Amy G's Giants Xclusive: Romo's Relief

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Amy G's Giants Xclusive: Romo's Relief

Amy: All right, we are back after the All-Star Break. Sergio Romo nice enough to join us on the first day back to work. It is Friday the 13th. You were just running your sprints, and you were super speedy out there. Is it- Is it a little hard to get back into the full-on workout mode after having a couple days of rest?

Sergio: Hey, baby. Manny B., everybody.

A: That was Emmanuel.

S: No, uh, actually no, it's really not that hard. I mean yeah, we need to take a break. It's more of a mental break, you know? Yeah you let your body rest but once your mind settles down your body's able to relax as well so...

A: But it explains why he's breathing a little hard.

S: I'm breathing a little hard, yeah.

A: Just got done.

S: Just got done running, it's cold out. Windy out. Kind of hard running directly into the wind, but uh, it is what it is. You know, it's part- it's part- it's part of what we do, you know? We've gotta make sure we're ready and it's not easy, you know? You've gotta put in that work.

A: Yeah, you did. I watched and I'm your witness. You were running very fast. Now, let us know how your break was. You tweeted some really cool photos. It looked like you actually were able to take a mental break.

S: Yeah. I didn't toss anything, didn't pick up a rock, baseball, football, anything. Arm's rested. It's just one of those things where I got to hang out with my family, you know? Had my sons with me and that was pretty much the main part. My lady was with, you know, friends- Pagan was with as well. Bam Bam showed up one day, you know, so like it was just a cool ride.

A: Nice! Were you here in the city?

S: No we were in, uh- We went to Lake Tahoe.

A: Oh very nice.

S: First time I was out there myself. Me and Rilen, my six-year-old, we did a lot a lot of things that we never really got a chance to do before, you know. We did some paddle boarding, some jet-skiing. I got some video of us parasailing, and he was- I mean he was....

A: Loving every minute of it with Dad.

S: It was an amazing ride, and he's like "Dad we gotta do it again." You know like, "Dad let's do it again." And I'm like "All right, cool," so like...It was really sweet to see how outgoing and really adventurous my son really is. It was a good time.

A: And who knew what a fisherman you were?

S: Haha, caught me some fish. I caught a couple fish and went out.

A: That's pretty impressive.

S: I think it was a Mackinaw, Mackinese, something- some kind of trout. Mac-something trout. Caught an eight-pounder, which is probably the highlight of the trip when it comes to the fishing part. Caught an eight-pounder. Caught a couple fish and I was holding them, put it up on Twitter, but uh...Just the fact that I was out on a boat. I think we were uh...We were fishing I think right around 2,200 feet, which is the deep part of the lake I think. I may be wrong of course, but we went there. It was fun. We were out at the crack of dawn and worked.

A: Had a good time. All right, you put out some nice tweets to your teammates that were playing in the All-Star Game. Of course Melky the MVP. I know that he's real special to you, so what did it mean to see your buddy, your compadre, earn that honor?

S: Oh the Melkman. That guy, just to see him smile, the personality he has, and he- He's got one of those infectious personalities, infectious smiles. When he's out and going, it's kind of like when he goes we all go. He's got some other guys on our team that shine in the same way, but I think Pagan, he - Not Pagan, I'm sorry, Melky - I was about to name him right now as one of those guys.

A: He is, yeah.

S: Yeah, him and Blanco as well, you know, but Melky, I think it's just his time, you know? It's his time to shine. I've said this a couple times already but he makes you look back and maybe how overshadowed he really was before. You know, playing with, you know, the caliber of guys he played with in New York and Atlanta and then last year an opportunity to shine a little bit in KC. I mean, look at what he's doing. He's just smiling, having a good time so congrats, Melky. I mean, we'll earn - We're watching it. We're watching it live and it's really fun.

A: It's cool. He reminds us all of what it's about. Yeah.

S: We're like little kids. I go out there and I do the same thing and I feel like I play just like a smile, you know? It is what it is, you know, but I think he does bring us back to, to what it's really worth and what it really means to us to play this game. Why we all started to play this game.

After Giants' first Coors Field sweep in 15 years, Bochy preaches urgency

After Giants' first Coors Field sweep in 15 years, Bochy preaches urgency

DENVER — Bruce Bochy watched the first two games of this road trip from his home in San Diego and the final three from the top step of the dugout at Coors Field. He did not like what he saw, but at the moment he’s more concerned with what he might hear. 

“What you have to careful of — you can’t let any kind of complacency set in and say, ‘It’s early, we’ll be ok.’ I don’t want to hear that either,” Bochy said. “It’s the old adage that you come out with some sense of urgency. All these games are important. You’ve got to stay away from that attitude, too: ‘We’re not through April yet and have 140-something games left.’ That doesn’t work out.”

Three weeks into the season, nothing is working. The rotation has a 5.02 ERA, the worst in the Majors. The lineup scored 10 runs over a five-game road trip and got shut out twice. The bullpen hasn’t been given many leads with which to make up for the first-week trouble. The defense has been uncharacteristically sloppy. 

It has added up to a 6-13 start, tied for the worst in club history. The Giants have lost six of seven and they’ll head home seven games out of first place. 

“Right now there’s nothing clicking,” Bochy said. “Let’s be honest, this has been a rough start and we’re not very good right now. I’m not saying we’re not very good. We are good, but we’ve got to find a way to come out of this. This was a tough way to end this series. We’ve been through it. I’ve got men out there and that’s when you find a way to get through this. They will.”

Perhaps Monday will bring some fresh blood for the roster. Drew Stubbs appears poised to give the Giants another veteran option should they cut bait with a struggling outfielder. Michael Morse could be an option in left field soon, and if he’s mostly relegated to first, the Giants can put Brandon Belt in the outfield. He looked fine there Sunday while playing both corner spots. 

Those are moves made around the edges of the roster, though. There is no magic bullet coming from the outside, not even Christian Arroyo, who continues to mash at Triple-A. This is a $200 million roster and much of that has been spent on the rotation. Through 13 games, it is the worst in the National League, and the ace was lost to an off-field accident. Sure, the starters have pitched at Chase Field and Coors Field, but on back-to-back days they were dominated by Rockies rookies who make a living here. 

Samardzija could not keep pace with left-hander Kyle Freeland, who sawed off a handful of bats while cruising through seven. Samardzjiza gave up a run early, two more in the fourth on a hanging splitter that was blasted to right, and five in the sixth.

Bochy challenged his starting staff to improve after Saturday’s game. He has not publicly done the same with the lineup, but subtle changes have been made here and there. It is a group that, outside of a couple of players, has lacked energy. Because they don’t hit for power, the Giants are reliant on stringing together rallies. For the fourth time in seven games, the lineup failed to put a runner on base the first time through the order. 

“Even in spring training we had our games where we had trouble getting something going early,” Bochy said. “It’s the fourth or fifth before a hit. Somehow, we’ve got to change that.”

The Giants played Sunday without Jarrett Parker (clavicle) and Denard Span (right shoulder sprain), but for the most part the lineup is healthy. Bochy said he has talked to hitting coach Hensley Meulens about possibly altering pre-game routines, but that seems a cosmetic fix. 

“We’ve talked and we’ve shaken up the lineup, but as you saw today, there’s only so much you can do,” he said. 

Bochy knows there is outside noise regarding the roster. His eyes bulged the other day when asked if Arroyo would get a call-up next week. The Giants do not feel he is quite ready, or that there is a spot for him on the infield. For all the potential bench options waiting at Triple-A, this team's core is set, and it’s not outrageously banged-up compared to the rest of the division. 

The Dodgers, who come into town Monday, have 10 players on the disabled list, including No. 2 starter Rich Hill, second baseman Logan Forsythe, and left fielder Andre Ethier. The Rockies, the best team in the NL West thus far, are off to this start without big offseason acquisition Ian Desmond and young slugger David Dahl. Jon Gray, their opening day starter, went on the DL after facing the Giants in San Francisco. Chad Bettis, a rotation member, is getting treatment for testicular cancer. 

This division is better than expected, and as the end of April approaches, the Giants are bringing up the rear. Bochy’s plea for urgency was one that would have fit right in with last season’s second half. Back then, the Giants could at least lean on a huge start that got them into the postseason. As they flew home Sunday, there was nothing to fall back on but a simple truth.

This is the team. It must play better.

“We have everything we need in this room,” Samardzija said. “Sometimes you need to go out on the field and prove it.”

 

Instant Replay: Giants' struggles continue in sweep from Rockies

Instant Replay: Giants' struggles continue in sweep from Rockies

BOX SCORE

DENVER — Bruce Bochy spent about 10 minutes before Sunday’s game talking about potential options in left field and center. The problems for this lineup, however, currently go much deeper than the outfield. 

A day after the Giants managed just four hits off Antonio Senzatela, the bats went completely limp against fellow Rockies rookie Kyle Freeland. The Giants were shut out 8-0, a rarity at Coors Field. They were blanked twice on the road trip and scored just 10 runs during a five-game swing through Kansas City and Denver. 

The sweep at Coors Field was the Giants' first since 2002. At 6-13, they have the worst record in the National League.

For the fourth time in seven games, and third time on this five-game road trip, the Giants went one time through the order without a baserunner. That puts added pressure on your starter, and Jeff Samardzija couldn’t keep it close. Charlie Blackmon hit a leadoff liner to right that was misplayed into a triple and he scored on a sacrifice fly. Gerardo Parra got a spinner down in the zone in the fourth and blasted a two-run shot to right. 

As they did Saturday night, the Rockies pulled away with a huge rally. Nolan Arenado’s infield single and a walk of Carlos Gonzalez set the table in the sixth. Gerardo Parra lined a single to center and all runners advanced when Gorkys Hernandez kicked it. Trevor Story’s single to right was bobbled by Hunter Pence and two more scored. Blackmon’s double made it 8-0.

Starting pitching report: Samardzija was charged with seven earned in 5 1/3 innings. He has a 7.40 ERA through four starts. The starting staff has a 5.02 ERA, the worst in the majors. That won’t play, not when you’ve spent most of your resources the last two years on starters. 

Bullpen report: Hunter Strickland's Mullet had a scoreless debut. 

At the plate: Nope. 

In the field: Brandon Belt’s first start in left this season was rather uneventful. He caught a liner right at him in the first and came up inches short on a diving attempt in foul territory. Belt moved to right in the seventh inning. He had one previous inning there in the big leagues but he actually prefers right because it’s the same angle as his normal position. Belt gloved a liner right at him in the eighth. 

Attendance: The Rockies announced a crowd of 42,011 human beings and one donkey, who was a menace. 

Up next: The first look at the Dodgers. The Giants will see Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood and likely Julio Urias in the four-game series.