Giants

Theriot's ring ceremony memories

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Theriot's ring ceremony memories

Programming note: Giants 2012 Opening Day coverage begins today at 12 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live, then Kruck and Kuip are behind the mic to call the Pirates vs. Giants at 1:30 p.m., only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!

DENVER Remember last years home opener at AT&T Park?Remember Brian Wilson running across the outfield to string up the first World Series banner in San Francisco Giants history? Remember the following night, when the players received elation in little blue Tiffany boxes?It was electrifying, spine-tingling, emotional, euphoric.It was pretty miserable, Ryan Theriot said.Remember, there were two major league teams standing on the baselines for all the pomp and pageantry. The St. Louis Cardinals were the visitors. And they had to be very, very good sports about the whole thing.During one of the pregame programs, the Cardinals actually stood on the line for 42 minutes and that included the entirety of a song performed live by the mainstream pablum-rock group Train.Theriot was the Cardinals shortstop. And while he enjoyed watching the players get their World Series bling, one thought kept ringing in his head: Is this ever going to end?Its kind of funny how things played out, he said.At the end of the 2011 season, it was Theriots Cardinals who emerged as the surprise playoff entrants. The Cardinals crept like cockroaches through three playoff rounds. And now hell get his first World Series ring when the Cards visit in May.It might be a good omen, he said. It was cool to be there last year for their opener, especially when they got their rings and the looks on their faces. They hadnt seen it yet. They all were surprised by it.Most especially, Theriot kept an eye out for Mike Fontenots reaction. The two were teammates at LSU and with the Chicago Cubs, and remain good friends.Oh, he sent me a text message later that day, Theriot said.A message, or a picture?What do you think? he said.The Giants released Fontenot toward the end of spring training and he still hasnt caught on with another club. Theriot said he hasnt heard anything new, but he finds it hard to believe that his friend wont get another big league opportunity somewhere.Well see him around, Theriot said.For now, Theriot is looking forward to standing on the third base line at AT&T Park just as long as its not for 42 minutes.Oh, Im very excited, the veteran second baseman said. Its just a great place to play. Great fans, great tradition. Ive been lucky throughout my career to play in places like that. Its as intense, if not more, than the last place I played. As a player, you do feed off that stuff. I really hope our fans know that.

Madison Bumgarner, Gorkys Hernandez make statements in win over Dodgers

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USATSI

Madison Bumgarner, Gorkys Hernandez make statements in win over Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — A 2-1 victory Saturday night at Dodger Stadium all but assured that the Giants will not lose 100 games. They still could, sure, because any sort of downslide is possible in this 2017 season, but they would really have to finish with some sort of ugly stretch. 

Still, it’s been a long season, so it was no surprise when Madison Bumgarner admitted to some sleepless nights since Opening Day. As for Saturday night …

“It’s going to be much easier to go to sleep tonight, because we won,” Bumgarner said.

The big lefty did the heavy lifting, throwing 7 2/3 dominant innings and offering one more reminder that his shoulder is 100 percent fine after a season-halting dirt bike accident. Bumgarner topped out at 93.5 mph, and even though Bruce Bochy thought Dodger Stadium might have had a hot gun on this night, the swings told the story of a good fastball. Bumgarner said this was as good as he has felt in a while. 

“He did look strong,” Bochy said. “He did have really good stuff tonight. It was really crisp.”

It was the kind of night that reminds you that, for all their issues, the Giants will start 2018 with a leg up on many others. They have Madison Bumgarner and you don’t, and that should lead to plenty of good over the course of 32 or 33 starts. 

“I think it’s good for the club to know, hey, he’s back,” Bochy said. “This is the kind of ball we can play.”

It was the brand Bochy appreciates: A strong start, a good bullpen, strong defense, and just enough offense. That’s how the Giants will win in 2018, if they are to do so, which bodes well for the man at the center of Saturday’s offense. The Giants plan to move Denard Span to left field and acquire a new center fielder, but they still lack depth in the organization, and Gorkys Hernandez has made it clear he would like to stick around. He had three hits — including two doubles — and a walk, scoring both Giants runs. 

After a slow start that almost got him released, Hernandez took off over the summer, providing a high average and sparkling defense at three spots. A left wrist tendon issue has slowed him in September, but he surprised the staff by being available for the final two weeks of games, and he said he’ll play through the end of the year before considering any rehab options 

“He certainly has made a statement,” Bochy said. “He’s one of our better athletes. He can play anywhere in the outfield, and what’s impressive is how he’s come on with the bat. A kid like this that plays defense the way he can, and shows he can do some things with the bat, he’s in the mix.”

Hernandez said he loves playing in San Francisco. He intends to spend his offseason getting healthy at his home in Scottsdale before competing for an outfield job. 

“Every time Bochy puts me in the lineup I’m trying to show everyone that I can be here and that I can be part of this team for a long time,” he said. 

Giants lineup: Span back in center, batting third vs Dodgers

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AP

Giants lineup: Span back in center, batting third vs Dodgers

Even with the Giants facing a left-handed pitcher Saturday night vs. the Dodgers, Bruce Bochy is going with Denard Span as his three-hitter.

San Francisco Giants (60-94)

1. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Denard Span (L) CF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Hunter Pence (R) RF
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 3B
8. Ryder Jones (L) 1B
9. Madison Bumgarner (R) P

Los Angeles Dodgers (98-56)

1. Chris Taylor (R) CF
2. Corey Seager (L) SS
3. Enrique Hernandez (R) LF
4. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
5. Logan Forsythe (R) 3B
6. Austin Barnes (R) C
7. Kyle Farmer (R) 1B
8. Charlie Culberson (R) 2B
9. Hyun-Jin Ryu (R) P