Daily 5 -- Do closers belong in the H.O.F.?


Daily 5 -- Do closers belong in the H.O.F.?

Have you caught your breath after the "Moneyball" premiere in Oakland on Monday night? Good. We now return to real baseball, with our daily dose of MLB-related questions that give you an opportunity to weigh in on the most significant on-the-field issues of the day. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below, or your genius goes wasted.

1) Mariano Rivera is the new all-time saves leader. First-ballot Hall of Famer?In a word, YES. The closer role has changed over the years, and that's why the Cooperstown question exists, but this man is by far the best of his generation at his position. Ergo, he's in.

2) If we're allowing closers into the Hall, shouldn't we drop the aversion to designated hitters?Again, YES. It's a position; it's right there in the AL box score: "DH." You can't deny that. Nor can whatever your thoughts are on the position prevent the best at it to be recognized in the game's history.3) How many years, and how much money, would represent your ceiling for bringing back Carlos Beltran to the Giants?It's almost certainly going to take three years, so lock that in. But at what cost? Any more than 15 million per year seems a reach for a 34-year-old.4) Is A's catcher Kurt Suzuki having a down year, or is this who he really is?Remember, his rep when he came to the bigs was as a defensive whiz whose offensive upside was minimal. He changed that by swinging a hot bat the first couple years, but now it looks like the label was dead-on.5) Is the notion of power on the corners out-dated?There was a time when the conventional wisdom said your first and third basemen, and your left and right fielders, needed to bring the bang. That was before shortstop and catcher became "offensive" positions.Don't forget to leave your thoughts, folks. Let us know how you'd handle today's Daily 5. Reader with the best answers gets a month's supply of Dutch Crunch sandwich rolls.

Samardzija dials up seven strong innings as Giants take series from Pirates


Samardzija dials up seven strong innings as Giants take series from Pirates


SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt doubled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning in support of starter Jeff Samardzija, who threw seven strong innings in the San Francisco Giants' 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.

Pinch-hitter Miguel Gomez doubled to lead off the seventh for the Giants, who won their second straight and third of five. Denard Span sacrificed him to third and Belt drove a ball to left field that Starling Marte seemed to have trouble finding. It fell in front of him, allowing Gomez to score.

Adam Frazier drove in a run for the Pirates, who lost their fourth in five following a six-game winning streak.

Samardzija (5-11) allowed a run and four hits, striking out eight and walking two in winning for the first time since July 2. He had allowed 12 runs in his previous 10 1/3 innings.

Pirates starter Trevor Williams pitched well, allowing a run and five hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out two.

Tony Watson (5-3) pitched the seventh and took the loss.

Hunter Strickland pitched a spotless eighth and Sam Dyson worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Each pitcher worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the early going. Samardzija struck out Josh Bell to open the second and then allowed four consecutive baserunners, including Frazier's double. He helped himself with a bare-handed grab of high hopper to record an out at the plate.

The Giants loaded the bases with one out in the first, with Brandon Crawford driving in a run on a groundout.

Pirates: OF Gregory Polanco (hamstring) is resuming baseball activities. He is hitting and playing catch and riding on a stationary bike. ... Austin Meadows, the Pirates' top prospect, has been hitting and throwing and is scheduled to resume playing games next week.

Giants: OF Carlos Moncrief had his contract purchased from Sacramento and will be used as a pinch-hitter and spot starter. ... RHP Johnny Cueto (blister) threw 45 pitches in a bullpen session before the game. He's scheduled to throw again Friday and if all goes well, will likely return to action. ... RHP Mark Melancon (right pronater strain) threw 30 pitches before the game and will throw again in Los Angeles either another bullpen or to hitters. He could start a rehab assignment soon after.

Pirates: Chad Kuhl (3-7, 4.92 ERA) gets the call in Friday's series opener at San Diego. He's won his only start against the Padres.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore (3-10, 5.82 ERA) starts the series opener at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. He's 2-2 in four career starts at Dodger Stadium.

Eduardo Nuñez thanks Giants after trade: 'I will be forever grateful'

Eduardo Nuñez thanks Giants after trade: 'I will be forever grateful'

Eduardo Nuñez's stint with the San Francisco Giants lasted just under a year.

After the Giants acquired the infielder from the Twins on July 28, 2016, they shipped him off to Boston for two minor league pitchers on July 25, 2017.

On Wednesday, the day after Nuñez was traded mid-game, he went to Instagram to thank the Giants' organization and the fans for his year in San Francisco. 

Between the second half of 2016 and the first half of 2017, Nuñez slashed .293./331/.417 and swiped 31 bags. 

The Giants and his teammates also took to social media to thank Nuñez for his time.