Posey plays four innings, nabs base-stealer


Posey plays four innings, nabs base-stealer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In his gradual return from a horrifichome-plate collision last May 25, Buster Posey took another step by playingfour innings in the Giants 7-5 win over the Mariners Sunday.Posey was hitless in two at-bats against 2010 American LeagueCy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez, after going 0-for-1 against AroldisChapman Friday, but was happy with the progress. I felt good, Posey said. I got ahead 2-0 in bothat-bats. I saw some good pitches in the first at-bat. Got a pretty good pitch2-0, just rolled over it. I feel good at the plateI feel like Im seeing theball well.Even though Posey is still searching for his first hit inthree at-bats, he nailed his first would-be base-stealer after two missedopportunities.
After Carlos Peguero singled off Brian Wilson in the fourth inning, he tried totake second, but Posey popped up out of the crouch smoothly and fired achest-high throw to Emmanuel Burriss, who applied an easy tag for the third outon a bang-bang play.Wilson was happy to have the man who caught his WorldSeries-clinching pitch in 2010 back behind the plate.Hes a huge part of the team and the energy, Wilson said. Weasked him as a rookie to be a leader behind the dish with the remarkablepitching staff that we have. It was a blow to the energy last year having himout. Hes had a long winter, but hes been extremely disciplined and hes doingall he can to get back. It was nice to see him behind the dish todayrealnice.Posey didnt appear to hold back running the bases after making contact in bothat-bats.I felt more comfortable getting out of the box today then Idid a couple of days ago, he said.Posey was also tested in the second inning as the Mariners mounted a long rallyto keep him in the crouch for longer than normal. But he was happy to have theopportunity to put pressure on his surgically repaired ankle.Its nice just to have some different situations, Poseysaid. As much as I want it to be 1-2-3 for my own sake, its good to have alittle bit longer innings and to test it a little bit.Posey said the plan is to catch four innings again on Tuesday. But Bruce Bochysaid he would wait until talking with head trainer Dave Groeschner beforefinalizing the schedule for Poseys next appearance.

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Practically speaking, the 50th loss is no different than the one before or the one after, but this sport is built on milestones, and this one came quickly.

The Giants lost their 50th game on August 12 last year. This season, it was clinched when Ryder Jones grounded out in his fourth career at-bat, handing the Mets a 5-2 win on June 24. 

Bruce Bochy called losing 50 of your first 77 games "hard to believe" and "embarrassing." Johnny Cueto, who went seven strong, said the reality was "hard and sad." Brandon Belt, who got Cueto off the hook for a loss, agreed with his manager.

"That's a pretty good word to use -- it is embarrassing to come out and lose every day, especially with the group of guys we have," Belt said. "When you're losing as much as this, it is embarrassing. We're trying to do whatever we can to turn this thing around."

Lately, that has meant changes to the roster. It is officially audition season, and in that respect, it was not a particularly inspiring day for the bullpen. The Giants felt they would have a better mix this year, but it hasn't played out. Instead, they're once again trying to find pieces for the next successful Giants bullpen.

With Hunter Strickland suspended and Derek Law in the minors, two young relievers, a middle-innings stalwart, and a newcomer pitched the final two frames. They gave up four runs.

Sam Dyson was the first on the mound in the eighth. Belt had homered a few minutes earlier, tying a good starter's duel. Dyson gave up a leadoff triple to Curtis Granderson and walked Asdrubal Cabrera before throwing two good sliders past Yoenis Cespedes for the strikeout. With two lefties coming up and the go-ahead run still on third, Bochy turned to Steven Okert. He immediately gave up a seeing-eye RBI single to Jay Bruce. Wilmer Flores doubled off George Kontos later in the frame to make it 3-1. 

In the ninth, Kyle Crick showed some of the wildness that kept him in the minors for seven years. He, too, gave up a leadoff triple, a sin you always pay for. A walk helped put another run into scoring position and a wild pitch extended the Mets’ lead to four. 

Before the game, Bochy talked of getting an extended look at Jones. He was 0-for-4 in his first big league game but he’ll be back out there tomorrow. It’s time to fight for a job, and the same holds true of some relievers who didn’t fare well Saturday. It is a group with a closer locked into a longterm deal and little else decided. 

Are Strickland or Law eighth-inning guys? Will Dyson be a worthwhile reclamation project? Will Kontos be back, and will he carve out a different role? Are Okert and Josh Osich capable of giving Bochy lefties he trusts? Is Crick’s improvement in Triple-A a sign of things to come? There are many questions to be answered over the next three months. 

“This is a good time for them, this is what players get up here for, to show what they can do,” Bochy said. “Because of our situation, we’re going to take a look at these guys and we know there are going to be growing pains.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 50th loss of the season


SAN FRANCISCO — The promotion of an intriguing prospect can bring a certain buzz to the ballpark. It didn’t last long. 

The debut of Ryder Jones came in the latest flat performance from the Giants, who collapsed late and fell 5-2 to the Mets. The loss was their 50th of the season. They did not lose their 50th game last season until August 12. 

With the score tied in the eighth, Curtis Granderson crushed a leadoff triple into the alley. Sam Dyson walked the next batter and then whiffed Yoenis Cespedes, but Jay Bruce greeted Steven Okert with an RBI single to right. It kept going poorly from there. 

Here are five things to know from a cool day by the water … 

—- Jones grounded out to second in his first at-bat and then flied out to center, grounded out to first, and grounded out to second. He had one chance in the field, starting a double play that ended the second inning.  

—- Johnny Cueto seems to have turned a corner. Over his past two starts, he has allowed just three earned runs over 14 innings. Whether they trade him or not, the Giants certainly could use a nice little hot streak for the next six weeks. 

—- A few seconds after Bruce Bochy shook Cueto’s hand, Brandon Belt got him off the hook for a loss. He hit the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh into the seats in left-center, tying the game. The homer was Belt’s 14th. He’s on pace for 29. 

—- The Mets got eight one-run innings out of Jacob deGrom, who is quietly the most reliable of a star-studded rotation. He struck out seven and gave up just four hits. 

—- If Madison Bumgarner wants another Silver Slugger Award, he’ll have to chase down deGrom, who hit a homer in his last start. His single in the third was his 10th hit, and he finished the day with a .294 average.