EXTRA BAGGS: Vogelsong decides not to kill Belt, etc.


EXTRA BAGGS: Vogelsong decides not to kill Belt, etc.


SEATTLE Brandon Belts friends and family have T-shirtsthat say, Keep Belt awkward.

His teammates understand just what that means.

You already know about how Belt mistakenly sat in Matt Cainsseat seven innings into a perfect game last Wednesday. Now hear the tale fromthe perspective of Ryan Vogelsong, who was witness to it all.

Oh yeah. I gave him the evil eye, said Vogelsong, afterpitching the Giants to a 4-2 victory at Seattle on Friday. I was getting readyto say something when Matt came over. I didnt want to say, Hey, get out ofhis seat.

Belt got the picture and quickly moved over. He sat next toVogelsong. The conversation from there:

What are you doing?

I have no idea.

Yeah, that wasnt the smoothest move youve ever had.

Said Vogelsong: If he hadnt gotten the perfect game, Idhave been all over him. I was razzing him pretty bad, anyway.

Belt said he thought Vogelsong would try to kill him.

I was thinking that, said Vogelsong, matter-of-factly. Butthen I thought, Well, we probably need him to play first base.

Cain was perfect, of course. And Belt got to live. Good thing forthe Giants, too, because he hit another double that led to a run Friday night.Belt has a streak of four consecutive games with an extra-base hit.

Cains phone is still ringing after Wednesdays perfectgame. He got a voicemail from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, with a message ofcongratulations. Cain still hasnt recorded a Top Ten list for the Lettermanshow, though hes been invited to do so.

Buster Posey, asked what got the Giants going on their binge of eight home runs in four games

"I think what really got us going was Bumgarner's homer."

He said it with a smile. But it's true. Pitcher Madison Bumgarner is the guy who snapped a streak of 16 consecutive games without a homer at AT&T Park, the longest in franchise history. if the streak had gone one more day, it would've matched the longest by an NL team since the 1946 Brooklyn Dodgers.

Roberto Kelly is here with the team after getting hisappendix taken out a few days ago. But hitting coach Hensley Bam Bam Meulenscontinues to coach first base. Kelly said hes hoping he can get back to thecoaches box on Monday in Anaheim. He said he has to be able to react to a linedrive before doctors clear him. Not sure how you practice that

Tough news for outfield prospect Roger Kieschnick, who has afractured bone in his shoulder and will be out until at least mid-August.Kieschnick hurt himself at the end of May when he crashed into the wall whilechasing a fly ball at Sacramento. The ball went for a walk-off homer. Thatspretty much the definition of adding insult to injury.

Kieschnick, who has a history of back problems that derailedhis minor league career, had 14 home runs in the first 51 games for Triple-AFresno.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”


Giants notes: Melancon gets injection; Kontos gets an at-bat

Giants notes: Melancon gets injection; Kontos gets an at-bat

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants were annoyed by Monday’s “rubbing teammates the wrong way” report for a number of reasons, but near the top of the list was the fact that the target, Mark Melancon, has been pitching hurt to try and help a last-place team. That’s no longer the case. 

Melancon went on the DL on Wednesday morning and later had a PRP (platelet rich plasma) injection in his right arm to try and ease some of the discomfort in his pronator. He is expected to be out the rest of the first half. Melancon would be eligible to return with two games left until the break, but there’s no point in rushing him. He missed 12 games the first time this came up and he now has more than two weeks to rest before the second half kicks off. 

In the meantime, Sam Dyson is the closer, but he was unavailable Wednesday because of a heavy workload. So Bruce Bochy got creative to close out a 5-3 win over the Rockies. George Kontos came on for a sharp Ty Blach in the seventh and carried the lead to the eighth. Steven Okert got through the 26th out and Hunter Strickland came in to get Ian Desmond to fly out for his first save of the year. 

Because Bochy wanted Kontos to face Pat Valaika in the eighth, he got an at-bat 15 hours after Cory Gearrin got to take his hacks. It at first looked like Kontos had “don’t swing” orders, but he fouled a ball off. 

“The second fastball I got, if it was near the plate, I was going to swing,” he said. 

Kontos said he doesn’t have bragging rights over Gearrin because he fouled a ball off, noting that Gearrin is 1 for 2 in his career and he is 0 for 8. It turns out that they used the same bat, too. Yes, there is a Cory Gearrin model.

“It’s just been hanging out since last year,” Gearrin said, looking down at his equipment bag. “Just in case.”

--- Dan Slania woke up a 4:30, drove to Philadelphia, and boarded a flight that was went down through Nashville to fuel up. He arrived in San Francisco in time for the second inning. And then he watched, met with old teammates, showered … and prepared to fly all the way back to Pennsylvania. 

“I’m going to pass out as soon as I get on the plane,” Slania said. 

He wasn’t complaining at all. The Giants needed a potential innings-eater with Melancon on the DL, and if Slania is sent back down before Friday’s game, he’ll at least be back near Double-A Richmond and the flight back will have been taken on a chartered jet with a bunch of former teammates. Plus he gets a couple of service days. 

“I can tell you it’s well worth it,” Bochy said. 

--- The main story today is about Jae-gyun Hwang, who brought some more life to a team that got its first sweep of the year. The standings are what they are, but the Giants are playing much better, and some players started talking Wednesday about how they’re looking forward to being a spoiler for teams like the Rockies and Diamondbacks. 

More than anything, the players are just happy that they got to listen to the victory soundtrack again and walk out of this park with smiles. 

“We did a really good job of coming into this series and decided what the intent should be,” Nick Hundley said. “We weren’t going to worry about what’s been going on. You control what you can control. It’s nice when the results match up.”

There was a players-only meeting on Monday and Hundley said “everybody got on the same page again.”

Now the tricky part: Keeping it going on the road. 

--- Nolan Arenado is a freak and the Giants should give him a blank check, a ton of Facebook stock, and the rights to the Salesforce building when he’s a free agent in two and a half seasons. 

--- Ryder Jones is hitless in 16 at-bats but he was keeping his head up. He was an inch or two from a double down the line Wednesday and the Giants feel he’s having good at-bats. More than anything, he's not taking those results into the field and he talked about that at length when we sat down for a podcast the other day. If you subscribe on iTunes here, you’ll have it in the morning.