Baggs' Instant Replay: Cardinals 3, Giants 1


Baggs' Instant Replay: Cardinals 3, Giants 1

ST. LOUIS Buster Posey cant hit a home run every day. This isnt a video game, you know.And you cant expect Melky Cabrera to roll out two or three hits every time he takes the field.Posey did extend his hitting streak to 13 games, but Adam Wainwright silenced the middle of the Giants lineup and they had to settle for a four-game split at Busch Stadum after a 3-1 loss Thursday afternoon.The Giants still jet home having won five of seven on their road trip to Colorado and St. Louis, and now they look to carry that momentum into a six-game homestand.Cabrera entered the day hitting .409 on the road trip, with 11 runs scored in six games. Posey, making a rare start behind the plate in a day game after a night game, had sizzled for a .462 average on the trip along with four home runs and 11 RBIs to vault his name into the MVP conversation.Marco Scutaro, who drove in seven during Wednesdays 15-0 victory, had 11 RBIs on the trip, too.But Carlos Beltran hit a two-run home run off Madison Bumgarner in the first inning and Wainwright was the flame retardant the Cardinals needed as they salvaged a split in the six-game season series between the clubs.Starting pitching reportFor the fifth consecutive start, Bumgarner averaged better than a strikeout per inning. He worked quickly and threw strikes, but paid for a 2-1 slider that stayed up and broke onto the barrel of Beltrans bat in the first inning.Beltrans two-run home run was his 27th of the season and gave him 80 RBIs, which leads the NL.It was the 18th home run Bumgarner has allowed this season, and his 15th on the road.Bumgarner pitched the rest of the afternoon like a snorting bull. He was never more aggressive than in the fourth inning, when he struck out Beltran on three pitches, then nonchalantly stabbed sharp comebackers from David Freese and Yadier Molina.The Cardinals scratched him for one more run in the sixth after Jon Jay hit a leadoff double and got a huge jump while stealing third base. But replays appeared to show that third baseman Joaquin Arias tagged him before he slid in safely. Umpire Tim McClelland appeared to be blocked out on the play. The apparent blown call led to a run, as Allen Craig followed with a sacrifice fly.Bumgarners line: Six innings, three hits, three runs (all earned), one walk, seven strikeouts on 90 pitches58 strikes.Bullpen reportBrad Penny hasnt been consistent out of the bullpen, but he certainly had good stuff Thursday while flashing a 93 mph fastball in a scoreless eighth inning.Santiago Casilla, who has been limited by a recurring blister issue, threw firm stuff while retiring Allen Craig in the eighth.At the plateA day after gushing for 15 runs, the Giants couldnt squeeze more than a few drops against Adam Wainwright. The right-hander finally is rounding into Cy Young form after having Tommy John surgery last season.He didnt allow a hit until Marco Scutaro singled in the fourth. The Giants had runners at the corners and two out, but Wainwright got Brandon Belt to pop out.The Giants made Wainwright work hard in the fifth, too. Joaquin Arias hit a one-out single and got a head start on a 2-2 pitch to Madison Bumgarner, who snuck a single under the shortstops glove to put runners at the corners again. Angel Pagan walked to load the bases and Scutaro hit a sacrifice fly that Jay left his feet to catch in center field. But Melky Cabrera popped out to end the inning.Buster Posey singled in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, but once again, the Giants couldnt get the two-out hit with runners in scoring position. This time Arias struck out to end the threat and strand two.Wainwright departed after seven innings and 119 pitches, and the Cardinals have had their share of issues getting the ball to closer Jason Motte. But Mitchell Boggs made quick work of Cabrera, Posey and Pence in the eighth. And Motte struck out pinch hitter Hector Sanchez with a man aboard to end it.In fieldAngel Pagan made a sliding catch in center field to take a bloop single away from Allen Craig in the third inning. But Bumgarners impression of Patrick Roy in the fourth made him the games defensive star.AttendanceThe Cardinals announced 32,810 paid. Fredbird was much more mirthful than the previous night.Up nextThe Giants begin a six-game homestand with the Rockies and Nationals on Friday, as Tim Lincecum (6-11, 5.43) takes on Colorado right-hander Tyler Chatwood (1-2, 6.61). Game time was moved back to 7:35 p.m. PDT to accommodate Matt Cains perfect game ceremony.

Giants agree to multi-year deal with OF Austin Jackson

Giants agree to multi-year deal with OF Austin Jackson

SAN FRANCISCO -- The overhaul of the Giants' outfield is complete.

The Giants agreed to a two-year deal with center fielder Austin Jackson on Monday, the team announced. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the deal is worth $6 million. The team did not immediately confirm the financials of the deal, but per Heyman, clauses could take it up to $8.5 million. Those figures would be in line with the goal of staying under the luxury tax threshold.

"We are excited to have Austin join the Giants. He is a talented and versatile player who will strengthen our roster and provide additional depth at all three outfield positions," Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager Bobby Evans said in a statement.

Jackson was worth 1.9 WAR last season while posting a .869 OPS for the Cleveland Indians. He mashed left-handed pitching, batting .352 in 122 at-bats. That trait could allow Jackson to platoon with Steven Duggar if he's ready early in the season. 

Jackson is the clear frontrunner now to start in center field on opening day and help fix a glaring defensive issue. Andrew McCutchen has already been installed as the new right fielder and Hunter Pence will slide over to left.

Giants first round pick makes top 100 prospects list


Giants first round pick makes top 100 prospects list

SAN FRANCISCO -- The annual Baseball America top 100 prospects list backed up two widely held beliefs about the Giants farm system: The organization still does not have a lot of high-end prospects and a newcomer is viewed as the best of the bunch.

Heliot Ramos, last year's first-round pick, was ranked as the 79th best prospect in the game, but he's the only Giant on the list. 

Ramos, 18, is the name just about every opposing front office asked for in trade talks this offseason, but the Giants view him as a potential five-tool center fielder. He already appears to be one of the steals of the 2017 draft. After being selected 19th overall, Ramos hit .348 in rookie ball with a .404 on-base percentage and .645 slugging percentage. He hit six homers in 35 games and stole 10 bases.

Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the top prospect on the list, followed by Shohei Ohtani and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 

The Dodgers have four players listed before Ramos and the Padres have four of the top 32 prospects as they try to rebuild and get back into NL West contention. The A's have four players in the top 100: lefty A.J. Puk (30), shortstop Franklin Barreto (43), shortstop Jorge Mateo (64) and outfielder Dustin Fowler (88).