Giants

Bumgarner: 'Everybody knows what kind of spot we’re in'

Bumgarner: 'Everybody knows what kind of spot we’re in'

SAN FRANCISCO — In the darkest times, the Giants turn to, “We’ve been here before.”

As the second half spun out of control, they found calmness in the fact that Madison Bumgarner would throw a Wild Card game, and it ultimately worked out. Now down 0-2 to the Cubs in the NLDS, they are pulling confidence from a series from four years ago, a similar deficit that was overcome on the road in Cincinnati. 

This time, the Giants are returning home. They have Bumgarner lined up for the first winner-take-all game, followed by Matt Moore and Johnny Cueto. Bumgarner and Cueto were on different sides of that 2012 turnaround. Despite the current situation, it’s not something that has come up often since a 5-2 loss Saturday night. 

“There hasn’t been a whole lot of talk because everybody knows what kind of spot we’re in,” Bumgarner said. “The only thing we can do is come in and win tomorrow. That’s it. Win or go home.”

Bruce Bochy thinks that’s the best type of situation for his club. The Giants have repeatedly shown that they pull their best when the chips are down, and despite the second half slide, Bochy took confidence into the postseason because the Giants won four straight the final week when they absolutely had to. It was the only four-game winning streak after the All-Star break. The Giants had just two three-game runs during that time, and they’ll now need one against the best team in baseball. Otherwise, it’s time for the golf course.

Buster Posey, a key figure in that 2012 comeback, said the key to doing it again is to “compartmentalize as much as you can.”

“There’s no need to look further than Monday,” Posey said. “We’ve been able to do that. We caught a break in that Game 3 at Cincinnati. Hopefully, maybe we’ll catch another break and see what happens.”

The break four years ago came when Scott Rolen, a third baseman with sure hands, bobbled a Joaquin Arias grounder in extra innings. Before that game, Hunter Pence gave his famous speech. Bochy spoke to the team, too, but he said he’s not sure if he’ll pull a motivational tactic out of the book Monday afternoon. 

“I kind of try to read, try to get the feel, the pulse of the club and where we’re at,” Bochy said. “We have had meetings in the postseason, going back to Cincinnati. We had a couple meetings there when we got in that situation.

“Now, this club has a history -- that’s what you like about what’s going on now -- of finding a way to win that game they had to win and moving on. That experience, that’s so vital to draw on. If you don’t have that, they may not have that belief that you can do it. Well, they know that they have done it.”

--- Bochy said Eduardo Nuñez could be ready to start as soon as Game 4, if the Giants extend the series. He is apparently feeling much better. 

--- Javy Baez had an interesting Game 2, showing the highs and lows of a budding superstar. He was good defensively, and the read he got on Kyle Hendricks’ single was one of the best you’ll ever see. Joe Maddon said of Baez's instincts, “Either you’ve got it or you don’t. Either you come with the bells and whistles or you don’t.”

Baez also showed the swagger that has gotten him into trouble. In Game 1, he very nearly bat-flipped a deep out. In Game 2, he was thrown out at second after strutting out of the box on another smash to left. Maddon said he didn’t need to have a conversation with Baez. 

“I gave him a fist bump and looked him in the eye,” Maddon said. “He knew what that was all about. Like all of us, we know when we screw up.” Maddon didn’t seem bothered that the Giants were bothered. “The pitch inside from (Hunter) Strickland probably had a little bit of a post-it on it,” he said. 

--- There has been a lot of talk over the last month about the 0-for-62 (now 0-for-64) record when the Giants trail heading into the ninth. On the flip side, the Cubs are 8-53 when trailing after eight innings. They went 92-1 in the regular season when leading after eight innings. The Giants went 71-9 when leading after eight. 

--- After the first round of BP, players always make one (usually lazy) trip around the bases to get loose. Munenori Kawasaki, a Hall-of-Fame clubhouse character, is the first player I’ve seen slide into bases during BP.

--- Only four or five Giants took the field for the afternoon workout. It appeared Conor Gillaspie, the grinder, was the only one to hit. 

Unhappy Buster Posey bashes Phillies closer after hit-by-pitch

Unhappy Buster Posey bashes Phillies closer after hit-by-pitch

In what was set up to be a pivotal matchup of the game turned into a heated exchange.

Buster Posey stepped into the batter's box in the bottom of the eighth inning Sunday against Phillies closer Hector Neris.

But Posey never got to swing the bat. On the first pitch, Neris drilled the Giants catcher in the ribs with a 95 MPH fastball.

Posey whinced in pain and as he walked to first base, he appeared to ask Neris if the pitch was on purpose.

After the game, Posey was asked about the kerfuffle.

"I'm pretty certain he hit me on purpose. And it's just a shame because I wanted to compete that at-bat and he's got good stuff. But I guess he didn't feel like he couldn't get me out," Posey told reporters after the game.

Posey was asked if he could think of any incidents in previous games against the Phillies that could have led to the hit-by-pitch. He said no and asked the reporters if they could think of anything.

Posey's comments were brought to Neris after the game.

"It's stupid because nobody who watched that said, 'Oh he hit him on purpose in that situation,'" Neris told reporters, according to the Philly Inquirer.

Posey and Neris have faced each other just one time in the past. In the ninth inning of the June 3 matchup in Philadelphia, Posey flew out to left field.

Strickland hammered by Phils, Giants officially eliminated from NL West contention

Strickland hammered by Phils, Giants officially eliminated from NL West contention

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner pitched six innings in one of his best starts this season, took a line drive off his left shin and hit an RBI single that temporarily gave the Giants an early lead.

The reward? A heaping of praise from manager Bruce Bochy, handshakes from his teammates and another no-decision - Bumgarner's third in eight starts since coming off the disabled list.

Philadelphia rookie Rhys Hoskins homered again, Pedro Florimon contributed with his bat and arm, and the Phillies scored three runs in the eighth to beat the Giants 5-2 on Sunday.

In what has been a theme for San Francisco much of the season, Bumgarner's efforts were overshadowed by another meltdown from the Giants' bullpen.

"I thought it was a good day for Madison," Bochy said. "We had it lined up like we wanted as far as the bullpen. (Hunter Strickland) just had an off day making some mistakes."

Bumgarner allowed one run and four hits. He stayed in despite taking a sharp line drive off his left shin in the second inning by Nick Williams - earlier this month, Williams hit Mets ace Jacob deGrom in the triceps with a line drive, forcing him from the game.

"I tried to do a kick save but I wasn't very good at soccer," Bumgarner said. "It almost worked out."

Hoskins connected for a solo drive in the ninth inning, making him the first Phillies player in at least 100 years to hit five home runs in his first 11 major league games.

"I got to better counts, I think this week, and the results show," Hoskins said.

Florimon hit a two-run single off Strickland (2-3) to cap a three-run eighth inning that made it 4-2. Florimon also had an RBI double off Bumgarner in the second, then made a sparkling defensive play in left field to throw out Buster Posey at the plate in the bottom of the inning.

It was Florimon's first major league game in left field.

"I just try to catch the ball and throw the ball to home plate and see what happens," Florimon said. "I made a good throw."

Adam Morgan (2-1) retired three batters for the win, a day after throwing just one pitch and getting the victory.

Hector Neris pitched 1 1/3 innings for his 15th save. He struck out Pablo Sandoval with the bases loaded to end the eighth after hitting Posey in the back with a pitch, then fanned Denard Span with two on in the ninth to end it.

The Phillies won the season series against the Giants for the first time since 2011.

Philadelphia trailed 2-1 going into the eighth. Hoskins and Maikel Franco hit consecutive one-out singles before Jorge Alfaro tied it with an RBI single. After Williams singled to load the bases, Florimon slapped a 1-2 pitch into right field.

Posey had two hits and an RBI, extending his hitting streak against the Phillies to 22 games. Kelby Tomlinson scored a run and Ryder Jones doubled and scored for San Francisco.

PAINED POSEY:
Posey had a rough afternoon physically. In addition to taking a 95 mph fastball in the back, Posey also appeared to get hurt while tagging out a sliding Cameron Perkins at the plate in the second.

Afterward, the Giants' All-Star catcher voiced his displeasure about Neris.

"I'm certain that he hit me on purpose," Posey said. "It's just a shame because I wanted to compete that at-bat and he's got good stuff. But I guess he didn't feel like he could get me out."

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Giants 2B Joe Panik (concussion symptoms) continues to make steady progress and could come off the disabled list in time to join San Francisco on its upcoming road trip that begins Friday in Arizona.

UP NEXT:
Phillies: The team gets an off day before hosting Miami in a doubleheader Tuesday. RHP Dan Straily (7-8, 3.80 ERA) pitches in the first game and RHP Jose Urena (11-5, 3.61 ERA) goes in the nightcap.

Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (1-2, 4.91) faces Milwaukee on Monday.