Highlights of 2017 Giants FanFest: Melancon wins over the crowd

Highlights of 2017 Giants FanFest: Melancon wins over the crowd

SAN FRANCISCO -- The highlights of FanFest always come at the question and answer stage, but the quotes usually don't escape the room. Brandon Belt was an exception a couple years ago when he said the Dodgers can't buy chemistry, so he was quick to the microphone on Saturday when a fan asked him about Sergio Romo's new team.

"I don't know if you know my history with saying something about the Dodgers," he said, smiling. "I'm going to stay out of this one."

The Dodgers came up often during four Q&A sessions with players and management. Mark Melancon showed he knows how to win over a crowd when he talked about getting drafted by Los Angeles out of high school and choosing not to sign. 

As always, it was a light scene at AT&T Park. Here are some highlights from the Q&A sessions ... 

--- Belt on the teammate he would want to be stuck on an island with: "I would say Bumgarner but he's probably going to try to fight me at some point."

--- The second question of the day was "Do you think you're going to make the playoffs this year?" Luckily a young man (and future Giants Insider) got it back on course by asking Brandon Crawford, "How long does it take to do your hair in the morning?"

--- Belt, Crawford and Joe Panik were asked about their favorite non-World Series games. Crawford picked the 2014 Wild Card Game, of course, and Panik chose the Ishikawa game. Belt picked Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS. "I like to go as long as you can, maybe 18 innings," he said. 

--- Welcome to life as one of the youngest Giants, Derek Law. Hunter Pence made him show off some dance moves in front of a big crowd. (Law will rule FanFest for years to come by the way, nobody had more fun than he did). 

--- Belt on his offseason: "I just try to get swole. That's it." 

--- Nick Hundley is wearing No. 5, Jose Alguacil has No. 17 and Phil Nevin has No. 16.

--- Bobby Evans said one of his best baseball moments came at the end of his internship with the Red Sox when he was 20 years old. He took an aluminum bat and some balls to Fenway, stood in the third-base box, and tried to hit a homer over the Green Monster. The fourth swing went out and he said he still has the ball as a souvenir. 

--- Asked about players who would be good managers, Bruce Bochy said Marco Scutaro could do it. Shoutout #MarcoMonday! 

--- Josh Osich came up a lot when coaches were asked about the bullpen in various sessions. He had a rough 2016 but the Giants certainly have not forgotten what he showed as a rookie. 

--- Jeff Samardzija said he has long hair as a response to his dad making him rock a flat top until he was in sixth grade. 

--- Buster Posey said the pitcher he most hates facing is former Dodger Ronald Belisario. "I would look up and he would have like a five-something ERA but I (had trouble)," he said. He was 2-for-13 against Belisario with eight strikeouts. 

--- Cory Gearrin said he thought a lot about if he would have to dive during his one-batter stint in left field last season, but said he realized "If I lay out and it goes poorly, I'm going to have to come in (as a pitcher) and get out of a jam."

--- Evans was asked if he'll check in on Brian Wilson's comeback and he dropped the sly line of the day: "I just want to make sure he gets his ring."

After another loss, Bochy challenges staff to 'tighten it up here'

After another loss, Bochy challenges staff to 'tighten it up here'

DENVER — For the second straight start, Matt Moore watched an outfielder chase down a rocket, slam into the wall, and immediately leave the game with a hurt shoulder. 

“You’ve got to feel a little responsible,” he said Saturday night, shaking his head. 

That’s not entirely fair. The Jarrett Parker and Denard Span injuries have been flukes, but there is a different kind of responsibility for the starting staff. Bobby Evans built this team on the starting five, and through three weeks, the group has been a letdown. 

Madison Bumgarner was hurt during an off-field incident. Johnny Cueto has an uncharacteristic 5.25 ERA and 1.38 WHIP through four starts. Moore gave up six runs in four innings Saturday, raising his own ERA to 5.87. On the other side, a rookie — Antonio Senzatela — held the Giants to four hits, leading the Rockies to a 12-3 win.

“He just made mistakes. You saw them,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Moore. “They caught too much of the plate and they were up and they took advantage of them. This can be a tough park but they pitched well tonight with a young kid. You’ve got to make your pitches. Keep concentrating and don’t give in. That’s the way it works and we’re not doing a very good job of that.

“Obviously our staff, we’re a much better staff than what’s happened. We’ve got to tighten it up here and wake up. We’re not a team that goes out and pounds it with you. We’ve got to pitch.”

The starting staff, even without Bumgarner, is more important than it first seemed. That's because the rest of the Giants are dropping, too. Span went out in the third when he slammed into the wall while making a catch, and while the initial read is positive, he was going for X-rays Saturday night. At the very least, a right shoulder sprain will keep him out a couple of days. 

That means Bochy, 18 games in, is dealing with one of his Bomb Squad situations. Buster Posey will play first on Sunday after a couple of long days in the squat, and it’s possible Brandon Belt will get a day in left. Gorkys Hernandez, hitting just .088, is the man in center while Span is out. Hunter Pence (knee bruise) is expected to return to right field Sunday, but the outfield is hanging by a string. The Giants have even talked about putting Eduardo Nuñez in left, and on Saturday he played several innings in right because of the Span injury. 

Bochy challenged his starters, but the regulars behind them will need to be better, too. The bats didn’t get going until the eighth inning at Coors Field, and even then, a rally was cut short and the Giants promptly gave up six more runs. Nuñez was late getting over on a pop-up that clanked off Joe Panik’s glove and extended the inning. 

“You’re going to deal with that,” Bochy said. “He’s going to feel discombobulated.”

Bochy had just one positive to point to, and he lit up when asked about Chris Stratton, who threw three hitless innings to keep the Giants within shouting distance. 

“Boy, that kid did a nice job," he said. 

Stratton isn’t far down the depth chart if there are further injuries in the rotation, and with a fastball that touched 95, he looked better than he has in years. The Giants hope they don’t need to test him. They’re banged-up, but at the moment, they still have four of their projected starting pitcher, along with Ty Blach. Without Bumgarner, the group will have to be better, and Bochy let them know it Saturday. 

Instant Replay: Rockies crush Moore, Giants lose Span in third straight loss

Instant Replay: Rockies crush Moore, Giants lose Span in third straight loss

BOX SCORE

DENVER — Near the end of last season’s collapse, the Giants spent a couple of days sitting eight games out of first place. Less than three weeks into this season, they’re already six out, and there are no signs that this is going to get better anytime soon.

The Giants managed just four hits against rookie Antonio Senzatela and went on to lose 12-3 at Coors Field. They also lost another starter to injury. 

A week to the day after Jarrett Parker broke his clavicle, Denard Span was removed after a similar collision with an outfield wall. Span has a mild right shoulder sprain and will go for X-rays. Throw in Hunter Pence’s left knee bruise and the Giants played most of this game without all three of their projected starting outfielders. 

To hang in a game like this one, the Giants needed a one-man show on the mound. Matt Moore wasn’t up to it. The lefty gave up six runs in four innings, including three homers. Mark Reynolds hit a deep blast in a three-run first and Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon went deep in a three-run fourth. 

The Giants threatened in the eighth, getting two runs back and sending the tying run to the plate. That rally seemed a lifetime away by the top of the ninth. The Rockies scored six runs off Neil Ramirez in their half of the eighth. 

Starting pitching report: No pitcher likes this place, but Moore has a real beef. In three career starts at Coors Field he has thrown just 11 2/3 innings and allowed 16 earned runs. 

Bullpen report: Chris Stratton, called up for the Madison Bumgarner roster spot, made his season debut in the fifth. He was outstanding. Stratton allowed just a walk in three innings and he topped out at 95 mph, a significant tick up from where he was last year. Stratton struck out three and broke Nolan Arenado’s bat on a grounder. 

At the plate: Joe Panik went deep in the sixth for his first homer of the year. 

In the field: Eduardo Nuñez made a great stop in the second and threw Stephen Cardullo out as he rolled over. An inning later, he was in right field. The Span injury forced Nuñez to right for just the seventh time in his career. He wasn't tested until the eighth, when he was late getting over to a deep pop-up that Panik dropped. 

Attendance: The Rockies announced a crowd of 39,239 human beings. They’re excited about this team, and for good reason. 

Up next: Save them, Jeff.