EXTRA BAGGS: Casilla likely to avoid DL, Posey moseys, etc.


EXTRA BAGGS: Casilla likely to avoid DL, Posey moseys, etc.


SAN FRANCISCO The Giants are off to San Diego and theyhope to have a full complement in their bullpen.

Closer Santiago Casilla was unavailable for a thirdconsecutive day because of a bone bruise in his knee, but Giants manager BruceBochy said the right-hander was improved. There was no discussion of placinghim on the disabled list.

Actually, hes doing pretty good, Bochy said.

The Giants also stayed away from using Sergio Romo, who hashis own issues after aggravating his subluxed knee during the Cubs series.Bochy was hopeful Romo would be ready to go as well when the Padres seriesbegins Tuesday night.

Not only did Buster Posey become the first catcher in 36years to draw four walks in a game, but he also did it while running the countto 3-2 each time. He saw a total of 27 pitches, which came in very handy to getJeff Samardzija and his nasty arsenal out of the game after five innings.

RECAP: Baggs' Instant Replay -- Giants 3, Cubs 2

The Giants made Samardzija throw 110 pitches. (No wonderStarlin Castro lost track of the outs in the fifth inning. He was listening tothe five-inning, 110-pitch lullabye.)

Posey became the third catcher in the Giants San Franciscoera to draw four walks in a game. The others were Dave Rader (in 1975) and DickDietz (in 1969). But put an asterisk on Raders game, since wily Cardinals managerRed Schoendienst intentionally walked him three times.

Posey also joined Juan Uribe and Dustan Mohr in a veryunique club. They are the only Giants other than Barry Bonds to have afour-walk game since 2000. (Bonds had 16 of them over those years, includingthree five-walk games.)

BAGGARLY: Giants establish winning pattern, sweep Cubs

Yes, Uribe. I still can't figure out what happened that dayat Citi Field in 2000. He saw 19 pitches and didnt let the bat leave hisshoulder once.

Well, it was New York, so that explains it, a wisecrackerin uniform told me. He was out all night.

I'm sitting in the press box awaiting the Giants' first-round draft pick.

Every draft is important, even if you don't have a top-10 choice. So this one is no different, especially because, even if the minor league standings don't leave this impression, it hasn't been a great year for the farm system thus far.

Gary Brown is not going to fly through the minors the way everyone thought and it looks like he'll need to overhaul his unorthodox swing. Kyle Crick is not the same kind of strike thrower that Madison Bumgarner was as a teenager and Matt Cain became in short order. And Heath Hembree, after a great start, is not being used on consecutive days at Triple-A Fresno. It sounds as if he's being coaxed along, possibly because of arm tenderness.

I always expect the Giants to take a pitcher, since they evaluate and develop them so well. But I will only make one prediction as the time nears for the Giants to be on the clock: They will describe their choice as "the best player available" and "someone we had at the top of our board" and they will be "very excited that he was available."

Headed for 100 losses, Giants quietly give up on "Don't Stop Believin'" tradition

Headed for 100 losses, Giants quietly give up on "Don't Stop Believin'" tradition

SAN FRANCISCO — At some point over the last month, the Giants quietly stopped playing “Don’t Stop Believin’” in the late innings of games they trail. 

It’s unclear exactly when it started, or who made the decision. A number of team employees, surveyed over the past week, had noticed. But nobody knew the exact details. Perhaps the longtime staple of AT&T Park was shelved on July 9, when FanGraphs dropped the playoff odds to 0.00 percent for the first time in a lost season. Maybe it was during a bad loss before that or a bad loss after that. You can take your pick. This season has been filled with so many of them it’s hard to keep track. 

Friday’s stood out, in part because this was the kind of night where Journey briefly made sense. The Giants gave Jeff Samardzija a 4-0 lead in the first inning against a Padres team that spent the early innings kicking and throwing the ball all over the field and making mistakes on the bases. It was 5-1 after three innings. By the sixth, the Padres had tied it. By the seventh, they had the lead. By the eighth, it was a three-run lead. 

Before the bottom of the eighth, the in-stadium crew played Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” for a crowd of a few thousand. Last weekend, Huey Lewis was the fill-in for Journey. On Wednesday, a game the Giants actually came back to win, the scoreboard played a singalong game to “Happy Together” by The Turtles. 

On this night, the Giants actually would come back. Conor Gillaspie hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth, tying the game and sending it into extras. The Giants had trailed by three with one out remaining, but the momentum provided by Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Gillaspie was just a blip. The Padres scored three in the 11th off George Kontos, who has pitched five times over the last eight days and was supposed to get a night to rest. 

Kontos was the last to give up runs in a 12-9 loss, but hardly the only one. Samardzija took blame after failing to get through five with a big early cushion. That put pressure on the tired bullpen, and the relievers blew it over and over again. The Padres scored runs in six consecutive innings at one point and had 20 hits. 

“We couldn’t stop them,” Bruce Bochy said, shaking his head. 

Nothing can apparently stop this skid. The Giants are 37-61 and six games behind the Padres. They are much closer to the No. 1 draft pick than they are to fourth place in their division. 

“Don’t Stop Believin’” survived the 2013 season. It survived 2015 and the second half of last year. Nothing can survive this season.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres


SAN FRANCISCO — A few hundred, maybe a few thousand, stayed to watch the Giants late Friday night. The Giants did not make it worth the effort. 

Conor Gillaspie’s two-out homer in the ninth sent the game to extras, but the Giants lost 12-9 in a game that lasted nearly five hours. The Giants had trailed by three with two outs and nobody on in the ninth. They tied it. Instead of carrying that momentum over, they suffered yet another demoralizing loss. 

They have dropped both games of this series and they trail the Padres -- who had 20 hits -- by six games in the race for fourth place. Those are facts. Here are five more, mostly from earlier, when a young man harbored dreams of leaving a ballpark before 1 a.m. … 

—- Hector Sanchez took Jeff Samardzija deep to lead off the fourth, and at this point it’s flat-out hilarious. Sanchez has seven homers this season and three have come against his former team. He hit two homers at AT&T Park in 296 plate appearances as a Giant, and the fourth-inning blast gave him three in 11 plate appearances as a Padre. He also doubled in a run and singled. It’s an all-time revenge tour. Just go along for the ride. 

—- There were a ton of scouts on hand to watch two starting pitchers who could move in the next 10 days, and they left disappointed. Trevor Cahill gave up six earned on seven hits and four walks and lasted just 3 2/3 innings. Jeff Samardzija gave up eight hits and five earned in 4 1/3 innings. 

—- I dunno man, it’s really hard getting to five of these every night. Sam Dyson was good again. 

—- Gillaspie's pinch-hit homer was the sixth of his career. He's a hero around these parts, but perhaps Bobby Evans should see if a team out there was watching Friday and remembers his October run. Gillaspie could help a contender. 

—- When MLB inevitably introduces a pitch clock and pitchers start complaining, this will be the game I tell them to sit down and try to watch start to finish.