Bumgarner’s strong performance helps lead Giants to 5-2 victory over Rockies

Photo credit: @KleinschmidtJD

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — After going thru their entire bullpen on Friday night, the last thing Bruce Bochy wanted was a short start from Madison Bumgarner.

Well, Bumgarner did not disappoint his manager, as he went seven innings, allowing just two runs on six hits, walking no and striking out seven and the San Francisco Giants clinched their first series win of the 2019 season with a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies before a crowd of 32,607 at Oracle Park.

The Rockies have lost eight in a row and 12 out of their last 13. The 3-12 start by the Rockies is the worst start thru 15 games.

The Giants got on the board courtesy of the hottest player on the team, as Kevin Pillar hit a sacrifice fly that scored Gerardo Parra, after he led off the third inning with a double off of Kyle Freeland.

Buster Posey then lengthened the lead up to 2-0, as he doubled to right field that scored Steven Duggar from third base.

The Posey double was the 250th of his career, moving him into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time San Francisco Giants list, trailing Barry Bonds, Willie Mays and Willie McCovey.

When Duggar crossed the plate to give the Giants a 2-0 lead, it was the first run batted in of the season for Posey.

Pillar then his fourth home run of the season, a solo blast with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Rockies began to chip away at the Giants lead in the top of the sixth inning, as Garrett Hampson doubled and went to third on a Parra throwing error that allowed Charlie Blackmon to score from first base. Blackmon reached on a fielders choice that erased Chris Iannetta, who singled and put a stop to a streak that saw him strike out in his previous five plate appearances.

Mark Reynolds cut the Giants lead down to one in the top of the seventh inning, as Reynolds hit his second home run of the season.

Kyle Freeland went five innings, allowing three runs on nine hits, walking just one and striking out five and saw his record fall to 1-3 on the young season.

Pablo Sandoval picked up his sixth double of the season, and his six doubles are the third-most in the National League. During the 2018 season, Sandoval had just 10 doubles.

Bumgarner gave up a leadoff double to Iannetta in the top of the eighth inning, and that would be all for Bumgarner, as Reyes Moronta came on to replace the left-hander. Moronta got the Giants out of the jam, as he struck out Raimel Tapia, Blackmon and Hampson to end the threat and the inning.

Moronta has struck out 13 out of the last 31 batters faced.

Sam Dyson pitched a perfect ninth inning, as he picked up his first save of the season. It was the first save for Dyson since June 26, 2018, also against the Rockies.

NOTES: Erik Kratz became the first player to catch at least 18 innings and get the game-winning RBI in the same game since Bob Boone did it for the California Angels against the Seattle Mariners on April 13, 1982, this according to Stats, LLC.

The last time that the Giants won a game that lasted 18 innings or more was on June 11, 1985, when the Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 5-4 at Fulton County Stadium. Bob Brenly came up with the game-winning hit, while Duane Kuiper picked up a sacrifice bunt in the 11th inning and Mike Krukow started the game and went 5.0 innings, allowing four runs and five hits.

As for the last time that the Giants walked off a game that lasted 18 innings or more came on July 2, 1933, when the New York Giants shutout the St. Louis Cardinals 1-0 on a hit by Hughie Critz. Giants Hall of Fame Pitcher Carl Hubbell threw a complete game shutout, as he went all 18.0 innings.

UP NEXT: Derek Holland goes to the mound, as the Giants look for the four-game sweep and end the home stand with a 6-4 mark, while the Rockies will send German Marquez to the mound.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Gray and Samardzija matchup for great pitching duel

Photo credit: @NBCSGiants

On the Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 The Giants had a great pitching duel going with the Colorado Rockies Thursday night. Rockies starter Jon Gray threw shutout ball and the Giants starter Jeff Samardzija likewise throw shutout ball in what some say was masterpiece pitching.

#2 You won’t see pitchers throwing nine innings, but both Gray and Samardjiza threw like the could have pitched nine.

#3 The Giants have had a number of games where hitting had been suspect other than Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford in Thursday’s starting lineup. No one is hitting above .250

#4 You can see at the beginning of the game that Samardzija and Gray were throwing those off balance-breaking balls and were not missing by very much. It was the bottom of the seventh when the Giants centerfielder Kevin Pillar took Gray deep to left center field for his third home run of 2019 to break the deadlock.

#5 Miguel takes a look at Friday night’s starters for Colorado Chad Bettis (0-2, 11.88 ERA) and for the Giants, Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 4.00 ERA).

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

Samardzija shuts down Rox 1-0

Photo credit: @sfgiants_fanly

By Jeremy Harness

SAN FRANCISCO – Looks like “Shark” has his bite back.

Giants starter Jeff Samardzija has been off to a fantastic start this season and he only accelerated that Thursday night. A guy who is known for going deep into games and eating up innings did not do that nearly enough in 2018, but he has seemed to reverse that trend this season, although it has only been two starts.

He threw seven shutout innings and gave up three hits in getting his first win of the year, struck out seven batters and walked only one. He allowed only one guy to get as far as second base all night, using up only 90 pitches in the process.

It has been a far cry from a 2018 campaign that saw him struggle with his command as well as dealing with assorted injuries that further damaged his effectiveness. He has shown no remnants of that for the first two weeks of this season, and Colorado found that out the hard way.

“He was on top of his game, which you have to do against that lineup,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He just did a beautiful job of pitching. It was fun to watch. He’s been throwing the ball well.”

“It was a long road that he had to come back from. He was a warrior through all that, trying to pitch, and we shouldn’t have had him out there a few times that we let him pitch. He was battling a lot of pain, probably more than what he was telling us. But he put in a lot of hard work this winter, and you can see.”

As locked in as Samardzija was, however, Colorado Jon Gray was just as good. The two hurlers traded zeroes for the first six innings, and it appeared that the Giants could not catch a break at the plate despite garnering some early momentum.

Kevin Pillar changed that with one swing of the bat in the seventh inning.

It’s said that the first pitch is the best one a batter will see during the entire at-bat, and Pillar took advantage of that. He led off the seventh by nailing the first pitch he saw from Gray, sending it over the Bank of America sign in center field to give the Giants a 1-0 lead and make Samardzija eligible for the win.

“It’s great to do your job and throw a quality start, but there’s nothing like getting a win,” Bochy said. “I was really happy that he got the win tonight, with the effort he gave us.

“We needed some help (in the outfield),” he said of Pillar. “We got not just an outfielder, but an elite center fielder, a guy with some pop. This park is more of a pitcher’s park, but he’s shown that if you square up on it, it will go out. On a cold night, that’s pretty impressive.”

The Giants had a couple of chances earlier against Gray but could not cash in. Second baseman Joe Panik lined a two-out double over left fielder Raimel Tapia’s head, but the rally was short-lived as Buster Posey – who otherwise had a very nice night at the plate with a single and a pair of walks – whiffed to end the inning.

They really had something going in the fourth, when Brandon Belt led off the inning with a double and Brandon Crawford advanced him over to third with a well-placed grounder to the right side of the infield.

However, Pablo Sandoval’s groundout back to the pitcher put a serious dent in the rally, which was officially put to death when Pillar grounded out to third.

The Giants had an opportunity to expand the lead in the eighth, after getting the first two batters on via the base on balls. With Belt up, a pitch got past Colorado catcher Tony Wolters and momentarily allowed both runners to advance with nobody out.

However, what TV replays clearly showed as a passed ball that bounced off Wolters’ mitt was actually ruled as a foul tip by home plate umpire C.B Bucknor, as he determined that the ball had struck Belt’s bat as he checked his swing. The play was non-reviewable, and both runners were forced to go back to first and second, respectively.

Belt ended up striking out, and the two ensuing batters, Sandoval and Crawford, each grounded out softly to first, one of which would have brought a runner home had the passed ball been correctly called.

Fortunately for the Giants, that did not become a turning point, as Will Smith came in and pitched a perfect ninth, thanks to a sparkling play by Panik to rob Charlie Blackmon of a hit.

The Giants next play the Rockies on Friday night at 7:15 pm.

Giants lose to Rockies 3-2 in Sunday matinee finale

Photo credit: @SFGiants

By: London Marq

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — It was a sunny and pristine mid-September afternoon at AT&T Park right by the Bay as the San Francisco Giants hosted the Colorado Rockies in the final matchup of a three-game series. Entering the game, the Giants sat 12 games back of the NL West-leading Dodgers, but have proved resilient against the Rockies, winning the first two games of the series to threaten the sweep. The Rockies sit in second place in the NL West and are competing with Wild Card Spot with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Rockies came into game three of this series looking to steal one back on the road and stay in playoff contention.

Determined not let the Giants play spoiler for the third time in a row, the Rockies were constantly swinging the bats. Giants’ rookie pitcher Dereck Rodriguez made it through the first inning unscathed, but with one out in the second inning, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez reaches first base on an error. That was followed by Ian Desmond getting a single and Iannetta being walked. With the bases loaded, the Rockies’ pitcher Antonio Senzatela came to the plate and helped his own cause with a liner into left field, allowing Gonzalez and Desmond to score. A few batters later, still with only one out in the inning LeMahieu hit a sac-fly to center and Iannetta tagged up and scored.  The Giants eventually escaped the jam–down 3-0.

The score remained stagnant until the sixth when the Giants manufactured a run off two hits and a walk to bring Panik around to score and bring the score to 3-1 to end the sixth.

The Giants continued to push in the eighth inning when Panik would round the bases again to decrease the Rockies’ advantage to just one. The late game heroics gave the Giants a chance in the ninth, but the Rockies shut the door to show why they are in playoff contention. They got the win, 3-2.

The Giants, despite being well out of contention, prove that they can play competitive baseball. With rumors swirling, that manager Bruce Bochy may not be re-signed next season, series like this may go a long way to dispel such rumors.

The Giants will play three more series this season. Two of those series will be the Cardinals and Dodgers, both of whom are playoff contenders. The Giants will look to finish 2018 strong, play some spoilers, and get some quality wins before the offseason.

Giants knock the Rockies out of first place with second straight shutout 3-0

Photo credit: @SFGiants

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — If you ever thought that the San Francisco Giants would help out the Los Angeles Dodgers, you would be not dreaming.

Austin Slater hit a ground ball for on out in the bottom of the second to score Brandon Crawford from third base, as the Giants defeated the Rockies 3-0 before 38,204 at AT&T Park on Saturday.

This was the second win in a row for the Giants, after they dropped a season-high 11 straight to begin the month of September, and this is the first time that they won back-to-back games since winning four in a row from August 25-28.

Coupled with the Dodgers’ 17-4 rout of the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, the longtime rival of the Giants is now in first place in the National League West and the Rockies fall into the second Wild Card Spot.

Madison Bumgarner went six innings, allowing no runs on five hits, walking one and striking out two and won for the sixth time this season.

Dating back to his start against the Houston Astros, Bumgarner has thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings.

“Finish strong and competitive,” said Bumgarner.

Bumgarner was forced to leave the start tonight, despite throwing just 64 pitches, as he suffered tension in his right side.

“Little tightness in his side,” said manager Bruce Bochy.

Hunter Pence added a second run in that bottom of the second inning, as he singled to center field to score Nick Hundley.

As would have it, Bumgarner scored the final run of the game for the Giants, as he scored on a wild pitch thrown by German Marquez with Hundley at the plate in the bottom of the third inning.

Marquez also went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out four, as he saw his record fall to 12-10 on the season.

Both teams were warned by Raymond DeJesus in the bottom of the third inning, after Marquez hit Evan Longoria, which came after Bumgarner hit D.J. LeMahieu in the top of the third inning. Marquez hit Slater on top of the helmet in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The top five hitters in their lineup all got hits, but they could not muster a run against the Giants for the second consecutive game. Those five hitters went a combined 5-for-17 against Bumgarner, Tony Watson, Mark Melancon and Will Smith.

The bullpen trio of Watson, Melancon and Smith went three innings, allowing two hits, not walking a batter and struck out five. Smith notched his 12th save of the season.

By being shut out on back-to-back evenings, the last time that the Rockies scored a run was in the bottom of the seventh inning of their 10-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field, a span of 19 innings. In that inning against the Diamondbacks, the Rockies scored five runs to put the game away.

NOTES: This was the 15th shutout of the season for the Giants, and it was the fourth time this season that have they have thrown back-to-back shutouts. They also did it on March and 30 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, June 1 and 2 versus the Philadelphia Phillies and on August 27 and 28 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Rockies have lost 11 out of their last 14 at AT&T Park.

This is the first time all season that the Rockies have been shutout in back-to-back games.

UP NEXT: The Giants and Rockies wrap up their series with a finale Sunday afternoon at 1:05 pm PDT.

Giants rookie Dereck Rodriguez closes out the homestand on Sunday, as he takes the mound in search of his seventh win of the season, while Antonio Senzatela looks for his fifth win of the season for the Rockies.

Stratton throws first career shutout; Giants shutout Rockies 2-0 to snap losing skid

Photo credit: @SportingGreenSF

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — Despite the fact that they are most likely out of the playoff race, the San Francisco Giants can still play spoiler against the Colorado Rockies.

Chris Stratton threw a complete game, allowing zero runs on just two hits, walking two and striking out seven. The Giants put a stop to their longest losing streak since 1951 with a 2-0 victory over the Rockies before a crowd of 37,800 at AT&T Park Friday night.

This was the first career shutout for Stratton, the first shutout of the season for the Giants, and just the 18th complete game shutout this season.

The 11-game losing streak that the Giants put a halt to was the longest in the National League this season, and ties the Detroit Tigers for the longest in the Major Leagues this season.

With the victory, the Giants defeated the Rockies for the first time since June 28, a span of seven games.

This is the ninth straight that the Giants’ offense have scored three runs or less in a game, the last time that they scored more than three in a game was on September 3, when they scored eight in a 9-8 loss to the Rockies at Coors Field.

Stratton got all the offensive help he needed in the bottom of the second inning, Austin Slater singled in Nick Hundley and Joe Panik, who both singled in front of Slater. The two got into scoring position when Rockies starter Tyler Anderson unleashed the first of his two wild pitches in the inning.

With the victory, Stratton won for the 10th time this season, and also got some big time from his defense, as Gregor Blanco made a leaping catch of a Nolan Arenado hit in the top of the sixth inning that robbed Arenado of extra bases. Brandon Crawford also snared a Trevor Story ball that would have gone for a single.

Stratton also helped himself at the plate, as he lashed a single off of Anderson in that two-run second inning that saw the Giants score the only runs of the game. The right-hander is first Giants pitcher since 2016, when Johnny Cueto won 18, Madison Bumgarner won 15 and Jeff Samardzija won 12, as the Giants made to the National League Division Series, where they lost to the eventual World Champion Chicago Cubs in four games.

Brandon Belt left the game after the bottom of the seventh inning due to right knee soreness.

NOTES: When the Giants lost those 12 straight in 1951, they did it from April 19-29 and a month after the losing streak ended, a 20-year old outfielder was called up to the team on May 25, his name was Willie Howard Mays, Jr.

The Giants lost 13 in a row from August 9-20, 1944, their longest losing streak since 1908.

During the month of September, the Giants have scored a total of 28 runs, an average of 2.33 a game.

Samardzija threw the last Giants shutout on August 28, 2017 against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

UP NEXT: Madison Bumgarner takes the mound on Saturday night at 6:05 pm PDT, as he looks for his sixth win of the season, while German Marquez will head to the hill for the Rockies in search for his 13th win of the season.

Giants appear to be in a free fall

Photo credit: mccoveychronicles.com

By Jeremy Harness

Right now, the Giants are playing like they can’t wait for the season to be over.

After being in contention for much of the season, they have now lost 11 straight games and are sinking deeper into the abyss of the major leagues. Instead of playing spoiler, other teams seem to be able to look at the Giants as a way to pick up a few easy wins and keep their playoff hopes alive.

The next team to hope to use the Giants to fatten their records is the Colorado Rockies, who make their way to AT&T Park for a three-game weekend series that starts Friday night.

The Rockies are 1 ½ games in front of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League West lead, and they swept the Giants at Coors Field in a three-game series just last week, and they hope to do the same this weekend.

Righty Chris Stratton will take the ball Friday night opposite Colorado left-hander Tyler Anderson (6-8, 4.89 ERA).

Anderson, however, has fallen on hard times on the mound lately. After a promising start to the season, Anderson has lost each of his last five decisions, including his last outing against the Dodgers that saw him go only 2 2/3 innings and surrender three runs on five hits.

Stratton has not been much better. He has dropped five of his past six decisions, and his last outing saw him go five innings and give up four runs on four hits in a loss at Milwaukee.

Colorado righty German Marquez (12-9, 3.94 ERA) will go Saturday afternoon against Giants lefty Madison Bumgarner
Marquez has been a workhorse for the Rockies, as he has gone at least seven innings in seven of his past nine outings, including a 13-2 win over Arizona in his last outing on Monday. The 23-year-old has won four of his last five outings.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Dereck Rodriguez (6-3, 2.35 ERA) will take the hill against Colorado righty Antonio Senzatela (4-6, 5.01 ERA) to close out the series.

Giants starting to play out the string in upcoming series against the Brewers

Photo credit: @SFGiants

By Jeremy Harness

It’s quite evident that the Giants are not going to make the playoffs – Buster Posey having season-ending surgery and the team trading Andrew McCutchen after a little more than half a season more than showed they have waved the right flag – so they might as well mess things up for teams that are still contending.

They can start with this weekend’s three-game series in Milwaukee against the Brewers, which starts Friday night at Miller Park. The Giants just got finished getting their heads handed to them by the Rockies in Colorado (what else is new?) in getting swept in a three-game series at Coors Field.

So if they are going to play spoiler–or if they think they actually have a chance in grabbing a wild-card spot in the National League–they will need to get things back on track very quickly.

The Giants’ Derek Holland (7-8, 3.56 ERA) will take the ball Friday night against the Brewers’ Chase Anderson (9-7, 3.96 ERA).

Anderson has won each of his last three decisions, and in his last outing, he went five innings and gave up only a run on four hits in a loss to Washington, although he got a no-decision. Holland, meanwhile, has won each of his last two decisions, while he has spent some time in the bullpen this season.

The left-hander went six innings in a loss to the Mets at home–he got a no-decision–and he also gave up only a run and surrendered only four hits in the process.

Chris Stratton (9-8, 4.90 ERA), who has spent some time in Triple-A Sacramento this year, will go Saturday afternoon, and he will face Milwaukee lefty–and former Nationals and A’s standout–Gio Gonzalez.

Stratton has been stellar in his past two starts, although he lost his last outing in a 4-1 loss to the Mets four days ago, when he gave up only a pair of runs on three hits over six innings. The outing before, he shut out the Diamondbacks over eight innings, giving up only five hits and striking out six in a 2-0 win.

On Sunday, Madison Bumgarner (5-5, 3.07 ERA) will take the hill for the Giants and opposite the Brewers’ Zach Davies (2-5, 4.88 ERA).

Story blasts Giants 5-3 with 3 HR’s

Photo credit: @SportingGreenSF

By Jeremy Harness

Trevor Story blasted three home runs on Wednesday, and that proved to be the difference as the Colorado Rockies beat the Giants, 5-3, inside Coors Field.

One of those, which was in the bottom of the fourth inning, traveled 505 feet and was the longest ball ever to be hit in the history of the Rockies’ home field.

With the loss, the Giants fell to five games under .500 and are now 10 games behind the National League West lead. That, to go along with the fact that the Giants just cannot beat the Rockies in Coors Field, particularly when it matters.

The first bomb by Story gave the Rockies a 2-1 lead, but the Giants came right back in the third when Austin Slater’s run-scoring single tied the game at 2-2, and they took the lead when Aramis Garcia slammed a home run of his own in the fourth.

However, Colorado took over the game from that point on, and this time, the Giants could not recover.

In the bottom of the fourth, Story struck again and re-tied the game at 3-3 with his record-breaking home run the cleared the bleachers in left field. He left the ballpark one last time in the bottom of the sixth to give the Rockies a 4-3 lead.

D.J LeMahieu added some insurance in the seventh when he singled to score Carlos Gonzalez, and the Colorado bullpen slammed the door on the Giants the rest of the way, as they keep their hopes alive for the postseason.

Meanwhile, the Giants’ playoff hopes are long gone at this point. That was hammered home when catcher Buster Posey elected to have hip surgery a month ago, and then the team traded away right fielder Andrew McCutchen.

Moronta blows lead in Giants’ 6-2 loss to Rockies

Photo credit: mlb.com

By Jeremy Kahn

It seems that Dereck Rodriguez can never get a break after he pitches yet another great game in his rookie season.

Ryan McMahon hit a pinch-hit home run and Carlos Gonzalez hit a bases clearing triple, as the Colorado Rockies scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on their way to a 6-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field on Monday night.

The Giants are 1-7 at Coors Field this season, and an abysmal 2-16 since the 2017 season, where the Giants went 64-98 and ended up 40 games behind the eventual National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Gorkys Hernandez hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning that gave the Giants a short-lived 2-1 lead, as he hit his second home run of the series and it looked like Rodriguez was going to get the win, but that did not happen.

Reyes Moronta came on to replace Rodriguez got the first out, but McMahon hit a 0-1 pitch over the center field wall to tie up the game. It was the second home run of the season for McMahon.

Then things got even worse, as Charlie Blackmon reached on an infield single, for his third hit of the game, and Moronta walked D.J. LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado to load the bases and then Gonzalez hit a triple to give the Rockies 5-2 lead. Gerardo Parra drove in the final run of the inning, as he walked with the bases loaded to give the Rockies the final margin of victory.

Rodriguez went six innings, allowing one run on six hits, walking one and striking out six, as he did not fare in the decision, despite the quality start.

The Giants took the lead in the top of the first inning, as Joe Panik singled to left field to score Gregor Blanco to give the Giants a short-lived 1-0 lead; however, David Dahl tied up the game in the bottom of the second inning with his ninth home run of the season.

German Marquez shut the Giants down after that, as he went 6.2 innings, as he struck out 11 and was in line for the loss after the Hernandez home run; however, McMahon changed all that with his solo home run. Chris Rusin retired the final batter of the seventh inning to get his second win of the season.

NOTES: Rookie Steven Duggar underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Tuesday to repair a torn labrum in his left labrum that he suffered on August 28 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Jeff Samardzija was transferred to the 60-day disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder, and rookie Abiatal Avelino got his contract purchased from Sacramento. Avelino was acquired from the New York Yankees in the Andrew McCutchen trade on Thursday.

UP NEXT: The Giants and Rockies conclude their series on Wednesday night at 5:40 pm PDT.

The Giants’ Andrew Suarez will be looking for his seventh win of the season, as he takes the mound on Wednesday. Suarez is also going for his third straight win, as he is coming off an outstanding game where he pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in a 7-0 victory over the New York Mets on Friday night.

The Rockies will send Antonio Senzatela to the mound, as he attempts to even his record at 5-5 on the season.