Giants Insider notes: Painful losses to Marlins

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Giants Insider notes: Painful losses to Marlins

May 25, 2011
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Mychael UrbanCSNBayArea.com

Our MLB Insider takes a look at the Giants 7-6 loss to the visiting Marlins on Wednesday in the second game of a three-game series at AT&T Park.Painful loss: Hard to put any sort of silver lining on the night in the wake of what the Giants might be facing if Buster Poseys injury is as bad as it looked. But what the heck: That was another absolutely hellacious throw by Nate Schierholtz. If Posey hangs on, the teams might still be playing without him.Absolved: Dont blame Scott Cousins. That was clean country hardball, and thats what Posey grew up playing. Cousins, who helped USF get on the baseball map as the 2006 West Coast Conference Player of the Year while leading the Dons to the programs first NCAA playoffs appearance, had every right to blow up Buster; it was the only option for him, actually. Part of the game.
NEWS: Giants' Posey helped off field after collision
Bedlam: Just when youre ready to start thinking everyone might need to knock it off with the magic angle that the Giants have caused to swirl around them by constructing so many different and dramatic victories, they do something like throw up a four-spot to tie in the bottom of the ninth and get a six-pitch top of the 10th from Brian Wilson. What a show these guys are putting on. What an incredible energy on that big, beautiful stage. Its officially ridiculous now.Quoth the bard: Tejada and Burrell in the 10th, thy name is buzzkill.
RECAP: Giants force extras, lose Posey and game in 12th
Temporary reversal of (late-game) fortune: The Giants surely felt that familiar feeling of invincibility that keeps them warm on chilly nights at home until Mike Stantons fourth hit of the night, a bases-loaded double with two out in the top of the ninth inning, made the feeling go away for about eight minutes and underscored the need for another lefty to step up and share some of Javier Lopezs massive burden.Lopez, whos been mostly brilliant all year but got roughed up during Floridas ninth, is a little bit like the Darren Ford of the pitching staff, although far more of a factor, in that hes best used for specific situations. Working an entire inning is not one of them.Add Stanton: If he wasnt a Stud On The Brink in big-league ball, Stanton looks like he might be a big-time Aussie Rules Football star or an NFL tight end. Heck, maybe even the lead in the next installment of the Fast and Furious franchise. Yes, hes going that good, so heres some dead-serious advice for Thursday: play hooky from work, find a way to get into the yard and watch this kid take batting practice.Or have you not heard of the BP balls that Stanton, 21, has launched to the base of the big Coke-bottle slides and the Bobs Big Boy oven mitt hey, you see what you wanna see on the left-center field concourses since he arrived in town Tuesday?Showing off: BP is among the finest entertainment one will find in professional sports, for its the very best in the world at the sports worlds most difficult single task honing their craft in the most relaxed environment their on-field experience allows.Team Taxing: Youve heard of high-stress innings, where the pitcher has to absolutely grind to get a zero on the board? The Marlins, with their balanced grab-bag of a lineup, can force opponents into high-stress games. Giants starts Madison Bumgarner, who threw a ton of great, gutsy pitches while putting up another unrewarded quality May start, was dealing with traffic all evening. Dealing well, though.

Bumgarner throws three innings of no-hit ball in first rehab start

Bumgarner throws three innings of no-hit ball in first rehab start

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Madison Bumgarner was back on the hill Sunday night in a Giants jersey for the first time since being placed on the DL on April 21 due to a dirt bike accident

Bumgarner took the mound for the Arizona Rookie League Giants and did not allow a hit in three innings pitched. The Giants' ace also struck out two and walked one. 

In both the first and third innings, Bumgarner pitched a perfect three up and three down frame. 

Bumgarner was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of his left throwing shoulder and sustained bruised ribs from his dirt bike accident on an off day in Colorado. Pitching in a game for the first time in over two months, Bumgarner was throwing between 88-91 miles per hour, according to Tommy Stokke of FanRagSports. 

After finishing his three innings of work, Bumgarner went down to the bullpen to increase his pitch count, reports Sande Charles of FanRagSports

Before sustaining the injury, Bumgarner was 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts this season. 

The Giants have gone 21-41 since Bumgarner's injury. They are 27-51 on the year and sit 24.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. 

After another Giants clunker, Bochy tells players 'enough is enough'

After another Giants clunker, Bochy tells players 'enough is enough'

SAN FRANCISCO — A few minutes after yet another missed opportunity at the plate Sunday, a voice came over a speaker in the press box at AT&T Park and announced a 524th consecutive sellout. It nicely summed up this current stretch of Giants baseball. 

The seats are emptier than they used to be at first pitch, and they were just about abandoned in the ninth inning of an 8-2 loss, but for the most part the fans are still showing up in droves. One woman brought a toaster by the dugout Sunday morning and asked players and coaches to sign it, hoping to recapture the magic from across the bridge. Another, Bryan Stow, made his first appearance of the season at AT&T Park, met with Bruce Bochy, and said he hoped to see a win. As Matt Moore started warming up, a band set up on top of the visiting dugout to play hits that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. 

For a while, AT&T Park was rocking. And then, as has happened so often this summer, the game started. 

The Giants turned in another epic clunker in a season full of them. They have lost 12 of their last 13 games and 21 of 26, but it’s worse than the raw numbers. On most nights, some in the organization have noted privately, they are simply boring. It’s one thing to lose, it’s quite another to do it in this way. 

“There’s no getting around it,” Bochy said after the sweep. “I’ve been through some tough stretches here and this is as tough as any stretch I’ve seen. For some reason the baseball gods are really testing us here and (testing) this group. It’s not that they’re not coming out ready or trying, but enough is enough.

“At some point, we’ve got to find a way to get this thing turned around.”

Even a slight pivot would be welcomed by the faithful. There were scattered boos Sunday, the latest in a growing trend. This is a fan base that has seen the highest highs, but rarely in franchise history have the lows been this low. 

The crowd no longer turns to the rally lights that were used so often in an awful April, but the noise still grows with each new rally. And then, every single time Sunday, the Giants killed off any hope. 

In the second inning, a Brandon Belt bunt single and Brandon Crawford bloop put two on, but a pair of rookies flied out. 

In the third, the bases were loaded ahead of Buster Posey. He flied out to bring one run across, and there were still runners on the corners for Belt, who leads the team in homers. On a 2-2 count, Hunter Pence inexplicably took off for second. He was caught, the inning was over, and the two-run Mets lead was intact. Bochy said he did not send Pence. 

In the sixth, there were two on with no outs for Posey. Both runners bolted to stay out of a double play. Posey popped up to first -- for a double play.

“He’s not a guy that strikes out, so I’m pretty confident sending runners with Buster,” Bochy said. “We can’t keep laying back. We’re trying to force the issue a bit and stay out of double plays.”

In the eighth, the Giants loaded the bases for Posey and Belt. Posey grounded out. Belt struck out for the third time. 

“We’re getting guys out there,” Bochy said. “We’re not doing enough damage.”

Matt Moore’s damage was self-inflicted. He twice gave up homers to the guy — Rene Rivera — hitting in front of the pitcher. Moore said he has stopped throwing his cutter the past three starts and tried to get his four-seamer going, but the Mets were teeing off. Moore gave up five runs on seven hits. He was pulled in the fifth, left to think about mechanics that still aren’t right. 

“The cutter is a little bit different of a pitch and at times it can take away from the four-seam fastball location-wise, and command of the four-seam was starting to go down the more I threw (the cutter),” Moore said. “I’m anxious to get back to it, but the foundation has got to be throwing the four-seam fastball. I need to execute where they’re carrying through the zone, not running or cutting.”

Moore said his confidence is fine and his problems are not physical. Others can no longer say that. Austin Slater, a rare bright spot in this five-win month, was pulled with a tight hip flexor. He was headed for an MRI. 

Slater is too young to be one of the players Bochy approached after the game. He said he talked to a few, though, passing along that “enough is enough” message. Moore, last in the National League in ERA (6.04), was not one who needed a reminder. 

“I’m sitting on a six right now with not a lot of wins and not enough team wins when I’m throwing,” he said. “It’s been 'enough' for me for the last couple of months.”