Giants

EXTRAS: Crawford not just a glove, Sandoval's first spring shot

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EXTRAS: Crawford not just a glove, Sandoval's first spring shot

All that talk about Brandon Crawford being all glove and nobat might start to die down if the Giants second-year shortstop has moredays like he did Saturday.Crawford went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and three RBIs in a split squadblowout win over the Brewers and is now batting .429 with nine total bases andsix RBIs in just 14 at-bats.For all the doubts about his ability to hit big-leaguepitching, Giants manager Bruce Bochy has been insistent that Crawford will behis starting shortstop and batting eighth on Opening Day.I really think hes going to contribute to this offense,Bochy said. He made a couple adjustments with his swing. Hes worked hard atit and hes playing with a lot of confidence right now on both sides. Its goodto see him get some hits.

--Pablo Sandoval connected on his first home run of the spring, and it was ano-doubter, one that wouldve ended up in McCovey Cove had the game been playedin San Francisco.
RELATED: Joseph impresses Bochy with two HR day
He hit that pretty good, didnt he?, Bochy said. Hes trying to get histiming down and he had a better day today. He squared up on a couple balls.While were here I know hes been working hard on both ends. Good to see himget some good swings off today.Before the game, Sandoval was putting on a show in batting practice, flashingthe power stroke that led to 25 home runs in 2009 and 23 last season in only426 at-bats.--In the other split squad game in Tempe, the Giants lost to the Angels 9-5, butgot a home run from Aubrey Huff, his second of the spring.Huff was the only Giant to have a multi-hit game. As the DH again, FreddySanchez went 1-for-3 with a run scored.Conor Gillaspie doubled in his only hit in four at-bats, while Gregor Blancosingled and was caught stealing for the first time in five attempts thisspring.RELATED: Giants split; beat Brewers, fall to Angels
Shane Loux, who started the game opposite C.J. Wilson, allowed three runs (twoearned) on four hits and a walk in 2.1 innings.--The plan is still for Buster Posey to catch the first four innings of Sundaysgame against the Mariners.Buster came out of the last game really well so hell gofour innings, then Chris Stewart will pick him up, Bochy said. Thisll begood for Buster. Well get him a couple of at bats and hopefully get fourinnings out of him. Then the next day well have a good idea of how hes doing afterspending some time behind the plate.
NEWS: Wilson set to make Cactus League debut Sunday
--As I walked into the clubhouse to talk to players before thegame, two familiar faces were sitting at a table at the front entrance.The faces belonged to none other than Willie Mays and Willie McCovey. The twoare regulars at Scottsdale Stadium and supposedly will be joined by fellowGiants legends Gaylord Perry and Orlando Cepeda soon.

Bochy, Melvin need to start giving us something out-of-the-box-y

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AP

Bochy, Melvin need to start giving us something out-of-the-box-y

These are difficult, which is to say battleship-gray dull, days for the Oaklandcisco Giletics. They go out, they lose three of every five times they play, they disappear again. It’s like watching Nerf whack-a-mole.
 
Which is why, in these final 40 games, both Bob Melvin and Bruce Bochy need to start giving us something out-of-the-box-y we can linger on, at least for a bit. The transition from the end of the Warriors season (and the subsequent fetishizing of everything they do) to the start of football training camp has been too easy, and baseball’s window to captivate the easily distracted has pretty much been closed.
 
And this is why we enjoyed Cincinnati second baseman Scooter Gennett, pitching in a lost-cause game Tuesday night (the Reds have given up double digits 20 times this year, so that’s not a big enough thing), referred to his speed gun rating in the mid-90s, which was corrected by reporters to the more accurate “68.”
 
Gennett’s response? “Yeah, I don’t believe that. I think the radar gun might be broken or something. That, Statcast, off-the-bat speed, all that’s fake news.”
 
Perfect, and perfectly timely, too.
 
Then there is manager Terry Collins of the injury ravaged New York Mets, who is so bereft of players that he had to play catcher Travis d’Arnaud at third base but also needed to find a way to avoid having the ball hit to him. So he had d’Arnaud switch with second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera every time a right-handed hitter came up for the Yankees. So you get a box score that looks like this.
 
This is also the game in which Aaron Judge hit a 457-foot home run AND set a record for consecutive games with a strikeout, with 33. His season has fallen into a chasm since the All-Star Break, thus making him the latest “face of baseball” to find out that this “face of baseball” thing isn’t such an easy gig after all.
 
Besides, the new face of baseball is Scooter Gennett, whom the Giants or A’s should absolutely pay Giancarlo Stanton money to get in 2018. I mean, this is a guy who gave a fake name to the cops because his mom brought him to a stationhouse once to scare him into wearing his seatbelt -- when he was still watching Muppet Babies.
 
If that’s not the true face of baseball, there is none at all. Billy, Bobby, make this happen, or resign.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants drop finale in Miami

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AP

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants drop finale in Miami

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The flight from Miami to San Francisco is one of the longest in the league. It will not be a happy one.

The Giants fell behind early and never recovered, losing 8-1 in the series finale with the Marlins. The Giants had won six of nine entering the road trip. They dropped a series in Washington D.C. and then lost two of three to the Marlins. 

You are here already, so here are five things to know … 

—- Matt Cain deserved better in the first, and it was kind of a stunning error that cost him. With two outs, Brandon Crawford dropped a liner that was hit right at him. The next batter, Tomas Telis, hit a two-run double. 

—- Cain was charged with five runs in four innings, but only two of them were earned. He struck out seven and walked just one, showing a good curveball throughout. Several times, he dropped down for a new look. Like I said, he deserved a bit better than that final line. 

—- Pablo Sandoval’s walk in the eighth was his first since returning to the Giants. His numbers, by the way, are right in line with his Boston numbers. 

—- Albert Suarez has seen his stuff take a tick up during this stint with the Giants, but it’s not leading to results. After giving up a walk-off grand slam on Sunday, he allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings in relief of Cain. Suarez currently has a 7.43 ERA. 

—- Giancarlo Stanton was 2 for 4 with two singles. His run of six games with a homer came to an end. I suppose that’s a small victory for the Giants?