Scutaro able to laugh after freight train collision


Scutaro able to laugh after freight train collision

ST. LOUIS It takes toughness, and maybe lunacy, to collidewith a train and laugh about it.

A train derailment is how Marco Scutaro described thecontroversial, body-flying takeout slide from Matt Holliday that sent theGiants second baseman to the MRI chamber in Game 2 of the NLCS Monday night.

RATTO: Clarification coming in NLCS

Scutaro emerged sore but expressed confidence he would startat second base for the Giants in Game 3 Wednesday night. And with no majordamage done, he demonstrated a willingness to forgive and forget.

And to laugh.

Asked what he thought about Hollidays efforts to reach outto him after the game, Scutaro offered a Mona Lisa smile.

That was kind of nice to, you know, hear from him afterhe tried to kick my ass, he said.

What if Holliday tries to approach him before Game 3?

I might kick his ass, he said.

Before batting practice? After?

Whenever he wants, Scutaro said, barely breaking face asreporters laughed. Hes only 6-4, 250. No big deal.

Its easier to choose laughter over loathing when the testscome back with just a strain and bruises and likely wont keep Scutaro off thefield for any greater length of time than the four innings he missed at thetail end of the Giants 7-1 victory in Game 2.

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Its a win that Scutaro helped to bring home with a pair ofsingles following the first-inning collision, including the bases-clearing linedrive in the fourth that Holliday, of all people, kicked for an error.

After seeing the replay of Hollidays slide, though, Scutaroagreed that it was over the top literally and otherwise. And yes, it upsethim.

Umm, after I saw the replay, kind of, Scutaro said. Youknow, hes a guy who always plays hard but I think he slid a little late. Iguess he wasnt trying to do that but he was coming full speed. To be honestIm just happy nothing real bad happened and Ill probably be able to playtomorrow.

How did he recall the play developing?

First of all I was just trying to make sure of one out,slow roller, and all the sudden I saw this train coming, Scutaro said. Ididnt have time to pretty much do anything. As soon as I caught the ball hewas on top of me and I dont even know how I threw the ball to first. But Ithink I did, right?

Was the slide illegal, as Giants manager Bruce Bochycontended?

I dont know too much about sliding rules, but I think itwas a little late, Scutaro said. As a second baseman, pretty much the onlyprotection you have is your bag. Seeing the replay, he slid at the bag. I dontthink there was intention for me. He was trying to break up a double play.

At least when they slide before the bag, you can use thebag as protection and jump or something.

Scutaro could only recall getting hit harder at second baseone time, when he played for the As and they had hit someone on the opposingteam. Scutaro was playing shortstop while turning the pivot when a runnertried to kill me.

He did not believe Holliday had that intent, even if thecollision felt like unnecessary roughness.

I dont think you can slide harder than that, Scutarosaid. Youll probably hit the shortstop.

Another circle of laughter. Another lightning round ofone-liners.

Do you want your pitchers to retaliate?

Ask them. I dont know. I just work here.

How would you want them to respond?

Yeah, I want them to throw a nine-inning shutout and wewin.

The Giants No. 2 hitter appeared able to provide some runsupport to those pitchers when the series resumes at Busch Stadium. He wasntsupposed to participate in the Giants workout Tuesday, as trainers preferredhe rest and get treatment. But after stepping off a four-hour flight, he joggedin the outfield and then stepped into the cage -- crushing two home runs in hisfirst round of batting practice.

The trainers, theyre doing a great job, Scutaro said. Ididnt think I was going to feel this good today. I thought I would be worse.Its usually the next day you feel it the most. Im just happy nothing reallybad happened and Ive still got my leg there.

Scutaro said he stayed in Mondays game because he felt hecould still move enough to contribute, but his hip pain increased and began toradiate to his groin. By the fifth inning, his leg was so numb that if pinchhitter Skip Schumaker had hit a ground ball a few feet to the side, he wouldnthave been able to reach for it.

A day later, he felt less numb, more nimble and apparently,willing to move on to the next depot.

Giants continue embarrassing stretch against rebuilding Padres

Giants continue embarrassing stretch against rebuilding Padres

SAN FRANCISCO — Three years ago, the Giants and Padres were the two teams in it until the very end for Pablo Sandoval’s services. He ended up in Boston, and when he became available again over the past week, the Padres politely backed away. 

They prefer youth and Rule 5 Draft picks. They came into this season knowing they might lose 100 games, and they didn’t mind. If anything, they welcomed the increased shot at the top pick in the 2018 draft. They’re here to tank, but the Giants (who expect to welcome Sandoval back on a minor league deal as soon as Friday) just won’t let them. 

Thursday’s 5-2 loss to San Diego was like so many others over the past calendar year. The Giants didn’t hit, they didn’t come through in the clutch, they did not support their starting pitcher, and they did not guarantee a handshake line. 

The Giants have lost 15 of 20 to the Padres since last year’s All-Star break, including three straight last July to kickstart a tailspin that has lasted over a year now. They have dropped four of five meetings in this second half, which was supposed to prove that a Padre-like rebuild is not needed up here in the Bay Area. They are five games behind the Padres in the race to finish a distant fourth in the National League, and in a season full of disappointment, that stands as one of the more embarrassing facts. 

Not even Madison Bumgarner’s return to AT&T Park could turn the tide. The lefty looked good most of the night, but two homers left him with a rougher-than-hoped line. Bumgarner gave up four earned on two homers. He has allowed multiple homers in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Both starts have come against the Padres. 

“I’ve got to stop giving up homers,” Bumgarner said of his start. “That’s not going to work.”

Bumgarner said he felt fine physically, and his curveball — the pitch that has backfired on him most often since his return — feels right mechanically. He was facing his last batter in the seventh as George Kontos warmed up with a runner on. Corey Spangenberg hit a two-run shot to the deepest part of the yard to make it 4-2. 

Buster Posey flied out with the bases loaded in the eighth. The Giants brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth but couldn’t score, which has been the norm against the Padres. The Giants are averaging just 3.2 runs per game during this 20-game stretch of futility against a team they once dominated. 

“We need to win ballgames right now,” Bumgarner said. “We’ve got to start doing that. There’s no magic solution. We’ve got to start playing better, all of us.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as homers hurt Bumgarner vs Padres

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as homers hurt Bumgarner vs Padres


SAN FRANCISCO — A day after he did his press conference from a “Game of Thrones” throne, manager Bruce Bochy said he was happy the Giants won their series finale against the Indians and kept that plan in play. In that respect, he’s lucky his team wasn’t facing the Padres on Wednesday. 

The Giants were on Thursday, however, and they continued their baffling stretch of ineptitude against what is supposed to be the worst team in the National League West. The 5-2 loss to San Diego was the 15th in the last 20 meetings between the two teams, one of which has a $200 million payroll and the other of which is actively tanking. 

The Giants had a shot at a comeback in the eighth, but Buster Posey flied out to right with two outs and the bases loaded. Here are five things to know, if you are the curious type: 

—- Madison Bumgarner has faced the Padres twice since returning. In 13 1/3 innings, he has allowed 10 hits and seven earned runs. He is getting hurt by a familiar problem for the 2017 Giants: The Padres have four homers off Bumgarner in those two starts. Hunter Renfroe and Cory Spangenberg took him deep Thursday, with Spangenberg hitting one out to the deepest part of the yard on Bumgarner’s final pitch. 

—- This is the first time in Bumgarner’s career that he has allowed multiple homers in back-to-back starts. 

—- Kyle Crick showed good stuff — sitting 96-97 — while stranding a runner on second in the eighth. He followed that with a scoreless ninth. The Giants should make it a priority to throw him into some deeper water over the next two months. 

—- There’s an epidemic these days of outfielders making foolish throws to the plate. We see it just about every night, and it cost the Padres in the sixth. Gorkys Hernandez was on second and he took off right away on Denard Span’s single to right. Renfroe had no play at the plate but he threw it anyway and Span took second. He scored when Eduardo Nuñez singled to left. 

—- The Giants announced their second consecutive sellout. That’s a streak. Maybe?