Giants

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' series loss to start second half

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' series loss to start second half

BOX SCORE

SAN DIEGO — The Giants have meetings every day to try and find some solutions. The problem: Where do you even begin when your $200 million team spends a weekend getting smoked by Jhoulys Chacin, Trevor Cahill, Corey Spangenberg and Hector Sanchez? (No offense, guys.)

The Giants got blown away on getaway day, losing 7-1 at Petco Park to drop the second-half-opening series against the Padres. San Diego is now six games up in the race for fourth place. 

Jeff Samardzija was shelled early, giving up a three-run homer to Sanchez in the first and another three-run bomb to Spangenberg in the third. The latter came on an 0-2 fastball right down the heart of the plate; the former came from a one-time Giant who has spent his season getting revenge. 

Here are five other things to know … 

—- Samardzija finished with a flourish, striking out five of the final six Padres he faced. He struck out eight and walked none. The K/BB rate remains historic, so there’s that. 

—- On the other hand, Samardzija has given up 20 homers. Johnny Cueto is right behind him at 19. Not ideal. 

—- Sanchez has five homers this season. Three have come against his former team. He’s 8-for-16 against the Giants all-time, with four homers and 11 RBI. 

—- Jae-gyun Hwang struck out on a double-switch and grounded out to end the game. His average has dropped all the way down to .182. 

—- The Giants opened the second half last season by getting swept at Petco Park. So, this was technically a huge improvement. 

Giants lineup: Three lefties out against Kershaw

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Giants lineup: Three lefties out against Kershaw

With Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers Sunday, Bruce Bochy is resting three left-handed bats...

San Francisco Giants:
1. Gorkys Hernandez (R) CF
2. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
3. Buster Posey (R) 1B
4. Hunter Pence (R) RF
5. Nick Hundley (R) C
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
8. Mac Williamson (R) LF
9. Chris Stratton (R) RHP

Los Angeles Dodgers:
1. Chris Taylor (R) CF
2. Corey Seager (L) SS
3. Cody Bellinger (L) 1B
4. Curtis Granderson (L) RF
5. Logan Forsythe (R) 3B
6. Chase Utley (L) 2B
7. Yasmani Grandal (S) C
8. Joc Pederson (L) LF
9. Clayton Kershaw (L) LHP

Madison Bumgarner, Gorkys Hernandez make statements in win over Dodgers

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Madison Bumgarner, Gorkys Hernandez make statements in win over Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — A 2-1 victory Saturday night at Dodger Stadium all but assured that the Giants will not lose 100 games. They still could, sure, because any sort of downslide is possible in this 2017 season, but they would really have to finish with some sort of ugly stretch. 

Still, it’s been a long season, so it was no surprise when Madison Bumgarner admitted to some sleepless nights since Opening Day. As for Saturday night …

“It’s going to be much easier to go to sleep tonight, because we won,” Bumgarner said.

The big lefty did the heavy lifting, throwing 7 2/3 dominant innings and offering one more reminder that his shoulder is 100 percent fine after a season-halting dirt bike accident. Bumgarner topped out at 93.5 mph, and even though Bruce Bochy thought Dodger Stadium might have had a hot gun on this night, the swings told the story of a good fastball. Bumgarner said this was as good as he has felt in a while. 

“He did look strong,” Bochy said. “He did have really good stuff tonight. It was really crisp.”

It was the kind of night that reminds you that, for all their issues, the Giants will start 2018 with a leg up on many others. They have Madison Bumgarner and you don’t, and that should lead to plenty of good over the course of 32 or 33 starts. 

“I think it’s good for the club to know, hey, he’s back,” Bochy said. “This is the kind of ball we can play.”

It was the brand Bochy appreciates: A strong start, a good bullpen, strong defense, and just enough offense. That’s how the Giants will win in 2018, if they are to do so, which bodes well for the man at the center of Saturday’s offense. The Giants plan to move Denard Span to left field and acquire a new center fielder, but they still lack depth in the organization, and Gorkys Hernandez has made it clear he would like to stick around. He had three hits — including two doubles — and a walk, scoring both Giants runs. 

After a slow start that almost got him released, Hernandez took off over the summer, providing a high average and sparkling defense at three spots. A left wrist tendon issue has slowed him in September, but he surprised the staff by being available for the final two weeks of games, and he said he’ll play through the end of the year before considering any rehab options 

“He certainly has made a statement,” Bochy said. “He’s one of our better athletes. He can play anywhere in the outfield, and what’s impressive is how he’s come on with the bat. A kid like this that plays defense the way he can, and shows he can do some things with the bat, he’s in the mix.”

Hernandez said he loves playing in San Francisco. He intends to spend his offseason getting healthy at his home in Scottsdale before competing for an outfield job. 

“Every time Bochy puts me in the lineup I’m trying to show everyone that I can be here and that I can be part of this team for a long time,” he said.