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.

Harper goes deep twice in Phillies’ 9-6 win over Giants

Photo credit: inquirer.com

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — Bryce Harper narrowed his free agent destinations down to two teams, and he picked the Philadelphia Phillies over the San Francisco Giants.

Harper hit two home runs, including a three-run home run in the top of the seventh inning that gave the Phillies a 9-6 victory over the Giants before a crowd of 36,275 at Oracle Park.

It was the 18th multi-home run game of his career for Harper, and his first as a member of the Phillies. Ironically, Harper last multi-home run game came against the Phillies, while playing for the Washington Nationals on May 4, 2018.

Also, it was the first hit by Harper off of Tony Watson, as Harper was 0-for-8 versus Watson with three strikeouts prior to the home run.

This was the 39th Splash Hit by an opposing player at Oracle Park, and the second by Harper, who also hit one on October 7, 2014 in Game Four of the National League Division Series off of Hunter Strickland.

Watson took the loss for the Giants, as he did not retire a batter, facing five batters, allowing four runs on three hits and walked one.

Corey Dickerson hit a bases clearing triple to score Drew Smyly, Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins that gave the Phillies a 3-1 lead in the top of the third inning. Jean Segura then drove in Dickerson with a sacrifice fly of his own.

The Giants then mounted a comeback in the bottom of the third inning, as Joey Rickard hit a solo home run that cut the Phillies lead in half.

Kevin Pillar drove in his second run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning that cut the lead down to one, as he hit a groundout to Segura at shortstop that scored Buster Posey from third base. Posey led off the inning with a walk, and then went to third on a Stephen Vogt. The rally came to a halt, as Vogt was thrown out at third base after J.T. Realmuto to Scott Kingery to retire Vogt.

Harper led off the top of the fifth inning with his 21st home run of the season, a home run that was measured at 421 feet.

Pillar gave the Giants a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, as he hit his 14th home run of the season.

Stephen Vogt hit his sixth home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning that tied up the game. The Vogt home run landed in McCovey Cove, and was the 79th Splash Hit by a Giants player since the park opened on April 11, 2000. It was also the first Splash Hit by a Giants player since Brandon Belt hit one on May 15, 2018 against the Cincinnati Reds.

Tyler Beede went five innings, allowing five runs while scattering four hits, walking two and striking out seven.

Madison Bumgarner, who gave up one hit in seven innings of work on Thursday night came off the bench to pinch-hit for Beede and was promptly walked. Sundays starter Conner Menez came on to pinch hit for Bumgarner after he advanced to second base on a Donovan Solano single.

Smyly went 5.2 innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits, walking three and striking out four. He also gave up three home runs just 10 days after going seven innings, allowing zero runs on four hits, walking one and striking out five in his first ever appearance against the Giants.

Pablo Sandoval came off the bench in the bottom of the eighth inning, and picked up a pinch-hit single off of Ranger Suarez. It was the 18th pinch hit of the season for Sandoval, passing Candy Maldonado, who picked up 17 in 1986 and now is tied with Ken Oberkfell for the most by a Giants player since 1974.

NOTES: Right-handed Pitcher Kyle Barraclough was claimed off of waivers from the Washington Nationals and was optioned to Sacramento. Tyler Austin, who was designated for assignment earlier in the week was out righted to Sacramento and elected free agency.

Reliever Travis Bergen returned from his rehab assignment, and was reinstated from the 60-day injured list. Sam Selman was optioned to Sacramento, and Steven Duggar was transferred to the 60-day injured list.

Johnny Cueto threw two scoreless innings with the Arizona League Giants-Orange, as Cueto made his second appearance since Tommy John Surgery. Cueto faced seven batters, giving up two hits, not walking a batter and striking out two.

Oberkfell picked up his 18 pinch hits for the Giants during the 1989 season, where the Giants made it all the way to the World Series before swept by the Oakland As.

Since the opening of Pacific Bell, SBC, AT&T and Oracle Park on April 11, 2000, this marked the third time that both teams recorded Splash Hits in the same game.

May 28, 2001: Giants: Felipe Crespo, Arizona Diamondbacks: Mark Grace.

May 12, 2014: Giants: Tyler Colvin, Atlanta Braves: Freddie Freeman.

This according to Bill Arnold of Sports Features Group.

UP NEXT: Jeff Samardzija will take the mound for the Giants on Saturday afternoon, as he looks for his ninth win of the season. While the Phillies will send Vince Velasquez to the hill, as he looks for his fifth win of the season.

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Will this second meeting with Harper mean he’ll become a Giant?; Johnny Football is out of football again; Will Green and Durant leave Warriors after this season?; plus more

Photo credit: @NBCSGiants

On Headline Sports with Tony Renteria:

#1 The San Francisco Giants had a second meeting with free agent superstar Bryce Harper. Does that look like an indication that Harper likes what the Giants organization is all about and what they have to offer?

#2 Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was released by the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes for violations of his contract. The Alouettes further informed the other eight teams in the CFL of Manziel’s release. The Alouettes did not give a reason why he was being released. But sources say Manziel violated his confidentiality agreement. It was reported that the CFL ordered his release.

#3 The Golden State Warriors have lost three of their last four games and have showed signs of tiring. They trailed the Miami Heat in Wednesday night’s game and talk has it that besides Kevin Durant who could go shopping after this season Draymond Green could announce for free agency after next season as well.

#4 The Sacramento Kings are coming off a tough loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night and hosted the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night and lost 141-140. The Kings–even when they lose–still make it interesting right until the end of the game.

#5 How concerned should the Oakland A’s be about their starting rotation now that pitchers Jharel Cotton and A.J. Puk are returning from surgery from last season? Can the A’s rotation stay healthy this season?

Join Tony each Thursday for Headline Sports at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports with London Marq: Arenado signs second largest MLB deal; Harper still waiting to sign; Cowboys’ Gregory suspended indefinitely; plus more

Photo credit: @theScore

On Headline Sports with London Marq:

#1 The Colorado Rockies’ Nolan Arenado signed a eight-year deal at $250 million. He does have an opt-out year when he turns 30 in three years from now. They really are counting on Arenado to be their cornerstone.

#2 Bryce Harper continues to be a free agent waiting for that longterm deal a payout that would top the San Diego Padres’ Manny Machado’s $300 million deal. Harper is looking in the neighborhood of $350 million and ten years. Will he get a deal done soon?

#3 Dallas Cowboys pass rusher Randy Gregory has been suspended indefinitely for substance abuse. Gregory played two games in 2016, suspended for the whole season in 2017, played 14 games in 2018 and was second in sacks with the Cowboys. Gregory’s attorney says he can make it back in 2019.

#4 The Sacramento Kings have lost two of their last three games, but their efforts were right there with opposing teams: the Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, and they beat the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Kings have another tough task when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night at the Golden One Center.

#5 The San Jose Earthquakes open the season this Saturday at Avaya Stadium against the Montreal Impact. After the rough season they had last year, the Quakes are looking to turn it around this year.

Headline Sports with London Marq is heard each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports with London Marq: Machado locked in, will Pads shop for more big signings?; Donaghy uncovered fixed NBA games; Baseball superstars still unsigned; plus more

Photo credit: @TimFromPuyallup

On Headline Sports with London Marq:

#1 Manny Machado signed baseball’s biggest contract with the San Diego Padres on Tuesday for 10 years and $300 million. What does this do for the Padres and how does someone like Machado get away from the Dodgers?

#2 Former NBA official Tim Donaghy was accused of betting on basketball, but it was never really revealed how he fixed games until an ESPN report saying that Donaghy was paid to fix games and got paid to do it. Some of the top NBA officials came from Philadelphia and Donaghy was from those parts. The influence as to why was simple…money!

#3 Baseball superstars Dallas Keuchel, Bryce Harper and Craig Kimbrell are still free agents looking for that longterm lucrative contract and all three are not in a MLB spring training camp holding out until some big league team comes calling with boatloads of money in the neighborhood of $300 million. At this early stage of spring training, are they fooling themselves or are they onto something?

#4 One of the first African American pitchers in baseball history, Dan Newcombe passed away on Tuesday at age 92. Newcombe joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949. He finished his ten-year career with the Dodgers at 149-90 and an ERA of 3.56. Former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda said he was the best hitting pitcher he ever saw.

#5 Knowing that San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who has announced his retirement after this season, was it a matter of Bochy losing his magical touch in the last few seasons or he just simply doesn’t have the talent on the Giants roster to win a World Series again–much like he did previously?

London Marq does the Sports Headlines podcasts each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: How Murray’s departure for football affects the A’s; Phillies’ big offer on table, will Harper sign?; How opening the season in Japan affects MLB clubs; plus more

Photo credit: @NFL

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Does Kyler Murray’s decision to leave the Oakland A’s for the NFL Draft or will he be a two sport player much like Bo Jackson and Dieon Sanders?

#2 How serious are the Philadelphia Phillies about pursuing Bryce Harper and does Amaury think they’ve got the best chance of acquiring him?

#3 How much does it take out of ball clubs when they open the season in Tokyo because of the distance the A’s open this season in Japan. Do the players enjoy the trip and do they find it productive and challenging?

#4 San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner is still in the shopping sweepstakes. No deals yet, but plenty of interest.

#5 Manny Machado has an seven-year deal on the table that could be as huge as 13 years at $325 million from the Chicago White Sox. Will it be too good to pass up?

#6 White House treated the Clemson Tigers to lunch with hamburgers boxes from Wendy’s, McDonalds, and Burger King on silver platters with paper napkins and plastic containers of mustard, mayo, and ketchup. Could Trump have served better food for lunch.

Amaury does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Can Nats re-sign Harper?; Brewers reach out to Giants for Bumgarner; Mets get Davis from Astros; plus more

Photo credit: @jnevn

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 What would it mean for the Washington Nationals in 2019 if they were able to re-sign Bryce Harper?

#2 Would the Dodger Manny Machado be in a deal for Bryce Harper seem possible or practical for both Dodgers and Nats?

#3 The Milwaukee Brewers have expressed interest in San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner. Will the Giants part with the lefty who was a big part of their World Series success?

#4 The New York Mets get JD Davis from Houston, sending catcher Kevin Palwecki to Houston who turned around and later got dealt to Cleveland. Palwecki will get more time behind the plate in Cleveland. As the Mets signed catcher Wilson Ramon to a two-year, $19 million deal.

#5 The Astros’ Dallas Keuchel is being floated on the free agency market. It shouldn’t take long before a team goes out and signs him.

Amaury Pi-Gonzalez is the Spanish play-by-play voice for the Oakland A’s and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Is Bryce Harper what the Giants really need?

Photo credit: @sfgiants_fanly

By: Amaury Pi-González

SAN FRANCISCO — Bryce Harper, who has played all of his seven years with the Washington Nationals so far, is currently a free agent. Some teams are showing interest in the superstar who is looking for something like a 10-year, $300 million contract. Money is not the issue for the Giants. The Giants, Cardinals, Yankees, Phillies have been mentioned as some of the top teams for Harper…and they have deep pockets, too. But there can be other teams. I’ll provide more on the latter another time.

But is the star right fielder the answer to the Giants’ offensive woes? Maybe! It would not hurt,but they still will need more than Harper to be a top contender in 2019. The Giants were the only team in 2018 who did not have one hitter reach 20 home runs, which was incredible in the era of the home runs. But let’s face it, as attractive as AT&T Park is, which comes with a great Giants fanbase, he could also select a more “hitter friendly” place like Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Yankee Stadium in the Bronx (Nirvana for a left-handed power hitter), Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, where the summer humidity makes the ball go much deeper than AT&T Park, or even with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Dodger Stadium.

I believe Yasiel Puig has played his last game with the Dodgers in right field. The Dodgers are looking for their next mega star in an area where the great LeBron James, who is now playing for the Lakers. Star power is a big thing down Hollywood Lane. Those are some of the better places for Harper who this season ended with a .249 average, 34 home runs and 100 runs batted in (First time in his career he drives 100 runs). Still, the 26-year old Las Vegas native shows a very impressive resume. Harper is not a pull hitter, a very experienced MLB scout told me, but still has a better chance of reaching the fences in most of those places, instead of AT&T Park and that “Death Valley” area that is right-center field and if you are a left-handed hitter and not a pull hitter that is enough to discourage you not to move to The City.

Harper was the first overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. Also, the youngest position player ever (19) to be selected for an MLB All-Star Game (2012) as well as the National League Rookie of the Year award. In 2015, the Baseball Writers Association of America unanimously MVP selected Harper, who was the youngest in baseball to ever do so.

It is obvious the Giants need to make more decisions, pending the most important of hiring a new GM, but this is something else to ponder for the Orange and Black.

Bryce? Nice!: Nats star Harper electrifies home crowd in Home Run Derby

By Morris Phillips

WASHINGTON D.C. — Was this Bryce Harper’s swan song, or just another big moment in his continuing career with the Washington Nationals?

It’s difficult to say. But one thing’s certain: the moment lasted 50 seconds and it included nine home runs, each one electricifying Nationals Park and the team’s fans.

An obviously fatigued Harper finished the T-Mobile Home Run Derby with an adrenaline rush, catching finalist Kyle Schwarber with the last of the nine as the horn signaled that his time had expired. Then having earned the 30 seconds of bonus time, Harper delivered the contest winner on his final swing.

Harper then tossed his bat, and was handed the winner’s trophy as his National League teammates surrounded him.

“I was fortunate to share that and show that to the fans,” Harper said. “That wasn’t only for me and my family and everybody like that, but this is for the cook, the guy who that works the front and the people that work upstairs.

“I mean, this is [for] the whole city of D.C. I was very fortunate to be able to bring this back to them and do it here.”

Harper was joined by his father Ron, his pitcher for the evening, and his partner in previous Derbies. After raising the trophy above his head, Harper quickly passed the prize to Ron.

“I love this man, he’s my hero. To be able to do that with tonight, that’s a dream come true,” Harper said.

Both Harpers struggled down the stretch of the competition.  On a hot, muggy night with temperatures above 80 degrees, Bryce Harper made good use of his timeouts, and down time by hanging in the clubhouse and adjacent batting cage. Still, through the first two minutes of the final round, Harper appeared gassed without enough in his tank to overtake Schwarber.

At the same time, Ron Harper struggled to get the ball over the plate, at one point failing to get his son to offer at three, consecutive pitches. But then, after a final timeout, everything came together with Harper depositing nine balls beyond the outfield wall in his final ten swings.

The crowd of 43,698 followed suit, roaring with each successive swing. During the brief break before the 30-second, bonus period awarded for the length of his home runs, the crowd kept it up. Then on his second swing, Harper delivered the competition winner.

“For him to come in and do that–it was getting close to the wire–then all of a sudden, he started racking them of one at a time. You just accept your fate there,” Schwarber conceded.

“We have some of the best fans in all of baseball, and to be able to do that with my family out there, that’s an incredible moment, not only for me but for the organization and the Nationals fans. I’m very blessed and humbled.”

Harper became the third slugger to win the competition in his home ballpark following Todd Frazier for the Reds in 2015, and Ryne Sandberg of the Cubs in 1990.

Harper bested the Braves’ Freddy Freeman in the first round, and the Dodgers’ Max Muncy in the semifinals. Muncy pulled the upset over the Cubs’ Javier Baez in the opening round, before falling short 13-12 to Harper in the semis.

“You can’t really feel your hands. Your forearms are really tight, so you’re not sure if you’re gripping the bat or if it’s falling out of your hands. Your legs are really sore. You just get exhausted,” Muncy said.

Giants looking for a spark in D.C.

By Morris Phillips

August 12, 2013

According to Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy, the Giants’ bats are ice cold right now.

The temperature for first pitch at Nationals Park on Tuesday night in steamy Washington D.C. should be around 83 degrees.

Could this convergence of circumstances bring about a change of fortunes for the NL West’s last place club? Probably not.

After losing two of three to the Orioles at AT&T Park over the weekend, the Giants are 15 ½ games behind the first place Dodgers and thinking of next year. The lineups Bochy’s been running out with Roger Kieschnick getting a look and Jeff Franceour frequently featured aren’t fortune changers. Instead, they’re audition lineups as the veteran manager scours his 25-man roster for any signs of life.

A matchup of two teams that made the post-season in 2012 doesn’t offer the same snap that it did just a year ago. The Nationals are just three games under .500 but sit 14 games behind the first-place Braves in the NL East. Bryce Harper’s been terrific for the Nats, and Stephen Strasburg struggled to find his form, but the major theme out of Washington is that their offense is as bad as the Giants.

So on the surface Tuesday’s matchup between Madison Bumgarner and Gio Gonzalez might not allow the bats to break out. But if we watch, we’ll watch for that: any signs of life from the woeful Giants or the disappointing Nationals.

First pitch comes at 4:05pm.