Baggs' Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Giants 3 (12)

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Baggs' Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Giants 3 (12)

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SAN FRANCISCO Former As teammates Barry Zito and Joe Blanton traded twin outings.

Nate Schierholtz and John Mayberry Jr. traded two-homer performances.

After nine nullifying innings that felt like a tic-tac-toe marathon, the Giants and Phillies decided Sundays outcome in extras at Citizens Bank Park.

The Giants bullpen finally blinked in the 12th, when Jimmy Rollins one-out single off Brad Penny brought in Carlos Ruiz to send the Phillies to a 4-3 victory.

The Giants still managed to take two of three in both Atlanta and Philadelphia to complete a successful road trip. But they missed a chance to sweep a three-game series in Philly for the first time since 2004.

Starting pitching report
The Giants had a 4.85 road ERA when this trip began the third worst in the major leagues. So Zito stepped up in a huge way with a solid outing in Tuesdays series opener at Atlanta.

Zito ended the trip with another highly effective start at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, holding the Phillies to three runs on five hits in seven innings while setting a season high with seven strikeouts.

There were more than a few white-knuckle moments, though. The Phillies hit him mighty hard in the first inning but only got one run out of the deal.

Zito caught his first break when third baseman Pablo Sandoval snagged leadoff man Jimmy Rollins line drive. Shane Victorino walked and scored on Chase Utleys triple as the UCLA alum got the better of Zito.

But Zito, the former USC lefty, got a big assist from another Bruins alum. After Zito hit Ryan Howard with a pitch, shortstop Brandon Crawford made a deft backhand pickup of Hunter Pences grounder and threw off his back foot to start a double play.

It was a rough beginning, but Zito settled down and flashed some of the best offspeed stuff hes thrown all year. He escaped another jam in the third when he struck out Howard on a curveball that followed a series of cutters.

But Mayberry ripped a hanging, 3-2 slider in the fourth inning for a tying, solo shot. Mayberry jumped on the first pitch he saw in his next at-bat another slider, this one located a bit better that put the Phillies ahead.

Zito was undeterred by the two shots. He struck out the next two batters and issued just one walk on the day. Hes only issued two walks over his last two starts.

Bullpen report
Chase Utley and Ryan Howard probably see Javier Lopezs sidearm coming at them in their nightmares. The lefty got a double-play grounder and a strikeout from the Phillies duo in the eighth inning and Sergio Romo did his thing in a scoreless ninth.

Jeremy Affeldt was next with 1 23 innings, and Clay Hensley stranded the only runner he inherited.

Penny ran into trouble, though. First, Ty Wigginton hit a deep fly ball that Schierholtz caught as he crashed into the right field wall. But there was no defense for a walk to Carlos Ruiz, and the Phillies had runners at the corners after Laynce Nix singled down the right field line.

Rollins rifled his hit to center to end it.

At the plate
Schierholtz is really making a statement now.

Starting for the third consecutive day, the disgruntled outfielder tagged a 2-0 fastball to lead off the game. Then he barreled up a 2-1 changeup with two outs in the eighth to tie the score and prevent Blanton from winning.

The Giants only managed one other scoring rally against Blanton, and that came in the fourth when Buster Posey singled and Pablo Sandoval crushed a ball that hit a foot below the top of the wall in left-center. The hard carom allowed Posey to score from first base to give the Giants a 2-1 lead.

The Giants couldnt get Sandoval home, though. They also failed to push ahead after Schierholtzs shot in the eighth got them even. Ryan Theriot followed with a double and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel elected to have Blanton intentionally walk Melky Cabrera. It was a classic case of pick your poison, and Posey almost dug in his fangs. Right fielder Hunter Pence, a tangle of gawky limbs, barely managed to haul in Poseys deep drive with a basket catch on the warning track.

Crawford hit a leadoff double in the 12th, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy didn't have epically struggling first baseman Brandon Belt sacrifice him to third. Belt struck out to finish another 0-for-5 game. he's in a 2-for-27 slump since the All-Star break. Pinch hitter Emmanuel Burriss couldn't move Crawford, either. After an intentional walk to Schierholtz, Ryan Theriot flied out. It was the Giant's last chance.

In field
Crawford maintained his exceptional play at shortstop. He and Sandoval kept the Phillies from putting up a crooked number in the first inning.

Theriot added his highlight moment in the sixth when the second baseman barehanded Chase Utleys drag bunt and threw on the run to nip him at first base.

And Schierholtz nearly made the best play of all, when he came up firing after charging Blantons single in the third. Schierholtzs throw to first base was a split-second too late.

Attendance
The Phillies announced 44,551 paid. No active members of the Cody Ross fan club, we think.

Up next
The Giants must haul themselves across the country and dive right back into their next homestand on Monday. Ryan Vogelsong (7-4, 2.81) will oppose left-hander Clayton Richard (7-10, 3.86) and the San Diego Padres, who just locked up Carlos Quentin on a three-year contract and are negotiating to extend closer Huston Street as well. Madison Bumgarner (11-6, 3.12) opposes right-hander Edinson Volquez (6.7, 3.34) on Tuesday. Tim Lincecum will pitch Wednesdays series finale against right-hander Jason Marquis (3-5, 3.79).

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 bump Sunday night in a Giants jersey for the first time since being placed on the DL due to a dirt bike accident on April 21.

Bumgarner took the mound for the Arizona Rookie League Giants against the Arizona Rookie League Angels 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.”