Rockies strike back, pin critical 5-4 loss on the Giants

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–Gabe Kapler immediately turned his focus to Friday’s doubleheader, and the biggest 14 innings of the season for his Giants.

And what of Thursday’s agonizing 5-4 loss to the Rockies that could have had his club in the driver’s seat regarding the postseason heading into the weekend?

Kapler simply avoided any reflection–emotional or analytical–involving the Giants.

“They got the job done, and you have to kind of tip your cap to them,” Kapler said of the Rockies. “They did pull out all the stops. They put the five-man infield out there. They extended Bard, I’m guessing, probably beyond the most comfortable space. That was a good effort by their ballclub.”

What the Giants hope to achieve with 14 flawless innings on Friday, they basically failed to achieve in 11 uneven innings Thursday afternoon. The Giants jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings, only to trail 4-3 after seven. Brandon Belt’s homer got the Giants even after eight. Then the Giants put themselves on the precipice of victory with a bases loaded, one out situation in the tenth, only to stall and then see the Rockies take control in the 11th.

Kevin Gausman essentially admitted what Kapler would not regarding the frustrating affair.

“We don’t really have the luxury of sitting around and feeling bad for ourselves,” Gausman said. “We’ve got a doubleheader tomorrow against the Padres. If we can win both those games that would be huge. Just try to forget about it.”

The Giants’ offense wasn’t as decisive as its been at Oracle Park. After their early flurry, the Giants scored one run over the game’s final nine innings. They failed to fully capitalize on five extra-base hits, and the bases-loaded failure in the tenth could have given them control of the game. The team’s improving bullpen held up, but allowed the game-winning run in the 11th.

The out-of-town scoreboard provided some good news; some bad on Thursday. The Marlins bounced back, beating the Braves to remain over .500 and ahead of the Giants. Meanwhile, the Brewers fell to the Cardinals, keeping them behind the Giants, and along with the Phillies, saddled with a losing record.

Dodgers, Kershaw bring Giants’ seven-game streak to a halt, win 7-0 in doubleheader opener

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–Bookmark the Clayton Kershaw-Brandon Belt matchup as today’s barometer for success… or failure.

After the Dodgers and Giants took Tuesday night off in a historic and emotional occasion of social activism, pitching and hitting returned in a big way with the Giants trying to extend their seven-game, offense-fueled win streak against Kershaw, the most successful starting pitcher of the last decade, and by far, the guy the Giants and Belt least like to see on the mound.

Now the numbers available to both managers prior to the first game of the unique, seven-inning doubleheader.

Belt, in one of the finest, offensive showings in his career (9 plus seasons) had four hits, including two homers, a double in the Giants’ epic 10-8 win over the Dodgers in 11 innings on Tuesday.

Kershaw has owned Belt, allowing the slugger four hits and four walks, no home runs in 60 career at-bats, 29 of which concluded in a strikeout.

Manager Gabe Kapler didn’t flinch. He penciled Belt into the sixth spot in his lineup, a nod to Belt’s 16 hits and .571 batting average over his last nine games. Wilmer Flores, Kapler’s less edgy option to start at first base, found his way to lineup as well, playing second base and batting second.

Against Kershaw–rounding into form after a rough start against the Giants at Dodgers Stadium earlier in the month–none of Kapler’s lineup mechanics worked.

Kershaw gave up hard hit balls to both Belt and Flores in their initial at-bats only to see centerfielder Clay Bellinger come up with spectacular catches both times. From there, Kershaw cruised, pitching six, scoreless innings in a 7-0 shutout that left the assembled cutouts speechless.

Kershaw owns the Giants, winning for the 24th time in 49 starts, while his ERA against the Giants dropped to 1.76. Needing seven strikeouts to reach 2,500 in his career, Kershaw registered just four, evidence that as his velocity has decreased, his craftiness has expanded.

Belt finished 0 for 3 with a strikeout, and Flores was 1 for 3 as no Giants hitter was afforded more than three opportunities in a seven-inning game. Joey Bart was hitless as well, striking out all three times, the first time swinging on top of Kershaw’s slider, the second time frozen as the pitcher’s curve dropped in.

The Dodgers kept the fireworks to a minimum with their bats, pushing across a run in the first, and four more in the fourth. Austin Barnes came up with the biggest hit, a double chasing home Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson.

A.J. Pollock’s two-run shot in the seventh concluded the scoring.

Logan Webb suffered the loss as he was unable to replicate his strong start against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Webb pitched into the fourth inning, allowing four hits, two walks and five earned runs.

Pillar goes 5-for-5, Belt gets grand slam in Giants’ 5-run win, 11-6

sfgate.com photo: San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt hits a grand slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second inning during a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, in Phoenix.

In what is the San Francisco Giants’ last trip to Chase Field this season, the team is on fire through the first three games of the series.

Kevin Pillar went 5-for-5, Brandon Belt hit a grand slam and drove in six runs and the Giants defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-6 at Chase Field.

With the victory, the Giants clinched the four-game series with one game remaining on Sunday afternoon and Madison Bumgarner on the mound.

Rookie Logan Webb, who grew up in Rocklin made his major-league debut went five innings, allowing two runs (one earned), giving up five hits, walking one and striking out seven, as he picked up the win in his debut.

Webb, who just returned from an 80-game suspension in July for testing positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs.

The right-hander made three starts at Double-A Richmond and then one at Triple-A Sacramento this past Monday.

Things did not start out well for Webb, as he allowed two runs in the bottom of the first inning, as Jarrod Dyson singled to lead off the inning, and then scored on a Wilmer Flores double. After Webb got Eduardo Escobar and David Peralta, Flores scored on a throwing error on a ball hit by Adam Jones.

Webb got out of the jam, as he got Jake Lamb to ground out to first base to end the inning.

That lead for the Diamondbacks would not last long, as Alex Dickerson led off the second inning with a walk, then Flores committed a throwing error, as he tried to flip the ball to Nick Ahmed at second base.

Pillar then came up with his first hit of the game that loaded the bases, and then Belt hit a grand slam that gave the Giants the lead for good.

It was the second career grand slam for Belt, who last hit one off of Luis Perdomo of the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on April 7, 2017.

Brandon Crawford got into the act following the Belt home run, as he singled; however, Webb popped out on a sacrifice attempt for the first out of the inning.

Mike Yastrzemski, who hit three home runs on Friday night then singled to right field and then Stephen Vogt loaded the bases with a base hit of his own.

Evan Longoria drove in the fifth run of the inning, as he hit a sacrifice fly that scored Crawford from third base and sent Yastrzemski to third base.

Diamondbacks pitcher Taylor Clarke did not get out of the second inning, as he went 1.2 innings, allowing five runs (three earned), walking one and striking out one.

Belt drove in his fifth run of the game in the top of the third inning, as he hit an opposite field single to left field that scored Pillar.

The Giants scored another run in the top of the sixth inning, as Longoria grounded into a double play that scored Austin Slater.

Crawford drove in his first run of the game, as he grounded out to Flores that allowed Scooter Gennett from third base.

Slater, who went 2-for-3 on the game after coming into the game on a double switch that saw Yastrzemski move to left field for Dickerson and Slater went into right field, singled to left field to score Pillar to give the Giants what looked like a commanding seven run lead.

The Diamondbacks, who scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday night to tie up the game began the comeback, as Christian Walker hit a solo home run and then Escobar hit a sacrifice fly that scored Dyson in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Pillar drove in a run with his fifth hit of the game that scored Longoria, who singled to lead off the inning.

Belt then drove in his sixth run of the game, as he grounded out to Flores that scored Gennett from third base.

The final two runs of the game came when Ahmed hit a two-run home run off the foul pole in the bottom of the eighth inning.

With the score 11-6 in the top of the ninth inning, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo sent his catcher Alex Avila to the mound and he pitched a perfect ninth inning that included striking out Yastrzemski for the second out of the inning.

Jandel Gustave came on to close it out for the Giants in a non-save situation, and the game ended on a great play from Slater to Gennett to Longoria, as Escobar tried to stretch a double into a triple; however, Slater made a perfect throw to Gennett, who threw to Longoria to end the game.

NOTES: With the addition of Webb to the roster, Joey Rickard was optioned to Sacramento to make room for Webb.

The Giants went 7-for-16 with Runners In Scoring Position.

UP NEXT: Bumgarner will take the mound on Sunday for the Giants, while the Diamondbacks, who will try to avoid the sweep will send Merrill Kelly to the hill.

Pillar wins it late to give Giants the series; SF defeats Phillies 9-6

photo from sfgate.com:  San Francisco Giants’ Kevin Pillar swings for an RBI triple off Philadelphia Phillies’ Nick Pivetta in the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in San Francisco.

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — When the San Francisco Giants they knew that were getting a hitter with power and potential, and this season, Kevin Pillar has done just that.

Pillar went 2-for-4, including the go-ahead triple in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 9-6 before a crowd of 36,637 at Oracle Park.

The win by the Giants gave them the series, their first series win since winning two out of three against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Evan Longoria led off the inning with a single, and then after both Stephen Vogt and Scooter Gennett were retired by Jose Alvarez, Nick Pivetta came on to face Pillar and he put into the right-center field alley that easily scored Longoria from first base.

Brandon Crawford was then intentionally walked, so that Pivetta could face Will Smith, who was making his first ever plate appearance. With Smith at the plate, Crawford stole second and then Smith shocked everyone, as he lashed an opposite field single that scored both Pillar and Crawford; however, Bryce Harper nearly ruined it, as his throw just missed getting Smith at first base.

Joey Rickard then doubled Smith to third base, where he shared a laugh with Ron Wotus and after a Brandon Belt walk, Pivetta finally got out of the inning, as he got Mike Yastrzemski to ground out to end the inning.

This was a wild game that saw everything, as the Giants took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as Belt led off the inning with a walk, Yastrzemski then doubled off the left field wall and then Longoria gave the Giants the lead, when he singled up the middle off of Phillies starter Jake Arrieta.

Vogt then singled off of Arrieta that sent Longoria to third base; however, Arrieta regrouped to get Gennett to strike out and then Pillar grounded into a double play that ended the inning.

That 2-0 lead by the Giants was gone by the top of the second inning, as the Phillies erupted for three runs and that was end of the night for Giants starter Conner Menez.

J.T. Realmuto and Scott Kingery each walked, and after Sean Rodriguez struck out, Cesar Hernandez singled to load the bases. Arrieta then struck out for the second out of the inning, but the Phillies got on the board, when Roman Quinn walked and then Harper hit a two-run single that gave the Phillies the lead and that was it for Menez.

Jandel Gustave ended the inning, as he got Rhys Hoskins to fly out to Austin Slater and stop any further damage.

In all, Menez lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on just two hits, walking three and striking out four.

The Phillies attacked the Giants again in the top of the third inning, as Hernandez hit a two-run single off of the Giants third pitcher of the game and second reliever, Andrew Suarez, who came on to replace Gustave, when Corey Dickerson came on to pinch hit for Rodriguez.

Unfortunately for the Phillies that was the score for just one-half inning, as the Giants came all the way back to tie up the game, as Yastrzemski hit his 12th home run of the season. Longoria then picked up his second hit in as many at-bats, and after a Vogt fly out, Gennett doubled in Longoria to cut the Phillies lead down to one. Pillar then singled in Gennett to tie up the game.

Menez, who went from being on the hook for the loss, ended up getting a no-decision and Arrieta also did not fare in the decision, as he went three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, walking just one and striking out five.

Gennett gave the Giants once again in the bottom of the sixth inning, as he hit his second home run of the season and first at home. His home run landed in McCovey Cove, the 80th Splash Hit by a Giants batter since the ballpark opened on April 11, 2000.

Dickerson tied up the game in the top of the eighth inning, as his sacrifice fly that took Yastrzemski to the wall easily scored Realmuto from third base. Realmuto led off the inning with a single, then went to third on a Kingery double.

Smith, who came on to replace Tony Watson prior to the Dickerson sacrifice fly then walked Hernandez intentionally and Brad Miller flew out to Yastrzemski to end the inning.

In all, the Giants pitched the final 7.1 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, walking eight and striking out six.

Smith, who was unable to save the game for just the third time this season ended up with the victory, as he went the final 1.2 innings, allowing just two walks and a strikeout to improve his record to 4-0 on the season.

As a staff, the Giants walked 11 batters and this was the first time since September 20,2006 against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field where they won a game like that. It was the 11th time since moving to San Francisco in 1958 that the Giants (2019 J.G. Spink Award Jayson Stark gets credit for that stat).

NOTES: Gustave, Trevor Gott and Smith each made their first ever plate appearances during the game, and this was the first time since September 21, 1934 that three pitchers made their first ever appearances at the plate in the same game. Sherman Edwards, Whitey Wistert and Lee Grissom each went to the plate for the first time for the Cincinnati Reds in a 16-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. That is the only other time since 1913 that this occurred in a game, according to STATS, INC.

The 11 walks by the Phillies are a season high, and the first time they turned the trick since April 26, 2009 against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium in a 13-2 Phillies victory.

Prior to the game, the Giants honored their 1989 National League Championship team, as Will Clark, Don Robinson, Bill Bathe, Chris Speier, Ernie Camacho, Brett Butler, Terry Kennedy, Craig Lefferts, Ernest Riles, Donell Nixon, Atlee Hammaker, Dave Dravecky, Greg Litton, Kelly Downs, Robby Thompson and Mike Krukow were joined on the field by coaches Bill Fahey, Dusty Baker, Norm Sherry and manager Roger Craig.

They also memorialized Jose Uribe, Wendell Kim, Hank Greenwald and General Manager Al Rosen.

Giants President then announced the surprise of the night, The Thrill of the Night, as the Number 22, worn by Will Clark will be retired during the 2020 season.

Clark will join Bill Terry, Mel Ott, Carl Hubbell, Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry and Willie McCovey in that elusive club.

Christy Mathewson and John McGraw are honored by the team with the letters NY, as they never wore numbers for the Giants.

Jackie Robinsons number 42 is retired throughout Major League Baseball and is also on the façade on the Club Level at Oracle Park.

Ford Frick Award Winners Jon Miller, Lon Simmons and Russ Hodges are honored on the Club Level.

UP NEXT: Madison Bumgarner takes on the mound on Tuesday evening, as the Oakland As make their only trip to San Francisco this season. The As return to the Bay Area after splitting six games in Chicago will send Brett Anderson to the mound in the opener.

Regroup Fast: Giants get pushed around by the Phillies, lose 10-2

By Morris Phillips

Taking control of big games, winning series, and battling at least four other National League wild card hopefuls for the next nine weeks requires hard work, and heroic efforts churned out on a daily basis.

Knowing all that, the Giants took Thursday off, falling behind the Phillies 9-0 in the fourth inning in route to a 10-2 loss. J.P. Realmuto, Cesar Hernandez and Roman Quinn hit home runs for Philadelphia while Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez didn’t survive the third inning.

“We made some mistakes on the mound,” manager Bruce Bochy admitted.

The Phillies were in no mood to qualify their accomplishments. They’ve played losing baseball over their last 53 ballgames (24-29) and desperately needed to win a series, and stay in front of the Giants in the wild card hunt. They got that done Thursday afternoon.

“We’ve had guys that have had stretches that were really good, but we haven’t really clicked all together at the same time yet,” said Realmuto. “We feel like we have the guys in this clubhouse to get it done. We just have to come together and play well together and get things rolling.”

Philadelphia won a series against a team with a winning record for the first time since taking two of three at San Diego on June 3.

The Phillies joined the Nationals atop the wild card standings with the win, but they’re not alone. Whoever loses the Cubs-Cardinals game Thursday night will form a three-way tie for two playoff spots at 57-51. The Brewers are a game back, and the Giants (54-53) are 2 1/2 back.

The Giants surged after an encouraging outcome to the trade deadline that saw them keep Will Smith and Madison Bumgarner. They responded by whipping the Phillies 5-1 on Wednesday. That closed a miraculous July for the Giants with a 19-6 record.

But in the series finale, they appeared listless in the occasion of Alex Dickerson going on the disabled list with an oblique issue. Also, Brandon Crawford departed early when he injured his shoulder diving for a ball.

Heavy Trumps Hot: Streaking Giants cooled by the Cubs’ home run bats, 4-1

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO — Now that the Giants have achieved some level of competency by surpassing the .500 mark in 2019, know that these two statistical numbers weigh heavily on the mind of GM Farhan Zaidi as the July 31 trade deadline fast approaches.

The Giants have hit 108 home runs this season, 30 fewer than the Major League average, 65 fewer than the Dodgers, and 83 fewer than the Twins, who are threatening to smash the major league record for home runs in a season and become the first team to hit 300.

Entering play Wednesday afternoon, the Giants had won 17 of 20, becoming only the second team to win so frequently over a 20-game stretch in 2019 (Dodgers). And what has that hot stretch earned the scrappy, upwardly-mobile Giants?

According to Baseball-Reference.com, the Giants have just a 13 percent chance to qualify for the playoffs, despite passing six NL clubs during their hot streak.

Disbelieving of what you just read? Believe this: the Giants winning ways were interrupted Wednesday in a 4-1 loss to the Cubs, as Chicago sluggers went deep three times off San Francisco starter Tyler Beede in the first four innings.

And the Giants’ offense? You had to ask.

Leadoff batter Brandon Belt, who’s not really a leadoff batter, went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Tuesday night’s hero, Pablo Sandoval was 0 for 3 with a walk, and the Giants managed just five hits, no home runs and one run against fill-in starter Tyler Chatwood and a pair of Cubs relievers. Alex Dickerson, the Giants’ preferred cleanup hitter was out of the starting lineup for the second time in three games, dealing with back issues.

“They’ve got to be running on fumes,” said manager Bruce Bochy, referencing his Giants’ grueling schedule that saw them conclude a stretch of 14 games in 13 days on Wednesday. “They were doing all they could to get this one. We just came up short but the fight was there.”

Throw all that information into your baseball diamond-calibrated computer, and what spits out?

Buy or sell?

Sell is the smart move.

Of course, it’s buy.

In reality, it’s complicated like a personal profile on Facebook. The Giants are red-hot, but it might not much matter if they don’t tear it up in San Diego over the weekend, then fill up on the Phillies next week in Philadelphia.

Simply, it’s an four-game schedule, and the 2019 Giants will be defined by what they do in the first half of the upcoming road swing. Lose, three of four, fall below .500 and it would be prudent for the club to sell. Win three of four, and the front office and the team put all their focus on catching the Cardinals, Brewers and Phillies.

“Everyone wants to win, whether it’s players, coaches or the front office,” said Stephen Vogt. “I think everybody in this building wants to win, and we’re going to do everything it takes.”

One last statistical snap shot of the completed home stand: the Giants won 5 of 7, but were outscored 27-22.

On Friday, Jeff Samardzija takes the hill for the Giants at Petco Park. At presstime, the Padres had not named a starter for any of the three games in the series.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Morris Phillips: Bochy says it’s the worst season he’s seen in awhile

@BruceBochy file photo: San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy says this has been the worst season in awhile for the struggling Giants, who are on a five-game losing streak.

On the San Francisco Giants podcast with Morris Phillips:

#1 Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for the San Francisco Giants. The basics: no hitting and no pitching. Manager Bruce Bochy says its the worst season he’s seen in awhile.

#2 Up and down the lineup, they’re just not getting the hitting or run support from Joe Panik .245, Steve Duggar .242, Buster Posey .252,Brandon Belt .229, Evan Longoria .225, and Brandon Crawford .200.

#3 The Giants have also been lacking in their pitching help. For example, starters Drew Pomeranz, Andrew Suarez, and Shaun Anderson have pitched 11 2/3 innings and allowed 20 runs

#4 One item that has been discussed is local businesses have struggled near the ballpark. Merchants have said business has been down by half or worse and some say no one is coming into their business.

#5 Giants have a much-needed day off before heading to Florida. Starting for SF, Jeff Samardzija (2-3, 3.27 ERA) vs. the Marlins Trevor Richards (1-5, 4.14 ERA).

Morris does the Giants podcasts each Monday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Giants use 11-hit attack to hold off Snakes

Photo credit: @SFGiants

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, May 18, 2019

PHOENIX — In 24 hours, things changed for the better offensively for the San Francisco Giants.

On Friday, the Giants couldn’t get a key hit when needed. On Saturday, it was key hits to spare.

San Francisco’s 11-hit attack was backed a strong start from Madison Bumgarner, as the Giants defeated Arizona 8-5.

Seven different Giants drove in runs, led by Brandon Crawford with two. Steven Duggar, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria, Mac Williamson and Pablo Sandoval each knocked in a run.

“You could really see the difference tonight,” Giants Manager Bruce Bochy said. “The hitters were doing a nice job of getting on base. We had a lot of big hits, extra-base hits, and we did the little things well.”

Bumgarner (3-4) worked 61/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits. He struck out six and walked three.

“I thought he threw real good,” Bochy said. “His stuff was good. And with that lineup in this ballpark, a really nice job. And he had good command of his pitches all night.

Longoria’s two-out hit in the first inning drove in Joe Panik, who led off the game with an infield single. The Giants rallied for three runs in the third, with Duggar’s RBI triple, Posey’s run-scoring single and a sacrifice fly to center by Crawford the key blows giving San Francisco a 4-0 lead.

Eduardo Escobar’s 10th home run of the season into the left field seats put the Diamondbacks on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Arizona cut the Giants’ lead to 4-2 in the fifth when Adam Jones singled in Blake Swihart, who led off the inning with a walk.

San Francisco pushed two more runs across in the sixth on an RBI triple by Crawford, who scored two batters later on a single by Williamson.

The Diamondbacks chased Bumgarner in the bottom of the seventh after Nick Ahmed walked and scored from second on pinch-hitter John Ryan Murphy’s double down the left field line.

Adam Jones drove in Carson Kelly (who walked) with a ground out off San Francisco reliever Sam Dyson, pulling Arizona to within 6-4. But with two out in the San Francisco eighth, Sandoval — pinch-hitting for Dyson — hit a solo home run, giving the Giants a 7-4 lead.

“How about Pablo, huh?” Bochy said. “It’s nice to start him, and it’s nice to bring him off the bench to pinch-hit. He’s been the silver lining through our struggles.”

San Francisco extended its lead in the ninth to 8-4 when Brandon Belt’s seventh home run of the season reached the swimming pool in right-center.

Arizona closed its deficit to three when Carson Kelly hit a solo home run in the ninth, but closer Will Smith struck out Alex Avila, Adam Jones and Ketel Marte in what became a non-save situation.

In Sunday afternoon’s series finale, Robbie Ray (3-1, 3.14) starts for the Diamondbacks. San Francisco has yet to announce its starter.

GIANT JOTTINGS: Sandoval’s pinch home run in the eighth inning was the second of his career. The first came on May 8, 2018, at Philadelphia. … Gi Belt’s ninth-inning homer into the Chase Field swimming pool was the second overall of the season. Ex-Giant Hunter Pence hit one earlier this season for Texas. … D-Backs OF Adam Jones has hit safely in his last seven games. … Giants 2B Joe Panik has a streak of reaching base safely in 16 straight games, by hit or walk. … The attendance at Chase Field on Saturday was 25,014; Friday’s attendance was 26,806.

TAGS: San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Madison Bumgarner, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt, Steven Duggar, Sports Radio Service

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Belt, Posey expected back in the lineup tonight in Arizona

Photo credit: @mercnews

On the Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he kept first baseman Brandon Belt out of the lineup due to his inflamed knee Bochy says Belt is listed as day-to-day.

#2 Belt has had two knee surgeries. He went 0-3 with a walk on Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. Did his 0-for-3 have something to do with his knee being inflamed?

#3 The bobblehead for Pablo Sandoval reads “Let Pablo pitch” but someday the bobblehead for Giants pitcher Shaun Anderson will read “Let Shaun hit” because two hits in his first MLB game and some solid hitting would make only teammate Madison Bumgarner proud.

#4 Buster Posey is expected to be in the lineup on Friday night to open up the series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was out with a concussion for seven days. How cautious will the Giants and Posey be about his return?

#5 Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto is doing a 40-pitch bullpen session as he catches up with the team in Arizona. Bochy said he’s not sure if Cueto will be back this season after having Tommy John surgery, but he wants to see how and where Cueto is at in these bullpen sessions.

Join Miguel for the Giants podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants home opener hopes to bring successful homestand today

Photo credit: sfchronicle.com

On the Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 The Giants went 2-5 on their first road trip of 2019. Anything manager Bruce Bochy should be concerned about or is this something that will chalked up as experience?

#2 The Giants’ bright spot was when first baseman Brandon Belt hit a game-winning home run on Monday night for a win.

#3 Meanwhile, the Dodgers took their opening homestand, winning five of seven. Will the Dodgers be dominant much like the last two seasons this year?

#4 How important is it for Kevin Pillar to play for the Giants and be back in the Bay Area after playing most of his major league career in Toronto?

#5 In the Pillar deal, did the Giants make a good deal in sending Alen Hanson, Derek Law, and Juan De Paula to the Blue Jays?

Michael Duca does the Giants podcasts each Fridays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com