Podcast: Duca on baseball and the Giants

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Photo by Tommy Lopez on Pexels.com

Podcasts: Duca on baseball and the Giants

  • Michael Duca joins Charlie O to talk about the most important topics in baseball
  • Is the new trade deadline a good thing?
  • Why didn’t the Yankees and Dodgers get a deal done at the deadline?
  • Did the Giants do good hanging on to “MadBum”?
  • Did San Francisco move out the right players at the deadline?
  • What about Scooter? Does he fill a need?
  • Plus a discussion about hair or no hair!

Check out the talk! If you are a baseball fan, you will have a good time!!!

Comfortable Late: Giants hang around then pounce, beat the Cubs, 5-4

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO — It’s been nearly a year since the Giants sported a winning record, and this time, it feels like it fits.

The Giants rallied for two runs in the eighth, surprising the equally hot Cubs in a 5-4 win at Oracle Park on Monday night. The win was the Giants 16th in their last 19 games, which apparently is the length of time required for a bad ballclub to gain its footing.

In the previous three weeks, the Giants have crushed the ball, and overwhelmed the opposition on the road, and they’ve pitched, defended and picked their spots at home. On Monday, the Giants executed the latter, coming up with consecutive RBI doubles from Austin Slater and Joe Panik in the eighth to cap a comeback from being down 3-0 in the fourth.

By improving to 51-50, the Giants remained within two games of the second wild card placeholder, St. Louis. Just as importantly, they continue to gain the faith of their own front office, that now may be less likely to break up a good thing before the July 31 trade deadline.

“We’re playing our best baseball right now,” said Panik. “There’s something about this team. We’re a collective group. It’s not just one guy doing it all.”

With 61 games remaining, how could the previously last-place Giants pull this off and grab a wild card berth? Well, their schedule and the math make this three-pronged scenario a possibility.

First, they post a winning record over their next seven games leading up to the trade deadline. GM Farhan Zaidi continues to monitor the trade front while his team’s won-loss record weighs heavily on whether he buys or sells. Being at least 55-53 a week from now after the two remaining games against the Cubs, three at San Diego, and the first two of three at Philadelphia keeps the Giants where they are: a game or two out of the second wild card spot, and on the heels of the Cardinals, Phillies and Brewers, the teams they must catch.

Second, they need to win 36 of their remaining 61 games to gain an 87-75 record, which is modest, but could land them in a favorable spot when compared to the other three clubs, none of which have shown the ability to get hot and run away from the pack.

And third, the Giants only have 11 games remaining against the trio they’re pursuing. Seven road games at St. Louis and Philadelphia, and four home games against the Phillies. Their season series against the Brewers is concluded (Giants won 4 of 6 against Milwaukee). Win more than half of those 11 games, and it makes it far more likely the Phillies or Cardinals don’t get hot and approach, or reach 90 wins.

On Tuesday, Madison Bumgarner faces the Cubs in a matchup against Yu Darvish at 6:45 pm. And yes, it’s unlikely to feel or be treated like Bumgarner’s final start in a Giants’ uniform at Oracle Park.

“I’m proud of them and how they played their way into playing important games,” manager Bruce Bochy said of his Giants. “I can’t think of a season quite like this. We’ve had some ups and downs, but to go from where we were to where we are, it’s made this even more enjoyable.”

Giants Yastrzemski wins it 3-2 with a walk off in 12 innings

photo from sfgate.com: San Francisco Giants’ Mike Yastrzemski hits a solo home run against the New York Mets during the 12th inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, July 21, 2019.

SAN FRANCISCO-Mike Yastrzemski ended the weekend series with one swing of the bat for the San Francisco Giants.

Yastrzemski hit a changeup off of Robert Gsellman on a 3-2 pitch in the bottom of the 12th that landed in the left field bleachers giving the Giants a dramatic 3-2 victory over the New York Mets before a crowd of 35,406 at Oracle Park.

It was the first career walk-off home run for Yastrzemski and his 9th home run of the season for the rookie.

The Yastrzemski walk-off gave the Giants three wins in four games over the Mets, and they have won eight out of their last nine, 11 out of 13 and 15 out of 18.

This was also the fifth consecutive series win for the Giants since splitting the four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks from June 27-30.

Despite not faring in the decision, Connor Menes went five innings, allowing two runs on three hits, walking three and striking out six in his major-league debut.

Menes got into trouble in the first inning, when J.D. Davis doubled with one out in the inning; however, Kevin Pillars defense came up huge again.

Pillar made a great running catch off a Pete Alonso hit ball, and was able to regroup to throw out Davis at third base to end the inning.

It was the team-leading sixth outfield assist for Pillar, and the MLB leading 25th outfield assists for the Giants as a team this season.

Steven Matz went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits, walking just one and striking out six and like Menes, he did not fare in the decision.

Zach Green like Menes, made a great first impression for his new teammates, as he picked up two hits in his first two at-bats in the major leagues.

It was Greens double in the bottom of the fourth inning that scored Buster Posey tied up game, and that was the score until Yastrzemski’s home run in the bottom of the 12th inning.

Michael Conforto got the Mets on the board in the top of the second inning, as he hit his 18th home run of the season that landed in McCovey Cove and it was the 125th Splash Hit since the Park opened in 2000 and the 47th by an opponent.

Two batters later, Michael Conforto gave the Mets a 2-0 lead, as he hit his 11th home run of the season.

After the Rosario home run in the top of the second inning, the next Mets hit did not come until there was one out in the top of the 11th inning, when Davis singled off of Mark Melancon.

Trevor Gott pitched the 12th inning to pick-up the victory, as he raises his record to 6-0 on the season.

In all, the bullpen of Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson, Sam Dyson, Will Smith, Melancon and Gott went a combined seven innings, allowing zero runs on two hits, walking two and striking out eight.

NOTES: To make room for Menes and Green on the roster, Ty Blach was optioned to Sacramento and Derek Holland and Ryder Jones were both Designated for release or assignment.

Pillar was ejected by home plate umpire Mark Rippenger in the bottom of the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes. This was Pillars first ejection as a Giant, and the second of his career.

UP NEXT: Shaun Anderson will take to the Oracle Park mound on Monday night, as the Chicago Cubs invade the Bay Area for their only trip this season. Alec Mills will take the mound for the Cbs]

Colorado goes Coors, Rockies nip the Giants 9-8

Photo credit: @Rockies

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO — Those top-of-the-order guys that were stymied by Madison Bumgarner and the Giants’ bullpen on Wednesday, showed up big for the Rockies at AT&T Park on Thursday.

DJ LeMahieu capped his three hit, five RBI day with a game-winning, two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning, and the Rockies rallied to beat the Giants, 9-8.

Nolan Arenado hit his 19th homer, and Trevor Story racked up three hits as the Rockies snapped the Giants’ streak of 15 games in which their starting pitcher allowed three runs or less.

Chris Stratton began the afternoon looking for his ninth win, but only lasted four innings, allowing eight hits and five runs.

The Giants scored twice in the eighth to take the lead, giving Sam Dyson a chance to record the final three outs, but the Giants’ closer allowed LeMahieu’s home run to left field with a runner aboard. The Giants fell to 36-2 in games they led after eight innings.

“Tough one when you have a lead in the ninth and we couldn’t hold on to it,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Sam was just a little bit off.”

“I felt like we got some big outs, and some big hits and it turned into a win. We just got to keep it going,” LeMahieu said.

The Giants finished their homestand 7-3 and failed to win eight times on a homestand for the first time since 2012. They travel to Arizona and Colorado on a six-game trip beginning Friday night.

Dicey Dyson: Giants need rookie to bail out new closer in 6-5 win over the Marlins

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–It’s not going to be easy. The Giants have too many injuries, inexperience in key places, too many moving parts to run over anybody. Wednesday’s narrow, heart-stopping 6-5 win over the Marlins was another example of that.

The Giants held a couple of enviable leads–5-1 after six innings and 6-3 after eight–but had to hold on when newly-anointed closer Sam Dyson gave up four hits and two runs in the ninth. But with the Curse of the Marlins on the doorstep, rookie Reyes Moronta struck out JB Shuck with two runners aboard to end it.

“Reyes has done some closing in the minor leagues and he’s got the equipment to do it,” manager Bruce Bochy said.

The Giants have won 9 of 11 at home, not enough success to counteract 18 losses in their last 25 road contests, but enough to keep them within four games of division-leading Arizona. But to make continued headway, the Giants will have to fill in the gaps like Moronta did Wednesday.

Hunter Pence and Derek Holland were the other key contributors early in the game, two guys that weren’t essentially included in the season’s original blueprint either. Pence delivered an RBI single, the third run in the Giants’ five-run sixth. Pence was hitting .174 with no home runs entering the at-bat.

Holland pitched six, strong innings before allowing hits to the first, two batters in the seventh. The 31-year old picked up the win, allowing three runs on seven hits, striking out seven, while walking two.




Goldschmidt hot, Dyson not as the Diamondbacks capture the series with the Giants


By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–The Giants’ future appears bright. Now, they could use some tightening up on their present.

For only the second time in the history of the franchise in San Francisco, the Giants started rookies making their major league debut in consecutive games, and the reviews for both guys were overwhelmingly positive.

Andrew Suarez got the call on Wednesday afternoon in place of Johnny Cueto, who landed on the disabled list with a sprained ankle, and he was a roaring success out the gate, retiring the first ten batters he faced.

Lengthy home runs allowed to Paul Goldschmidt and backup catcher John Ryan Murphy eventually would spoil Suarez’s bid for a victory, with the D’Backs expanding on an initial 3-0 lead and winning 7-3.

Suarez allowed just four hits, no walks, and struck out seven. In comparison to Tyler Beede, Suarez was probably more composed andcin control, just done in by a couple of unfortunate pitches.

“I didn’t walk anyone,” the 2015 second round selection said. “I felt good.”

Trailing 3-0, the Giants rallied to tie the game in the sixth. Andrew McCutchen got an RBI groundout, then Buster Posey hit a two-run shot. But that was it for an offense that’s scored the fewest runs in the National League through the first 11 games.