San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Will rain postponements put Kapler behind in taking a look at rookies and draftees?

San Francisco Giants manager will regroup after two consecutive days of rained out games to re-evaluate minor league and rookie players. The Giants were rained out in exhibition play on Tue Mar 14 and Wed Mar 15, 2023 (NBC Sports file photo)

On the San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 Michael the Giants had two game wiped out due to rain does the postponements put the Giants a little behind schedule in taking a look a rookies and veterans and evaluating at this juncture of exhibition season?

#2 Giants manager Gabe Kapler always wants to get the best out of his players and pitcher Logan Webb is no exception. Webb gets the call for opening day starter Thu Mar 30 at Yankee Stadium followed by Alex Cobb who will pitch on Sat Apr 1st. Kapler has a lot of confidence in his starters going into the season.

#3 Kapler has pitcher Jakob Junis will be assigned to the bullpen talk about Junis his role and what Kapler is expecting out of Junis coming out of the bullpen?

#4 Michael, it’s all in the family as the Giants Brandon Crawford will get a chance to face off against his brother in law Yankee pitcher Gerritt Cole for the opening series. Crawford the longest tenured Giants against Cole a MLB veteran and on the biggest stage in New York.

#5 Webb 26 was 15-9 last season with a 2.90 ERA and got the most innings of his career pitching 192 1/3 innings. Webb said he would like to make 200 plus innings his goal this season can he do it?

Join Michael Duca for the Giants podcasts Thursdays at

San Francisco Giants report: Stripling joins Manaea in the latest of signings

By Morris Phillips and Michael Duca

Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ross Stripling throws against the Philadelphia Phillies in the second inning at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia on Tue Sep 20, 2022. Stripling joined the Giants signing a two year $25 million deal with a option for 2024 (AP News photo)

SAN FRANCISCO– Not waiting for the end of the year the San Francisco Giants made moves this week on Monday they signed former Oakland A’s left hander Sean Manaea who was anchor in the A’s bullpen when he pitched there. Manaea who signed a $25 million for two years with 2024 being a option year.

Manaea pitched for Oakland from 2016 until the end of the 2021 season. He joined the San Diego Padres soon after his former manager Bob Melvin went to manage in San Diego. Manaea’s 2022 season record 8-9 ERA 4.96. Manaea is being considered for the fourth or fifth spot in the Giants rotation. The Giants despite Manaea’s struggles in San Diego say they like what he brought to the Bay Area when he pitched here and he can adjust and the Giants are confident they can get him back on track.

Ross Stripling signing: On the heels of the Manaea signing the Giants signed right hand pitcher Ross Stripling in a $25 million two year deal. The contract call for an opt out after the first season. If Stripling pitches anything like he did in 2022 the Giants may not even give that opt out even a second thought. With Toronto Blue Jays Stripling went 10-4 with impressive 3.04 ERA in 134 plus innings.

Stripling 33, gets a $5 million signing bonus and will receive a $7 million salary for the 2023 season and Stripling who can reach for the brass ring and get a second year will get $12.5 million for the 2024 season. The Giants are looking to replace an effective pitching staff from the 2021 season in the pitchers of Alex Cobb, Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood and the Giants are looking for Alex Wood with Logan Webb, Jakob Junis, and Sean Hjelle to fill that void.

Now with Stripling and Manaea joining the pitching staff they could very well get an effective performance that the Giants have been looking for in their rotation. No doubt about it Stripling and Manaea bring lots of experience to the pitching staff. Manaea had had some arm problems in the past when he pitched in Oakland and was looking forward to working that out when he was in San Diego but will get a chance to work with Giants pitching coach Andrew Bailey.

Michael Duca and Morris Phillips both podcast Giants baseball for

Giant Wish: Can SF get hot, catch the Brewers and either the Phillies or Padres?

By Morris Phillips

What the Giants need to happen, didn’t happen tonight.

At Citizen’s Bank, Nick Castellanos and Bryson Stott hit majestic home runs and Noah Syndergaard improved to 3-0 following his trade to Philadelphia as the Phillies beat the Reds, 4-1.

That means the Giants will take the field in Detroit on Tuesday needing to make up 6 1/2 games on either the Phillies or the Padres, and 5 games on the Brewers in their final 41 games to qualify for the post-season.

After winning on Sunday against the Rockies, 9-8 in 11 innings, they seem up for the challenge.

“There are still signs of life in here,” said Evan Longoria, after his grand slam and game-ending catch and tag play highlighted his best performance of the season.

“We’ve been really streaky. We win five, we lose five, you know what I mean?” Jakob Junis said. “Anyway to shorten those losing streaks and get back on track… I think going into the off day, especially, losing this game would’ve been really tough. Thankfully we pulled it out.”

The Giants (60-61) were headed in the right direction with five straight wins, but followed them with four, consecutive losses. Rollercoaster rhythm won’t close the gap.

The biggest positive for the Giants is the three clubs they’re chasing haven’t run and hid, and they only have to catch two of them. There aren’t any other moving parts. For a wild card chase, the small number of contending clubs is rare.

With the NL playoffs incorporating six teams for the first time, we’ll say 87 wins is the mininum the Giants need to have a realistic chance. But it’s never just that, it’s posting a dominant record in the head-to-head match-ups, and there are 11 of those.

That points us to the home stand beginning a week from tonight: three against the Padres (68-56), followed by the three against the Phillies (67-55). The Giants also visit Milwaukee for two on September 8, an oddly-placed doubleheader that is preceded by a series in Los Angeles and followed by a trip to Chicago with no travel days.

Survive all that and just maybe the Giants remain mathematically alive for the season’s final series: three with the Padres at Oracle Park.

Daunting? You bet. This theoretical challenge requires a 27-14 finish, and it’s got to be the right 27 wins against the critical opponents.

Baseball-reference numbers don’t usually favor unlikelihoods. That’s the case here, the baseball historical and statistical website says the Giants have just a 3.2 percent chance of running this gauntlet.

What aspects provide hope for the Giants? The Phillies lost seven of 10 before beating the Reds on Monday. The Padres have nine games remaining with the Dodgers, who have their foot on the gas despite an insurmountable 18 game lead in the NL West. And the Brewers (65-56) have a weird spirit enveloping them in the wake of the unpopular trade of closer Josh Hader to San Diego.

Carlos Rodon is nearing career bests in starts (24 so far, 28 his personal best), wins (11,13), innings pitched (140.1, 165) and of course, strikeouts (179, 185). The strikeout mark could be eclipsed Tuesday night at Comerica Park in Rodon’s matchup with the Tigers’ Drew Hutchison.

Bullpen Blues: Giants can’t get off the field twice in rough 13-7 loss to the Padres

By Morris Phillips

Twice on Wednesday afternoon, the Giants needed “shut down” innings. Instead they got beat down by the potent Padres’ lineup. The result was a 13-7 loss that once again has the team confronting its reality on the outside of the postseason chase.

And the even-more troubling aside? The beefed-up Padres, who figure to be a menace within the NL West for years to come, are gaining their stride as witnessed by newly-acquired Juan Soto’s swagger-filled summation of the afternoon.

“We showed it today,” Juan Soto said. “We’re coming back from everything.”

Soto’s overanxious path to Austin Slater’s single in the third inning allowed the ball to get by him, resulting in Slater taking third base and two runs scoring. That was the highlight of the Giants’ four-run inning that, briefly, had them in control.

But in the bottom of the inning, the first seven Padres reached base in a six-run answer that chased Giants’ starter Jakob Junis and gave San Diego a 6-4 lead. Soto singled as the inning’s third batter to load the bases. That would set the stage for a gaudy, four-hit afternoon for the hosts with the bases loaded.

Junis’ line for the afternoon was six runs allowed with only seven outs recorded. Since returning from his hamstring injury in June, he hasn’t regained his stride. That’s especially frustrating since he outgrew expectations that he would be a short-stint opener, and instead blossomed into a full-fledged starter. Now he’s saddled with a five-game stretch of appearances that haven’t gone as many as five innings.

“I just wanted to go out there and try to give the team a chance to win and I didn’t do that,” Junis said. “The offense came back and took the lead. Just as a pitching staff we couldn’t do it today.”

After recording the first out of the inning, Junis gave way to Alex Young, who gave up an RBI single and a RBI groundout to Austin Nola that scored Chris Drury.

After Young stabilized things in the fourth and fifth innings, the Giants answered in the sixth with three runs. Austin Wynns and Joc Pederson came up with RBI hits in that frame that allowed the Giants to regain the lead, 7-6.

But for the second time, the Giants couldn’t back their offense and the Padres came up with a second, massive rally. First, Yunior Marte allowed a three-run homer to Drury, and the Padres regained the lead, 9-7. But Marte remained in the game, and two batters later, he also allowed an RBI double to Ha-Seong Kim. Brandon Belt’s throwing error stained Jarlin Garcia’s entrance, then Garcia became his own worst enemy by allowing Nola’s two-run homer to cap a seven-run rally.

“You don’t see too many six spots and seven spots in the same game,” manager Bob Melvin said of his Padres.

The Giants have Thursday off, and they open a three-game set against the Pirates on Friday night. With 51 games remaining, they’re 7 1/2 games behind the Brewers, the prerequisite hurdle to attempting to catch the Padres for a wild-card spot.

“Who wouldn’t be frustrated? We’re all frustrated. We don’t want to play like this.”

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–A season after winning 107 regular season games, the Giants are stuck trying to win one. It’s been a process, and it’s still ongoing.

Losing eight straight to the Dodgers? Eleven straight to NL West opponents? Frustrating, even more so after Thursday afternoon’s 5-3 loss to the Dodgers that saw manager Gabe Kapler ejected along with reliever Jarlin Garcia.

“Obviously, I took exception to sort of being scolded in front of our dugout about how to approach and address our players,” Kapler said after the game.

The Giants struck early when newly-acquired J.D. Davis homered to put the Giants up 2-1. But in the top of the fourth, Mookie Betts’ three-run homer gave the Dodgers a lead that stung. Starter Jakob Junis walked number nine hitter James Outman, and Betts, the first batter faced by John Brebbia, struck with two runners aboard. Betts’ innocuous hand to side of the head gesture to his teammates caught the attention of Garcia, who wasn’t even in the game at that point.

When Garcia entered in the sixth, he was effective, preserving the two-run deficit with a pair of strikeouts. But when leaving the field Garcia mimicked Betts and followed with a few words for the slugger, who was in the on-deck circle. That drew the attention of first base umpire Phil Cuzzi, who followed Garcia and Kapler back to the Giants’ dugout. Cuzzi demanded that Kapler get his guy off the field, which he had, and that led to Kapler losing his cool with the umpire, and getting tossed.

“I had already gotten Jarlín off the field. Things were completely under control,” Kapler said. “I wasn’t happy with it and probably didn’t handle it perfectly.”

In the seventh, the Dodgers’ lead grew to 5-2 when Trae Turner homered off Yunior Marte. The Giants managed just five hits in the game, and did little to threaten after the Turner home run, falling four games below .500 for the first time this season.

Chris Martin picked up the win for the Dodgers, pitching a scoreless sixth inning. Starter Clayton Kershaw departed after four innings complaining of back discomfort. Kershaw threw 66 pitches, allowing the Davis home run, but the news of his discomfort was the only bad news for the visitors.

“Given it’s his back which has been problematic at times — we just won’t know more until we get some tests,” manager Dave Roberts said.

The Giants have Friday off before traveling to Oakland for two over the weekend with the A’s. Beware: the A’s also are playing well, and less likely to be trumped by the Giants, who are hopeful of Evan Longoria’s return and Brandon Crawford.