Instant Replay: Giants 2, Rockies 1

885093.jpg

Instant Replay: Giants 2, Rockies 1

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO Madison Bumgarner snapped out of a four-start slump and the Giants scored their only runs on a passed ball and three straight singles to win 2-1 in the first of four games against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.The Dodgers enjoyed a day off before starting a lengthy road trip, so the Giants magic number now sits at eight.Starting pitching report Madison Bumgarner established a new career-high with five walks, but danced out of danger enough to work six innings and put himself in line for his 15th win, another career-high.Bumgarner entered Mondays series opener 0-3 with a 7.29 ERA and nine walks in his last four starts. It didnt bode well when he walked leadoff man Dexter Fowler. But Fowler was caught stealing ahead of a Jordan Pacheco double and Bumgarner snagged Wilin Rosarios comebacker to end the inning.The second inning started with another walk and Bumgarner made matters worse when he gave up a single to Josh Rutledge, Troy Tulowitzkis replacement. But Bumgarner once again escaped the jam by striking out Matt McBride and getting D.J. LeMahieu to hit into a 6-3 double play. For the first time in the game, Bumgarner didnt walk the leadoff man in the third, but he issues back-to-back one out walks to the top of the order. Thanks to a beautiful backhanded play by Brandon Crawford ahead of a strikeout, Bumgarner kept the Rockies off the board again. After putting together his first 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, Bumgarner was back in the stretch thanks to pitcher Jhoulys Chacins one-out double. Chacin came around to score the only run on Bumgarner when Rutledge came through with a two-out triple.Bumgarner walked his fifth batter with two outs in the sixth inning, but erased the mistake with a 1-3-6 pickoff that ended his evening.Bumgarners final line: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 6 K. He threw 101 pitches, 55 of which were strikes.Bullpen report Bruce Bochy turned to his bullpen in the seventh, and wasted no time racking up the mound visits. Guillermo Mota relieved Bumgarner to open the inning, but was yanked after issuing a one-out walk to D.J. LeMahieu. Jose Mijares took over for Mota and struck out pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin before giving way to Santiago Casilla, who ended the inning by getting Dexter Fowler to fly out to left.Casilla remained in the game to start the eighth and kept Bochy in the dugout with a 1-2-3 inning that ended with a strikeout of Wilin Rosario. With the luxury of an expanded September roster, Bochy has been switching pitchers late in games with regularity. But he let Casilla hit for himself in the bottom of the eighth and keep the ball for the top of the ninth. The Giants one-time closer induced a ground ball to short for the first out of the ninth, but gave way to lefty specialist Javier Lopez when the Rockies brought in the left-handed hitting Carlos Gonzalez as a pinch hitter. After Lopez induced another 6-3 groundout, Bochy brought in Sergio Romo and Jim Tracy countered with Jason Giambi. Romo won the battle with the aging slugger, getting him to lunge at a two-strike pitch way off the plate to end the game.At the plate Brandon Crawford led off the third inning with a triple after the Giants mustered just a Pablo Sandoval walk in the first two frames against Jhoulys Chacin. Crawfords triple hit off the top of the wall in dead center, eerily similar to the double Ian Kinsler hit in Game 2 of the 2010 World Series at AT&T Park. Madison Bumgarner couldnt bring Crawford home, but with Angel Pagan at the plate, Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario allowed a ball to get away for a run-scoring passed ball.After the Rockies tied the game in the top of the fifth, the Giants appeared poised to take the lead again in the bottom half. Crawford hit a ball to Triples Alley that skipped over the wall for a ground-rule double, the second time in as many as many at-bats that the wall robbed him of an extra base. Bumgarner failed to execute a sacrifice bunt to move Crawford over to third, which proved costly when Angel Pagan singled and Crawford was called out at home. Rockies left fielder Andrew Brown ranged close to the left-field line to get to Pagans ball, then fired a strike to Rosario at home. Crawford was called out on a very close play, but replays suggest he may have been safe.The sixth inning started with three straight hits from the heart of manager Bruce Bochys lineup and gave the Giants the lead again, but it ended in disappointment. Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence all singled, with Pences poke to right scoring Sandoval and moving Posey over to third. The single gave Pence 27 go-ahead RBIs this season, which is tied for the third best in the National League. But one run is all the Giants would get, as Brandon Belt and Xavier Nady both popped up and Crawford ended the inning with a swinging strikeout.After taking the lead in the sixth, the Giants were held to just a Marco Scutaro single and a Pence walk the rest of the way. Santiago Casilla even got another chance with the bat after coming through with an RBI single his last time at the plate. He didnt drive in a run this time, but still made contact, a feat on its own considering his ugly swing.The Giants racked up nine hits, but scored just the two runs, due in large part to a 1-for-8 performance with runners in scoring position.In field Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner each made spectacular defensive plays to keep the Rockies off the board in the first inning. After Bumgarner issued a leadoff walk to Dexter Fowler, Posey erased the mistake with a perfect throw to second base that led both Fowler and his manager Jim Tracy to question second base umpire Ed Hickoxs vision. Bumgarner also allowed a two-out double to Jordan Pacheco, but kept him from scoring when he made a reflexive grab on Wilin Rosarios screaming comebacker to end the inning.It took another amazing defensive play to get Bumgarner through a scoreless third. Brandon Crawford continues to dazzle at short, as he ranged far to his right to backhand a slow-hit ground ball by Jordan Pacheco with runners at first and second. Crawford completed the play with a perfect off-balance throw across his body to Brandon Belt at first for the second out of the inning.Pablo Sandoval, who struggled defensively in consecutive games in Colorado last week, went to the ground to glove a screaming liner off the bat of Wilin Rosario. He collected himself and calmly threw across the diamond to complete the play.On the bases Angel Pagan stole his 26th base of the season after his single in the fifth inning. He didnt get a great jump but beat out a low throw by Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario.Attendance The Giants announced a sellout crowd of 41,280 for their 156th consecutive regular season game with all seats accounted for. Other than during run-scoring rallies, the fans were at their loudest for the celebration of Hall of Famer Orlando Cepedas 75th birthday, during an M-V-P chant for Buster Posey, and to congratulate a woman who was proposed to during the Kiss Cam feature.Up next The Giants play the second of four straight games against the Rockies Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. with RHP Tim Lincecum (9-14, 5.09 ERA) opposing LHP Jeff Francis (5-5, 5.68 ERA).

Vin Scully on Dodgers Opening Day: ‘I’ll probably have things to do’

Vin Scully on Dodgers Opening Day: ‘I’ll probably have things to do’

WASHINGTON -- On Monday, the Dodgers will play their first opening day since 1950 without Vin Scully calling their games. He won't be in the stands. He won't make a point of watching on TV, either.

"It's a day game. I'll probably have things to do," the famed 89-year-old announcer told The Associated Press from his home in Hidden Hills, California. "I might catch a piece of it."

Not that Scully has any regrets since retiring after last season. He says he's grateful for every minute he spent with the Dodgers, the franchise he joined 67 years ago in Brooklyn and followed to Los Angeles eight years later. He feels blessed to have worked as long as he did covering the game he fell in love with as a boy.

But he's learned that after a lifetime in the broadcast booth, watching a game as a fan holds little appeal.

"During the World Series back around '77 or '78, there was a game at Dodger Stadium with the Yankees, and I went to the game as a spectator. Now, I hadn't been as a spectator in a long, long time, and I felt somewhat restless that I wasn't broadcasting," Scully recalled Tuesday.

"I did not have the challenge of trying to describe, accurately and quickly, the way it should be done. I just sat there, and I was not happy, I'll be honest. So I realized that although I love the game, what I loved more was broadcasting it," he said.

Scully spoke to the AP because the Library of Congress has announced it will preserve his call of a 1957 game between the Dodgers and the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, the final time they played at the hallowed old stadium. Both teams moved to California after that season, opening up the West Coast to Major League Baseball.

Scully's call of Sandy Koufax's 1965 perfect game is more famous. But that game at the Polo Grounds meant more to him personally, because he grew up going to games there, cheering for the Giants and dreaming of watching from the press box.

"It was so meaningful to me. I'm not sure what it really means to baseball fans anymore," Scully said. "The sands of time have washed over the Polo Grounds. But for me, it was one of the more memorable games I was ever involved in."

During that broadcast, Scully implored the players to take their time before there franchises left town: "Let's take it easy, we just want to take one last lingering look at both of you." The Library of Congress called it "a masterful example of the artistry that great sports announcers bring to their work, as well as their empathy for players and fans."

Six decades later, Scully is having an easier time letting go. So no plans to keep track Monday when Los Angeles plays the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.

"All summer long, I expect to get feelings of nostalgia, wistfulness, whatever the word may be, but no, I am comfortable, I do know in my heart and soul I am where I should be, and that really is all I need," he said.

"Sure, after 67 years, you'll bet I'll miss it," he added. "But heck, I miss the guys I hung out with when I was in school."

Giants spring training Day 44: Marrero caps huge spring with eighth homer

Giants spring training Day 44: Marrero caps huge spring with eighth homer

MESA, Ariz. — The Giants went 0-62 last season when trailing after eight innings. Chris Marrero wasn’t around for any of that, but it’s a stat that could help Marrero as he tries to lock up a bench spot. 

The first baseman/left fielder crushed a three-run shot in the ninth inning Tuesday, wiping out a two-run deficit against the Cubs. Marrero also has two walk-off homers this spring. 

“This kid, you see it when he goes up there. He’s got great focus,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s intensity and determination. From day one, you could see it in his at-bats. Late in the game, he seems very comfortable. He wants to go up there.”

Tuesday’s homer, which shot out to right-center, was the eighth of the spring for Marrero. That ties him with a guy named Bryce Harper for the MLB lead, and the vast majority of Marrero’s bombs were no-doubters. 

“It’s been a great spring for him,” Bochy said. “The last game here, it seems fitting that he would do something like that. He’s already done it a couple of times. This kid has done all he can. I love his swing and the work that he’s put in.”

With Michael Morse down, Marrero is the best remaining option as a power right-handed bat off the bench, a glaring need a year ago. Justin Ruggiano, another one in the mix, followed Marrero’s shot with one of his own. The homer was Ruggiano’s second of the spring. 

Ruggiano is a better fit defensively in the outfield, but Marrero has been solid at first and Bochy said he’s fine with what he’s seen in left field. “He’s still working on it,” Bochy said, noting that Marrero will play left field during the Bay Bridge Series. 

LEADING OFF: Denard Span saw a wild pitch bounce off the bricks behind home plate, and he never slowed down. Span sped around third in the second inning and slid in ahead of the throw. The notable part of the play wasn’t that a quirky bounce allowed Span to take 180 feet on a wild pitch. It was that his legs did. The 33-year-old has been a different guy in his second spring with the Giants. Last year, Span was coming off hip surgery. This spring, his old game has returned.

“I’ve just been able to do the things I’ve always been able to do,” Span said. “I have more control of my body. I’m stronger. I had a full offseason and a full spring training to get my legs up under me. The last couple of weeks, I’ve felt much better and more confident.”

A healthy and spry Span would be a big boost to a lineup that often looked flat in the second half last season Span showed off every aspect of his game Tuesday. He blasted a leadoff homer on Jake Arrieta’s second pitch, and during their second matchup, he put a perfect bunt down the third base line for a single. Span stole second easily before his race home. 

“He’s playing terrific baseball and he’s been a real inspiration, being our leadoff hitter,” Bochy said. “That’s what we needed — energy at the top of the order.”

TRAINER’S ROOM: Eduardo Nuñez (shoulder) is feeling much better, and Bochy said he’ll play third base during the games at AT&T Park before getting four or five innings at shortstop on Saturday. Joe Panik (drilled in the back on Monday) said he’s feeling fine. 

POSITION BATTLES: Here’s the latest on Matt Cain, and here’s an update on Aaron Hill and Jimmy Rollins. 

ICYMI: Big news today from NBC Bay Area. Matt Williams, Javier Lopez and Cody Ross have joined out pre- and post-game shows. You can find stories about those guys on our homepage here. Those shows will also now be an hour long on both ends of the game, adding an extra hour of Giants coverage to your day. Which is good. 

That’s all on the way during the regular season. If you missed any of our spring coverage, you can find a bunch of features here, and podcasts here (spring pods included Mike Morse, Matt Cain, Mac Williamson, Jimmy Rollins and others, with one more coming this week). And in case you’re new to our coverage, the Twitter account is here and the Facebook page is here. Next stop, San Francisco …