Huff's pinch-hit walk leads Giants' past Nats 2-1

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Huff's pinch-hit walk leads Giants' past Nats 2-1

April 30, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTS POSTGAME VIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARDWASHINGTON (AP) San Francisco Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez walked or hit seven of the first 10 Washington Nationals he faced. Giants closer Brian Wilson walked or hit three out of four Nationals hitters in one stretch in the ninth inning.Ah, and don't forget that Sanchez also walked someone else and mixed in a wild pitch, reliever Jeremy Affeldt added yet another walk, and shortstop Mike Fontenot dropped a throw for an error.Somehow, despite a total of nine walks and three hit batters, the Giants allowed only one run. And, somehow, they managed to beat the punchless Nationals 2-1 Saturday, thanks - appropriately, it seems - to a go-ahead run that scored when a slumping Aubrey Huff drew a bases-loaded walk as a pinch hitter.According to STATS LLC, the Giants are the first team since 1955 to put 12 or more of an opponent's runners on base via a walk or hit-by-pitch but give up fewer than two runs in a nine-inning game. Oddly enough, the losing team in that long-ago game also was a team known as the Washington Nationals."A strange game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Jonathan - he didn't know where the ball was going. He was all over the board."Here's the thing, though: The Nationals left the bases loaded three times. They only accumulated two hits all game - both by Rick Ankiel off Sanchez, including a run-scoring single in the second.Sanchez walked six but allowed just one unearned run in his five innings. Guillermo Mota (2-0) pitched a perfect sixth for the win, and four other relievers followed with hitless work.Still, Wilson made it interesting in the ninth. He walked two batters and hit Jayson Werth to load the bases with two outs, before striking out Adam LaRoche swinging for his eighth save in nine chances."When you're not scoring a lot of runs and leaving guys out there, it starts to weigh on you as a team," LaRoche said. "It makes every one of those opportunities seem more important than it is."John Lannan (2-3) allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings: Eli Whiteside's homer in the third and the bases-full walk to Huff in the seventh."I blew it with Huff," Lannan said.That was the last batter Lannan faced. Nationals manager Jim Riggleman second-guessed himself after the game for leaving his lefty in to face Huff after having him intentionally walk Whiteside to load the bases.Riggleman said he wanted to give Lannan a chance to possibly earn a win. But the skipper later realized he should have brought in reliever Tyler Clippard to pitch to Whiteside."That's one that's on me," Riggleman said.Both teams learned before the game that they would be without their star third basemen for long stretches because of upcoming operations: San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval is expected to miss four to six weeks because of a broken bone in his right wrist; Washington's Ryan Zimmerman should be sidelined for six weeks with an abdominal tear.
NEWS: Giants' Sandoval out 4-6 weeks with hamate fracture
The lineups could have used those players' skills at the plate.Sanchez walked three of the game's first four batters - Ankiel's double-play grounder was the exception - prompting a mound visit by Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti. That didn't help, because Sanchez then issued a fourth free pass.But with the bases full, Michael Morse swung at the first pitch and grounded out to third.Things didn't get better in the second for Sanchez, who began that inning by hitting Ian Desmond with a pitch.The left-hander then had Desmond picked off first base with a well-disguised move. When Desmond broke for second, fill-in first baseman Buster Posey - normally a catcher, he was making his first start at the bag since August, to give the .202-hitting Huff a rest - threw over, but Fontenot let the ball slip out of his glove.A wild pitch, walk and another hit batter helped load the bases. Ankiel then hit a floater that ticked off the diving Fontenot's glove for a run-scoring single that made it 1-0 and left three runners on."As a group, we were in a fog there - a couple of mistakes we made," said Bochy, whose team had lost six of its preceding eight games. "We have to snap out of this."Sanchez did manage to wriggle out of that jam. He struck out Werth looking, then got LaRoche to ground out to Posey.That began a stretch of eight consecutive outs for Sanchez, including four strikeouts in a row."I had to stay out there and go deep in the game," the pitcher said. "I didn't have it in my first two innings, and then I said: 'That's done.'"NOTES: The Cleveland Indians walked 11 batters and hit one in a 3-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on June 14, 1955, STATS LLC said. ... Giants OF Darren Ford entered as a pinch-runner in the seventh and was thrown out trying to steal second base. Ford singled in the eighth for his first major league hit. ... RHP Henry Rodriguez
made his Nationals debut in the ninth, reaching 100 mph and striking out two of three batters.

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

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

BOX SCORE

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.”