MLB podcast with London Marq: Kids, call ups, rookies, all make Marlins best team in baseball; Did A’s coach really do the Nazi salute following game Wednesday?

Miami Marlins shortstop Jonathan Villar (2) and center fielder Monte Harrison, right, celebrate after defeating the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in the second game of a doubleheader, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in Baltimore. Marlins’ Corey Dickerson, left, looks on. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

On the MLB podcast with London Marq:

#1 Who would have thought that after losing half the roster 14 players and two coaches to Covid 19 the Miami Marlins who had to use call ups, free agents, and rookies would turn the ship around and put the Marlins in first place with five straight wins and have one of the best records in baseball?

#2 MLB did come out with a directive on Thursday saying that all 30 teams must follow a directive to stay in their hotel rooms and only go out to the ball park to work. The Marlins and St Louis Cardinals were apparently going shopping, socializing outside of their hotels and someone got infected. MLB is saying that players caught getting Covid 19 carelessly will be suspended for the rest of the season.

#3 Oakland A’s bench coach Ryan Christianson who did a salute that looked like a Nazi salute in front of the Oakland A’s dugout right after the conclusion of Wednesday’s game against the Texas Rangers had apologized after it made social media. The video of the salute show Christianson standing in front of the dugout with his arm extended and pitcher Liam Hendriks putting his arm down as he walked by. After Hendriks walked by Christianson extended the arm again and saluted again in the same way.

#4 Christianson did not deny the salute saying it was not the Nazi salute and it only looked like it and it was not intended to offend anyone and he was doing it as an alternative to the elbow bump. On video you can see Christianson doing it not only once but twice.

#5 The Houston Astros who are having huge starting pitching issues will open a three game series against the Oakland A’s who are on a six game winning after sweeping the Texas Rangers in Oakland. The A’s have been getting key hitting can good hitting beat a struggling Astros starting rotation?

Join London each Friday for Sports podcasts at


Cueto goes 5 innings and gives up 3 hits; Yaz takes a dive to score a key run in Giants’ 2-1 win

photo from San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto throws against a Miami Marlins batter in the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019.

By Lewis Rubman

Miami: 1 | 5 | 1

San Francisco: 2 | 7 | 1

SAN FRANCISCO — This afternoon’s contest between the Miami Marlins and your San Francisco Giants wasn’t one for bandwagon jumpers on. The Fish, at 52-96, entered this afternoon’s game in last place in the NL East, 40 games out of first and 14 1/2 behind the Mets, their closest competitor. Miami’s the only team in its division with a sub-.500 record. There obviously is no pennant fever in Dade County.

The Marlins’ starter, 24 year old Venezuelan righty Eliézer Hernández, is a pitcher with a promising past and future and a unprepossessing present. He took the mound at 3-5, 5.24 ERA. His won-lost record is due, in part, to a lack of run support, and he shows signs of being a better pitcher than his ERA indicates.  His game time 1.27 WHIP is impressive, as are his 76 strikeouts in 78 1/3 innings of work. He has a tendency to surrender the long ball (2.2 per nine innings before today). He improved all those figures this afternoon. The speed of his fast ball is below the major league average, but he’s been developing an effective slider to compliment that pitch.

The Giants aren’t going anywhere either. At 71-78, they already had been eliminated from wild card competition before their starter, Johnny Cueto, threw his first warm up pitch. Cueto, though, is a bright spot, but how long he’ll remain one is an open question. The 11 year veteran was brilliant in his only appearance since returning from over a year on the injured list. That was five days ago, when he shut out Pittsburgh over five innings, allowing only one hit. He’s signed through 2022, which means he’ll be 36 years old on the last opening day of his contract.

To balance the age and experience of their starter, the Giants’ starting lineup featured some of their relative newcomers. Mike Yastremski led off, playing center field. Next to him, in right field, was Mike Gerber, in his second appearance since his call up from Sacramento yesterday. The remaining outfielder was Joey Rickhard, who was promoted from the River Cats on August 27th. Mauricio Dubón, called up from Sacramento the same day as Rickhard, was the second sacker.

It was Dubón who opened the scoring, with a leadoff homer to left in the bottom of the third. It came on a 1-0 count, off a 79 mph slider following a 90 mph fast ball, a squence that had been working pretty well for Hernández this season.

The Marlins tried to mount a comeback in the fourth, and it took Cueto 31 pitches to put down the uprising. The first two batters reached on a single and a walk, but the Giants’ righty then set down Starlin Castro, Lewis Brinson, and Magneuris Sierra in order, the last two on swinging strikeouts after excruciatingly long at bats.

Cueto retired the side in order in the fifth before being removed for a pinch hitter in the bottom of that frame. The starter had allowed three hits and two walks without allowing a man to cross the plate. Of his 71 pitches, 46 were strikes, and one was a wild pitch. As in his first start, he got no decision.

His replacement, Fernando Abad, got Isán Díaz out on a nubber in front of the plate before giving way to Burch Smith.

Hernández, too, came out of the game before the bottom of the sixth began. In his five inning stint, the Marlins’ hurler had allowed one run, which was earned, on three hits and a walk. He struck out nine, throwing 85 pitches, 59 of which were strikes. Like Cueto, all he got for his efforts was a no decision.

Miami tied the game at one in the seventh. With two outs, Magneuris Sierra dropped a bunt towards third base. He beat Longoria’s throw to Belt, and it looked as though Sierra had knocked the first baseman’s glove off his hand. The ball bounced into foul territory in left field, and Sierra bounced into third. He scored on Jon Bert’s single to left. Wandy Peralta relieved the ill-starred Smith and closed out the inning with a fly to left by the pinch hitting veteran Curtis Granderson.

Héctor Noesi took care of the Giants quickly in the seventh with the help of a double play, and submariner Tyler Rogers set the Marlins down 1-2-3 in their half of the eighth.

When Chris Shaw was announced as a pinch-hitter for Rogers in the bottom of the eighth, left hander Jarlin García took over pitching duties for Miami. Bochy responded by sending in right handed Donovan Solano to pinch hit for the left handed batting Shaw. García got Solano out on a fly to center, but Yaztremski singled to left. Belt followed that with a single to center, and Ryne Stanek replaced García on the mound. He threw a wild pitch, which advanced both runners, and then walked Longoria, loading the bases.

Stanek bounced back to fan Stephen Vogt on three pitches. Then, with two outs and the bases still FOG, full of Giants, and Brandon Crawford at the plate, Stanek threw another wild pitch. Yaztremski just beat catcher Alfaro’s throw to Stanek, covering home, to give the lead back to San Francisco. Crawford got a conceeded walk to reload the bases before Gerber struck out to end the inning.

Bochy called on Will Smith to try to get the save in the ninth. In spite of a one out walk to Alfaro and a wild pitch that sent him to second, he did.

The win went to Rogers, now 2-0, 1.59 ERA, and the save to Will Smith, his 33rd. García was charged with the loss. He now is 3-2, 2.93 ERA.

Tomorrow is a travel day for the Giants. They will face Boston in Fenway on Tuesday.

MLB podcast with Daniel Dullum: Dickerson inspiring Giants with a hot bat; Twins have not lost 3 straight this season; plus more

San Francisco Giants’ Alex Dickerson follow through on a two-run double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 22, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

On the MLB podcast with Daniel Dullum:

1 A’s pitcher Frankie Montas gets 80-game suspension from MLB for PED policy violation

2 Report: Rays could start splitting seasons between Tampa Bay and Montreal

3 Giants’ OF Dickerson swinging hot bat after call up from Sacramento

4 Twins have still not lost three straight games this season; sign reliever Cody Allen to minor league deal

5 Nomar Mazara of Texas hits 505-foot dinger

6 Wilkin Castillo’s first major league hit in 10 years a game-winner for the Marlins

MLB podcast with Daniel is heard Sundays at

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