Giants Insider notes: Posey fatigued? Nope.


Giants Insider notes: Posey fatigued? Nope.

May 17, 2011

Our MLB Insider takes a look at the Giants' 5-3 loss to the host Rockies on Tuesday in the finale of a two-day twinbill of a series at Coors Field.
Bust(er)ing out: Nobody would have batted an eye had Giants manager Bruce Bochy given catcher Buster Posey the day off; he was 2-for-13 (.154) against Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez, it was a day game after a night game, and backup Eli Whiteside has often guided Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez through spectacular outings. Bochy, however, stuck with the hot hand -- Posey had two hits Monday -- and decided that with Sunday's game in Chicago having been rained out, Posey was plenty rested. He even moved Posey into the No. 3 spot in the order, and his faith was rewarded with another multi-hit game from the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, who singled and scored during San Francisco's tie-breaking rally in the third inning.RECAP: Rockies take late lead, sweep Giants in short series

Well-played hunch: Bochy also raised some eyebrows by starting struggling Pat Burrell (1-for-12 funk) in left field and putting Mike Fontenot (1-for-19) into Freddy Sanchez's customary spots at second base and second in the batting order. As has happened so often since late last season, Bochy's moves paid off. Fontenot also singled in the third, and he and Posey scored when Burrell, given the green light to swing away on a 3-0 count, scored them both with a double into the left-center gap. Burrell also singled for his first multi-hit game since April 24.Cautionary tale: Word during Tuesday's presume show that it was a regularly scheduled day off for Freddy Sanchez, but it was a little more than that. Yes, Bochy wanted to get Fontenot into a game after sitting him in three of the past four; yes, he wanted Miguel Tejada back at shortstop because -- hot-hand alert! -- Tejada had two hits Monday and was 4-for-12 lifetime against Jimenez; and yes, Bochy wanted to play Mark DeRosa again in hopes that back-to-back starts for the first time this year would help DeRosa find some sense of rhythm. (It didn't; DeRosa went 0-for-4 and is 0-for-22 over his past nine games.) But it also has to be noted that Freddy Sanchez is 9-for-30 (.300) against Jimenez and batting .390 lifetime at Coors Field; so much for the hot-hand thing. Bottom line: Sanchez's left knee is bothering him again, so Bochy gave him a blow."Good" Sanchez: In his second start since a closed-door meeting with Bochy to discuss his focus, Jonathan Sanchez put together another pretty solid start, and for seven innings this one was quite a bit better than the previous. After allowing a leadoff double in the third, Sanchez allowed one hit and hit a batter while cruising into the eighth. His arm slot was consistent, which helped him do what any pitcher hoping to succeed at Coors Field has to do: keep the ball down and limit free passes. Sanchez was as efficient as he's been in a while, holding the Rockies to three hits, that one hit batter and zero walks on 81 pitches through the first seven innings."Bad" Sanchez: After allowing consecutive singles to open the bottom of the eighth, Sanchez picked up a sacrifice bunt and threw wildly past first base to bring in a run and put runners at the corners with nobody out. That was it for him, and the inning snowballed from there. Javier Lopez, one of the Giants' most reliable bullpen arms all year, came on and was greeted by a ground-rule double by Dexter Fowler that tied the game. Two batters later, Carlos Gonzalez broke the tie with the two-run single that chased Lopez and stuck Sanchez with the loss."Tulo" untracked: Previously slumping Troy Tulowitzki had a big two-run single off Tim Lincecum on Monday, and the confidence boost it provided appeared to carry over to Tuesday, when he yanked a slow-breaking, down-and-away slider from Sanchez into the left-center bleachers to tie the game at 1-1. Then again, Tulowitzki likely had plenty of confidence heading into the short series' finale, anyway. He entered the contest 7-for-20 (.350) with a double, triple and home run in his career against Sanchez.

Hundley still not ready to discuss future; Cain to start during final weekend

Hundley still not ready to discuss future; Cain to start during final weekend

PHOENIX — A few weeks ago, Nick Hundley said he preferred not to talk about his future until the end of the season. We’re close enough, so after hitting the go-ahead homer Monday night, Hundley was again asked about his 2018 plans. He smiled.

“How many have we got left? Five?” he said. “Ask me Sunday.”

It’s not just the media and fans seeking an answer from the popular backup who has nine homers. The Giants hope to get some feel from Hundley as they finalize offseason plans, and manager Bruce Bochy said he would talk to the veteran this week. Bochy left no doubt about what he hopes will happen.

“I think he knows what we think of him,” he said. 

Hundley, a 34-year-old who came over in the offseason, has been one of the few overachievers this season. He has 32 extra-base hits in 274 at-bats, taking advantage of increased time with Brandon Belt done for the year and Buster Posey sliding over to first base. Hundley is one of the lineup’s more potent right-handed options, and he has earned praise from the starting staff. Johnny Cueto said Hundley helped him navigate a post-clinch Diamondbacks lineup that was essentially pulled straight out of Triple-A. 

Cueto did so with ease, striking out eight in six innings. He evened his record at 8-8, and he’ll have a chance to clinch a winning season on Sunday. Bochy said Cueto will start the final game of the season, and he confirmed that Matt Cain will start either Friday or Saturday. Asked for more details, the manager kept it just as mysterious as his catcher. 

“I’ll let you know tomorrow,” he said.

Mariners club four home runs, end A's seven-game winning streak

Mariners club four home runs, end A's seven-game winning streak


OAKLAND -- Mitch Haniger homered twice and Felix Hernandez won for the first time in more than two months as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 7-1 on Monday night.

A day after being eliminated from playoff contention, the slumping Mariners snapped Oakland's season-high seven-game winning streak and its eight-game run at home - the team's second-longest in 11 years.

The Mariners had lost eight of nine.

Hernandez (6-5) gave up one run in six innings of two-hit ball. King Felix hadn't won since July 15, a stretch that included a stint on the disabled list from Aug. 2 to Sept. 13 with right shoulder bursitis. He was 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in his previous five starts.

Haniger hit his 15th and 16th home runs off starter Daniel Gossett (4-10). The 24-year-old Oakland rookie gave up seven runs on a career-high four homers allowed.

Mike Zunino hit a three-run shot, his 24th, that broke a scoreless tie in the second. Yonder Alonso added his 26th homer, connecting against his former team.

Marcus Semien hit a solo homer off Hernandez in the sixth.

Andrew Albers pitched three shutout innings for his first save.

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell played his first game since becoming the first player in the majors to kneel during the national anthem Saturday, part of a national protest movement against discrimination and harsh treatment of blacks by police. He was greeted with a loud ovation along with some boos sprinkled in from the Oakland crowd of 9,329. Maxwell cleared the concussion protocol on Monday. He hadn't played since Sept. 20.

In an apparent show of support for Maxwell, most of the Oakland Unified School District band members took a knee as they performed the national anthem before the game.

2,500 CLUB:
The 31-year-old Hernandez became the fifth active pitcher to log more than 2,500 career innings.

Mariners: INF Jean Segura (sprained right middle finger) will likely miss the remainder of the series, manager Scott Servais said. "He wants to get in there before the season's over. It's important to him, but he's not going to be available for a couple of days," Servais said.

Athletics: 1B Matt Olson was scheduled to have an MRI to determine the severity of a hamstring injury he sustained Sunday. The 23-year-old rookie will miss the rest of the series, manager Bob Melvin said. Olson has 25 home runs in 189 at-bats. "We're hoping we can get him back in Texas, but I'm not so sure about that," Melvin said. ... LHP Sean Manaea, who missed his last scheduled start on Saturday with upper back tightness, threw a bullpen and is on track to make his next start Thursday, Melvin said.

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (12-5, 3.03 ERA) is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts since coming off the DL on Sept. 14. He had been sidelined with a strained left pectoral muscle. Paxton is 3-0 with a 3.77 ERA in five career starts against Oakland.

Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden (2-1, 3.30) is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in his last three starts. Mengden took the loss in his only career start against Seattle last season. He struck out six and gave up two runs on five hits and two walks in five innings.