EXTRA BAGGS: Bruce's 'embarrassing' moment, etc.


EXTRA BAGGS: Bruce's 'embarrassing' moment, etc.

SAN FRANCISCO So what happened to Cincinnati Reds rightfielder Jay Bruce on that final play Sunday?

A speck of dirt in the eye? A gust of wind? Seagulldroppings?

"I was not as close to the wall as I thought I was," said Bruce, who whiffedon Angel Pagans double that hit the track, giving the Giants a 4-3, walk-offvictory. "I missed it. It's really, really embarrassing. I missed it. Itshould be an error. I pride myself in my defense. That's justembarrassing."

Bruce picked up the ball off a bounce and let his chestthump the wall, knowing the gravity of his sin. Long after the Giants hadfinished celebrating and were already off the field, Bruce was still walking,ever so slowly, back to the losing side.

"It is a tough play," Bruce said. "Butthat's not an excuse. You've got to play here and so does everyone else. My jobis to catch the ball and I didn't. It's embarrassing. It's really a tough way tolose."

Giants manager Bruce Bochys view: I was just hoping itdreach the wall. Once I saw him camped under it, I thought hed catch it. Thisis a tough right field and we caught a break.

We know it. Well take it.

In the hours prior to Sundays game, Buster Posey was makinga case for closer Santiago Casilla to make the All-Star team.

Hopefully Casilla is in a little bit of the discussion,Posey said. Hes been solid for us all year.

Posey stumped for Casilla again after the game.

BAGGARLY: Snubbed Vogelsong -- 'People don't take me seriously'

Gosh, he did a great job, Posey said. Hes probably theunsung hero of that game.

That isnt usually how you describe a closer after he blowsa save. Casilla entered after Javier Lopez gave up a leadoff single to JayBruce, then served up three hits of his own.

They werent really bad pitches, Posey said. They werentsmoked.

The Reds tied the game when .140-hitting Miguel Cairosingled with the bases loaded. But Casilla didnt break down. He threwstraight-up nasty stuff to strike out Ryan Hanigan and pinch hitter WilsonValdez, then got Zack Cozart to hit a spinning line drive to first base.

When the Giants won in the bottom of the inning, Casillabecame the winning pitcher.

What a job by Casilla to settle down and strike out thenext two hitters, Bochy said. Bases loaded, tie ball game, nobody out toget out of that and win, thats a great feeling.

Buster Posey might not be the best player in the National League. But I'm not sure that there's a better two-strike hitter.

Heres Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo on those brushbackpitches to Ryan Vogelsong:

I played with Ryan a long time," Arroyo told reporters."I called over there and talked to him. He had every right to beirritated. You can't get up near a guy's head. I hit (Buster) Posey up near hishead (earlier in the game)

"They've got every right in the world to be irritated.

"I knew it wasn't going to get out of hand. Ryan knows me well enough toknow there wasn't any malice. In the heat of battle, man, obviously guys aregoing to get frustrated and have allegiance to their club."

The Reds and Giants dont have a feud. The Reds andCardinals? Now thats a skirmish with some deep-seated hatred.

Reds manager Dusty Baker (who wore a Giants uni earlier inthe day as part of the 2002 World Series team reunion) let it be known that hethought NL manager and former Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa was being pettyby leaving off Brandon Phillips and Johnny Cueto. Both players were at thecenter of some pretty heated back-and-forth with the Cardinals over the years.

La Russa shot back by saying Baker was questioning myintegrity and that he might have named Cueto to the team if he wasnt pitchingfor the Reds next Sunday.

This one isnt over.

In case you were wondering, Melky Cabrera wasnt followingorders when he sacrificed in the seventh inning. Bochy said he wouldnt ask aguy with a major league leading 111 hits to lay one down.

He saw the third baseman back, Bochy said. He was buntingfor a hit there.

It still put Ryan Theriot in scoring position forPosey, who brought him home with the tiebreaking run.

Theriot is hurting. He already had a pretty bad rash on hisleg from sliding. It seemed he was in the dirt all day Sunday. The day offcomes at a good time for him.

Hell take a little more ribbing on the plane, though. Heswearing his plaid sportcoat again. Wimp Sanderson should figure out that itsmissing from his closet any day now.

You knew theyd be tweaked over in Flushing about PabloSandoval starting the All-Star Game in front of David Wright. Theres littledoubt that Wright is more deserving.

But theres a difference between stewing and venting,especially if youre a high-level official like Mets GM Sandy Alderson.

Alderson, who is smarter than you and will make sure you areaware of it, decided to go to his Twitter account for the first time sinceApril 12. And this time, he wasnt posting about his dog, Buddy.

Wright vs.Sandoval: A city of 8 million was outvoted by acity of 800,000.

Well have to teach Mr. Alderson a little something aboutthe definition of metropolitan area. But since his rip was just as directedat Mets fans as Giants fans, well leave him to the local fallout.

Matt Cain was reminded that he couldnt pitch in theAll-Star Game in either of his first two years on the club. Once, he pitched onthe Sunday before the game. The other time, he was hit on the elbow by a linedrive.

Tim Stauffer, said Cain, recalling the San Diego Padresbatter. Pitchers are mean.

Every single Giant on the ballot finished in the top five at their position except for Aubrey Huff, who was 14th among outfielders. I wonder if any smart alecks wrote him in at second base.

Regulars in lineup continue to scuffle, Giants end up with series split

Regulars in lineup continue to scuffle, Giants end up with series split

SAN FRANCISCO — The momentum generated by Christian Arroyo and Michael Morse late Wednesday night lasted just a few hours. By the end of this four-game series, the Giants were left with a harsh reality: Even with two injections of new blood, they are not hitting. 

Arroyo drove in another run Thursday, but that was it for a lineup that couldn’t support Matt Moore’s effort. The bullpen, which had kept Bruce Bochy’s guys in close games all series, finally broke in the 10th. The Dodgers walked away with a 5-1 win and a split of a series that was rather uninspiring for both sides. 

After scoring 10 runs on the last road trip, the Giants scored just eight during the four games against the Dodgers. Three of those RBI came from Arroyo, called up Monday. A fourth came from Morse, called up Wednesday.

“We’ve got to get this offense going,” Bochy said. “It’s a better offense than what we’re doing right now. You need to find a way to put a few runs on the board. We had our chances, we just couldn’t find ways to get the big hit.”

With Denard Span out for at least another week, Bochy moved Hunter Pence to the top of the lineup. His temporary No. 3 hitter against lefties, Eduardo Nuñez, has one hit in his last 20 at-bats. Buster Posey, the cleanup hitter, is batting .357, but he has driven in just three runs this month. With two on and one out in the eighth, he bounced into a double play. The production closer to the bottom of the order has been nonexistent, leading to constant shuffling that has moved Nuñez and Belt to left at times. Bochy said the staff will continue to search of a lineup that works. 

“You talk about it and do thing to adjust, and it will get better, but right now we’ve got some guys who aren’t swinging the bat well, to be honest,” he said. “You look at the order and we don’t have a lot of guys swinging well.”

The list does not include Arroyo, the rookie who will eventually have to deal with adjustments from pitchers. It doesn’t appear that’ll be a problem. Arroyo has been making adjustments from at-bat to at-bat. He did so against Sergio Romo for his first career homer and said he learned about the depth of Julio Urias’ curveball during their first two battles Thursday. In the sixth, the 21-year-old Arroyo drove in the game-tying run against the 20-year-old Urias. The lefty had walked Posey to face Arroyo, who singled up the middle. 

“He handles himself so well,” Bochy said. “They walked Buster and he smokes the ball. This kid has shown he’s not in awe. The upper deck, the bright lights, he comes to play.”

Arroyo’s effort briefly backed Moore, who was sharp in seven innings. Moore struck out eight, six of them looking, but he didn’t get much help and the bullpen fell apart in the 10th with a series of walks.

Bochy challenged his starters on Saturday at Coors Field and they responded with a strong series back home. The bullpen was tested during the first week but — Thursday’s result aside — it has settled down. The Giants are not as worried about their pitching as they were as they flew back from Denver. They know, however, that this team is going nowhere if two runs per game continues to be the nightly output. 

“We’ll tweak it again,” Bochy said of his lineup. “We'll see if we can get this thing right.”

Instant Replay: Moore tosses gem, but Giants lose to Dodgers in extras

Instant Replay: Moore tosses gem, but Giants lose to Dodgers in extras


SAN FRANCISCO — Quietly over the past couple of weeks, Bruce Bochy’s bullpen had started to settle. Bochy praised the group before Thursday’s game, noting that roles were being defined by pitchers who entered the series finale with the Dodgers with a 0.94 collective ERA this season. That changed in the 10th inning Thursday.

Three relievers combined to give up four runs on four walks and three singles. The implosion ended with a 5-1 loss to the Dodgers and a split of this four-game series. 

For most of the game, this was a day when youth shined. Corey Seager celebrated his 23rd birthday with a solo homer in the first on a two-strike pitch from Matt Moore that caught the heart of the plate. The Giants will be dealing with Seager for years, and if all goes according to plan, there will be years of Julio Urias vs. Christian Arroyo battles, too. 

The 21-year-old third baseman won the first matchup, lining a single to center. Arroyo flew out in his second at-bat against the 20-year-old Urias, but they faced off a third time in a big spot. Brandon Belt drew a one-out walk in the sixth and went to third when a pickoff throw skipped down the line. After an intentional walk of Buster Posey, Arroyo lined another one back up the middle. Urias stuck his glove up but it ticked off and into center for a game-tying single. 

Arroyo ended the young lefty’s day. Moore was done after seven sparkling innings. He struck out eight, six of them looking. 

The game went to extras, and Cory Gearrin walked pinch-hitter Adrian Gonzalez to lead off the 10th. Chase Utley was called up to bunt but he couldn’t get it down. Instead, he hit an infield single off Steven Okert that stayed true to the third-base line. After a walk of Yasmani Grandal, the third straight pinch-hitter, Andrew Toles lined a single to center to give the Dodgers a lead and the wheels soon came off. 

Utley alertly tagged up and scored on a pop-up to foul territory. Justin Turner’s single extended the lead to three and Hunter Strickland’s four-pitch walk of Chris Taylor pushed another across. 

Starting pitching report: Moore gave up 19 hits and 11 earned runs in his two previous starts, but the Dodgers had just two hits, the Seager homer and a Chris Taylor single. Taylor reached third with one out, but Moore got Scott Van Slyke and Cody Bellinger to go down looking. 

Bullpen report: Mark Melancon came on in a non-save situation for a second straight day and pitched a scoreless ninth. 

At the plate: Buster Posey’s hitting streak ended at 12 games. He twice bounced into double plays.

In the field: Posey chased a high pop-up down the right field line in the fourth, but he was going to come up short. Kelby Tomlinson came out of nowhere with the helping hand, making a running catch near the visiting bullpen. Posey smiled and shook his head as Tomlinson whipped the ball back to the infield. 

Attendance: The Giants said they sold out a 500th consecutive game.

Up next: The Giants have a three-city road trip coming up, so it’s time to take advantage of a weekend at home against the Padres. Jeff Samardzija and Luis Perdomo get the opener.