Giants

Instant Replay: Giants fall short in series-opening loss to Rockies

Instant Replay: Giants fall short in series-opening loss to Rockies

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The Colorado Rockies entered the season as a dark horse to contend for the National League West title. They made a bit of a statement on their first night at AT&T Park. 

Playing without their ace for most of the night, the Rockies held on for a 3-1 win on a night Madison Bumgarner made his home debut. The Giants have made a habit of nearly coming back, and they loaded the bases with one out in the ninth. Eduardo Nunez hit into a double-play. 

A battle of Opening Day starters didn’t last long, but not because of what hitters were doing. Jon Gray had his usual good stuff and he allowed just one hit through three, but he was pulled one batter into the fourth with a left big toe injury. Gray came out of a spring training start against the Giants with the same injury. 

Gray left with a two-run lead thanks to Trevor Story. The shortstop hit 27 homers as a rookie and he got his first of 2017 when Bumgarner grooved a fastball in the top of the fourth. Bumgarner wormed his way through traffic all night, and the Rockies scraped across another run in the sixth on three singles. With two on, Bumgarner ended his night on the mound by striking out Story and getting Stephen Cardullo to fly out.

The Giants did practically nothing to take advantage of Gray’s sudden absence. In 3 1/3 innings,  lefty reliever Chris Rusin allowed just two hits and one run. 

The Giants fell to 4-7. 

Starting pitching report: Bumgarner took the mound to “No Leaf Clover” by Metallica and the SF Symphony. You will be missed, “Fire On The Mountain.”

Bullpen report: Bruce Bochy had been looking for an opportunity to push Ty Blach a bit. The young lefty pitched Tuesday and warmed up Wednesday, and he came in for the top of the ninth Thursday. Blach continues to pass every test; he pitched a perfect frame.

At the plate: Belt snapped a line-drive-filled 0-for-18 when he hit a liner in the seventh that ticked off Story’s glove. 

In the field: Belt made the same difficult play twice in the top of the seventh. Both times, he traveled deep into foul territory to snag a pop-up. Check that UZR in the morning. 

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,915 human beings who gave Brandon Crawford a very warm ovation when he pinch-hit in the eighth. 

Up next: Johnny Cueto makes his first home start of the season, which is always a good time. He’ll face lefty Tyler Anderson. 

Bochy, Melvin need to start giving us something out-of-the-box-y

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AP

Bochy, Melvin need to start giving us something out-of-the-box-y

These are difficult, which is to say battleship-gray dull, days for the Oaklandcisco Giletics. They go out, they lose three of every five times they play, they disappear again. It’s like watching Nerf whack-a-mole.
 
Which is why, in these final 40 games, both Bob Melvin and Bruce Bochy need to start giving us something out-of-the-box-y we can linger on, at least for a bit. The transition from the end of the Warriors season (and the subsequent fetishizing of everything they do) to the start of football training camp has been too easy, and baseball’s window to captivate the easily distracted has pretty much been closed.
 
And this is why we enjoyed Cincinnati second baseman Scooter Gennett, pitching in a lost-cause game Tuesday night (the Reds have given up double digits 20 times this year, so that’s not a big enough thing), referred to his speed gun rating in the mid-90s, which was corrected by reporters to the more accurate “68.”
 
Gennett’s response? “Yeah, I don’t believe that. I think the radar gun might be broken or something. That, Statcast, off-the-bat speed, all that’s fake news.”
 
Perfect, and perfectly timely, too.
 
Then there is manager Terry Collins of the injury ravaged New York Mets, who is so bereft of players that he had to play catcher Travis d’Arnaud at third base but also needed to find a way to avoid having the ball hit to him. So he had d’Arnaud switch with second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera every time a right-handed hitter came up for the Yankees. So you get a box score that looks like this.
 
This is also the game in which Aaron Judge hit a 457-foot home run AND set a record for consecutive games with a strikeout, with 33. His season has fallen into a chasm since the All-Star Break, thus making him the latest “face of baseball” to find out that this “face of baseball” thing isn’t such an easy gig after all.
 
Besides, the new face of baseball is Scooter Gennett, whom the Giants or A’s should absolutely pay Giancarlo Stanton money to get in 2018. I mean, this is a guy who gave a fake name to the cops because his mom brought him to a stationhouse once to scare him into wearing his seatbelt -- when he was still watching Muppet Babies.
 
If that’s not the true face of baseball, there is none at all. Billy, Bobby, make this happen, or resign.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants drop finale in Miami

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AP

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants drop finale in Miami

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The flight from Miami to San Francisco is one of the longest in the league. It will not be a happy one.

The Giants fell behind early and never recovered, losing 8-1 in the series finale with the Marlins. The Giants had won six of nine entering the road trip. They dropped a series in Washington D.C. and then lost two of three to the Marlins. 

You are here already, so here are five things to know … 

—- Matt Cain deserved better in the first, and it was kind of a stunning error that cost him. With two outs, Brandon Crawford dropped a liner that was hit right at him. The next batter, Tomas Telis, hit a two-run double. 

—- Cain was charged with five runs in four innings, but only two of them were earned. He struck out seven and walked just one, showing a good curveball throughout. Several times, he dropped down for a new look. Like I said, he deserved a bit better than that final line. 

—- Pablo Sandoval’s walk in the eighth was his first since returning to the Giants. His numbers, by the way, are right in line with his Boston numbers. 

—- Albert Suarez has seen his stuff take a tick up during this stint with the Giants, but it’s not leading to results. After giving up a walk-off grand slam on Sunday, he allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings in relief of Cain. Suarez currently has a 7.43 ERA. 

—- Giancarlo Stanton was 2 for 4 with two singles. His run of six games with a homer came to an end. I suppose that’s a small victory for the Giants?