Breaking Even: Giants win 8-1, finish season at .500 for the first time in franchise history

By Morris Phillips

Manager Gabe Kapler knows this situation all too well. The Giants franchise hasn’t ever experienced a break-even, season finish in their history dating back to 1883.

Finishing at .500 (81-81) one season after winning 107 games isn’t ideal, but it is history. The Giants finish to 2022 marks just the fifth time a 100-win club has finished the following season without a winning record. The Giants may have not wanted that distinction, but they’ll take this one: they’re the first team since the 1925 Cardinals to be as many as eight games below .500 with 16 games remaining to finish .500 or better. Beating the Padres 8-1 on Wednesday gave them a 12-4 finish, and a clear sign that the club is engaged, not splintering, under Kapler’s leadership.

Some good, some bad. But more good than bad, just ask the manager.

Kapler has five seasons leading a big league club under his belt–the last three in San Francisco–and his 2019 Phillies team also finished 81-81. Conversely, that club lost 12 of its final 17 to finish that season at .500, and in his first season in Philly (2018) Kapler’s club led the NL East in early August only to win just 16 of their last 49 and finish with a losing record (80-82).

On the final day of 2019, the Phillies fell behind the Marlins 4-0 only to rally and come up short in a 4-3 loss. Eight times that day, Phillies’ hitters came up empty with runners in scoring position when one, successful at-bat could have pulled them even with the Marlins and given them a chance to win, and post a winning record. The Citizens Bank Park fans weighed in as always, by cheering Bryce Harper, who completed his first season in Philadelphia with 35 homers and 114 RBI, and booing Kapler.

“Expectations were high and we didn’t get the job done, but it wasn’t for lack of effort,” Kapler said after that game.

Eleven days later, Kapler was fired by Philadelphia, which freed him up to interview and be tabbed by the Giants to become their manager in 2020.

This finish will be far easier to digest for the team and the manager. David Villar homered twice in the win over the Padres, the second one with style as Villar’s drive bounced off the racing Jurickson Profar’s glove and into the first row of seats in left field. That gave the Giants a 7-1 lead in the eighth inning as they took full advantage of a Padres’ team that was more focused on their cross-country flight to New York for their first their first post-season encounter with the Mets on Friday night.

Austin Slater also homered in the win, and Lamonte Wade Jr. had three hits and an RBI. The three knocks were just enough to get Wade’s batting average to .207, a far more dignified end to his season than with the .198 average he started the day with.

Mike Yastrzemski had a pair of hits and two RBI. Yaz finished the season as one of only four Giants to get over 100 hits (104).

Joey Bart had a day as polarizing as his season as a whole. While he finished with a single and a run scored, he also struck out three times. Bart will need to cut down on his strikeouts (112 K’s in 97 game appearances) going forward, but his first, full season as the club’s catcher was a success behind the plate. Bart’s defense was impressive and memorable, as was his handling of the pitchers. On Wednesday, Bart helped eight relievers navigate the paired-down Padres lineup, allowing just four hits and a run, with the run allowed by opener John Brebbia in the first inning.

Again the bad: the Giants finished the season with 28 losses to the Padres and Dodgers combined. Against all other opponents they were 71-53. The newly-configured schedule for 2023 will see the Giants play their two tormenters six fewer times each as MLB switches to a more balanced schedule with increased interleague play.

Will that help the Giants? It could, but a headline-generating off-season filled with a couple of splashy, free agent signings will be the key to answering that question. All signs point to the Giants being heavily involved in attempting to sign slugger Aaron Judge, as well as their own free agent, starting pitcher, Carlos Rodon.

The Padres (89-73) qualified for the post-season for only the second time in the last eight seasons, but now find themselves facing a daunting task. They’ll play a best-of-three series in New York against the 100-win Mets. In order to prevail, they’ll have to face the challenge of seeing standout starting pitchers Jacob de Grom, Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt on consecutive days. If they don’t prevail, post-season baseball won’t come to Petco Park.

From a business and a momentum-building standpoint, nothing could be more important. In 2022, the Padres drew 2,987,470 fans, the fifth-highest in the majors this year and the second-highest in franchise history behind 3,016,752 in Petco Park’s inaugural season of 2004.

“More than anything we want to win the series so we can see playoff baseball here in San Diego,” slugger Wil Myers said.

Padres clinch No. 5-seed in NL playoffs with 6-2 win over Giants

San Diego Padres Wil Myers gets congratulated by teammates after hitting a bottom of the eighth home run against the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park in San Diego Tue Oct 4, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Sean Manaea worked six strong innings in a final tuneup before the postseason, and the San Diego Padres defeated San Francisco 6-2 Tuesday at Petco Park.

The Padres (89-72), one of the three National League Wild Card teams, clinched the No. 5-seed for the upcoming playoffs. San Diego travels to New York for a best-of-three series with the No. 4-seed Mets starting on Friday.

San Francisco (80-81) has one last chance to finish the season at .500.

Manaea (8-9) gave up one hit and one walk while logging six strikeouts in his six scoreless innings. Giants starter Alex Cobb (7-8) struck out seven without a walk in five innings, but gave up the go-ahead run on seven hits. Jharel Cotton surrendered four earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. Luis Ortiz and Cole Waites finished up for San Francisco.

San Diego took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning on Manny Machado’s RBI single. In the bottom of the sixth, the Padres forged a four-run rally. Ha-Seong Kim hit a two-RBI double, Austin Nola drove in Kim with a base hit and scored on Wil Myers’ infield single.

The Giants came up with a pair of runs in the top of the eighth. LaMonte Wade Jr. walked, moved to second on Mike Yastrzemski’s infield single and scored when Ford Proctor hit into a fielder’s choice and Kim made a throwing error trying to complete a double play. Proctor scored on a two-out single by Bryce Johnson.

Myers, who went 2-for-4, hit his seventh home run of the season increasing the Padres’ lead to 6-2 in the bottom of the eighth. San Diego reliever Nick Martinez struck out three of the four hitters he faced to close out the contest in a non-save situation.

On Wednesday, the Giants and Padres play their regular season finale at 1:10 p.m. Mike Clevinger (7-7, 4.33) starts for San Diego, while the Giants did not immediately name a starter.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: How frustrating has it got as tempers rise amongst seven game losing streak

San Francisco Giants shortstop expresses his displeasure after third base umpire Ryan Blankney called Crawford out on a check swing and later tosses him out of the ball game in Wed Aug 31, 2022 game against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park in San Francisco (NBC Sports Bay Area photo grab)

On the SF Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 How much of an opportunity was lost when the Giants were swept by the San Diego Padres this week at Oracle Park.

#2 The Giants now slip 10.5 games behind third for the wild card spot would be safe to say that’s too much of climb to make up in one month’s time.

#3 How much frustrating is it for Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford who got tossed from Wednesday’s game after getting called out on a check swing in the bottom of the second inning.

#4 The Giants who are on a seven game losing streak and didn’t lose on Thursday because they had the day off. Giants manager Gabe Kapler said that patience is thin, tempers flare and the stress level is high.

#5 For Friday night the Giants host the Philadelphia Phillies for three games at Oracle Park the Phils are going with Kyle Gibson (9-5, 4.08) and for the Giants Alex Cobb (4-6, 3.81) a 7:15 PDT first pitch.

Join Michael Fridays for the Giants podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Giants can’t buy a win drop sixth straight to Pads 4-3 at Oracle Tuesday

San Diego Padres starter Blake Snell pitched six innings giving up no runs and four hits against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Tue Aug 30, 2022 (AP News photo)

San Diego (72-59). 4. 9. 1

San Francisco (61-67). 3. 7. 4

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

By Lewis Rubman

SAN FRANCISCO-Tuesday’s contest between the 71-59 San Diego Padres and the 61-66 San Francisco Giants was a battle between two disappointed and disappointing teams.

No one expected the Giants to duplicate their superb 107 win 2021 season, but no one expected them to be all but out of contention for a playoff with six weeks left to play. If you’ve been following my dispatches, there’s no need for me to make a summary list of the orange and black’s deficiencies and no time or space to attempt an analysis of them.

I will, however, add that Joey Bart, who had re-established himself as the Giants’ catcher of the future, will be out of action for at least a week as a result of the concussion he suffered in last Monday night’s accident prone encounter between the Pads and the Giants that also claimed umpire Marvin Hudson and the Oracle Park lighting system.

The Padres, too, had high hopes. They started 2021 as the main challengers to the Dodgers’ perennial dominance of the NL West. The Giants took care of that delusion. This year, they waited with baited breath for Fernando Tatís, Jr., the hope of the franchise since ’19, to recover from the fractured wrist that had him on the IL since April 7.

They hocked the family jewels to the Nationals at the trade deadline to acquire Juan Soto and Josh Bell and gave up Eric Hosmer, for whom they’d traded four players to acquire the days before, and two prospects to the Red Sox,in order to get left handed pitcher Jay Groome.

That wasn’t all, but you get the picture. This team would be unbeatable with Tatís in the line up. But he pissed away that opportunity along with the performance enhancing drug found in his urine. The Padres now are in a fight to keep their tenuous hold on the third and last wild card spot.

Blake Snell, San Diego’s southpaw starter, came to work with a record of 5-7, 4.24. After the Friars defeated the Franciscans it stood at 6-7, 3.87. Snell did an excellent job in his six inning stint, shutting the Giants out on four hits, three walks, and a hit batter. He struck out eight. 62 of his 105 pitches counted as strikes.

Logan Webb, who, along with Monday night’s losing pitcher Carlos Rodón, has been one of the twin pillars of San Francisco’s rotation, started for the Giants. He began the day at 11-7, 3.33 and ended it at 11-8, 2,89. Webb threw exactly 100 pitches, 72 for strikes, over 6-2/3 frames, yielding only one run, and it was unearned. He allowed four hits and a walk, while fanning seven.

Neither team scored until there were two down in the top of the sixth.

That doesn’t mean that the game was uneventful before then. The first two innings alone provided us with two challenged calls, one for catcher’s interference and other on the second out of what would have been a double play.

The result of both reviews went against the Giants. In that same pair of innings, each pitcher either picked off a runner or caught one stealing, and Austin Slater dislocated his left pinkie sliding into second base. Mike Yastrzemski replaced him as center fielder.

As the game progressed and the zeroes piled up on the scoreboard, the episodic excitement of the opening frames gave way to suspense. San Diego finally broke the ice when Manny Machado beat out a grounder to Crawford, whose throw to first went wild for the shortstop’s second error of the night.

Josh Bell followed with a single to right that drove in Machado and sent Webb to the showers, replaced on the mound by Alex Young. The portsider walked Jake Cronenworth on a full count. Brandon Drury caused a stir with a fly to deep right center on which Yastrzemski made a fine running catch to end the inning.

The Giants threatened a comeback in their half of the frame. With one down, JD Davis slammed a double off the Visa sign in right center, but Snell fanned Estrada and Crawford to put down the brief uprising.

Submariner Tyler Rogers was the Giants’ hurler for the seventh. Ha-Seong Kim led off with a bouncer that Davis fielded at the hot corner, but his throw to first drew Yermín Mercedes off the base.

The error haunted the homeowners because the next batter, Trent Grisham, drove a full count sinker 389 feet into the left field night to put the Pads on top, 3-0. Two of those runs were unearned, the result of bad throws from the left side of the San Francisco infield.

Then the serious trouble started. Jurickson Parofar doubled to left, went to third on a productive ground out to second by Soto, and scored on a two bagger to right by the Manny you love to hate. Out went Rogers, in came Scott Alexander, who struck out Bell on three pitches; he didn’t swing on any of them. But the orange and black now were looking at a four run deficit.

Tim Hill started the seventh for San Diego, pitched to three batters (strike out, walk, force at second), and gave way to Luis García for the final out. García threw a scoreless eighth, allowing only a hard hit single that just eluded Flores’s glove on its way to center field.

Joc Pederson led off his team’s eighth, pinch hitting for Mercedes, he lashed a single to left. After Longoria flew out to center, Davis hit a hard bounder to the mound. García fielded it and threw it into center field, putting runners on the corners.

Estrada hit a soft grounder to short and beat it out for a run producing single that advanced Estrada to second. Crawford, the potential tying run, whiffed for the second out. Wynns left Davis and Estrada stranded, grounding out to short. It now was a 4-1 game.

Dominic Leone tried to keep it that way when he entered the fray to open the ninth. He survived a fright when, with two on and one out, the Manny you love to hate hit a long fly ball that Pederson caught in front of the Toyota ad just to the left of the 354 foot sign in left field.

Nick Martínez, seven for seven in save opportunities converted, made it eight for eight. Wade flew out to left. Yastremski went down swinging. Flores kept the Giant fans’ hopes alive by drawing a full count walk, giving Pederson a chance for an encore.

He came through with a splash hit into McCovey Cove, his fourth and second as a Giant. San Diego challenged the call, claiming the ball left the field in foul territory. The call stood, and it was 4-3. But Longoria fouled out to first to end it all.

The Giants will give it another try tomorrow at 12:45. They’ll send Alex Wood (8-11,5.00) and against Joe Musgrove (8-6, 2.96).

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants look to rebound after losing two out of three to Padres

The San Francisco Giants JD Davis watches the flight of his second inning home run at Petco Park in San Diego against the San Diego Padres on Wed Aug 10, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Giants podcast with Michael Duca:

#1 Michael during the series against San Diego Padres the Padres got a huge incentive after being shutout 26 straight innings with a home from Juan Soto on Tuesday night and ended up defeating the San Francisco Giants 7-4 and again on Wednesday 13-7.

#2 Soto after Wednesday’s game said that the Padres are on the road to recovery and got their hitting shoes on with a six run win over the Giants 13-7 at Petco Park in San Diego.

#3 The Padres made a recovery after Padres starter Sean Manaea gave up three runs in the top of the third inning and the Padres offense came back scoring seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

#4 This was only the second time the Padres came back and won a game when they were down by four runs and it was first time they came back when they were down twice in a game for this season.

#5 The Pittsburgh Pirates are coming to open a three game series against the Giants on Friday night. The Pirates Bryse Wilson (2-6, 5.86) Giants will be going with Carlos Rodon (10-6 ERA 2.95)

Join Michael for the Giants podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Machado, Soto power Padres past Giants 7-4

San Diego Padre Manny Machado flips the bat away after cracking a three run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park in San Diego on Tue Aug 8, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Manny Machado’s tie-breaking three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted San Diego to a 7-4 victory Tuesday over the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Padres that included a 26-inning scoreless skid. San Diego is 1-5 since acquiring Juan Soto and Josh Bell from Washington at the trade deadline.

Tim Hill (3-0) struck out Joc Pederson to end the Giants’ ninth and pick up the win in relief. The Padres still remain 16 games behind NL West-leading Los Angeles and hold a one-game lead over Milwaukee for the third NL Wild Card berth. San Francisco trails the Dodgers by 22 ½ games.

After Tyler Rogers (2-4) took the mound for the Giants in the bottom of the ninth, Jurickson Profar singled with one out and Soto reached on catcher’s interference. Machado followed with a 403-foot homer to left to end the game.

San Francisco tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the ninth. Padres reliever Josh Hader walked Mike Yastrzemski, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores singled and pinch-hitter Austin Slater was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.

Austin Wynns drew an RBI walk, with Yastrzemski scoring and the bases remaining loaded. After J.D. Davis struck out, Brandon Belt was issued an RBI walk, driving in Flores. Evan Longoria’s sacrifice fly to left plated Slater with the tying run.

In the bottom of the eighth, Ha-Seong Kim hit a ground-rule double to center, driving in Josh Bell, who doubled to right two batters earlier, building the Padres’ lead to 4-1.

San Francisco took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on LaMonte Wade Jr.’s solo one-out home run to right. The Padres tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth on Soto’s solo home run to right.

Padres starter Joe Musgrave held San Francisco to one run on six hits over seven innings. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter, Alex Cobb, the Giants’ starter, gave up three runs on six hits in five-plus innings, striking out seven and issuing two walks.

In Wednesday afternoon’s series finale, the Giants will start right-hander Jakob Junis (4-3, 3.05) against San Diego left-hander Sean Manaea (6-6, 4.74) a 6:45 pm PDT first pitch at Petco Park. 

Giants, Wood catch Padres slumping get 1-0 win at Petco Park

San Francisco Giants pitcher Alex Wood deals on the mound at Petco Park in San Diego to the San Diego Padres in the bottom of the first inning on Mon Aug 8, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Michael Duca and Morris Phillips

San Francisco Giants pitcher Alex Wood pitched masterfully against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park to pick up a 1-0 win on Monday night in the opening game of a three game series. Wood allowed only three hits all singles in 6.1 innings of work.

The Giants reliever Camilo Doval retired the heart of the Padres order in the bottom of the ninth Juan Soto, Manny Machado, and Josh Bell for his 15th save of the season. The Padres are hitting the skids badly losing their fifth straight game and two of those loses come at the hands of two shutouts which includes Wood’s handiwork on Monday night.

The Padres who obtained Juan Soto and Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals last week Tuesday. The Padres entered this series after getting swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers which has a familiar tone to it for the Giants who also were swept by the Dodgers in four games the last time the two teams met in Los Angeles.

In spite of getting the help from Washington the Padres have now been shutout for 23 straight innings since last Saturday and it kind of makes Soto wonder what he might have gotten himself into. With the recent loses San Diego now holds just a one game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for the wild card position.

The Padres Brandon Drury who slid in at home was called safe but the Giants asked for a review and the play was overturned when the officials ruled that Giants catcher Joey Bart tagged Drury on the head for an out and that reversed the tie score from 1-1 to 1-0 Giants that’s how bad the breaks have gone for San Diego and the Giants won their third straight game.

The Giants will start right hand pitcher Alex Cobb Tuesday night Cobb (3-6, 4.08) who will be opposed by the Padres right hander Joe Musgrove (8-5, 3.00) 6:40 pm PDT at Petco Park

San Francisco Giants podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Two game sweep was a pick me up for Giants who were skidding

San Francisco Giants third baseman JD Davis can’t quite get to the ball that the Oakland A’s Jonah Bride hit in the bottom of the sixth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on Sun Aug 7, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Giants podcast with Marko:

#1 Sunday afternoon the San Francisco Giants (53-55) won their seventh consecutive interleague road game 6-4 over the Oakland Athletics (41-68). The Giants swept Oakland in this two game series.

#2 The game remained scoreless through the first two innings until the Giants Mike Yastrzemski stepped up to the plate and homered in the third inning, the first of two home runs for the slugger in this game, The Giants would add to their 1-0 lead in the fifth inning.

#3 Austin Slater doubled driving in Brandon Crawford for a 2-0 lead. The A’s would answer in the fifth inning with a single run but San Francisco was just getting started leading 2-1.

#4 Oakland made a valiant effort in the eighth to catch up to San Francisco in the later innings. Seth Brown who has been hitting great since he returned from paternity leave knocked one out of the park with Sean Murphy on base but that was all that the A’s could muster. The final was 6-4.

#5 San Francisco will continue their west coast road trip heading down to San Diego to take on the Padres Monday night. Alex Wood will take the mound for the Giants with a 4.42 ERA and a 7-9 win loss record. The Padres will send Blake Snell who comes in with a 4-5 win loss record and a 4.16 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM PT.

Marko Ukalovic was filling in for Morris Phillips who does the Giants podcasts Mondays at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Padres win the Juan Soto sweepstakes; Soto addition can help San Diego make a run at Dodgers

By Amaury Pi Gonzalez

Juan Soto former Washington National after fouling off a pitch in the ninth inning on Sun Jul 31, 2022 at Nationals Park in DC now joins the San Diego Padres in a deal completed on Tue Aug 2, 2022 (image from ESPN)

What happen today is historic as the San Diego Padres picked up Juan Soto for six prospects from the Washington Nationals. Joining Soto is first baseman Josh Bell. The Padres Eric Hosmer has a no trade agreement in his contract and says he doesn’t want to go. Hosmer is a good player to sit on the bench for the Padres. The Nationals and Padres might get cash to settle the deal.

Hosmer has no interest in going to Washington a team that has the worst record in baseball. Hosmer could end up playing for someone whose going to the post season. Soto is hitting .241, leads MLB in walks and is among the home run leaders in home runs with 19.

Soto is happy to join a team that is contending and leaving the Nationals who lost four of their last five games and had no plans to stay in Washington who offered him 15 years for $440 million. No price for Soto has been disclosed yet but it’s speculated that Soto could fetch as much as $500 million.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead play by play announcer on the A’s Spanish radio network and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: All Star honor Griner with #42 jerseys; A’s Blackburn looking forward to meeting All Star teammates; plus more

Team Wilson’s Brionna Jones, right, tries to get at the loose ball as Team Stewart’s Alyssa Thomas, left, and Emma Meesseman get after the loose basketball in the second half at the WNBA All-Star Game in Chicago on Sun Jul 10, 2022. The players changed jerseys to #42 for the second half to honor Brittney Griner (AP News photo)

On Headline Sports podcast with Tony R:

#1 At the WNBA All Star Game in Chicago on Sunday there was a void with Phoenix Mercury superstar Brittney Griner missing. The players dedicated the second half wearing #42 jerseys in honor of Griner who has detained in Russia for the last 145 days. Tony the second half dedication meant a lot to the players remembering Griner.

#2 The Oakland A’s named their lone player representative for the 2022 MLB All Star Game for July 19th at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles pitcher Paul Blackburn who started out with a flurry at 6-2 and currently is 6-4 with a 3.36 ERA. Blackburn said he’s looking forward to meeting with his American League teammates and also being able to talk with the Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani.

#3 The San Francisco Giants who are coming off a 2-2 split against the San Diego Padres and opened a three game series last night with the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 4-3 loss. The Giants were 6-14 in their last 20 games and after winning 107 games last season are a different team without the presence of former catcher Buster Posey.

#4 Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman was working on his game in the NBA Summer Leagues in Las Vegas. Wiseman who played only 39 games in the last 15 months. When Wiseman first came on the scene for the Warriors he was expected to be an anchor at the center position for him but he had troubles adjusting to the NBA and also his recovery from knee surgery was slow but is looking forward to working hard to get back with the club for the 2022-23 season.

#5 The Pittsburgh Steelers have renamed their Stadium from Heinz Field to Acrisure Stadium. Acrisure is a top ten global insurance broker with revenue exceeding $3.8 billion. Heinz Kraft Company said in a statement that after concluding a 20 year $57 million naming rights agreement that ran from 2001-2021. Acrisure out bided Heinz for the naming rights. Art Rooney the Steelers owner was hoping that Heinz would stay on as the naming rights holder.

Join Tony for Headline Sports Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com