Theriot breaks down Cueto; Blanco to call Melky


Theriot breaks down Cueto; Blanco to call Melky

SAN FRANCISCO The Giants cued up plenty of video onright-hander Johnny Cueto, who takes the mound Saturday night in Game 1 of theNLDS at AT&T Park.

That isn't their only source of information, though. In fact, the player whohas faced Cueto more than any other major league hitter has a locker in the middle of the Giants clubhouse.

Ryan Theriot wont be in the Giants' starting lineup for Game 1. Not even JoeMorgan would start at second base right now over Marco Scutaro, who has a .436average over his 20-game hitting streak.

NEWS: Game 1 lineups

But Theriot is a .302 hitter in 43 career at-bats against Cueto, and he isdoing his best to let teammates know what to expect from the Reds 19-gamewinner.

Well, for one, he stops the running game, Theriot said.Hes got a good move. And hes one of those guys who throws right-on-rightchangeups. So that makes him tough. Hes one of those guys if you get a pitchto hit, youd better hit it. Because you probably wont get it again.

You cant try to do too much. You really cant.

Theriot has a homer and two doubles among his 13 hitsagainst Cueto. The only other Giant with more than 10 at-bats against him isHunter Pence, who is a .276 hitter (8-for-29) with 11 strikeouts.

But Pence isnt putting much stock into those numbers.

Thats because I havent faced him in two years and whathes doing now is a lot different, Pence said. He added a hitch, a timingthing. Ive been looking at it on video. Last time I saw him, he was throwing95 with a slider. That changeup is something hes added. At least, I haventseen it.

Pence watched video of hits off Cueto, to see what pitchesthey came on and where they went. The pitcher gave up his share while postingan 8.22 ERA over three consecutive losses in early September, but ended theseason with three cleaner outings.

Theriot remembers a pitcher who keeps the ball off the barrelwith a late-moving fastball.

When he throws his fastball down and away, itll stayaway, Theriot said. Hes got that run to it. I dont think he tries to do it.Thats just how it moves. And his sinker, he can run in on your hands.

Hes a little more susceptible to left-handed hitters, whobatted 59 points higher (.279). So hell be keying on switch hitters AngelPagan and Pablo Sandoval. First baseman Brandon Belt looms as another X-factor.

Right or left, Cueto isnt afraid to throw any pitch at anytime.

Most pitchers you can try to game-plan and look forpatterns, Theriot said. With a guy like him, youre almost better offpatterning the catcher. He doesnt repeat pitches too often.

Pence said he might check out some of those Theriot-Cuetoconfrontations on video.

You cant go dead red on Theriot, Pence said, smiling.Hell take you deep.

Gregor Blanco already saved Matt Cains perfect game withone of baseballs most outstanding catches of 2012. Now he hopes to be an assetagain as he starts in left field behind Cain in Game 1 of the NL DivisionSeries.

Hes worked real hard for everything hes gotten and hedefinitely deserves it, Cain said. Its definitely good to have him in theoutfield running stuff down for us.

Its like running down a dream for Blanco, who was a non-rosterinvitee this spring after playing for the Washington Nationals Triple-A clublast season.

I never thought I was even going to make this team, Blancosaid. Now, this feels great. I thank the Giants so much for giving me thisopportunity and this experience. It gives me a lot of confidence to go out andsupport my teammates.

Blanco planned to lend support to one former teammate,suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera, who is eligible to return should the Giantsadvance beyond a fifth game this postseason. The club already has declared thatCabrera will not rejoin the roster.

Cabrera hasnt spoken to most of his teammates following hisAug. 15 suspension for testing positive for testosterone.

Blanco said he knew Cabrera would be watching Game 1, though. He planned tocall him before the first pitch Saturday.

Im going to try to get in touch with him, Blanco said.

The Giants had an uplifting experience before their flighttook off from Los Angeles Wednesday night. Prior to boarding their charter, theteam was allowed to take pictures of Space Shuttle Endeavour as it sat parked inan adjacent hangar at LAX.

Bumgarner throws three innings of no-hit ball in first rehab start

Bumgarner throws three innings of no-hit ball in first rehab start


Madison Bumgarner was back on the bump Sunday night in a Giants jersey for the first time since being placed on the DL due to a dirt bike accident on April 21.

Bumgarner took the mound for the Arizona Rookie League Giants against the Arizona Rookie League Angels and did not allow a hit in three innings pitched. The Giants' ace also struck out two and walked one. 

In both the first and third innings, Bumgarner pitched a perfect three up and three down frame. 

Bumgarner was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of his left throwing shoulder and sustained bruised ribs from his dirt bike accident on an off day in Colorado. Pitching in a game for the first time in over two months, Bumgarner was throwing between 88-91 miles per hour, according to Tommy Stokke of FanRagSports. 

After finishing his three innings of work, Bumgarner went down to the bullpen to increase his pitch count, reports Sande Charles of FanRagSports

Before sustaining the injury, Bumgarner was 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts this season. 

The Giants have gone 21-41 since Bumgarner's injury. They are 27-51 on the year and sit 24.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. 

After another Giants clunker, Bochy tells players 'enough is enough'

After another Giants clunker, Bochy tells players 'enough is enough'

SAN FRANCISCO — A few minutes after yet another missed opportunity at the plate Sunday, a voice came over a speaker in the press box at AT&T Park and announced a 524th consecutive sellout. It nicely summed up this current stretch of Giants baseball. 

The seats are emptier than they used to be at first pitch, and they were just about abandoned in the ninth inning of an 8-2 loss, but for the most part the fans are still showing up in droves. One woman brought a toaster by the dugout Sunday morning and asked players and coaches to sign it, hoping to recapture the magic from across the bridge. Another, Bryan Stow, made his first appearance of the season at AT&T Park, met with Bruce Bochy, and said he hoped to see a win. As Matt Moore started warming up, a band set up on top of the visiting dugout to play hits that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. 

For a while, AT&T Park was rocking. And then, as has happened so often this summer, the game started. 

The Giants turned in another epic clunker in a season full of them. They have lost 12 of their last 13 games and 21 of 26, but it’s worse than the raw numbers. On most nights, some in the organization have noted privately, they are simply boring. It’s one thing to lose, it’s quite another to do it in this way. 

“There’s no getting around it,” Bochy said after the sweep. “I’ve been through some tough stretches here and this is as tough as any stretch I’ve seen. For some reason the baseball gods are really testing us here and (testing) this group. It’s not that they’re not coming out ready or trying, but enough is enough.

“At some point, we’ve got to find a way to get this thing turned around.”

Even a slight pivot would be welcomed by the faithful. There were scattered boos Sunday, the latest in a growing trend. This is a fan base that has seen the highest highs, but rarely in franchise history have the lows been this low. 

The crowd no longer turns to the rally lights that were used so often in an awful April, but the noise still grows with each new rally. And then, every single time Sunday, the Giants killed off any hope. 

In the second inning, a Brandon Belt bunt single and Brandon Crawford bloop put two on, but a pair of rookies flied out. 

In the third, the bases were loaded ahead of Buster Posey. He flied out to bring one run across, and there were still runners on the corners for Belt, who leads the team in homers. On a 2-2 count, Hunter Pence inexplicably took off for second. He was caught, the inning was over, and the two-run Mets lead was intact. Bochy said he did not send Pence. 

In the sixth, there were two on with no outs for Posey. Both runners bolted to stay out of a double play. Posey popped up to first -- for a double play.

“He’s not a guy that strikes out, so I’m pretty confident sending runners with Buster,” Bochy said. “We can’t keep laying back. We’re trying to force the issue a bit and stay out of double plays.”

In the eighth, the Giants loaded the bases for Posey and Belt. Posey grounded out. Belt struck out for the third time. 

“We’re getting guys out there,” Bochy said. “We’re not doing enough damage.”

Matt Moore’s damage was self-inflicted. He twice gave up homers to the guy — Rene Rivera — hitting in front of the pitcher. Moore said he has stopped throwing his cutter the past three starts and tried to get his four-seamer going, but the Mets were teeing off. Moore gave up five runs on seven hits. He was pulled in the fifth, left to think about mechanics that still aren’t right. 

“The cutter is a little bit different of a pitch and at times it can take away from the four-seam fastball location-wise, and command of the four-seam was starting to go down the more I threw (the cutter),” Moore said. “I’m anxious to get back to it, but the foundation has got to be throwing the four-seam fastball. I need to execute where they’re carrying through the zone, not running or cutting.”

Moore said his confidence is fine and his problems are not physical. Others can no longer say that. Austin Slater, a rare bright spot in this five-win month, was pulled with a tight hip flexor. He was headed for an MRI. 

Slater is too young to be one of the players Bochy approached after the game. He said he talked to a few, though, passing along that “enough is enough” message. Moore, last in the National League in ERA (6.04), was not one who needed a reminder. 

“I’m sitting on a six right now with not a lot of wins and not enough team wins when I’m throwing,” he said. “It’s been 'enough' for me for the last couple of months.”