Wilson pushes limits in Giants' win


Wilson pushes limits in Giants' win

DENVER Brian Wilson cannot wait to hear the sellout crowdat AT&T Park for Fridays home opener.

It feels like its mid-August right now and we haventplayed in San Fran yet, said the Giants three-time All-Star closer, after arollicking, ankle-rolling save conversion in a 4-2 victory over the ColoradoRockies on Thursday. Well go to opening day and take in all the specialmoments and play a nice, nine-inning ballgame. We feed off the energy.
RECAP: Youth prevails as Giants top Rockies 4-2

But Wilson wont inherit a save situation if one comes inthe home opener. He threw 32 pitches while allowing a run and barely escaping theninth inning; a day earlier, he made his season debut with a mop-up inning andthrew 24 pitches.

So Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he more than likely wontuse Wilson for a third consecutive day especially following a highlycontrolled spring throwing schedule to make sure his right elbow didnt flareup again.

Wilson did receive a visit from trainer Dave Groeschner,though. Catcher Buster Posey signaled to the dugout after Wilson turned hisleft ankle on a 1-0 pitch to the Rockies Tyler Colvin. Wilson threw a warmuppitch, convinced Groeschner and Bochy that he was fine and continued theinning.

He walked Colvin with the bases loaded to force in a run.But then he got Marco Scutaro to fly out on a slider to end it.

Wilson also had a fair bit of Irish luck the batter beforeColvin, when pinch hitter Todd Helton scorched a line drive to second base.Emmanuel Burriss fell to his knees while watching the ball into his glove.

Bochy said he would've pulled Wilson for Santiago Casilla if his black-bearded closer hadn't retired Scutaro. He had to protect Wilson from throwing too many pitches. So Wilson straddled the line in more than one respect.

I guess its just Willies way, Bochy said. He had goodstuff. He was throwing strikes to the first two hitters. Hes working hard outthere.

Wilson did not ice his ankle after the game.

No big deal. Its really nothing, just one of those thingsthey have to check on a non-issue, Wilson said. Ive got two of em. So itdoesnt matter.

Wilson didnt bring the 95 mph gas from a day earlier,instead throwing mostly cutters and sliders with mixed results. That shouldntcome as a shock, considering he only went back-to-back once during the spring.

But when he needed to reach back, he hit 94 mph on a fastballto strike out Wilin Rosario.

Once I entered yesterdays game, I knew for a fact Id bethrowing today, Wilson said, with a bemused expression. Thats just how itworks. My pitch count got up high, but there was nothing out of the norm. Itwas nice to get that quote-unquote pressure situation out of the way.

Ah yes. The Wilson pressure situation. Bases loaded, gameon the line: A show weve all seen before. This time, he created it on TroyTulowitzkis double, Michael Cuddyers infield single and Jason Giambis pinchsingle to right field.

I feel more locked in when there are bases loaded,actually, Wilson said. Cmon, we all know that. Ive seen bases loaded a lot.

Its not like I want to pitch in that situation, but whenit comes down to it, I feel Ive been more successful than not.

The Giants were successful on their season-opening road tripwhen the pitching went to plan. They received quality starts from Barry Zito(on Monday) and Madison Bumgarner (on Thursday), and those accounted for theirtwo victories.

Its our game. Its what we count on, Bochy said. Itmeans you have a chance to win the game. As tough as this trip has looked withthe pitching and defense, really, we should be .500. We let one slip away. Andthe guys bounced back from really, two of the toughest losses you can have.

Weve been on the road so much. The guys have dealt with itgreat. But its time to go home and get settled into our ballpark.

Bumgarner saved them from a 1-5 trip with a solid effort.Barely 15 hours after the Rockies finished pounding out 22 hits and scoring 17runs Wednesday night, Bumgarner held them without a hit until the sixth inning,when left fielder Melky Cabrera came up just short on a diving attempt to catchColvins triple.

Bumgarner (1-1) started the game by getting Marco Scutaro tofly out to center. He didnt allow another ball to leave the infield untilColvins hit.

The difference between that sparkling, 7 13-inning startand his previous one, when he got lit up at Arizona?

I just tried to make pitches, he said, and not strikepeople out on the first pitch of the at-bat.

Bochy said Bumgarner in Arizona was amped up andoverthrowing. He went back to the slow lane while churning outs againstColorados hungry lineup. He said he never gave much thought to his no-hit bid.But after the game, he acknowledged that hes glad he wont have to wait untilMay 19 for his first victory.

Yeah, and I just thought about it, Bumgarner said. Ittook, what? A month and a half last year? Its good to have it out of the way.

Its also good to have that first trip out of the way. Anditll be good to sleep in their own beds for a change.

Now they just need to take this new-found offense they averaged5.5 runs per game, and scored at least four runs in every game on the trip and make sure it translates to the shores of McCovey Cove.

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.