Giants

Surkamp goes four, Giants top Cubs 3-2

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Surkamp goes four, Giants top Cubs 3-2

BOX SCORE
MESA, Ariz. -- Eric Surkamp made another pitch to become part of San Francisco's rotation.A long shot to claim a spot, Surkamp threw four effective innings as the Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 Friday.Surkamp went 2-2 in six starts for San Francisco as a rookie last season. He gave up one run and four hits, striking out four.

"I'm happy with how I did," said Surkamp, nicked only by Anthony Rizzo's home run. "My arm speed is coming back a little bit. I ran into a little dead arm early in spring training. But I'm starting to feel better."Surkamp's chances to make the rotation rest on whether the Giants start somebody on the disabled list."Eric threw well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It seems like he's developing more and more confidence each time he gets out there."For the Cubs, Matt Garza chopped into his sky-high spring ERA by allowing two runs and three hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out three."I pulled out all my stuff today," said Garza, hoping to be the opening day starter for the Cubs. "That makes it a lot easier when I need a weapon besides a fastball and a changeup.""I'm happy we made progress but I'm still not done," he said. "I've done this the last seven years. Six actually - it took one year to figure it out. I getting my ready at my pace. I know my body."Garza carried a 16.20 ERA into the game. He sailed through the first three innings before giving up two runs in the fourth."When April 5th comes, I'll be ready to go. It's one step at a time to get everything right, get everything in sync. The hardest thing about this game is getting back into the rhythm," he said.Rizzo's homer was his second of the spring. Catcher Blake Lalli, a non-roster invitee, also hit a solo homer for the Cubs.Cubs manager Dale Sveum has been preaching aggressive baserunning. But in this game, the approach backfired in the ninth inning.With the Cubs trailing 3-2, Joe Mather singled but was then thrown out trying to go form first to third on Brett Jackson's sacrifice bunt.For the Giants, Buster Posey went 1 for 2. He is scheduled to serve as the DH in a minor league game, then take a few days off, Bochy said.
BAGGARLY: Posey pleased after outing
The Cubs will play a split-squad set Saturday, with one game against the Athletics at Phoenix and the other being the first of two against the Texas Rangers in Las Vegas."It breaks up spring training," Sveum said of the Vegas trip. "I don't know if it's a reward. You're still playing. You don't get to enjoy Vegas, though I'm sure somebody will."NOTES: The game drew a packed crowd of 13,245...The Cubs picked up RHP Frankie de la Cruz off waivers from Milwaukee. ... Sveum likes what he sees from pitcher Lendy Castillo, a right-hander obtained in the Rule 5 draft. "He's obviously doing well," Sveum said of Castillo, who has given up one run in five innings. "He's been able to throw strikes, his stuff is there. His poise on the mound. ... and his athleticism and competitiveness has been far and above the Rule 5 guys I've been around."

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?

Giancarlo Stanton to Giants? Upside vs downside from Marlins perspective

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USATI

Giancarlo Stanton to Giants? Upside vs downside from Marlins perspective

Because we are too cool to allow the games to sustain us and because we all think the purpose of sports is actually not to be the best player but the general manager, the new item on the baseball menu is not the pennant races but “Where should Giancarlo Stanton go?”

The usual suspects are listed – the Yankees, the Giants, the Chunichi Dragons, Real Madrid – and the $295 million still on his contract is not considered an impediment.

But the logic behind the Marlins keeping him is just as clear and more pressing. Namely, Bruce Sherman, the incoming owner, and Derek Jeter, the designated face, did not buy this team and promptly try to make themselves detested by the few people who still care about it.

So far, we know that the monstrous thing in center field (no, not Christian Yelich) is likely to be torn down, and that Stanton is don’t-go-to-the-bathroom-during-his-half-inning entertainment. Beyond that, we know only that the Marlins draw when they win a lot and barely at all the rest of the time. They are clearly a distant third in a four-team race with the Dolphins and Heat for people’s hearts, and now that hating Jeffrey Loria’s living guts are off the table for the fans, there really is no there, there.

So what’s the up-side of moving Stanton (and before we go any further, the Giants don’t have nearly enough assets to make that work, so calm the hell down) for the Marlins? Prospects, the dark hole that makes a three-year plan a six-year plan.

And the down-side? Sherman may as well move the team for the level of fun he’ll get from it, and the only reason to buy a team looking at a $60 million loss is for the fun. Besides, onlky a very few owners have ever made the full turn from villain to hero – the first impression almost always lasts forever.

So while Stanton may create immediate wallet relief for this aggressively average team (their current record of 57-61 is the 12th best in their 25-year history, and they’ve only had eight winning seasons ever), they also have nothing to sell the fans that they have to live with every day. And if they don’t have enough fans . . . well, I hear San Jose is always hot for a mediocre franchise that lurches between spending money and hoarding it.