Giants prospect Gary Brown, a center fielder who spent all of 2011 with the Single-A San Jose Giants and was named the California League Rookie of the Year, added another postseason award to his haul when he was named MiLB.com's Best Class-A Advanced Hitter."I don't think there's anything he can't do," San Jose manager Andy Skeels told the website.Brown, 23, put together an impressive stats package that completely supports his skipper's stance. The 24th overall pick in the 2010 draft, Brown, who played college ball at Cal-State Fullerton, led the Cal League in hits (188, a San Jose record) and triples (13); he finished second in the league in total bases (290), runs (115) and stolen bases (53); and he finished third in batting average (.336).He also hit 14 homers with 80 RBIs and a .407 on-base percentage, batting leadoff every time he played, and he shined on defense while playing 120 of his 131 games in center. His eye-popping all-around game earned him an invitation to play in the Futures Game in Phoenix this July in conjunction with the MLB All-Star Game festivities.Its a huge thrill, Brown told CSNBayArea.com after taking batting practice at the Futures Game. This environment is pretty special.Now Brown is back in the desert, playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, and Giants general manager Brian Sabean has been impressed with what he's seen despite Brown's pedestrian numbers (.220 batting average, .278 OBP in 50 at-bats through Wednesday)."Brown's played real nice in the outfield," Sabean told CSNBayArea.com. "He's showing maybe a little bit of fatigue, which is normal after his first long professional season; the weather's been very warm down here. But he's had some nice at-bats. "You can see where his talent's gonna be coming to the forefront in the near future, hopefully."
SAN FRANCISCO — If the Giants were in a different situation, Tuesday night’s loss was the kind that really would sting for a few days. As is, it was simply loss No. 77 in a stunningly bad season.
The Giants went down 4-3 in somewhat familiar fashion, with their offense failing to break through and their bullpen coming up short. But this loss, No. 77, was also about small mistakes, both mental and physical. Let’s count down some of the ways the Giants went down:
--- Gorkys Hernandez, a late addition to the lineup because Hunter Pence has a tight hamstring, dropped a fly ball in deep right in the fourth inning. That cost Jeff Samardzija a run and a few more pitches. Bruce Bochy said Pence likely will be off Wednesday and then return Friday in Arizona.
--- Bochy pulled Samardzija after just 89 pitches, and it was certainly peculiar in the moment. The thing is, the intention fit in with the reality of this season. Samardzija has carried a heavy load and Bochy was trying to protect his arm a bit.
“The inning before, he logged some pitches,” Bochy said. “I’ve worked him pretty hard and I’m really looking after him as much as anything. We’re trying to give some guys a break and it didn’t work out. We had some guys lined up in the seventh, eighth, ninth — it just didn’t work out in the seventh.”
--- You can’t really argue with protecting a big-money pitcher in a down year. But Bochy probably wishes he had chosen someone other than Albert Suarez, who was fresher than others but has now given up runs in six of seven appearances. Suarez turned a one-run lead into a one-run deficit. It was more glaring when Kyle Crick entered and pitched 1 1/3 sharp innings.
--- The Giants still had a chance — it helped that the Brewers took a dominant Josh Hader out of the game just because he’s a lefty and Nick Hundley bats right-handed — and they put two on in the eighth. Denard Span hit a soft single to right and Phil Nevin waved Hundley, who has catcher’s legs. He was out by a mile. Bochy said he was fine with forcing the issue there, although that’s a call Nevin probably wants back.
Another twist on the play: Bochy could have put speedy Orlando Calixte in for Hundley and then moved Pablo Sandoval over to first in the next inning, with Calixte at third. He didn’t second-guess that decision.
“He was out pretty easily,” Bochy said. “I don’t know if a little more speed would have helped out.”
--- In the bottom of the ninth, Kelby Tomlinson singled. He was promptly caught stealing second with the heart of the order coming up. Again, a decision that went the visiting team’s way.
Those moments could be defended or second-guessed. On another night, maybe they all work out and the Giants win 3-2, or 6-4. On this night, it was simply a familiar script, and loss No. 77.
SAN FRANCISCO — Just when it seemed the Giants were starting to find some continuity in their bullpen, they have taken a couple of steps back.
Two days after Hunter Strickland imploded late, Albert Suarez gave up the lead. The Giants lost 4-3 to the Brewers in a game that dragged. The Brewers did open the window a bit in the bottom of the eighth and Denard Span bounced a single to right with two outs and two on. Phil Nevin waved Nick Hundley all the way around third and Hundley was thrown out by 10 feet to end the inning.
Anyway, here are five other things to know …
—- Just one of Jeff Samardzija’s six innings went 1-2-3, and Bruce Bochy turned to the bullpen after just 89 pitches. Samardzija was charged with two runs, one of them earned. It was a little odd that he came out so early.
—- Suarez entered in the seventh with a one-run lead and gave up two runs before being lifted. He has allowed a run in six of his last seven appearances.
—- Brandon Crawford momentarily gave the Giants the lead with a two-run homer, his 11th. He is definitely starting to hit his stride. Crawford has four extra base hits and six RBI on the homestand.
—- Why is it so hard for the Giants to sign power bats? Well, just ask Eric Thames. He hit a 433-foot blast to lead off the third but ended up with just a triple when it bounced off the top of the bricks in right-center. Per Statcast data, Thames is the first player in the last three years to hit a ball more than 430 feet and not get a homer. He was stranded at third.
—- Over in Sacramento, a couple of rehab appearances went as planned. Johnny Cueto threw three scoreless innings for the River Cats; he will make at least one more minor league start. Joe Panik was 0-for-2 in five innings; he will join the San Jose Giants on Wednesday for another rehab game.