Instant Replay: Giants 3, Padres 2


Instant Replay: Giants 3, Padres 2


SAN FRANCISCO The Giants were held hitless for six innings between the first and eighth, but broke a 2-2 tie in the ninth on Brandon Crawfords line-drive single to center for their sixth walk-off win of the season.Starting pitching report: Madison Bumgarner started and ended a 1-2-3 first inning with strikeouts, then watched as his offense staked him to a 2-0 lead. But Bumgarner gave it right back in an ugly second inning that included two doubles and a bloop hit from San Diegos starter Edinson Volquez.After his 26-pitch second inning, Bumgarner benefited from a spectacular double play in the third, then worked around a leadoff double with two strikeouts for a scoreless fourth.Bumgarner kept the Padres off the board in the fifth and sixth innings as well, but racked up 100 total pitches in the process, putting him on a short leash entering the seventh.The Giants 22-year-old leftys best inning was his last, as he cruised through the seventh with two strikeouts and a slick fielding job on a comebacker to end the inning.Despite the quality start, Bumgarner actually raised his home ERA this season from 1.81 to 1.90.Bumgarners final line: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K (111 pitches, 69 for strikes)Bullpen report: Sergio Romo entered a tie game in the eighth inning and wouldve been on the hook for a loss if not for Angel Pagans spectacular catch and throw double play to end the inning.Santiago Casilla got the call in the ninth and issued a one-out walk to former Giant Jesus Guzman. But the fill-in closer got Everth Cabrera to strike out to end the inning At the plate: The Giants wasted no time getting on the board, just as they did in Mondays 7-1 win. It wasnt a four-run first inning like in the series opener, but the Giants managed two runs to give Madison Bumgarner an early cushion.Nate Schierholtz, leading off for a fourth straight game, roped a double into the rightfield corner, advanced to third on Ryan Theriots infield single, and scored on a Melky Cabrera groundout. Pablo Sandoval just missed a home run with a deep drive into triples alley. Though he only ended up on second, it was more than enough to bring in Theriot for a 2-0 lead.After the Padres tied the game, the Giants went down in order in the second and wasted back-to-back leadoff walks in the third thanks to back-to-back strikeouts from Buster Posey and Brandon Belt.In the fourth through seventh innings, the Giants mustered just one walk and struck out six times against Edinson Volquez. When Luke Gregerson entered the game in relief of Volquez in the eighth, the Giants struck out two more times before collecting their first hit since the first inning, an infield single from Cabrera. He was stranded, though, when Buster Posey grounded into a fielders choice.Belt led off the ninth with a full-count walk against Joe Thatcher and advanced to second when Angel Pagan poked a ball through the hole between shortstop and third. With Brandon Crawford attempting to lay down a bunt, both runners advanced on a passed ball, changing Crawfords approach at the plate. Crawford came through with a clean line-drive single back up the middle to score Belt and end the game in style.In the field: Ryan Theriot, Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval teamed up for a very high-degree-of-difficulty double play to end the top of the third inning. Theriot fielded Carlos Quentins sharp ground ball while on his knees, then fed Brandon Crawford, who leaped to avoid the baserunner and get off a throw. Crawfords relay was low, but Sandoval dug it out while stretching to do the splits. Unfortunately, the highlight-reel play cost Sandoval, as he left the game immediately after with a left hamstring injury.With the go-ahead run at first, Angel Pagan brought back memories of Gregor Blancos catch in Matt Cains perfect game when he covered a lot of ground in the left-centerfield gap and dove to make an amazing grab to rob Carlos Quentin. Pagan wasnt done yet, as he threw the ball back toward the infield as his momentum carried him closer to the outfield wall. Brandon Crawford caught Pagans throw and relayed the ball to Brandon Belt at first to complete the rare 8-6-3 double play.On the bases:In the third inning, Nate Schierholtz and Melky Cabrera contributed their third and eleventh stolen bases of the season, respectively. Neither came around to score, though.Attendance: The Giants announced their 131st consecutive sellout crowd with a paid attendance of 42,559.Up next: The Giants will go for the three-game sweep in a Wednesday matinee game at 12:45 p.m. The Padres will start right-hander Jason Marquis (3-5, 3.79 ERA) to oppose fellow right-hander Tim Lincecum (4-10, 5.72 ERA). Lincecum dominated the Padres on April 28, allowing just an unearned run in eight innings; hes also 10-4 with a 2.03 ERA against San Diego in his career. Your current Jeopardy! champion, Insider Andrew Baggarly, will be back on the beat for the series finale.

Not a chicken-and-egg discussion: Three reasons why Giants are so boring

Not a chicken-and-egg discussion: Three reasons why Giants are so boring

To best understand what has happened to the San Francisco Giants, one must first decide whether or not they have abandoned hope, or just energy.

I mean, that is the new kneejerk position based on losing 18 of 22 games this month by an average margin of more than a run and a half per game, losing to the Phillies, Royals, Braves and Mets, falling five games behind the San Diego Padres and eight games behind the non-noisy neighbors in Oakland, and since the All-Star Break last year, they are 57-93, the equivalent of the third-worst record in franchise history.

Really, to see a happy thing in this team other than Buster Posey is an act of rankest delusion. What hope would you expend on this team?

But there’s a new element involved now, if you take Ken Rosenthal’s report for on the team’s internal crises at face value.

Apparently the Giants are boring their own management.

According to Rosenthal, the almost stultifying quiet of the clubhouse has become a concern to general manager Bobby Evans and perhaps even to those to whom he reports.

In citing the contributions of such ‘edgy” personalities as Pat Burrell, Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff in 2010, Hunter Pence in ’12 and Pence, Michael Morse and Pablo Sandoval (huh?) in ’14, Rosenthal suggested that the team is too staid – something that winning 38 percent of your games for an entire calendar year will do to you.

“I don’t think I can be definitive in my answers,” Evans was quoted by Rosenthal as saying, “but it’s not lost on us that we’re maybe a little quieter clubhouse than we’ve been in the past. I can’t answer that as being a factor or not.” He then followed up with the always circuitous they’d-be-louder-if-we-weren’t-such-a-tedious-watch argument, which seems self-evident but can’t really be proven one way or another.

But Rosenthal also credited “some with the Giants” as suggesting that the team even misses Angel Pagan, who allegedly help unite the clubhouse because so few of them liked him.

And now we’ve hit the motherlode of bizarre excuses. Angel Pagan is hurting the Giants far more by leaving them than by being with them. And this is, if you’ll pardon the expression, richly stupid.

Not Rosenthal, whom we can presume did his usual diligent work and correctly quoted “some with.” No, our problem is with the thinking that inspired “some with,” because you have to go a long way to make that explanation stick.

The Giants are playing terribly because, well, they are. Their pitching, which has to be in the top sixth of the league for this plan to work, is below average in many of the important metrics. Their offense is horrendous. Their outfield is a disaster. They are 27-51 purely on the merits.

That they are also boring is coincidence rather than causation, because nobody said they were boring after the All-Star Break last year, and nobody accused them of being boring in Game 4 of the National League Division Series with Chicago.

Boring is what you seize on when every other excuse, including the Mark Melancon-doesn’t-stretch-when-he’s-supposed-to straw man Rosenthal also threw up for chewing.

The truth is this, as much as anything. They are bad. They didn’t think they would be bad. They thought the second half of last year was an aberration rather than a harbinger, and they thought they could have gone to the World Series but for one hideous inning. And they are apparently shocked by this for some reason.

So, are they moping, or are they quitting? Do they need a clubhouse visit from Brian Sabean at his most pissed? What’s the thing that makes them fun guys again – other than, say, a five-way trade that gets them Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger and Nolan Arenado?

Because there’s your problem. Yes, they certainly are boring – downright stultifying, in fact. But this is not a chicken-and-egg discussion. They’re boring because they’ve been brutal, because they were slow to address their needs after misdiagnosing their problems, and because all their calculations from years gone by have gone badly wrong.

But if you really think boring is the issue, let’s have Bruce Bochy dress in a clown suit and Pence play outfield in just a sliding pants and a derby, and have one inning per game designated as the Wild Dingo Surprise Inning, in which wild dingoes are loosed upon the field to terrorize the players and/or fans.

See how many wins you get then.

What's wrong with Giants? 'There's no trust, there's no belief...'

What's wrong with Giants? 'There's no trust, there's no belief...'

The Giants have dropped 12 of their last 13 games and 21 of the last 26 en route to a NL West-worst 27-51 record.

Their play on the field is making it tough for one of their broadcasters to watch what's going on.

"It is unbelievably bad right now. It was hard to watch this weekend," Mike Krukow said on KNBR 680 on Monday morning. "They got beat every way that was possible. They got out hit, they got out hustled, they got out defended, they got out pitched."

So what is the problem with the team that just got swept by the Mets?

"There's no rhythm, there's no trust, there's no belief that if you don't get a hit, the guy behind you is going to pick you up. They set the table and day after day, they just don't get the hit. It has zapped them of all their strength. You get the sense they're searching, they're looking for an ignitor that just doesn't exist anymore," Krukow said.

The former Giants pitcher compared the feeling around the team to that of the 1985 Giants team that went 62-100.

"It is dismal, as low of a point in a Giants clubhouse and a confidence level that I've seen in a long time," Krukow said.

Krukow pointed out the most concerning part about what he's watching.

"It just doesn't feel like there's a belief that it can get better. And that's what is so concerning. These guys are proud," Krukow said.

Krukow had one lasting message for the Giants.

"They have to fight through this. They have to stay together. That's their only chance," Krukow said.