Giants' loss a crusher, but not how you think


Giants' loss a crusher, but not how you think

Crushing loss? Not really. Hey, Clayton Kershaw was on the bump. You didn't really think the Giants had a prayer against him, did you? He's the Dodgers' magnifying glass to the Giants' pill bug, and the sun is forever blazing. Smell that fresh insect smoke.
That the Pirates beat the Diamondbacks makes Tuesday's loss in L.A. sting a little more, sure, but the division title remains in sight. Beat the Dodgers twice, get another win from the Pirates in Arizona, and the National League West deficit is four games heading into the three-game series in Phoenix that starts Friday.Sweep that bad boy and you're one back with three to play. Take your chances.

Is it likely? Sure. And you're likely to trip over a fat black garbage bag of unmarked 100 bills with nobody in sight. It's not impossible, though. The NL wild card bid? Knock it off. The Giants are actually closer in that race than they are in the division duel, but the NL West title is a slightly more realistic endeavor; two teams are up on the champs in the wild card race, and the champs don't play them at all. Those three games against the Snakes are precious.So Tuesday's loss wasn't an out-and-out killer. A wasted opportunity given Arizona's loss, for sure. Another wasted gem by Tim Lincecum, no question. A pair of eye-gouging at-bats by Pablo Sandoval and Carlos Beltran in the eighth, absolutely.(Carlos, buddy, please swing the bat next time. At least once. You make a fine trophy, but we like you as a hitter better.)The loss, however, did come with a side order of angst. At the risk of romanticizing the past, it was the type of game in which, circa 2010, you just knew someone was going to come up big late in the evening.What's worse is that it probably would have been Juan Uribe. Who now, of course, is a Dodger. And a pretty crappy one, at that.That's what it's come to. We're pining for a crappy Dodger. And loss be damned, that's about as crushing as it gets.

Former top prospect Andy Marte dies from car accident in Dominican Republic

Former top prospect Andy Marte dies from car accident in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte died early Sunday from a traffic accident in his native Dominican Republic.

Metropolitan traffic authorities say Marte died when the Mercedes Benz he was driving hit a house along a road between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.

Marte, a 33-year-old infielder, played for several Major League teams, including Atlanta, Cleveland and Arizona, and was most recently playing in the Korean league.

Marte was playing in the Dominican winter league with the Aguilas Cibaenas team.

"We have awoken this Sunday with this sad news that we have lost a special being," club president Winston Llenas said in a statement about Marte.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the final month of his time with the Giants, it became clear that Santiago Casilla and the team would part ways. On Friday, Casilla confirmed that he never had the opportunity to return. 

On a conference call to announce a two-year deal with the Oakland A’s, Casilla said he “would have been happy to return to the Giants, but I never got an offer from them. I understood.”

Casilla said he had several opportunities to go elsewhere and close, mentioning the Milwaukee Brewers as one interested team. Casilla signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the A’s, who likely won’t need him to pitch in the ninth. The Brewers went on to bring in Neftali Feliz for one year and $5.35 million; he is expected to close. 

“I preferred to return to the Athletics because that’s where my career started,” Casilla said through interpreter Manolo Hernández Douen. “And I’m very excited.”

Casilla spent the first six years of his career with the A’s before crossing the bridge and becoming a key figure in three title runs. In seven seasons in San Francisco, he posted a 2.42 ERA and saved 123 games. Casilla had a 0.92 ERA in the postseason, but he was stripped of a prominent role in the weeks leading up to the 2016 playoffs. 

Casilla, 36, blew nine saves before being pulled from the ninth inning. He appeared just three times in the final 14 regular season games and just once in the playoffs. He did not take the mound in Game 4 of the NLDS, watching as five other relievers teamed up to give back a three-run lead. 

That moment stung Casilla, and it affected Bruce Bochy, too. The Giants struck quickly in December to bring Mark Melancon in as their new closer, but at the Winter Meetings, Bochy said he would welcome Casilla back in a setup role. 

“He’s a great team player (and) teammate,” Bochy said. “(I) certainly wouldn’t rule it out because he still has great stuff. And he had some hiccups there in that closing role, but I would take him anytime.”

As it turned out, that opportunity was never there for Casilla. The Giants didn’t make another move after the big deal with Melancon, and they’ll rely on younger arms to record most of the outs in the seventh and eighth. Casilla said he’s not bitter about the way it all ended. 

“I have left that in the past,” he said. “It’s a new year, it’s a new year. I have left this in the past.”