Giants focus on selves amid Dodgers blockbuster

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Giants focus on selves amid Dodgers blockbuster

SAN FRANCISCO As the Dodgers closed in on a blockbuster trade, a popular themearound Giants Nation was the idea that chemistry cant be bought or acquiredin a trade. The Giants, the fans and players reasoned, were better off for theircontinuity.Bruce Bochy knows its not that simple. In fact, hes got a World Series ringthat reminds him of that.Sometimes the changes work for the best and sometimes it doesnt happenlike youd think, the Giants manager said Saturday morning, as the Dodgers mega-deal was close to becoming official. I know weve had some changes here thatdidnt quite work out and sometimes theyve worked out great, like (Pat) Burrelland (Cody) Ross.You remember those guys, right? They were nowhere near the Giants radar when theseason began. Burrell in fact, was disgruntled and slumping when the Rays lethim go.The point is that the Dodgers may be better off for the rest of this season withAdrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto, and they may not. Either way, theGiants are doing what they can to not worry about it.EXTRA BAGGS: Dodgers willing to take on toxic assets
What we can control is coming out here and trying to win every game, Bochysaid. They made a blockbuster deal. They are a better club. But at the sametime it's not something we need to think about. And this club does a great jobnot getting distracted by things you cant control.--A decision is looming on Guillermo Mota. The 100-game suspension for the Giantsreliever will end after Sundays game. By the time the Giants play again onTuesday, Mota will either have to be activated or designated for assignment.The Giants would have a much easier decision if they could wait until rostersexpand next Saturday, but they cant do that.It is possible, and perhaps likely, that the Giants could designate Mota forassignment. If he then accepted an outright to Triple-A, he could finish theseason with Fresno and then be added to the roster in September.Bochy said Mota has thrown the ball well at Fresno. He has allowed two runs in 513 innings in three games with the Grizzlies.--Sergio Romo is unavailable to pitch today, but its not because of the hamstringtweak Bochy reported after Fridays game. Romo and Bochy both said the pitchershamstring is fine, but Bochy said Romo needs a day to rest his arm.Losing one pitcher for one day doesnt seem like such a big deal the way theGiants bullpen is organized these days. Loosely organized, to be accurate.Its not ideal, but everyone has grown accustomed to the situations and that wecould be out there in the seventh, eighth or ninth, said Javier Lopez, who gotfour outs for the save on Friday night.Conventional wisdom is that closer by committee doesnt work because, althoughits a wonderful idea in principle, the human beings in the bullpen aregenerally more comfortable when they can predict when theyll be used.For now, though, Lopez said its not been an issue.Its something we're kind of rallying around a little bit, Lopez said. Likethe hitters who have a new guy stepping up every night, its the same with thepitching staff. Its a new guy getting the save every night.Bochy said hes not necessarily waiting for one of the relievers to step up andassume the closer role.I think we can juggle it the (rest of the season), Bochy said. Ideally, youdhave one (closer), but I think they enjoy knowing that really any of them couldbe out there in the eighth or ninth. It keeps them on their toes a little bit.Whether we change and go to one guy I cant say, but for the near future weregoing to continue to match it up.--As expected, Francisco Peguero was in the lineup for his Major League debut.Bochys scouting report on the 24-year-old: Hes athletic, runs pretty good,has a good arm, plays with good energy. Hes really improved with the hittingpart. Hes grown as a hitter using the whole field. Hes got some pop. Hes anaggressive hitter. Hes getting better and better the last couple years.Hes opened up some eyes with his play down in Fresno.--It was Americas Cup Day at the AT&T Park, with Jimmy Spithill, skipper ofOracle Team USA, throwing out the first pitch. Bochy recently took a spin in oneof the racing boats, and he said it was an exhilarating experience--Just a reminder that Sundays game starts at 5:05 pm. The time was changed toaccommodate ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.

Regulars in lineup continue to scuffle, Giants end up with series split

Regulars in lineup continue to scuffle, Giants end up with series split

SAN FRANCISCO — The momentum generated by Christian Arroyo and Michael Morse late Wednesday night lasted just a few hours. By the end of this four-game series, the Giants were left with a harsh reality: Even with two injections of new blood, they are not hitting. 

Arroyo drove in another run Thursday, but that was it for a lineup that couldn’t support Matt Moore’s effort. The bullpen, which had kept Bruce Bochy’s guys in close games all series, finally broke in the 10th. The Dodgers walked away with a 5-1 win and a split of a series that was rather uninspiring for both sides. 

After scoring 10 runs on the last road trip, the Giants scored just eight during the four games against the Dodgers. Three of those RBI came from Arroyo, called up Monday. A fourth came from Morse, called up Wednesday.

“We’ve got to get this offense going,” Bochy said. “It’s a better offense than what we’re doing right now. You need to find a way to put a few runs on the board. We had our chances, we just couldn’t find ways to get the big hit.”

With Denard Span out for at least another week, Bochy moved Hunter Pence to the top of the lineup. His temporary No. 3 hitter against lefties, Eduardo Nuñez, has one hit in his last 20 at-bats. Buster Posey, the cleanup hitter, is batting .357, but he has driven in just three runs this month. With two on and one out in the eighth, he bounced into a double play. The production closer to the bottom of the order has been nonexistent, leading to constant shuffling that has moved Nuñez and Belt to left at times. Bochy said the staff will continue to search of a lineup that works. 

“You talk about it and do thing to adjust, and it will get better, but right now we’ve got some guys who aren’t swinging the bat well, to be honest,” he said. “You look at the order and we don’t have a lot of guys swinging well.”

The list does not include Arroyo, the rookie who will eventually have to deal with adjustments from pitchers. It doesn’t appear that’ll be a problem. Arroyo has been making adjustments from at-bat to at-bat. He did so against Sergio Romo for his first career homer and said he learned about the depth of Julio Urias’ curveball during their first two battles Thursday. In the sixth, the 21-year-old Arroyo drove in the game-tying run against the 20-year-old Urias. The lefty had walked Posey to face Arroyo, who singled up the middle. 

“He handles himself so well,” Bochy said. “They walked Buster and he smokes the ball. This kid has shown he’s not in awe. The upper deck, the bright lights, he comes to play.”

Arroyo’s effort briefly backed Moore, who was sharp in seven innings. Moore struck out eight, six of them looking, but he didn’t get much help and the bullpen fell apart in the 10th with a series of walks.

Bochy challenged his starters on Saturday at Coors Field and they responded with a strong series back home. The bullpen was tested during the first week but — Thursday’s result aside — it has settled down. The Giants are not as worried about their pitching as they were as they flew back from Denver. They know, however, that this team is going nowhere if two runs per game continues to be the nightly output. 

“We’ll tweak it again,” Bochy said of his lineup. “We'll see if we can get this thing right.”

Instant Replay: Moore tosses gem, but Giants lose to Dodgers in extras

Instant Replay: Moore tosses gem, but Giants lose to Dodgers in extras

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — Quietly over the past couple of weeks, Bruce Bochy’s bullpen had started to settle. Bochy praised the group before Thursday’s game, noting that roles were being defined by pitchers who entered the series finale with the Dodgers with a 0.94 collective ERA this season. That changed in the 10th inning Thursday.

Three relievers combined to give up four runs on four walks and three singles. The implosion ended with a 5-1 loss to the Dodgers and a split of this four-game series. 

For most of the game, this was a day when youth shined. Corey Seager celebrated his 23rd birthday with a solo homer in the first on a two-strike pitch from Matt Moore that caught the heart of the plate. The Giants will be dealing with Seager for years, and if all goes according to plan, there will be years of Julio Urias vs. Christian Arroyo battles, too. 

The 21-year-old third baseman won the first matchup, lining a single to center. Arroyo flew out in his second at-bat against the 20-year-old Urias, but they faced off a third time in a big spot. Brandon Belt drew a one-out walk in the sixth and went to third when a pickoff throw skipped down the line. After an intentional walk of Buster Posey, Arroyo lined another one back up the middle. Urias stuck his glove up but it ticked off and into center for a game-tying single. 

Arroyo ended the young lefty’s day. Moore was done after seven sparkling innings. He struck out eight, six of them looking. 

The game went to extras, and Cory Gearrin walked pinch-hitter Adrian Gonzalez to lead off the 10th. Chase Utley was called up to bunt but he couldn’t get it down. Instead, he hit an infield single off Steven Okert that stayed true to the third-base line. After a walk of Yasmani Grandal, the third straight pinch-hitter, Andrew Toles lined a single to center to give the Dodgers a lead and the wheels soon came off. 

Utley alertly tagged up and scored on a pop-up to foul territory. Justin Turner’s single extended the lead to three and Hunter Strickland’s four-pitch walk of Chris Taylor pushed another across. 

Starting pitching report: Moore gave up 19 hits and 11 earned runs in his two previous starts, but the Dodgers had just two hits, the Seager homer and a Chris Taylor single. Taylor reached third with one out, but Moore got Scott Van Slyke and Cody Bellinger to go down looking. 

Bullpen report: Mark Melancon came on in a non-save situation for a second straight day and pitched a scoreless ninth. 

At the plate: Buster Posey’s hitting streak ended at 12 games. He twice bounced into double plays.

In the field: Posey chased a high pop-up down the right field line in the fourth, but he was going to come up short. Kelby Tomlinson came out of nowhere with the helping hand, making a running catch near the visiting bullpen. Posey smiled and shook his head as Tomlinson whipped the ball back to the infield. 

Attendance: The Giants said they sold out a 500th consecutive game.

Up next: The Giants have a three-city road trip coming up, so it’s time to take advantage of a weekend at home against the Padres. Jeff Samardzija and Luis Perdomo get the opener.