EXTRA BAGGS: Flashbacks for Jonathan Sanchez, etc.


EXTRA BAGGS: Flashbacks for Jonathan Sanchez, etc.


DENVER Jonathan Sanchez walked two and threw a wild pitchin a two-run first inning, but he might have fared the best among the Rockiespitchers to take the mound in Fridays 16-4 loss to the Giants.

The only batter he faced that was a 2010 World Seriesteammate was Buster Posey, and even the two of them did not work together forvery long.

Poseys impressions?

I guess you always wonder when you catch a guy what itd belike to face him, said Posey, who walked and singled against Sanchez. And youknow, his stuffs still pretty good. Hes struggling with command a little bit,but the stuff looks pretty good.

Sanchez hasnt fared well in any of his three starts sincethe pitching-poor Rockies picked him up from the Kansas City Royals. But hesbeen a cool customer with the reporters.

Nothing was wrong, Sanchez said. I just need to be moreaggressive.

It's hard to believe, since 2010 wasn't that long ago. But the other starters in the Giants lineup were all new to Sanchez. Angel Pagan was with the Mets in 2010, Ryan Theriot was with the Cubs and Dodgers, Melky Cabrera was with the Braves, Hunter Pence was with the Astros, Marco Scutaro was with the Red Sox and Brett Pill was a non-roster guy at Triple-A Fresno. That leaves Joaquin Arias, who was in Frisco -- and I know better than to make that reference to the City by the Bay. Arias was actually in Frisco, Texas, rehabbing his elbow for the Texas Rangers' Double-A affiliate.

It never ceases to amaze me how paths diverge and intersect in this game.

I asked Posey about swinging at a 3-0 pitch when the Giantsheld a six-run lead in the eighth inning. (He fouled it off, and stroked athree-run homer on the next offering.)

Some enforcers of baseballs unwritten rules would say thatPosey committed a faux pas. Then again, those rules dont usually apply atCoors Field.

I dont think so, Posey said. You see how they scoredfour runs quickly the previous inning.

You cant blame Posey for swinging at anything that looksgood. Hes hitting .463 with five home runs and 22 RBIs since the All-Starbreak.

Ryan Vogelsong said his time on the bases didnt tire himout in the seventh inning, when his one-hit shutout quickly vanished amid thatfour-run outburst.

But Vogelsong was rocksteady yet again. His quality-startsstreak ended at 16 but hes now 20-for-20 completing six innings. Theres nominimizing how important that is to the Giants, particularly in the first gameof a three-game series at Coors Field.

Its a tough place to pitch, Vogelsong said. The balldoesnt always do what you want it to do. I was just trying to keep them offthe board as long as I could. Just start strong, hold strong and not make ourguys play catch-up.

Vogelsong said he adjusted for his curveball at altitude bytaking something off it and trying to throw it down in the zone. Some pitcherswould just scrap the curve. Vogelsong kept mixing as best he could.

His biggest pitch of the night was the bases-loaded,double-play grounder he got from Jordan Pacheco to end the fourth inning.

What was the pitch?

Curveball, he said.

And right there, you begin to understand why Vogelsong has found a way to compete. Every single time he's taken the mound.

Hey, what about Vogelsongs first extra-base hit of theseason?

Every squirrel finds a nut, he said, smirking.

This squirrel was a shortstop at Kutztown University, sobelieve me, he was not happy about that .056 average he dragged into the game.

Hunter Pence got his first hit as a Giant out of the way,which must be a relief. Its also no small relief for the team to win in anoffensive hailstorm. Its hard enough when youre on the schneid with your newteam. Its even harder when nobody else is hitting around you. So this resultshould help Pence settle in, Id imagine.

Melky Cabrera really hit the ground hard on his slide intothird base in the seventh inning. He was replaced shortly after that. But Bochysaid Cabrera was fine, and should be ready to go Saturday.

I am not sure if I feel sympathy or empathy for Rockiesmanager Jim Tracy. What the hell, why not go with both?

The Rockies have to find a way to play two months ofbaseball with almost no starting pitching. Theyd already gone to a four-manrotation out of desperation, holding their starters to 75-pitch limits. Thatsa recipe to destroy a bullpen if Ive ever heard one.

Now theres bad news concerning their starter for Sunday, ChristianFriedrich. He tried to throw in the bullpen on Friday and couldnt. An MRIshowed a stress fracture in his back. Hes done for the year.

The Rockies have no idea who will start on Sunday. If theyschedule an open tryout, Ill be sure to let you know.

Congratulations to Chinas Dong Dong, who won the Gold medalin Trampoline. Its only been pointed out to me about 100 times today. Thanks.All you Dong fans are so helpful.

Former Giant Kevin Frandsen expressed outrage on Twitterthat trampoline is a medal sport while neither baseball nor softball aresanctioned any longer. Kevin, I am with you, brother.

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Practically speaking, the 50th loss is no different than the one before or the one after, but this sport is built on milestones, and this one came quickly.

The Giants lost their 50th game on August 12 last year. This season, it was clinched when Ryder Jones grounded out in his fourth career at-bat, handing the Mets a 5-2 win on June 24. 

Bruce Bochy called losing 50 of your first 77 games "hard to believe" and "embarrassing." Johnny Cueto, who went seven strong, said the reality was "hard and sad." Brandon Belt, who got Cueto off the hook for a loss, agreed with his manager.

"That's a pretty good word to use -- it is embarrassing to come out and lose every day, especially with the group of guys we have," Belt said. "When you're losing as much as this, it is embarrassing. We're trying to do whatever we can to turn this thing around."

Lately, that has meant changes to the roster. It is officially audition season, and in that respect, it was not a particularly inspiring day for the bullpen. The Giants felt they would have a better mix this year, but it hasn't played out. Instead, they're once again trying to find pieces for the next successful Giants bullpen.

With Hunter Strickland suspended and Derek Law in the minors, two young relievers, a middle-innings stalwart, and a newcomer pitched the final two frames. They gave up four runs.

Sam Dyson was the first on the mound in the eighth. Belt had homered a few minutes earlier, tying a good starter's duel. Dyson gave up a leadoff triple to Curtis Granderson and walked Asdrubal Cabrera before throwing two good sliders past Yoenis Cespedes for the strikeout. With two lefties coming up and the go-ahead run still on third, Bochy turned to Steven Okert. He immediately gave up a seeing-eye RBI single to Jay Bruce. Wilmer Flores doubled off George Kontos later in the frame to make it 3-1. 

In the ninth, Kyle Crick showed some of the wildness that kept him in the minors for seven years. He, too, gave up a leadoff triple, a sin you always pay for. A walk helped put another run into scoring position and a wild pitch extended the Mets’ lead to four. 

Before the game, Bochy talked of getting an extended look at Jones. He was 0-for-4 in his first big league game but he’ll be back out there tomorrow. It’s time to fight for a job, and the same holds true of some relievers who didn’t fare well Saturday. It is a group with a closer locked into a longterm deal and little else decided. 

Are Strickland or Law eighth-inning guys? Will Dyson be a worthwhile reclamation project? Will Kontos be back, and will he carve out a different role? Are Okert and Josh Osich capable of giving Bochy lefties he trusts? Is Crick’s improvement in Triple-A a sign of things to come? There are many questions to be answered over the next three months. 

“This is a good time for them, this is what players get up here for, to show what they can do,” Bochy said. “Because of our situation, we’re going to take a look at these guys and we know there are going to be growing pains.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season


SAN FRANCISCO — The promotion of an intriguing prospect can bring a certain buzz to the ballpark. It didn’t last long. 

The debut of Ryder Jones came in the latest flat performance from the Giants, who collapsed late and fell 5-2 to the Mets. The loss was their 50th of the season. They did not lose their 50th game last season until August 12. 

With the score tied in the eighth, Curtis Granderson crushed a leadoff triple into the alley. Sam Dyson walked the next batter and then whiffed Yoenis Cespedes, but Jay Bruce greeted Steven Okert with an RBI single to right. It kept going poorly from there. 

Here are five things to know from a cool day by the water … 

—- Jones grounded out to second in his first at-bat and then flied out to center, grounded out to first, and grounded out to second. He had one chance in the field, starting a double play that ended the second inning.  

—- Johnny Cueto seems to have turned a corner. Over his past two starts, he has allowed just three earned runs over 14 innings. Whether they trade him or not, the Giants certainly could use a nice little hot streak for the next six weeks. 

—- A few seconds after Bruce Bochy shook Cueto’s hand, Brandon Belt got him off the hook for a loss. He hit the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh into the seats in left-center, tying the game. The homer was Belt’s 14th. He’s on pace for 29. 

—- The Mets got eight one-run innings out of Jacob deGrom, who is quietly the most reliable of a star-studded rotation. He struck out seven and gave up just four hits. 

—- If Madison Bumgarner wants another Silver Slugger Award, he’ll have to chase down deGrom, who hit a homer in his last start. His single in the third was his 10th hit, and he finished the day with a .294 average.