Webb to the plate. After showing bunt on Lamet’s first delivery and almost getting hit by a pitch that bounced off his bat into foul territory, San Francisco’s new found offensive threat walked on a full count to clog the base paths. They stayed clogged after Lastella’s RBI single to right, each runner moving up a station.

That was it for Lamet, who threw 30 pitches in a third of an inning, gave up on run and one hit, and was responsible for the three men who were on base when Craig Stammen relieved him. Two of them scored on Wilmer Flores’s double to left put San Francisco up, 5-1. The third score sac fly to left that advanced Flores to third with two out.

Buster Posey quickly brought him home with a single to center. When the ninth Giant batter of the inning, Brandon Crawford, struck out swinging, the scoreboard read San Diego 1, San Francisco 7.

San Diego crept towards a comeback in the fifth. Adam Frazier sliced a one out double to left. Jake Marisnick took an 81 mph slider in the ribs. Webb then retired Rivas on a fly to right and struck out a pinch hitting Tommy Pham

Nabil Crismatt pitched the fifth frame for the Padres. He got through his first three batters, yielding only a walk to the first, Bryant. But he didn’t reckon with Wonder Worker Webb, who blasted. Crismatt’s second pitch, an 83 mph change up, 368 feet into the left field bleachers. Need I say that this was his maiden round trip voyage?

The orange and black continued to pile it on. They opened the seventh, still facing Crismatt, with back to back singles by Crawford and Bryant, both of whom Yastrzemski brought home with a ringing double to center, fluffing up the Giants cushion to 11-1. After Longoria struck out, Logan received a standing ovation and then struck out, his only unsuccessful plate appearance of the day.

It was clear in the top of the eighth that Webb was tired. He yielded consecutive singles to Marisnik, Rivas, and pinch hitter Victor Caratini that producd San Diego’s second tally. That was it for Webb on the mound, and Kervin Castro took over. He allowed an RBI single to Grisham, scoring Rivas. Profar struck out, but Ha-Seong KIm and Cronenworth drove in Caratini with a sinking sacrifce fly to left.

After Castro walked Myers, Jarlín García relieved him. Webb had thrown 88 pitches, 63 for strikes. He was charged with four runs, but two of them crossed the plate while Castro was on the mound. Webb struck out eight Padres and didn’t walk anyone. Castro gave up two walks and a hit in his ineffective two-thirds of an inning on the mound.

James Norwood set the Giants down in order in the eighth, setting the stage for Dominic Leone to come in to close the Pads down in their last half inning.

To chants of “Beat LA,” Leone got Marisnick to ground out to Crawford. Then he struck Rivas out swinging. All that stood between the Giants and undisputed possession of first place was the pinch hitting Eric Hosmer. He went down swinging.

It was Logan’s day, and he got the win. The loss went to Knehr.

On Friday, the winner of the NL wild card game between Los Angeles and St. Louis will come to Oracle Park to face the NL West Champion San Francisco Giants in the first game of the NLDS.

Gausman pitches into 8th, Garcia gives up winning run in 10th Pads edge Giants 3-2. SF magic number 1

San Francisco Giants starter Kevin Gausman acknowledges the crowd after being lifted in the top of the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park in San Francisco (AP News photo)

San Diego. 3 – 11 – 0

San Francisco. 2 – 5 – 0.

10 innings

By Lewis Rubman

Saturday October 2, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO–With 106 wins under their belt and having clinched a postseason berth with their win over the San Diego (79-82) Padres on Thursday night, you’d think that the Giants’ (106-55) two remaining games against the Pads would be meaningless but it took ten innings to get a result tied up 2-2 the Padres scored a run in the top of the tenth to put the Giants chances to clinch the NL West on hold one more day in a 3-2 loss.

You would, however, be laboring under a misapprehension. The results of this weekend’s contests at Dodger Stadium and Oracle Park are of cardinal importance.

A Dodger sweep of the NL Central champion Brewers and a Giant failure to sweep the friars would set up a 163rd regular season game to determine which of the two teams would receive a bye and which would have to face the red hot St. Louis Cardinals in a wild card game that would send the loser home until spring training. And that’s not all. The winner of the LA-SF duel after either 162 or 163 games, would go on to have the home field advantage in any postseason series.

That’s important for any team, and the Giants, for all of the wins they have under their belt, will need every break they can get, not least because Brandon Belt’s having broken his left thumb on September 27 will keep him on the injured list until at least October 7, if San Francisco should get that deep into the postseason.

The Dodger game won’t start until 6:10 this evening, so when the dust had settled at Oracle Park after this afternoon’s nail biting loss to the Padres, nothing had been settled except that the Dodgers would last to fight another evening.

San Francisco took the lead in the bottom of the second, when, to chants of “MVP, MVP” Brandon Crawford looped a shift be damned lead off double to right off Padres starter Joe Musgrove and came home on Kris Bryant’s clean single to center.

San Francisco’s starter, Kevin Gausman, avoided any serious trouble until Fernando Tatís, Jr., fisted a double down the line to right with one down in the top of the fourth. The Padres left him stranded after Gausman retired Manny Machado and Jake Cronenworth on ground outs, preserving the home team´s slim lead.

The Giants threatened again in the fifth, putting their first two men on base via an infield single (Ruf) and a hit batter (Crawford). But Musgrove worked his way out of that jam with a liner to Machado at third (Bryant), another to Marisnick in left center, and nubber to the catcher (Duggar).

Musgrove was lifted for pinch hitter, Adam Frazier, with one out in the sixth. It turned out to be a smart move because Frazier singled to left. Trent Grisham forced him out of a sharp grounder, Ruf to Crawford, and then advanced to third on Tatís´s Texas League single to right center.

Machado’s sharp single to left drove in Tatís before Cronenworth grounded into a force, short to second to end the frame, but not before the damage had been done and the score was tied at one all.

Musgrove had turned in an admirable five innings of work, allowing just one run. on three hits and, although he hit Crawford with a pitch, no walks. He struck out four Giants, and threw a total of 70 pitches, only 18 of which were balls.

It took one pitch from Ross Detwiler, Musgrove’s replacement, for Austin Slater, batting for Wade, to untie the knot. He drove an 89 mph four seamer over the left center field fence for his 12th home run of the year.

It was the team’ s 18th quadradrangular pinch hit of the year, breaking the record in that category it had shared with the 2016 Cardinals. Detwiler set the next three Giants down in order and gave way to Pierce Johnson, who pitched a perfect seventh frame.

The 40,767 fans in attendance, or at least most of them, cheered Gausman as he walked off the mound before throwing a pitch in the top of the eighth, replaced by Zach Littell. San Francisco’s starting pitcher had gone seven full innings and allowed but one run, earned, on six hits and a walk. He threw 84 pitches, 63 for strikes, and struck out five Padres.

Tommy Phan, hitting for Johnson, led off with a 3-2 single to center and immediately was replaced by pinch runner Javy Guerra, who motored to third on Grishman’s double down the line to right, putting the tying and winning runs in scoring position. Tatís whiffed on a 97 mph four seamer for the first out.

Machado worked the count to 3-2 and then lifted a sacrifice fly to left for the Pads’ second out but also their second run. That ended Littell’s stint. José Alvarez took over and got Cronenworth out on a grounder to Crawford, once more eliciting chants of ¨MVP, MVP.¨

Daniel Hudson opened the eighth for San Diego. After disposing of Wilmer Flores, hitting for Alvarez he surrendered a single to left to Tommy LaStella but recovered to strike out Alex Dickerson, pinch hitting for Slater.

Like LaStella and Dickerson, Ruf worked the count full, but he swung and missed for the third strike, and we went into the ninth tied at two and with Camilo Doval on the hill for San Francisco.

Profar greeted him with a single to right. Ha-Seong Kim laced a sharp line drive to left center on which Ruf, who had just moved to left field, made a nice running catch. But Marisnick singled to left, putting the potential go ahead run in scoring position at second. Eric Hosmer then batted for Hudson. With the count at 1-1, he fouled off a 100 mph fast ball before swinging at and missing an 89 mph slider.

Now Tim Hill was on the mound for San Diego. Crawford sent Grisham to the 391 foot marker in straight away center field to corral his fly for the first out. Evan Longorria, who had replaced Bryant at the hot corner, flew out to right, and Yastrzemski grounded out to second.

The zombie runner in the top of the tenth was Caratini, since the last out of the ninth had been made by the pitcher’s spot. Kevin Castro was on the mound, facing the top of San Diego’s batting order. Grisham moved Caratini to within 90 feet of pay dirt with a grounder to second. Tatís struck out swinging, and Castro gave Machado a free pass, a decision that would please ironic students of Cuban history.

Then Castro returned to the dugout, replaced by Jarlín García. Cronenworth sent a hard liner past a diving Flores at first base, driving in Caratini and sending Machado to third, where he was stranded when Profar fouled out to Longoria.

Ex-Giant reliever Mark Melançon came in to try closing out the win for San Diego. He struck out Duggar. Buster Posey, who had been given a rest for this day game after a night, pinch hit for Casali and grounded weakly to the mound, sending the placed runner, Yastrzemski, to third. It was up to Wilmer Flores. He flew out to center, and it was time for the Giants to wait out the results of the Dodger-Brewer game down south.

Tim Hill was the winning pitcher. His record stands at 6-6, 3.62. Kelvin Castro, 1-1, 0.00, took the loss. The save went to Melançon, his 39th.

Sunday’s game is slated to start at 12:05. Logan Webb (10-3, 2.93) is San Francisco’s probable starting pitcher. The Padres haven’t decided who will go for them.

Giants lower magic number to one with 106th victory over Pads 3-0

San Francisco Giants Darrin Ruf (33) gets congratulations from third base coach Ron Wotus (8) after hitting a first inning home run at Oracle Park in San Francisco against the visiting San Diego Padres on Fri Oct 1, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-With the chant of BEAT LA reverberating around Oracle Park, it is quite possible the San Francisco Giants players and coaching staff heard the chant.

Darin Ruf hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning and Mike Yastrzemski added a run-scoring single, helping the Giants to a 3-0 victory over the San Diego Padres before an announced crowd of 33,975 at Oracle Park.

With the victory, the Giants have now won seven games in a row and this was their 106th win of the season, tying the 1904 New York Giants for the most wins in franchise history.

Also with the victory, the Giants lowered their magic number to win their first National League Western Division Championship since 2012 down to just one.

Anthony DeSclafani went the first five innings for the Giants, as he did not allow a run, scattered four hits, walking no one and struck out three on his way to his 13th win of the season.

It looked like the Giants might clinch the division on this night, especially when the NL Central Division Champion Milwaukee Brewers took an early 5-1 lead on the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium; however, Chris Taylor hit a game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning and then the Dodgers took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Matt Beaty hit a pinch-hit home run off of former Giants reliever Jandel Gustave.

Mookie Betts was then hit by a pitch, Corey Seager then singled and then Gustave unleashed a wild pitch that sent Betts and Seager up an additional 90 feet.

With runners on second and third, Gustave intentionally walked and threw his second wild pitch that scored Betts from third base.

After Justin Turner grounded out for the second out of the inning, Max Muncy drove in the third and final run of the inning, when he hit an infield single that scored Seager.

Following the Ruf home run, after Buster Posey flew out to Wil Myers for the second out of the inning, Brandon Crawford reached on a fielding error by Ha-Seong Kim at third base, Wilmer Flores then walked and then Yastrzemski drove in Crawford with a single.

The defensive play of the game came in the top of the sixth inning, when it looked like the Padres would have the bases loaded with two outs or would have cut the Giants lead in half; however, neither one happened.

After Jose Alvarez retired the first two batters of the inning, Fernando Tatis, Jr., singled to right field and then Jake Cronenworth followed that up with an infield hit that sent Tatis to second base. Following the Cronenworth single, Eric Hosmer hit one of third base that bounced right to Evan Longoria, who saw that Tatis, Jr. rounded the third base bag and headed towards home plate, in which Longoria followed Tatis, Jr. and eventually tagged him out for the final out of the inning, thus ending the rally.

LaMonte Wade, Jr., gave the Giants a little breathing in the bottom of the sixth inning, when he hit a sacrifice fly to center field that was deep enough for Donovan Solano to score that all important third run of the game.

Solano doubled to lead off the inning off of Drew Stammen, who was able to get the next three out; however, that the sacrifice fly by Wade, Jr.

Alvarez pitched the sixth inning in relief of DeSclafani, as he allowed three hits, including that last one to Hosmer that saw Tatis get tagged out by Longoria to end the inning.

Yastrzemski saved what could have been a home run by Myers that ended up being a double that led off the top of the seventh inning off of Dominic Leone.

That would be the only blemish that Leone would allow in the inning, as he then retired Kim, Victor Cartini, as Myers went to third and Jurickson Profar popped out to Longoria to end the inning.

Tyler Rogers came on in the top of the eighth inning, as he allowed a double to Tatis, Jr., with two outs; however, he was then able to get out of the little jam, when Cronenworth struck out looking to end the inning.

Camilo Doval came on in the top of the ninth inning, and struck out the first two batters before Kim to ground out to Crawford to end the game that sent the Oracle Park crowd into a frenzy.

This was the third save in three opportunities for Doval, as he struck out two in his only inning of work.

NOTES: Wade, Jr., was named the winner of the Willie McCovey award, the most prestigious honor in the Giants organization.

Joining Wade, Jr., in the pregame ceremony on the field were past winners like Chris Speier, Dave Dravecky, Mike Felder, J.T. Snow, Andres Torres, Hunter Pence, Buster Posey (from the bullpen), Crawford, Yastrzemski and Mike Krukow (who was in the broadcast booth). Wade, Jr., received the award from Allison McCovey the daughter of McCovey, who passed away of October 31, 2018 at the age of 80.

Scott Kazmir was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain and Sammy Long was recalled from Sacramento to replace Kazmir on the roster.

The 106 victories by the Giants are the most by a team that finished the season under .500 in the previous year.

When the month of September came to a close on Thursday night, the Giants ended the month with a record of 21-5 (.778) was the best September ever since they moved to California in 1958 and their best September since they went 20-5 (.800) in 1951, the same year they came back from 13 games out to defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers on Bobby Thomsons three-run home run off of Ralph Branca in the bottom of the ninth inning that gave then New York Giants a thrilling 5-4 victory to give the Giants the NL Pennant on October 3, 1951 at the Polo Grounds.

With the Giants game coming to a close early, the Giants allowed their fans to stay in the ballpark to watch the conclusion of the Dodgers versus Brewers game on the big screen in centerfield.

UP NEXT: Kevin Gausman heads to the mound, as he searches for his 15th win of the season for the Giants, while Joe Musgrove will take the mound for the Padres, as he goes for his 12th of the campaign.

Cueto, Kazmir, Bumgarner and “Late Night” just part of the show in the Giants’ 105th win, 5-4 over the Diamondbacks

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–Consider the amazing NL West race featuring the Dodgers and Giants a stare down. After 159 games–and thus far in the season’s final week–neither team has flinched.

But the Dodgers–likely watching the conclusion of the Arizona-San Francisco game on television in their clubhouse–suffered a collective twitch.

After the Dodgers blew past the Padres in Los Angeles 8-3, the Giants followed with the “Late Night” Lamonte show at Oracle Park in their 5-4 win over the Diamondbacks. With three games to play, the Giants (105-54) maintained a two game lead over their rival in a race that has baseball history written all over it, and will command the baseball world’s attention in the final weekend.

“I would just say that this is two teams playing really good baseball in a pennant race,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Like I’ve said many times over, we can be in tune with what’s going on outside of our games which is part of the fun. But most importantly we just have to play good baseball. However, we get there–if we do that–bring it on.”

Madison Bumgarner, the MVP of the 2014 World Series for the Giants and Arizona’s starting pitcher on Thursday night, weighed in on the divisional battle that–at least for one night–included him in the drama. After five inning stint in which he departed with the game tied, 4-4, he certainly had a barrel full of perspective on his former team.

“I know people have counted them out all year and a lot of people can’t understand it and make sense out of it, but I’ve been on that side when people are saying the same thing,” Bumgarner said. “I know how dangerous the Giants are just in general when they get in the postseason. I’ve obviously seen that a time or two, so there’s something about that uniform.”

Bumgarner–pitching for the first time in San Francisco wearing another uniform other than the Giants’–received a pair of well-deserved and loud ovations from the crowd of 27,503. In a twist that only baseball can provide, the second of those ovations came in the top of the first inning, not the bottom with him on the mound. At that point, Bum was the ninth batter of the inning with the D’Backs already leading 3-0. Despite the gravity of the game at that juncture, the lefty’s welcome was genuine. Genuine enough that he paused before stepping into the box and briefly waved his batting helmet.

“It was really cool,” he said. “This place, I’ve said it a bunch, it means a lot to me and my family. I don’t take that for granted by no means. I enjoyed that and I’m very thankful for that.”

The Giants were forced to go full improvisation in the inning as starting pitcher Scott Kazmir was injured on a ground ball that demanded he cover first base. So after recording just one out and throwing 12 pitches, Kazmir departed and Kervin Castro was summoned from the bullpen. The two pitchers allowed five hits in the first, and three runs, all charged to Kazmir.

But the Giants battled back, scoring single runs in the first, third and fourth to gain a 3-3 tie. In the fourth, Brandon Crawford homered off his old teammate, his career-best 24th and the only home run of the ballgame.

In the fifth with Arizona again leading 4-3, Buster Posey got his shot against his old battery mate. Posey’s RBI double scored Austin Slater from first base. The Giants’ catcher also delivered an RBI sacrifice fly in third.

Johnny Cueto, activated from the injured list, was the third of seven Giants’ pitchers to enter the ball game. Cueto pitched the third and fourth innings, along with recording the first out of the fifth. The veteran who has suffered elbow injuries, threw 48 pitches and seemed adaptable to his likely postseason role: pitching out of the bullpen.

It was Cueto’s first ever appearance as a reliever after 329 starts, and 135 wins.

“I’ll be myself,” he said, speaking through an interpreter. “Of course, I’ll be a little bit more aggressive because I know it’s going to be maybe one inning or two.”

The game remained tied until the ninth where Wilmer Flores doubled with one out. Reliever Joe Mantiply then intentionally walked Donovan Solano. Curt Casali in a pinch-hitting role was next and he drew a walk to load the bases. That brought a second pinch-hitter to the plate, “Late Night” LaMonte Wade Jr.

Wade, who had 13 hits and 12 RBI in ninth innings alone this season, delivered again. On a two-strike pitch, he stroked a hard-hit groundball that got between first baseman Paven Smith and second baseman Ketel Marte for a game-ending base hit.

Ironically, the prolific Wade had not delivered a game-ending hit at home. Twenty-seven Giants ran toward the slugger after touched first base to introduce him to the world of walk offs.

On Friday, the Giants’ open the final series of the season against the visiting Padres, who return to San Francisco after being swept by the Dodgers, and losing 39 of their last 58 games. The Giants will need to win twice in the series to clinch the division. That is, if they don’t get any help from the Dodgers, who will host the Brewers this weekend.

The Dodgers (103-56) have won 44 of their last 60 games since July 23.

NOTES: Before the game, Cueto and Darin Ruf were reinstated from the 10-day IL. Ruf started in left field, and went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Tony Watson was placed on the injured list with a shoulder strain, and Jose Quintana was designated for assignment.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: With Belt gone can Giants hold up in pennant chase? Mad Bum to start against Giants tonight

Arizona Diamondback pitcher Madison Bumgarner doffs his cap during his last trip in San Francisco against his former team the San Francisco Giants on Aug 10, 2021. Bumgarner will be making his first start at Oracle Park for this season against his former team Thu Sep 30, 2021. (file photo by Bay Area News Group)

On the Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 Starting with Tuesday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondback the Giants have held up just well defeating Arizona in game one of this three game series 6-4 after losing their captain Brandon Belt to a fractured thumb for the rest of the season. They were focused in the win.

#2 In the clubhouse Michael what’s it been like for the players when they lose a player of the magnitude of a Belt who had just been on a hit parade before the injury in Colorado.

#3 Michael, talk about the platooning of first base with LaMonte Wade Jr playing the position on Tuesday and Wilmer Flores at first on Wednesday do you see manager Gabe Kapler rotating the position for the rest of week.

#4 Talk about that outstanding pitching match between the Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly and Giant starter Alex Wood on Wednesday night you would have never known that the D Backs were a last place team and Wood as always was at the top of his pitching performance.

#5 Diamondbacks and Giants go at it once again tonight at Oracle for a 6:45 PM PDT first pitch. Madison Bumgarner (7-10 ERA 4.58) going for the Diamondbacks he’ll be opposed by the Giants Scott Kazmir (0-1 ERA 4.09) at Oracle Park tonight.

Join Michael for the Giants podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Inching Closer: Giants go small, win 1-0 over Arizona to reach SF-era record 104 wins

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–Didn’t think the record-breaking, home run-hitting Giants had this in their arsenal?

Well, you would be half right, and not the half you believed in.

The Giants nudged themselves past the Diamondbacks, 1-0 on Wednesday night at Oracle Park to reduce their magic number to win the NL West to three. And they did it as small–offensively–as possible, winning on Kris Bryant’s sacrifice fly in the seventh inning that scored Steven Duggar.

The Giants (104-54) have hit a franchise-record 237 home runs and posted a bunch of shutouts, not surprising balance for a team threatening to join the 1975 Reds and 1986 Mets as the winningest single season teams in National League history since divisional play began in 1969. But winning 1-0?

Well, a quick look back reveals they won 1-0 on April 18 at Miami when Alex Dickerson singled home a run in the third inning that stood up. And they bested the Nationals on June 11 when Buster Posey homered in the fourth inning, after Max Scherzer–know that name?–departed with a groin issue after throwing just 12 pitches. But winning 1-0 on a sacrifice fly is smaller brand of offense that, well, the Giants hadn’t accomplished this year.

“We pitched really well and the bullpen’s been nails all year,” starting pitcher Alex Wood said. “I can’t wait for October.”

A couple of things turned this one into a nail biter. D’Backs starter Merrill Kelly played Houdini, walking four and allowing three hits in five innings of work while not allowing a run. Three Arizona relievers followed and were equally as stingy, but Noel Ramirez allowed a single to Tommy La Stella, Steven Duggar then pinch ran for La Stella and stole second. Lamonte Wade Jr. grounded out, moving Duggar to third, where he stood when Bryant delivered the game-deciding sacrifice fly.

A manufactured run if ever there was one, but the Giants will take it.

The Giants were denied a far more comfortable margin of victory in the eighth when Duggar was robbed by Gary Varsho’s catch at the top of the left centerfield wall with two runners on.

Wood was stellar through six innings, allowing three hits and striking out six. Wood had the look of a competitor attempting to insure that he will prominently featured in the Giants’ postseason rotation by issuing no walks then retiring for the evening after throwing an economical 74 pitches. Three relievers (Dominic Leone, Jarlin Garcia and emerging high leverage guy, Camilo Doval) finished the D’Backs, combining to allow one hit with none of three throwing more than 11 pitches in their inning each.

The Giants achieved an incredible first with the win, becoming the first San Francisco Giants’ team to win as many as 104 games in a season. What’s next? The NY Giants of 1905 won 105, the NY Giants of 1904 won 106, and the Mets and Reds–the most inconic NL teams of this era–both won 108.

“It’s a huge accomplishment,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “This team has done so many good things. To say that this club has won more games than any other San Francisco Giants team is quite fulfilling.”

At press time, the Dodgers were locked into an incredible, back-and-forth affair with the Padres, with the score 9-9 in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Dodgers led 5-1 after two, then trailed 9-5 in the bottom of the seventh, only to score five times in the eighth to regain the lead. If the Dodgers lose, the Giants magic number would be reduced to two.

On Thursday, the Diamondbacks–now an incredible 54 games out of first place in the NL West–will bring Madison Bumgarner to the mound in his first pitching assignment in San Francisco since he left the Giants after the 2019 season. The Giants have not announced a pitcher, but Scott Kazmir’s name was being bandied on Twitter as if he would get the call on Thursday, but no announcement has been made.

Flores shows a flare for the dramatics in Giants win 6-4

Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Daulton Varsho legs out a throw to San Francisco Giants first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr on Tue Sep 28, 2021 at Oracle Park in San Francisco (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-Wilmer Flores came off the bench to hit for LaMonte Wade, Jr., and he eventually came up with the hit of the night.

Flores hit a flare over the head of Ketel Marte into right field to score Evan Longoria in the bottom of the sixth inning to start the rally that ended up helping the San Francisco Giants to a 6-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks before a crowd of 28,122 at Oracle Park.

With the victory, the Giants lowered their magic number to win the National League West down to four and maintained their two-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, who defeated the San Diego Padres 2-1 at Dodger Stadium.

Longoria, who scored the game-winning run reached on a fielding error by Josh Rojas to lead off the inning for the Giants, then Alex Dickerson came off the bench and was hit by a pitch, then Tommy La Stella singled and then Flores flare into right field scored Longoria.

The Giants were not done, as Buster Posey walked to score Dickerson, then Brandon Crawford hit a broken bat single to score Donovan Solano from third base after he came on to run for La Stella and then Posey scored the final run of the inning, when he scored on a wild pitch by Joe Mantiply.

Logan Webb went the first five innings for the Giants, as he allowed one (unearned) run on four hits, walking two and striking out six.

Despite not faring in the decision, the Giants are now 17-2 in the last 19 starts for Webb going back to May 11.

The Giants scored their first run of the game, when Posey scored with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the first inning, as Mike Yastrzemski walked to score Posey.

Diamondbacks starter Luke Weaver struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the first inning, but then Posey doubled, and Crawford and Bryant walked prior to Yastrzemski walking and picking up his 68th run batted in of the season.

Josh Rojas tied up the game in the top of the third inning, when he hit a sacrifice fly that scored Jake McCarthy, who walked to lead off the inning and went to third, when Wade, Jr., was unable to hold on to the pickoff throw from Webb and McCarthy went all the way to third.

McCarthy scored the Diamondbacks second run, as he hit an opposite field solo home run in the top of the seventh inning. It was the third home run of the season for McCarthy.

David Peralta attempted to tie up the game, as he hit a fly ball to the deepest part of the ballpark and was forced to settle for a sacrifice fly that scored Daulton Varsho with the Diamondbacks second run of the inning. Kole Calhoun cut the Giants lead in half, as he singled in Rojas.

Camilo Doval came on in the top of the ninth inning, and despite allowing a double to Geraldo Perdomo that brought the tying run to the plate, Doval was to get Carson Kelly to fly out to Duggar in centerfield and then got Rojas to strike out swinging on a slider to end the game and give Doval his first major league save.

NOTES: Brandon Belt was placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to September 27) with a left thumb fracture, and to replace Belt on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from Sacramento.

The 103 wins by the Giants ties the 1962 and 1993 Giants for the most wins since the team moved to California in 1958. Only the 1904 team that won 106 games, the 1905 Giants, who won 105 and they tie the 1912 New York Giants with 103 wins.

With the 103rd win of the season, the Giants became the third team in MLB history to post that wins in a season after finishing under .500 the season before. They join the 1993 Giants and the 1946 Boston Red Sox, who won 104 games on the season before losing in the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals.

This was the 15th win for the Giants over the Diamondbacks in 17 games this season, and they are the second team that the Giants have defeated at least 15 times this season, as they went 15-4 against the Colorado Rockies. The most wins that the Giants have over an opponent in a single season is the 1961 Chicago Cubs, whom they went 17-5 against that season.

UP NEXT: Alex Wood goes for his 11th win of the season on Wednesday night, as he takes the mound for the Giants, while Merrill Kelly will take the mound for the Diamondbacks in search of his eighth win of the season.

George Foster He was a Giant? By Tony “The Tiger” Hayes

Former San Francisco Giants George Foster circa 1971 around the time of his rookie season played for the Giants until May 1971 before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds (ebay file photo)

George Foster -OF – 1971- # 14

He Was a Giant?

By Tony “The Tiger” Hayes

The San Francisco Giants never considered George Foster to be anything more than an understudy to his athletic idol – Willie Mays.

So it was ironic that six years after the Orange & Black dealt Foster to the Cincinnati Reds in late May of 1971, in exchange for a package that turned out to be an empty box, that the late blooming All-Star became the first hitter to punch 50 home runs in a big league season since… you know who.

Foster would finish his border line Hall of Fame career with 347 home runs and 1,235 RBI. He was 1977 National League Most Valuable Player; started six All-Star Games (MVP in 1976 Mid-Summer Classic); and was a member of two World Series Championship teams.

The trade of Foster has come to be known as one of the most embarrassingly lopsided deals in west coast Giants history – and rightfully so – but in the late spring of 1971, the ill-fated swap hardly caused a ripple throughout the Major Leagues.

Foster’s major league sample size was so inconsequential and the naturally shy backup’s demeanor so deferential, that Foster was a virtual unknown 100 yards beyond Candlestick Park’s boundaries.

Cincinnati skipper Sparky Anderson wasn’t even sure what he was getting back in Foster.

“I haven’t seen much of him,” Anderson admitted to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “The only way to find out about him is to stick him out there and see what he does.”

But those who knew the introverted Foster best – his teammates – took the unusual step of ripping the transaction the day it went down.

They recognized the trade as a stinker from jump street.

“I can’t understand this,” said Giants breakout outfield talent Bobby Bonds. “George is a very promising player and I don’t know why he was traded.”

The typically soft-spoken Giants superstar first baseman Willie McCovey added: “There is no telling what can happen in baseball. It is awfully hard to figure out.”

At the time of the trade – in which the Giants received rookie shortstop Frank Duffy and journeyman right-handed reliever Vern Geishert – the club was without starting left fielder Ken Henderson who was sidelined with a groin strain – making the deal all that more curious.

“Who’s going to play the outfield?” an anonymous Giant asked the San Francisco Examiner’s Bucky Walter. “The trade deadline is June 15, couldn’t they wait until Henderson is ready to play?”

“We need outfielders not another shortstop,” complained another unnamed Giant.

The diffident Foster also stated his angst, voicing a public opinion for the first time in his career about… well, anything.

George was especially unnerved that it was Lon Simmons, of all people, who informed him of the trade. Now, Foster had no quarrel with the Giants’ baritone play-by-play man. The thing was, the 22-year-old just didn’t expect to receive orders to clear out his locker stall from someone who had just concluded a read for Lowenbrau beer.

“I learned of the trade via the radio… during the 6th inning without any notification from the front office,” a choked-up Foster told local scribes after the Giants crumpled the visiting Expos 8-3 on a bright Saturday afternoon (5/29/71).

Sans Foster, the Giants would go on to play winning ball the rest of the 1971 season, trading daily punches with the Dodgers before winning the National League flag by one game in the legendary Mays’ final full season in Giants mufti.

There would be no more hand-wringing in Giants-land regarding Foster’s departure the rest of the ‘71 season – nor frankly for the next few seasons.

It would take until 1975 before Foster fully matured as a power hitter and began wrecking havoc on opposing pitchers in a fashion that brought to mind the one and only “Say Hey, Kid.”

Why Was He A Giant?

After two short stints with the big club in 1969-70, Foster broke camp with the Giants in 1971. At the time of the trade to Cincinnati, Foster was doing about as well as expected, batting .267, 3, 8 in 36 contests as Mays’ caddy on a surging Giants club that led the National League West by nearly 10 games.

In his most memorable game with San Francisco, Foster batted 4-for-4, with a double and solo home run and three RBIs in a 5-3 road clocking of the Braves (4/28/71).

The ‘71 club featured a mixture of established Giants stars (Mays, McCovey and storied right-handed starting pitchers Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry), plus a new breed of San Francisco charges – including the speedy, power-hitting Bonds, flashy second second baseman Tito Fuentes and a fresh-faced left side of the infield comprised of a pair of Bay-born rookies: third baseman “Dirty” Al Gallagher – the first native San Franciscan to play for the west coast Giants – and baby-faced shortstop Chris Speier of Alameda.

So why upset the apple cart and trade Foster in exchange for Duffy, an untested rookie, and ham and egger Geishert.

The answer may have arisen from the pitching side of the Giants clubhouse society. Decades after his final MLB game, Foster spoke of an old school Giants clubhouse where battle scarred athletes ruled the roost.

“The veteran players did not speak to the rookies. For awhile, a couple of guys didn’t speak to me, unfortunately, they were pitchers,” Foster recalled in an interview with “The Road to the Show” (YouTube) “So if you made a mistake in the outfield, they wanted to get you out of the lineup. They’d tell the manager ‘don’t play that kid when I’m pitching.’”

Gaylord Perry was a Giants pitcher who was notoriously hard on young teammates who bungled plays behind him. The taciturn Perry was known to display his pique with dismissive body language or by directly chewing out shoddy defenders right on the spot.

In one Perry start in ‘71, Foster butchered a couple of batted balls which lead directly to 4-1 Giants loss at Houston (5/21/71).

It’s quite possible that Perry privately grumbled to Giants manager Charlie Fox – a former catcher with pitching and defense-first mentality – about Foster’s defensive shortcomings.

Now, we’re not saying Gaylord forced the trade of Foster to Cincinnati, but the fact is, soon after his kick-the-can performance at the Astrodome, George was sent packing.

For San Francisco fans sake, let’s just hope the Giants didn’t foolhardily leave 344 potential home runs on the table and deal a future All-Star just because of a random bad day in the field that left Perry with a knot in his jock strap.

Before & After

Born in Alabama, Foster’s family joined the great southern migration to bustling northern and western U.S. cities in the mid-1950s, settling in the Los Angeles region. Though a young George grew up in the heart of Dodgers country, he was a devoted Willie Mays acolyte and simulated the celebrated Giant’s every move.

So imagine Foster’s delight when the Orange & Black scouted and signed him out of Torrance’s El Camino junior college. Within two years, Foster was lockering about 20 feet from Mays.

While some of the more experienced Giants kept rookies at an arm’s length, that was never the case with the warm-hearted Willie.

Just as he had taken fledging Giants from a previous era under his wing (McCovey, Willie Kirkland, Leon Wagner) Mays did the same with the following generations of young Giants.

In the case of Foster, Mays made sure he had plenty to eat.

“Bobby Bonds and I were were roommates and during spring training we would always go by Willie’s room at dinner time and pretend we we’re testing his food – like poison control- taste it make sure everything was fine,” Foster said with a wink in that same YouTube video. “We saved meal money by going to eat his steaks. We’d say ‘everything’s fine.’ And Willie would order more food for himself.”

Foster also discovered after his trade to Cincinnati, that Mays had called ahead to the Reds’ Pete Rose with a request from one All-Star to another.

“He told Pete, ‘take care of this kid,” Foster revealed years later. “It was heartwarming that Willie was still watching over me by making sure people were taking care of me.”

Foster actually walked into a pretty good situation with the Reds. With Bobby Tolan lost for the season with a Achilles injury, George took over in center field immediately in ‘71. Though he received plenty of big league experience that season, the trial run proved Foster still had lots of work to do on his journey to becoming an all-time great.

Over the next three seasons, Foster rotated between the Reds lineup, the bench and even Triple-A for extended stretches.

It wasn’t until ‘75, when Rose shifted from the outfield to third base, that Foster became a permanent member of the Big Red Machine’s celebrated every day lineup.

Cincinnati won back-to-back World Series titles in 1975-76 featuring a roll call of superstar hitters, including: Rose, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez and Johnny Bench – but Foster was the Reds’ cleanup hitter.

Foster would not only lead the heavy-hitting Reds in RBI – but topped the entire NL in the key stat for three straight seasons from 1976-78.

In 1976, Foster was in contention for the Triple Crown for a good portion of the season – finishing at an sterling .306, 29, 121.

At age 30, the introverted slugger was also slowly breaking out of his shell.

After the ‘76 campaign, Foster raised eyebrows when he self-appointed himself league Most Valuable Player. Sheepishly, Foster was compelled to walk back those comments when he realized his teammate Joe Morgan was voted the honor.

Foster brushed off the fopaux and returned with an even better campaign in 1977. He upped his average to .320 and again was numero uno in the RBI column (149). This time around Foster went extra bananas with the home runs – bopping 52 long balls. No batter had reached the half century mark in taters since Mays also walloped 52 in his 1965 MVP campaign.

In ‘77, Foster was the clear and obvious pick for MVP.

Foster further solidified his superstar status in 1978, leading the NL in HR (40) and RBI (121). His numbers tailed off slightly in 1979-81, but he was still among the best power hitters in baseball.

In 1982, the Reds went in a different direction and traded Foster to the lowly Mets for pitching. After a decade in homespun Cincinnati, the relocation to cynical New York proved to be a difficult move for the sensitive Foster.

With the fabled Reds, Foster was part of a star-studded ensemble cast in a cash-box certified extravaganza. With the bungling Mets – Foster’s name was the only one atop the marquee of a panned revival in a rundown off-Broadway theatre with threadbare seats. In 1982-83, Foster labored though his first losing seasons since 1971.

By 1986, the reborn Mets had made great strides however and were on the crest of their first world championship since 1969. But they would do it without a slumping Foster who was benched in favor of future Giants star Kevin Mitchell.

Foster hinted that the Mets demoted him because he was black. An odd statement considering Mitchell was also African-American.

Foster later clarified that he meant to say baseball preferred to promote it’s white players over blacks as role models to young fans.

But the damage was done and a personally affronted New York manager Davey Johnson arranged for the purging of Foster from the Big Apple – denying George a shot at a third World Series title.

Foster wrapped up his big league career that season – appearing in a handful of games with the White Sox.

He Never Had a (Giants) Bobblehead Day. But…

If the Giants weren’t clear in what they had in Foster when they traded him, it surely must have come sharper into focus when Foster returned to Candlestick Park with the Reds in mid-September of ‘71 for a mid-week two game set.

After back-to-back home losses to the Dodgers, the Giants’ once healthy NL West margin had dwindled to a solitary one-game lead. A year after winning the NL pennant, the Reds meanwhile had slumped in ‘71, settling into a very disappointing fifth place in the division. But Cincinnati was clearly up to playing the role of spoilers.

After taking the first game 4-2 (9/15/71), Cincinnati laid a worse beating on the Orange & Black the next day, winning 8-1 on a scorching Indian Summer afternoon.

The Reds took a slim 2-1 lead into the 8th before breaking open the contest with a five run outburst – the key strike coming on a booming, two-out Foster grand slam off Giants reliever Don McMahon.

After the game, Foster admitted he still had Orange & Black running through his veins -to a point.

“I really regretted leaving my friends and except when I’m batting I’m pulling for the Giants. I don’t want to see them blow it now,” said George after doing his best to make sure the Giants did indeed “blow it.”

The Giants would soon right the ship and clinched the West on the final day of the season with a 5-1 win at San Diego (9/30/71).

Giant Footprint

In hindsight the Giants trade of Foster was, without a doubt, a massive screw-up. But if you go back and dissect the swap from the Giants end, you can kind of see where they were coming from.

For starters, Foster was still a very raw talent when the Giants traded him. Foster had difficulty hitting the breaking pitch and struck out at a high rate (fanning in about 25 percent of his Giants at-bats).

Now, you have give the Reds credit for sticking with Foster through his painfully elongated growth period. But they could have also easily moved on from Foster at some point as well before he blossomed.

As far as the players the Giants received from Cincinnati, Geishert did not report to Triple-A Phoenix and never threw a pitch for the Giants organization, nor in the big leagues again.

But Duffy, the primary player coming back to San Francisco for Foster, was no random pick-up.

The Giants had long been enamored of the slick fielding infielder with Bay Area roots. An Oakland native, Duffy grew up in Turlock, before an impressive turn at Stanford University.

The Reds selected Duffy with their first-round draft pick of the secondary phase of the 1967 draft – apparently just as the Giants were closing in on the Pac-8 standout.

Duffy was slated to be the Reds shortstop of the future, but he was bypassed by the precocious Dave Conception, a future perennial Gold Glove Award winner and All-Star.

The Giants meanwhile we’re going with the fantastic looking rookie Speier at shortstop. Though he was knocking the cover off the ball and flashing impressive defensive skills, Speier was just 20 years old and had previously played just one season of minor league ball.

So trading for Duffy made some me sense as an insurance policy.

“After (Duffy) played at Stanford, we wanted to draft him No. 1 in 1967, but the Reds picked him off just one turn before we had our chance,” said manager Fox. “Duffy has great lateral movement which is a requisite at Candlestick on the AstroTurf. We feel he can help us at third and second base as well as shortstop.”

As it turned out, Speier never stopped playing at a high level and would be the Giants starting shortstop through the 1976 season. He returned in the late-1980s as a key utility-player.

Duffy never got much of a chance with San Francisco in ‘71, batting .179 (5-for-28) in 21 games. After the season he departed the Bay Area for Cleveland, along with Perry, in another disappointing trade for washed-up right-handed pitcher Sam McDowell.

Bad, Good: X-Ray reveals fracture in Brandon Belt’s thumb as Giants hope to capture NL West title

By Morris Phillips

The Giants have announced that first baseman Brandon Belt has a fracture in his left thumb, the result of a 93-mph fastball thrown by Lucas Gilbreath that clipped Belt as he squared to bunt in Sunday’s game in Denver.

Belt recoiled in pain upon the impact of the pitch and was removed from the game. The 33-year old in the midst of perhaps the biggest month of his career (.349 with 9 home runs, 18 RBI and 30 hits) expressed doubt that the injury was serious after the game, but it’s clear he will miss the final week of the regular season and at least the start of the playoffs.

Officially, the team said that Belt will meet with doctors tomorrow and in the days after to develop a plan of action, and a determination of how long he will be out. An update is expected after the first meeting with doctors tomorrow.

Belt suffered a broken left thumb in 2014 and missed 51 games. On that occasion in which he was hit by a pitch thrown by the Dodgers’ Paul Maholm, and the initial prognosis was that he would miss six weeks, and he ended up missing eight. In 2014, Belt played in a career-low 61 games (in 2020, Belt played in 51 of 60, the shortened season impacted by the COVID crisis) finishing with just 12 homers and 27 RBI. But that season, Belt was healthy for the postseason, hitting .295 with 18 hits in 17 games as the Giants captured the World Series title.

The difference between the two injuries? Belt (and manager Bruce Bochy) knew immediately his thumb was broken in 2014, but the injury transpired in the season’s 36th game, early enough for him to recover and aid the team’s postseason push.

This time, the timing couldn’t be any worse. Not only are the Giants battling for the division title with six games remaining, a potential showdown with the Dodgers would begin October 8, a date that might not be possible for Belt to meet even if his fracture doesn’t require surgery and he makes a quick recovery.

Besides the Belt injury, Sunday was another revelation for the club in that they again came up big late in a ballgame, besting the Rockies 6-2 and sweeping the three-game series in Denver. That, along with a Saturday loss by the Dodgers to Arizona in which starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw was roughed up for four runs before being lifted in the fifth inning of a 7-2 decision, gives the Giants a two-game lead with six games remaining.

According to baseball-reference.com’s playoff odds, the Giants now have 90.3 percent chance to capture the division, with the Dodgers clinging to hope with a 9.7 percent chance to prevail. The Giants have the easier schedule with home games against the Diamondbacks and the Padres, while the Dodgers close with the Padres for three, then the Brewers for three. Milwaukee has clinched the NL Central, but in a bit of scheduling intrigue may not be content to play their backups as they will be visiting Dodgers Stadium for the first time in 2021, and may want their regular lineups battle tested against the team they lost to in Game 7 of the 2018 NLCS.

The Brewers quietly could be planning big things. They have held of the challenge of the Cardinals–currently riding a 16-game win streak–and have several things in their favor heading into the final week:

The Brewers can, again, both rest and prepare, more likely with them playing their backups in a series with St. Louis beginning Tuesday, then ramp it up for the Dodgers over the weekend without hampering their preparation for Game 1 of the NLDS with them likely hosting Atlanta on October 8. Milwaukee already knows it will have home field advantage in the NLDS, and that they will avoid consecutive series against the teams with the NL’s best records, the Giants and the Dodgers. Also, if the Dodgers prevail over the Giants in a likely NLDS showdown, and the Brewers advance, Milwaukee would have home field against Los Angeles in the championship series.

Not what Giants’ fans would want, but Milwaukee is formidable with starters Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff along with closer Josh Hader (34 saves). Also, they’ve qualified for the postseason for the fourth straight season and have that 2018 disappointment they like to settle with Los Angeles.

For the Giants, especially with Belt injured, winning the division as quickly as possible is an even bigger aspiration. Look for them to go all out to sweep the D’Backs and put tremendous pressure on the Dodgers going into the final weekend. As an aside, Madison Bumgarner is the announced pitcher for Arizona in Thursday’s series finale, which would be his first time pitching in San Francisco since he signed with the D’Backs in the offseason prior to the 2020 season.

Also, the Giants would like to end things in the NL West as soon as possible to clear the path for Johnny Cueto and Scott Kazmir to pitch in the same game to test both veterans’ postseason readiness. If the division is clinched, that pairing of Cueto and Kazmir could come Saturday against San Diego.

On Tuesday, the Giants open their series with Arizona in front of a large, home crowd and Logan Webb on the mound. Arizona has announced Luke Weaver as their starter. Weaver is 0-4 with a 7.94 ERA in his five starts on the road.