Giants

Baggs' Instant Replay: Mets 2, Giants 1

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Baggs' Instant Replay: Mets 2, Giants 1

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO The New York Mets couldnt have blown more chances to break open Wednesday nights game if they were Olympic badminton players.They loaded the bases four times with two outs or less against Matt Cain and a sloppy Giants bullpen, yet strangely, pathetically, found themselves clinging to just a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning.But the Giants committed the greater sin. They didnt make the Mets pay.Hunter Pence was held hitless in his Giants debut and his teammates mustered only two other hits besides Buster Poseys solo home run in a 2-1 loss at AT&T Park.The Giants lost for the sixth time in seven games yet retained their one-game edge in the NL West courtesy of Arizona's sweep at Dodger Stadium. The Diamondbacks are now just 2 12 games back, though.Starting pitching reportIts rare to see Cain (10-4) fight himself on the mound and throw pitches all over the place. Its just as rare to see the bullpen break into activity in the third inning of a Cain start.It was that kind of night. Ruben Tejada homered on the second pitch of the game and Cain pitched through SIG alerts in each of the first three innings while stranding five runners.But Cain somehow kept the Mets from busting the game open. The Mets loaded the bases with one out in the third but Cain only allowed one run to score on a fielders choice.Cain struck out David Wright to end the threat, but not before nearly hitting him with a curveball -- flashback to the scary pitch a few years ago that struck Wrights helmet and sent him to the hospital in New York.The bullpen got active after Cain walked the first two batters in the third inning, but after a visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti, the right-hander struck out Jason Bay and got a strikeout-double play when Buster Posey threw out a runner at third base.Posey threw out another runner to get Cain out of the fifth inning. But the biggest defensive play was from center fielder Gregor Blanco, who laid out in spectacular fashion to take an RBI double away from Jordany Valdespin in the fourth.The catch was every bit as good as Blancos unforgettable grab that preserved Cains perfect game June 13.Bullpen reportGeorge Kontos threw a scoreless sixth inning but needed help in the seventh after the Mets loaded the bases on two walks and second baseman Ryan Theriots error on a potential double-play ball.Left-hander Javier Lopez entered and conveniently punched up another double-play grounder, and shortstop Brandon Crawford adeptly started the twin killing.Lopez has stranded 40 of 45 inherited runners this season.The Mets blew another chance to take command in the eighth, and it got ridiculous. Clay Hensley was all over the place as he loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter. But Josh Thole grounded into one of the oddest double plays youll ever see. First baseman Brett Pill threw home for the forceout at the plate, and Thole was ruled inside the baseline when catcher Buster Poseys throw glanced off his shoulder and bounced into right field.Hensley issued another walk to load the bases again, but Theriot atoned for his earlier error by making a diving stop and throw from his knees to retire Tejada and end the inning.Would you believe the Mets loaded them again in the ninth against Brad Penny? This time the Giants escaped when Penny snared Jason Bays line drive, threw to first base to double off the runner and roundhouse-punched the air.At the platePence was just 3 for 20 in his career against lefty Jonathon Niese, who threw a fire blanket on the right fielders enthusiastically received debut game.Niese threw a curveball that Pence popped up in foul ground, stranding two runners in the first inning. Pence reached in the fourth, but only while striking out on a wild pitch.Posey took Niese deep in the sixth inning to cut the Mets lead in half. It was just the 17th home run by a Giant in 52 games at AT&T Park this season; Arizonas Jason Kubel owns that many by himself at Chase Field.Pence couldnt follow up by putting another in the bleachers, though. He grounded out to end the inning.Angel Pagan, who missed two games after bruising his hand in a fit of frustration, lined out as a pinch hitter.Pence had one last chance in the ninth but struck out on a borderline outside pitch.In fieldSure, the Mets wasted chances. But the Giants also made the plays to end innings. Blancos catch was the best of them, but Theriots diving stop in the eighth and Pennys snare in the ninth were impressive, too.AttendanceThe Giants announced 42,188 paid on Jerry Garcias birthday. It was also Madison Bumgarners birthday. San Francisco legends, kindred spirits.Up nextThe Giants complete their disappointing, 10-game homestand and their four-game series with the Mets on Thursday afternoon. Left-hander Barry Zito (8-7, 3.89) opposes Mets right-hander Chris Young (2-5, 4.58).

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

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MiLB/Sacramento River Cats

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

Every time the Journey song “Lights” plays throughout AT&T Park, the lyrics When the lights go down in the City ring too true for the Giants’ offense. There’s a power outage in San Francisco. 

The savior to this issue can soon be prospect Chris Shaw, who turns 24 years old on Oct. 20. Shaw, along with five other Giants prospects, is continuing his 2017 season among a multitude of baseball’s best young up-and-comers in the Arizona Fall League. As he takes the field for the Scottsdale Scorpions, Shaw’s bat is far from the top focus for the Giants. 

After playing right and left field at Boston College, the Giants turned Shaw into a first baseman once they selected the 6-foot-4, 235-pound lefty in 2015. This year, the Giants’ front office decided to make a change. As the big league team continued to look for their own answers, Shaw saw himself in left field in 94 of the 125 games he played between Double-A and Triple-A this season. 

“I saw improvements through the course of the year,” Brian Sabean said about Shaw’s outfield defense on The Giants Insider Podcast. “The problem is playing left field in our left field isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do.” 

The AFL is all about reps in left field for Shaw as the Giants have already said he will get a long look in spring training. He earned that right after a breakout year at the plate.

One week into the AFL though, Shaw’s bat is way behind. Through four games, Shaw is batting a pedestrian .133 (2-for-15), both hits being singles. But even in such a slow start there are positives. 

Shaw has walked three times to only two strikeouts. His only downfall at the plate once he reached Triple-A Sacramento was his on-base percentage fell from .390 in Double-A to .328 at the higher level. With the River Cats, Shaw struck out 106 times, leading the team, while taking his base 20 times.

One week in the desert, Shaw is showing more patience and putting the ball into play more often. The ball simply isn’t finding grass.

In the outfield, every ball Shaw sees -- practice or game -- during the AFL is a step in the right direction for he and the Giants. He is yet to make an error in his short time at the AFL. The big lefty will never be a guy to make the spectacular play, but if he improves his instincts with the glove and improves his eye at the plate, the Giants can finally have their left fielder of the future. 

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

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USATSI

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.