Baggs' Instant Replay: D'backs 10, Giants 2


Baggs' Instant Replay: D'backs 10, Giants 2


PHOENIX For all their Mad Max road warriorism since the All-Star break, the Giants finally looked like a gassed group ready to turn for home.

You could understand a flat afternoon at the end of an otherwise resounding trip. But Sundays 10-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks only reinforced an important question the Giants must answer in the next two weeks:

Does Ryan Vogelsong have anything left in the tank?

Vogelsong might have hit a low point in his second-half slide. How else to explain surrendering a three-run triple to Patrick Corbin, a .071-hitting pitcher? And how else to excuse a 1-2 fastball straight as a South Dakota highway?

Before his rotten, seven-start run, Vogelsong led the NL in ERA (2.27). Now he ranks 18th (3.65). And his place on a postseason roster is tenuous, at best.

Shortstop Joaquin Arias made a fielding error to start the Diamondbacks five-run rally in the fourth, but Vogelsong couldnt retire the opposing pitcher to pick up his teammate.

Still, the Giants return for a 10-game homestand after winning two more road series at Colorado and Arizona. They went 4-2 on the trip and are 9-0-1 in their last 10 road series.

Starting pitching report
Someone needs to tighten Vogelsongs lug nuts. He lasted just 3 13 innings and Shane Loux cashed in his two baserunners, leaving him with seven runs (six earned) and giving him a 10.31 ERA over his last seven starts.

His afternoon started off much better. Vogelsong (12-9) held the Diamondbacks to one single and one walk while striking out five in his first time through the lineup. But Arizona hitters made one heck of an adjustment. In their second look at the right-hander, they were 5 for 7 with two walks.

One of those was intentional after Cody Ransoms double put runners at second and third. But Vogelsong couldnt put away Corbin, who rapped his triple down the first base line to clear the bases and give Arizona a 5-2 lead.

Vogelsong walked the next batter, Adam Eaton, to end another disappointing start. He was throwing 92-93 mph, but once again, too many were at the belt.

Bullpen report
Even before the game, Bochy signaled that he would use the rather large back-end of his bullpen. His frontline guys needed rest, and pitchers like Brad Penny and Shane Loux have been pawing at the dirt.

They were beyond rusty. Loux gave up a two-run double to Aaron Hill and it didnt get much better as Clay Hensley, George Kontos and Dan Runzler struggled as well. (Upton hit a home run off Hensley that seeded a rain cloud.) Only Penny managed to work a moderately clean inning.

Jean Machi was the only reliever who might have convinced Bochy to try him in a more leveraged role. He worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning and impressively struck out Miguel Montero.

At the plate
Angel Pagan sparked the Giants yet again with a double to lead off the game. Marco Scutaro sacrificed him to third base and Buster Posey hit a two-out, RBI single.

Pagans early-run theory usually holds water. The Giants were 11-2 in games when he led off with a hit since the All-Star break.

This time, there was a rip in the lining. The Giants did manage to tie the game in the fourth when Posey walked and Brandon Belt yanked a double past first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

But then Arizona opened the floodgates and the Giants were swept away. Corbin became the first opposing pitcher to drive in four runs against the Giants since the Astros' Bob Knepper in 1985.

In field
Posey made another impressive throw while nabbing Adam Eaton trying to steal second base in the first inning. Second baseman Marco Scutaro applied a deft tag as well.

But the Giants did not distinguish themselves in the field. Pablo Sandoval juggled another ball at third base, Justin Christian threw a ball from center field to the backstop and Arias had the games lowlight when he couldnt handle Goldschmidts grounder to start the fourth.

The Giants always complain about the concrete-hard infield here at Chase Field. At least they wont have to return here again this season.

The Diamondbacks announced 29,051 paid on Hispanic Heritage Day. On a semi-related note, I highly recommend the red corn chicken taquitos near aisle 313.

Up next
The Giants begin their final homestand of the regular season a 10-game set with a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies. Madison Bumgarner (14-10, 3.32) will try to stop a four-start winless streak in Mondays series opener. Hell oppose right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (2-5. 4.86). After that, itll be Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Barry Zito against left-hander Jeff Francis, right-hander Tyler Chatwood and left-hander Drew Pomeranz.

Notes: Ex-Giants not getting much traction, not expected to return

Notes: Ex-Giants not getting much traction, not expected to return

SOMEWHERE IN THE AIR, United States — On the first day of the Winter Meetings, I discovered that my hotel room for the week was a few doors down from a section of rooms and suites dedicated to the Chicago Cubs. So either I have a lot of juice with Marriott or the Cubs have very little juice. 

They were a happy group as they came in and out, and for good reason. The Cubs are the reigning champions and they’re the heavy favorites going into 2017. Every other team at the Gaylord National Resort was chasing Theo Epstein and his guys. The Giants, after landing closer Mark Melancon, feel they have the firepower to compete with the Cubs. 

The Melancon move is the big one of the Giants’ offseason and it obscured just about everything else. Here are some other notes, quotes and rumors from five days at the Winter Meetings: 

--- Bobby Evans said the Aroldis Chapman deal ($86 million) came in right around where the Giants expected. The two sides never met in person, and while the Giants kept tabs on the Chapman market, he was always viewed as an unlikely choice. Part of that has to do with a 30-game suspension last season for a domestic violence incident. Evans said the off-field stuff was “not lost on us.” The Giants knew many of their fans were strongly opposed to a Chapman deal. 

“Our hearts and minds were really focused on one guy,” Evans said as he discussed the closer market. It was Melancon, and the Giants got the guy who will now head a bullpen that blew 30 saves during the regular season. 

Evans took some good-natured shots at that number, by the way. He pointed out that many of those “blown saves” came in the sixth or seventh innings and the Giants won a lot of those games. The more important number for the front office was ninth-inning blown saves that led to losses. The Giants lost nine such games, including five in September. 

“That’s the difference,” Evans said. “If you reduce that number to five or four, then that’s maybe the difference in your division.”

The Giants finished four games behind the Dodgers.

--- Joe Maddon said his biggest fear in the postseason was facing Johnny Cueto in Game 5.

--- Angel Pagan was not at the ballpark for the final game of the season. He had an injection in his injured back and was allowed to stay home to try and recover. The Giants told Pagan to prepare for a Game 5, but some team officials believe his postseason was probably over regardless of how far the Giants got. 

--- It was a little surprising, by the way, how little mention there was of Pagan and other Giants free agents. Pagan was briefly connected to the Orioles at one point but otherwise his name has not come up. There are no Gregor Blanco rumors, and nothing significant with Sergio Romo, Jake Peavy, Javier Lopez or Santiago Casilla. 

Giants people who have talked to Romo say he has at least a couple of offers and he’s confident he’ll find a good fit. Lopez is said to be headed for retirement unless an East Coast team (he lives in Georgia) makes a great offer. Peavy is said to be ready to fight for a job as a non-roster invitee in spring training. It seems the majority of the ex-Giants might have to go the non-roster route. Currently, none are expected to return to San Francisco. 

--- Gordon Beckham is technically a “Giants free agent” and several people in the clubhouse approacedh management to relay what a positive impact Beckham had in his week there. He is the kind of energetic, ball-busting presence that helps over a 162-game season, and everyone in the organization loved having him around, but they’re looking for power bats right now when it comes to the bench. 

--- Ramiro Pena is close to a deal to return as a non-roster invitee. The Giants will also add a catcher for Triple-A depth. They’re selecting from a group that includes former Dodgers and Cubs catcher Tim Federowicz. 

--- There will be new managers up and down the minor league system. The affiliates are expected to announce those choices soon. 

--- At the risk of wiping out a bunch of future "The Player to be Named Later has not been named" tweets, here's how it works: The Giants gave the Mariners a small list of prospects they'll watch in spring training, and they'll scout them and choose one player as the return for Chris Heston. It will not be a significant prospect. 

--- Under Armour will be the exclusive uniform provider of MLB starting in 2020, and all jerseys will have a small Under Armour logo on the chest. No exceptions, from the awful Diamondbacks jerseys to the Yankees pinstripes to the Giants. It was bound to happen eventually. The Giants have some of Under Armour’s most prominent baseball players, including Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Joe Panik. 

--- The Giants never had any intention of pursuing a reunion with Pablo Sandoval. If they can add depth at third, they will, but for now Eduardo Nuñez is slated to be the opening day starter. Keep in mind, too, that Christian Arroyo will primarily play third base in the minors from now on. 

--- Bill Hayes, who was relieved of his duties as first-base coach, will stay with the big league staff. His exact role has not been determined. Roberto Kelly will not return in a different role. 

--- CSN did a bunch of one-on-one interviews this week, and two of them — Evans and Bruce Bochy — are available here as podcasts. If you’re a fan of the podcast, please consider hitting subscribe on iTunes. It’s good for the pod. 

--- In case you missed it: Here's an explanation of why the Giants are unlikely to add an expensive outfielder. The Giants currently have four players set for the WBC. Hensley Meulens will manage the Netherlands. Ryan Vogelsong helped Melancon choose the Giants. Bochy on if he has any postseason regrets. 

--- Melancon will be introduced at a 1 p.m. press conference on Friday. It will air on CSN Bay Area and you can stream it on this website. 

Wife of former Giants outfielder Andres Torres passes away


Wife of former Giants outfielder Andres Torres passes away

Former Giants outfielder Andres Torres lost his wife on Wednesday evening.

Soannie Torres passed away from cancer.

Andres played for the Giants from 2009 to 2011 and again in 2013.

During the Giants' World Series run in 2010, he hit .268 with 16 home runs and 63 RBI over 139 regular season games.

In the World Series against the Rangers, he batted .318 and hit a home run.

Torres was the 2010 winner of the Willie Mac Award, -- given annually to the Giants' most inspirational player.

To donate to the Soannie Torres Memorial Fund, click here.