San Francisco Giants Podcast with Morris Phillips 8/6/19

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  • Reporter Morris Phillips leads us through what is next for the Giants after the MLB Trade Deadline
  • Why are the Giants having so much trouble when they return home from a road trip?
  • Should the Giants reconfigure Oracle Park to make it more hitter-friendly?
  • Did the Giants do the right thing holding on to “MadBum”?
  • Will the Giants make the Wild Card?
  • The answers to these questions and more on this week’s edition of the Giants podcast with Morris Phillips

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

Panik’s walk-off gives Giants huge 4-3 win photo: San Francisco Giants’ Joe Panik watches his two-run single in front of Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann during the ninth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The Giants won 4-3.

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — Down to his last strike on multiple occasions, Joe Panik came up huge in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Panik slapped a single to right field off of Luke Jackson that scored Kevin Pillar and Mac Williamson, as the San Francisco Giants came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Atlanta Braves 4-3 before a crowd of just 28,030 at Oracle Park.

This was the second walk-off of the season for the Giants, and the second this month, as Buster Posey hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 1.

As for Panik, this was his second career walk-off hit and first since May 1, 2015 against the Los Angeles Angels.

Jackson came on in the bottom of the ninth inning, as he looked for his team-high seventh save of the season; however, in the end it did not happen.

The closer got Evan Longoria to ground out for the first out of the inning, but Brandon Crawford singled to left, then Jackson got Steven Duggar to strike out for the second out of the inning and then Crawford advanced an additional 90 feet on defensive indifference.

Pillar then cut the Braves lead down to one, as he singled in Crawford and then Pablo Sandoval came to the plate. Pillar then stole second to get into scoring position that setup Sandoval for the possible game-tying hit.

Sandoval hit a ball into the hole at third base that Josh Donaldson dove and kept the ball from going into left field that would have tied up the game, and Pillar stayed at third base. Williamson came on to pinch run for Sandoval, and stole second that setup Paniks heroics.

Panik fell behind 0-2 and then the count went to 3-2, and finally on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Panik hit a 95 mile per hour into right field that scored both Pillar and Williamson to give the Giants an improbable victory.

The Braves got on the board in the first inning, as Dansby Swanson singled and eventually scored on a Nick Markakis double to left field.

Panik got the Giants rally started in the bottom of the first inning, as he singled off of Braves starter Julio Teheran, he went to second on a Buster Posey single and then over to third on a Brandon Belt fly ball to left field. Evan Longoria then tied up the game, as he doubled to left field to easily score Panik from third base; however, the rally ended, when Crawford struck out to end the inning.

Both Teheran and rookie Shawn Anderson matched each other inning for inning until the Braves finally got to Anderson in the top of the sixth inning and chased the rookie, who was making just his second major league start.

Donaldson and Markakis ended Andersons night, as they hit back-to-back singles in the top of the sixth inning and that brought on Reyes Moronta, who got Austin Riley to fly out to Duggar in centerfield; however, both Donaldson and Markakis advanced an additional 90 feet. Brian McCann broke up the tie, as he hit a sacrifice fly to Stephen Vogt in left field.

Freddie Freeman extended the Braves up to two runs in the top of the seventh inning, as he hit an opposite field single that scored Ronald Acuna, Jr., who walked with one out in the inning and went to second on a Swanson walk.

Acuna made a huge defensive play in the bottom of the third inning, as he robbed Brandon Belt of a solo home run.

If people that thought Acunas plat was huge, Crawford also came up with two huge defensive plays of his own.

The shortstop snared a Freeman line drive in the top of the third inning that looked like it was going into left field, but Crawford caught the ball to rob Freeman of a base hit.

Crawford came up huge on the defense again in the top of the ninth inning, as Acuna attempted to steal second base and was originally called safe; however, replays showed that Crawford applied the tag on the foot and the umpires went to replay and after a 44-second review, it was determined that Acuna was indeed out.

Paniks two-run walk-off base hit gave the win to Trevor Gott, who is 2-0 on the season, while Jackson falls to 2-1.

Anderson, who was making his second start of his career, went five innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, not walking a batter and striking out three, as he did not fare in the decision.

The veteran Teheran went 5.2 innings, allowing just one run on three hits, walking three and striking out six.

Once again, the Giants helped out, as they went the final four innings, allowing one run on three hits, walking three and striking out two.

NOTES: Vogt started in left for just the second time in his major-league career, and it was his fifth appearance in left field and 17 in right field. Vogt last played in the outfield in 2017.

Sandoval picked up his 10th pinch-hit of the season, and is now 10-for-25 as a pinch-hitter this season.
In 16 career games against the Giants, Donaldson is 21-for-60, a .350 clip with seven extra base hits.

Acuna, who hit two home runs in the series opener on Monday night, has reached base in seven of his 10 plate appearances in the series, as he has walked twice and picked up five hits.

UP NEXT: Jeff Samardzija looks for his third win of the season, as he takes the mound on Wednesday night for the Giants, while left-hander Max Fried looks to raise his record to 7-2 on the season, as he toes the rubber for the Braves.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Morris Phillips: Panda’s days as a Giant could be numbered; Around the horn with the infield; plus more

Photo credit: @honkbalopzolder

On the SF Giants podcast with Morris:

#1  The San Francisco Giants have the most potent infield in baseball. Let’s start with Brandon Belt, who last year hit .253 last season and is one of the most established gloves at first base.

#2 Giants second baseman Joe Panik has been brilliant with his fielding at second and hit .254 last season.

#3 Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford is no stranger to All-Star selections and had an incredible offensive season last year hitting .254.

#4 At third base is Evan Longoria, Longoria was a key hitter in the Tampa Bay Rays lineup once upon a time and last year hit .244 for the Giants last season.

#5 San Francisco Giant third baseman Pablo Sandoval is on the bubble and could very well be cut from the team by the end of the current Bay Bridge Series. If so, he would play his last game as a Giant on Tuesday night against the Oakland A’s. The other scenario is the Giants could hold onto him instead of infielder Alen Hansen, who is out of minor league options. Could Panda be gone at the end of spring training?

Dodged a bullet?: Giants either crafty or overmatched in season-opening weekend

Photo credit: @TwitVI

By Morris Phillips

If the Giants’ bats come around, they’ll laugh heartily about it.

If they don’t, the entire club will be visibly upset for the next six months.

It’s that serious–and that inconsequential–the Giants scored just two runs in four games to start the season in Dodger Stadium. Ultimately, what matters is what’s yet to come. But if the offense tanks, we’ll all remember the Giants started a subpar season with the most inept opening weekend in terms of offense in the last 30 seasons…

Of any team since the 1988 Orioles lost 12-0 on Opening Day–and 12-1 four days later on the way to 107 defeats–and after the two major upgrades in Longoria and McCutchen, all the faith invested in the holdovers, and the similarity to the last two campaigns, a collapse would be a mouthful to swallow.

Of course, this is a sobering juxtaposition. Could the Giants provide more of the same for a third straight year?

With the increasing ominous signs, it bears watching.

If not, the Giants may have shown that given their tenacity and level of engagement, they may have what it takes to compete. After all, the Giants assumed the most arduous opening of any team in the National League–on the road, against the penant winners with four different start times–and scraped together two, memorable, hard fought wins.

Without a couple of major pieces, that’s an accomplishment.  The precedent set by Joe Panik with his pair of solo shots says it best.

But if the Dodgers can claim the distinction of being the first team in baseball history to allow two or fewer runs in a season-opening four game series than that’s not good. Only one of the two runs were earned? That’s the Giants sending the competition off on their merry way brimming with confidence.

“They’ll get clicking,” Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s a matter of time. … They’re too good. We know that. Hopefully [during] this day off, they’ll get a chance to relax.”

Here’s a snapshot of the numbers from the weekend:

Evan Longoria started the National League portion of his career hitless. The former Tampa Bay Ray went 0 for 15, despite saying he saw some good pitches to hit.

Johnny Cueto was lights out on Friday night, allowing one hit over seven innings, no walks, with four strikeouts. So far no mention of reoccurring issues with blisters. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts astutely pointed that Cueto is especially tough with no baserunners pitching out of the stretch.

Joe Panik’s feat of solo homers in consecutive 1-0 wins is a once in the history of the sport achievement. Forget the distinction of Opening Day, no player has ever solo homered in consecutive games with that game result, period.

Opening the season with a pair of 1-0 wins? That’s been done before. 76 years ago by the Reds in wins over the Cardinals with a huge assist to Johnny VanderMeer. The Reds’ pitching staff one-upped the Giants by winning in extra innings both days, 21 innings total.

The Giants are hitting .192 as a team, ranking them 27th, just in case you mistakenly thought they generated a decent share of traffic on the basepaths, but couldn’t summon any big hits.

Samardzija’s resurgence continues, Giants shut down the Padres at Petco

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija delivers a pitch to a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Orlando Ramirez)

By Morris Phillips

The Giants found themselves at the intersection of their three biggest shortcomings in their season-plus swoon on Monday night: at Petco Park, playing the Padres, and wondering if and from what source they could generate some offense.

In going 82-122 over their last 204 games–after their MLB-best 57-33 start to 2016–the Giants haven’t played well on the road, haven’t had any success against NL West opponents, and more often than not, have seen their offense sputter.

With a big assist from starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, the Giants defied that pattern by shutting out the Padres, 3-0.

How rare was this? Of Samardzija’s 59 starting assignments as a Giant, this was undoubtedly his best, a three-hit, complete game shutout, his first in nearly two years, dating back to his days as a member of the Chicago White Sox in September 2015.

“He had great focus out there with every pitch against a team that’s been tough on him,” manager Bruce Bochy said of his pitcher, who closed the deal on a tidy 102 pitches.

“I feel like I can manipulate the ball to where I want it,” Samardzija said, adding that he had command of all his pitches Monday, as illustrated by his avoiding a three-ball count to any of the 29 batters he faced.

Two of the three Padres’ hits never left the infield, and the third one did reach the outfield, but didn’t take place until the eighth inning. Prior to July 22, Samardzija allowed 21 home runs, since then he’s 5-1 with just three homers allowed in his most recent 7 starts.

Jhoulys Chacin was the familiar face counted upon to slow the Giants, and he did so, but for only five innings. Chacin struggled with his command, walking four, and was on the hook and out of the game in the sixth, soiled by Brandon Crawford’s solo shot in the fourth.

The Giants picked up some insurance in the eighth when Joe Panik homered with a man aboard.

As rare as Samardzija’s gem was the Giants’ offensive attack, only their 12th win this season when scoring three or fewer runs (61 losses). Stringing together a pair of home runs for baseball’s most power-challenge team was an even rarer occurrence. That’s happened just 30 times in 113 games this season (17-13).

The Giants turning on the power to win a ballgame? Don’t count on it, the Giants have hit 20 fewer home runs than any team in baseball, and barely twice as many as home run leader Giancarlo Stanton by himself. That they managed to hit two homers in spacious Petco Park and win really bucked the odds. The Giants were 4-9 against the Padres coming in, and had beaten their division rivals just 6 times in the last 23 meetings.

On Tuesday, the Giants have Matt Moore on the mound in a matchup with Luis Perdomo.