Bagg's Instant Replay: Giants 4, Rockies 2


Bagg's Instant Replay: Giants 4, Rockies 2


DENVER A season ago, 22-year-old Madison Bumgarner didnt get his first victory until May 19. Jamie Moyer, 49, was trying to become the oldest pitcher in history to win a major league game.

Bumgarner is the young. But not the restless.

The left-hander no-hit the Colorado Rockies into the sixth inning, the Giants pieced together enough against Moyer and Brian Wilson infused more torture -- plus a visit to the mound from trainer Dave Groeschner -- into his first save chance as the Giants claimed a 4-2 victory on a windy Thursday afternoon at Coors Field.

Bumgarner (1-1) ensured he wouldnt start the year on a personal winless streak while helping the Giants complete their road trip with a 2-4 record -- a mark they gladly accepted after getting swept in a season-opening series at Arizona.

The Giants scored at least four runs in all six games on this road trip. Thats something they did in just 39.5 percent of their games last season.

One difference, though: They were an MLB-best 55-9 last year when they scored four runs. On this trip, they only won twice -- both times when they received a quality start (Barry Zito, Bumgarner).

Starting pitching report: Less than 15 hours after the Rockies blasted out 22 hits, Bumgarner calmly held them without a safety until the sixth inning.

Thats when Tyler Colvin, who entered the previous inning on a double switch, hit a sinking line drive to left field. Melky Cabrera gave a game effort, but his diving attempt came up short and Colvin ended up with a triple.

Bumgarner allowed two more singles that inning and the Rockies brought the dangerous Troy Tulowitzki to the plate as the tying run. But Bumgarner got him to ground out to third base to end the threat.

In a bit of a surprise, Giants manager Bruce Bochy let Bumgarner go out for the eighth inning with 102 pitches. Bumgarner gave up a single and retired Colvin on a pop-up, but not before worked him for a 13-pitch at-bat. With 117 pitches, Bumgarners day was done.

Bumgarner held the Rockies to one run on four hits and two walks in 7 13 innings. He struck out two. All in all, it was a huge improvement from his four-inning, four-run, two-homer fireworks show at Arizona.

Bullpen report: Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez made their pitches to escape the eighth. After Romo walked Dexter Fowler, Lopez retired Carlos Gonzalez on a broken-bat grounder to strand two runners. Hes stranded five runners in his three outings.

Wilson was vintage Wilson while recording his first save since . He allowed a run on three hits and a bases-loaded walk, but got lucky when Todd Heltons line drive found Emmanuel Burrisss glove at second base.

Wison converted his first save since Sept. 21, but just barely. The 95 mph fastball he unleashed a night earlier only topped 90 mph a couple of times and Groeschner went to the mound after catcher Buster Posey signaled for him after a 1-0 pitch to Colvin. Wilson threw one more warmup pitch and continued, but looked out of sorts as he walked Colvin to force in a run.

He got Marco Scutaro to fly out to right field with the bases loaded to end it.

At the plate: Cabrera reached base three times and collected two RBI hits, capping a highly successful first road trip as a Giant. He hit safely in all six games, batting .385 with a home run and three doubles among his 10 hits.

Brandon Crawford continued to prove that he can hit left-handers; he had a double and single against Moyer and scored a run.

The Giants got their first run off Moyer in the third inning, when Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Brett Pill hit consecutive singles. Pills hit was a pop-up that stuck like a lob wedge in right-center field. Sandoval made a good one-out read, scoring easily from second base.

Struggling leadoff man Angel Pagan had his average drop to .095 before digging out a pitch for an RBI single in the sixth.

In the field: Second baseman Ryan Theriot didnt distinguish himself with the glove this spring, but he made a nice diving stop to his right and flipped to force Carlos Gonzalez in the fourth inning.

Bochy still made a defensive switch and took out Theriot for Emmanuel Burriss in the eighth inning. That turned out to be a brilliant move, as Burriss made a lunging catch of Todd Heltons line drive with the bases loaded in the ninth.

Fowler, the Rockies center fielder, demonstrated why Little League coaches always preach to use two hands. He nonchalantly dropped Theriots fly ball to start the sixth inning a two-base error that led to an unearned run.

Attendance: It was AARP day at Coors Field. The Rockies announced 25,860 paid. Many complained the music was too loud between innings.

Up next: The Giants will host their 13th home opener at AT&T Park, welcoming the Pittsburgh Pirates. Fridays game (1:35 PDT first pitch) pits Matt Cain against right-hander James McDonald.

Arroyo goes deep for second time, paces 4-3 win for the Giants


Arroyo goes deep for second time, paces 4-3 win for the Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — In a quiet moment in the dugout Friday, manager Bruce Bochy tried to figure out a nickname for his new budding star. During a week where Christian Arroyo has made the game look so easy, this has turned out to be the most difficult part. 

Bochy briefly settled on “Yo” before that was scuttled because the team’s video coordinator is Yo Miyamoto. Joe Panik said some players have tried C.A. or YoYo, but admitted that neither is all that good. The team’s Twitter account spent a few days trying to make Boss Baby a thing, but Arroyo wasn’t thrilled with that one and the experiment appears to be over. In a back room of the clubhouse, there’s a printout showing Arroyo and Buzz from “Home Alone,” but that comparison is much better made with Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman. 

Perhaps the answer is as simple as the path Arroyo’s bat takes to a fastball. As he watched Arroyo field grounders during batting practice, Dick Tidrow was asked about the 21-year-old. Tidrow, the team’s senior VP of player personnel, has seen and worked with Arroyo since he was drafted. 

“We always just called him The Kid,” Tidrow said. “He would turn around when I called him Kid.”

The Kid is growing up quickly. Arroyo’s second homer of the week was the game-winner Friday, an eighth-inning blast that put a lead in Mark Melancon’s hands. The new closer made sure the new third baseman’s homer didn’t go to waste, clinching a 4-3 win that got the Giants out of the National League West’s cellar. 

The homer might have surprised Arroyo as much as anyone. He came here with a reputation as a mature and talented hitter, but power is not his calling card. 

“I’m not trying to hit a homer there,” he said. “Get the head out, see a pitch over the plate, barrel something, just keep the line moving. I got a good pitch, elevated it, and fortunately it went out.”

Arroyo already speaks like a hitting coach, but he is not afraid to admit that there are things he doesn’t know. It’s easy to get film on opposing starters, but there’s little a rookie can do to prepare for late-inning pitching changes. Arroyo consulted Buster Posey and Conor Gillaspie before facing Ryan Buchter, who has been in the division for two years. Gillaspie told him Buchter’s fastball has some late life and gets on a hitter. 

“I wanted to see it and the first pitch was a little low so I got a good read on them,” Arroyo said. 

The second one was right at the belt and Arroyo pulled it down the line for his second big league homer. He had just three last year in Double-A, but the Giants felt the 36 doubles showed that power was on the way. 

“He’s got pop,” Bochy said. “He’s not a guy trying to hit homers. He tries to put a good swing on it. But he drives balls and you saw it tonight. We see him more as a gap guy, but he’ll get more power as he gets older. We’re not asking him to hit homers, trust me, but it’s good to see him letting it go.”

The homer secured a win on a night when a lot went right. Jeff Samardzija was sharp, paying for one pitch to Ryan Schimpf that left the park but otherwise pitching seven strong. Panik and Brandon Belt ignited the offense early and Michael Morse came through with a game-tying sacrifice fly in the fifth. Derek Law and Mark Melancon closed it out, with Melancon getting help from Panik, who made a spectacular tumbling catch on a flare to shallow right-center. It was a big first out given that Melancon was pitching for the third straight day. 

“It was going to be in no man’s land,” Panik said. “You give it everything you’ve got. Fortunately the ball stayed in the glove.”

When it was over, the youngest Giant was in for another round of interviews to cap a hectic week. On Monday he made his debut and on Tuesday he picked up his first hit. Wednesday brought the first homer and Thursday was the first multi-hit game. What will the weekend include? Maybe a real nickname? 

For now, the Giants are fine with leaning on The Kid, because many of them didn’t even know how young the star of the week was until he was a couple of days into his big league career.

“I was thinking he was 23 or 24,” Samardzija said. “This has been really impressive.”

Instant Replay: Arroyo's late-game heroics lifts Giants past Padres

Instant Replay: Arroyo's late-game heroics lifts Giants past Padres


SAN FRANCISCO — On Monday, Christian Arroyo made his MLB debut. Tuesday brought his first hit and on Wednesday it was the first homer. Thursday’s game was his first multi-hit game as a big leaguer. What was in store Friday? The best swing yet.

Arroyo hit a go-ahead shot to left while leading off the eighth, giving the Giants a 4-3 win in their series opener with the Padres. The player coaches simply call “The Kid” has two homers in his first five games, and both have come in huge spots. Friday’s sent another jolt through AT&T Park and got a lead to Mark Melancon, who closed out the Padres. 

For four innings, a long-haired right-hander was no-hitting the Padres. Jeff Samardzija was sharp early and he got a nice cushion in the first. Joe Panik and Brandon Belt led off with singles and Panik scored on Erick Aybar’s two-out error. A Conor Gillaspie knock made it 2-0. 

The first hit allowed by Samardzija was a painful one. He plunked Yangervis Solarte to open the fifth and Ryan Schimpf hit a long dinger to dead center to tie the game. Cory Spangenberg followed with a single to left that skipped under Belt’s glove. Spangenberg went to third on the play and scored on a bloop. 

Belt made up for the play in the bottom of the inning, beating the outfield shift with a double and scoring on Mike Morse’s sacrifice fly to right two batters later. Samardzija ran into trouble in the seventh, but with two in scoring position and one out, he got a strikeout and a grounder to third. The Giants put the go-ahead run on second in their half, but Hunter Pence and Morse struck out. 

Starting pitching report: Samardzija has allowed six homers. He’s tied for fourth in the NL with a handful of players, including Johnny Cueto and Matt Moore. 

Bullpen report: Melancon has five straight saves since blowing his first opportunity as a Giant. 

At the plate: Belt reached base four times. His on-base percentage is sitting at a cool .390. 

In the field: Panik made a brilliant diving catch in center for the first out of the ninth. 

Attendance: The Giants announced a sellout crowd. One of the fans looked just like Samardzija, possibly on purpose. 

Up next: Matt Cain has a 2.42 ERA but he left his last start with a tight hamstring. He’ll face Jhoulys Chacin (2-3, 5.90).