Giants spring training Day 26: Alguacil visits clubhouse, says he feels great

Giants spring training Day 26: Alguacil visits clubhouse, says he feels great

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Alguacil survived a scare and he's feeling strong, which means enough time has passed that his facial fractures are fair game in the clubhouse.

"You look better than you did before," a Giant said Friday as he hugged Alguacil. 

The first base coach laughed and smiled, and then continued greeting a line of players and coaches.

"I'm feeling great," he said. "There's no pain."

Alguacil has a shiner where the ball broke his nose and bandage over the minor facial fractures that are still healing. He is dealing with some blurred vision, and he won't know an exact return date until his next visit with an eye doctor, but he said he should be back at the job in a week to 10 days. That's the absolute best-case scenario after Alguacil was hit by a foul ball that went screaming into the folding chairs set out for coaches at Surprise Stadium. 

Alguacil had surgery and spent several nights in the hospital, but he said it won't be long before he's back throwing BP. He won't even need a new pair of glasses. The original pair was knocked off by the blow and left a deep gash across his forehead. 

"They didn't break," he said, smiling. "They're back there in my locker."

GAME RECAP: Madison Bumgarner pitched four innings, allowing just a pair of unearned runs, but the Giants lost to the Indians ... Brandon Belt hit his 25th career spring training home run ... Jimmy Rollins pulled a Trevor Bauer pitch into the bullpen area for his first homer as a Giant ... Chris Marrero had two more hits, including a hard triple to right, but he wasn't able to pull out another walk-off when he came up with two outs in the ninth. He struck out looking ... Kelby Tomlinson had a pair of hits ... Derek Law had a rough one, allowing two runs on two hits and three walks. 

CUETO WATCH: Johnny Cueto will start Saturday's game at Scottsdale Stadium but he'll only pitch an inning or two in his debut. Matt Cain will back him up, with Ty Blach starting the other half of the split-squad up the road. 

RED, WHITE AND BLUE: Mark Melancon and Jeff Samardzija have been added to the United States roster for the World Baseball Classic, and it sounds like Melancon will be part of that bullpen as early as the second round. Here's a full story.

ICYMI: The latest podcast featured interviews with Mac Williamson and Jarrett Parker. You can stream it here or download it on iTunes here.

FAMILIAR FACE: If you were watching really random WBC action the other day, you might have seen former Giant Travis Blackley pitching for Australia. 

QUOTABLE: "Why not, right?" -- Melancon on dropping a two-strike curveball for an inning-ending strikeout with the bases loaded.

Giants lineup: Posey, Arroyo out against Braves

Giants lineup: Posey, Arroyo out against Braves

Mired in a big slump, rookie Christian Arroyo is getting a night off, while Nick Hundley is catching in place of Buster Posey Saturday.

Atlanta Braves:
1. Ender Inciarte (L) CF
2. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
3. Nick Markakis (L) RF
4. Matt Kemp (R) LF
5. Matt Adams (L) 1B
6. Tyler Flowers (R) C
7. Dansby Swanson (R) SS
8. Danny Santana (S) 3B
9. Mike Foltynewicz (R) P

San Francisco Giants:
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Eduardo Nunez (R) LF
3. Joe Panik (L) 2B
4. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Aaron Hill (R) 3B
7. Nick Hundley (R) C
8. Mac Williamson (R) RF
9. Ty Blach (R) P

 

Giants get blanked by Braves, now have lowest-scoring team in majors

Giants get blanked by Braves, now have lowest-scoring team in majors

SAN FRANCISCO — Over in Cleveland earlier Friday, Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer for the visiting team and five other players chipped in a pair of hits. The Royals had six runs, which meant that when Jim Johnson closed the Giants out a few hours later, what has seemed true all season became officially true. The Giants have the lowest-scoring lineup in the majors.

At 3.32 runs per game, they have dipped below the equally-disappointing Royals (3.38). They are capable at the moment of making any pitching staff look dominant. A 2-0 shutout was the first of the year for the Braves, who previously had just two games this season where they allowed fewer than two runs. 

“Six runs in (the last) four games … I thought we would come home and get some rips in tonight, but it didn’t happen,” Bruce Bochy said. 

The manager’s frustration showed late in this one. After the only rally of the game — a two-run single by opposing pitcher Jaime Garcia — Bochy took his cap off and rubbed his forehead. He dipped his head and briefly stood as if he was going to fall asleep on the rail. The bats were equally still. 

The Giants had just four hits, all of them singles against Garcia, who is a nice pitcher but hardly one of the league’s best. One was an infield single by Eduardo Nuñez, another a single through Garcia’s five-hole, and a third a generous ruling by the official scorekeeper. 

“It comes down to, you’ve got to get some hits and create opportunities, and we’re not doing it very often,” Bochy said. “It’s just a matter of guys getting somewhat hot. We did, we had some success, and we won some games. The thing you like to see is some good cuts and I didn’t think we got enough of those tonight.”

That run, which spanned the last homestand and small parts of two road trips, has come to a screeching halt. The Giants have lost five of six. It seems silly to scoreboard-watch in May, especially when a team is playing like this, but it’s worth noting that the teams the Giants eventually need to catch keep winning. They fell 12 games back of the Rockies and 11 back of the streaking Diamondbacks. They are 9 1/2 back of the Dodgers, who might be the best team in the whole league. 

Matt Cain did his part to allow the Giants to keep pace. He got beat just once in seven sharp innings. The Giants intentionally walked Dansby Swanson to get to Garcia, who bounced a single into left. Brandon Belt had a play at the plate, but his throw was short and hit the runner. A second run scored. 

“That’s tough,” Cain said. “(Garcia) was throwing the ball really good and that’s what it comes down to, you’re looking for that one hit and he did it. He’s a good hitter. We’ve seen it in St. Louis. But it definitely is tough when the pitcher does that … it just stinks on my part to give up a hit to the opposing pitcher.”