EXTRA BAGGS: Hector Sanchez puts out a blaze, etc.


EXTRA BAGGS: Hector Sanchez puts out a blaze, etc.


PHOENIX -- This is like a second spring training for Giantsmanager Bruce Bochy.

Barring an epic collapse, hell have to pare down a 37-manroster to 25 for the postseason.

Much like the spring, there are things in every game thatwill make the coaches perk up and take notice.

Hector Sanchezs two throws to second base was more of aleap off the bench moment. His quick transfer and perfect throw to nab PaulGoldschmidt in the fourth inning Saturday was impressive enough. But then hethrew from his knees, like a young Benito Santiago, to catch pinch runner TylerGraham trying to steal in the ninth inning of a one-run game. It was a hoseblast on a smoldering matchbook as the Giants held on for a 3-2 victory atArizona.

Tyler Grahams name might not mean much to the averagebaseball fan. But hes a former Giants prospect who was on the 40-man rosterearlier this year. He stole 60 bases last season for Triple-A Fresno, whereSanchez was among his teammates.

And Graham got a terrific jump, too.

Its instinctive, Sanchez said. I was just trying to goquick. I do it a lot in the minor leagues. I knew I had to.

Like a third baseman trying to barehand a slow roller,Sanchez knew it was do or die. His only shot was to throw from his knees. He did.

Over at first base, Buster Posey loved it.

Thats about as good as it gets, Posey said. I mean, fromhis knees, with the zip he had on it, it doesnt get better.

Barry Zito, who has been around the block a little longer,called the throw probably the best one Ive ever seen, considering thesituation.

And yes, the coaches saw it, too. As a result, perhapstheyll be more comfortable with the possibility of Sanchez starting behind theplate at times in the postseason, with Posey at first base.

The overall game, receiving, calling the game, throwing -- andhe can swing the bat, too -- all of it makes it a lot easier to rest yourcleanup hitter, Bochy said. Its neat to see his progress, and really, howhes handled himself in his first big league season. Hes got a calmness abouthim that you like. The games on the line and he throws from his knees.

Sergio Romo, the beneficiary of Sanchezs throw in theninth, lowered his ERA to 1.99. Meanwhile, Santiago Casilla was charged with arun to snap an impressive streak of 13 23 scoreless innings. No cause foralarm, though. It was a runner that Romo inherited and allowed to score.

No, Steve Finley didnt hit another triple in theDiamondbacks alumni game. But Reggie Sanders can still hit. He doubled off thewall in dead center field, just below the yellow line. If Brian Sabean werehere to watch it, Sanders might have a locker in the visiting clubhouse tomorrow.

Mike Fetters provided the funniest moment when heintentionally hit Luis Gonzalez with a fluff pitch, then all of his teammatesspilled out of the dugout and high fived him on the mound. A well-choreographedprank.

Giants hitting coach Hensley Bam Bam Meulens was an unexpected participant, too. Heplayed seven games for the Diamondbacks in 1998 -- the last seven games of hisbig league career.

Bam Bam was 1-for-15 in an Arizona uniform. Make it 1-for-16. He fouled off the first two pitches and then sharply hit into a 6-4-3double play.

It's been exactly a month since Melky Cabrera was suspended. The Giants are 19-10 since then.

How, do you suppose? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate


Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate

SACRAMENTO -- A young man named Clayton Blackburn walked into the home clubhouse at Raley Field on Tuesday decked out in Round Rock gear. 

"You're here for my start?" he said, smiling.

Sorry, Clayton, I was on Panda Watch for two days. But it was fun watching Blackburn, DFA’d in a weird move earlier this year, face former teammates. Blackburn hasn't had a great season with Texas, but he is still just 24 and he has gotten into terrific shape. Given what happened during his call-up last year, you should root for him to get a second chance. 

Blackburn gave up three runs over six innings against his former team. The River Cats won on Jarrett Parker’s walk-off homer to dead center with two outs in the ninth. Parker was one of many familiar faces in the lineup Tuesday. Here are some thoughts on guys you know, and guys you will: 

--- Trevor Brown is the backup catcher in Sacramento, which is certainly a fall from his run as Buster Posey's backup. Brown is batting .168 in what has been a very frustrating season for him. The groin injury that slowed him early lingered, he had a concussion, and he hasn't been able to find any BABIP luck. This year seems a lost one for a guy who was a big part of 2016. I’m still intrigued by his versatility.

--- Chris Shaw is the latest podcast guest. You can stream it here. We talked about his power, his move to left, thinking he was a Ray, and more. I didn't see many at-bats, but I saw enough in left field to be confident he'll be fine out there. 

--- Parker started in center field and made a nice running catch at the wall. He wouldn't hold up as a big league center fielder, but perhaps the Giants should throw him out there a few times down the stretch to see if he can be a backup option next season. Parker said he finally found his swing over the past few games. His rehab assignment ends in about a week, and he’s expected back in San Francisco. 

--- Reyes Moronta, who spent a day in the majors in May, was promoted to Triple-A. In his first inning, Drew Stubbs took him deep. I found that quirky. It's been a long season with far too many transactions. 

--- If Steven Duggar would stay healthy, he would probably make it up to SF in September. Unfortunately, his hamstring was tight again this week, keeping him out of San Jose’s lineup for a few days. Speaking of health: Tyler Beede’s groin injury will keep him out longer than just the standard DL time … Melvin Upton Jr. is still in Sacramento rehabbing a shoulder injury, but he’s not throwing yet so it’s hard to picture him making any noise before September call-up time …Christian Arroyo is in Arizona rehabbing from hand surgery. 

--- Derek Law was smiling because Derek Law is always smiling. He has a 4.32 ERA but said he feels much better than those results. “My slider is back,” Law said. He should be, too, when the Giants expand their roster. There are some other interesting relievers in Sacramento. A first baseman told me opposing hitters grumble about facing D.J. Snelten (1.84 ERA) and Tyler Rogers has a 1.94 ERA as a dirt-scraping right-hander. 

--- A teammate predicted Carlos Moncrief would hit .270 in the big leagues if called up, and he ended up getting that call Wednesday morning. Moncrief is a fun clubhouse addition. He gave Sandoval some good-natured heckling for talking to reporters after going 1 for 4. 

--- The Giants have had a lot of veterans visit San Jose this season. They all bought the postgame spread, but word around the block is that Madison Bumgarner provided the best meal. He had steak and lobster delivered to San Jose Muni. 

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Eduardo Nuñez left San Francisco in a strange way. The third baseman was traded in the middle of Tuesday night’s game and mostly said his goodbyes in a stairwell behind the home dugout at AT&T Park. Before joining the Red Sox, Nuñez took to his social media pages to send a message to the Giants and their fans. 

On Twitter, Nuñez thanked the organization for “the great opportunity and experiences learned” and wished the team the best of luck. His Instagram message was a bit longer. 

“I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this amazing team,” Nuñez wrote. “I value the experiences learned during my time here and I will miss my teammates, the fans, and the beautiful city of San Francisco very much. Best wishes to the Giants organization during the rest of this season. God Bless.”

Nuñez is expected to join the Red Sox on Friday. Boston’s manager, John Farrell, told reporters that his new infielder will get “a high number of at-bats” despite the presence of top prospect Rafael Devers. 

"This is someone who's swinging the bat very well right now,” Farrell said, according to "A high energy player that can run the bases well. He’s got really good line drive power so his .300-plus batting average to mix into this lineup is a good addition."