Bochy's buzzard swoops down on Giants in Seattle


Bochy's buzzard swoops down on Giants in Seattle


SEATTLE Would it elicit too many groans to say the Giantswent up in Smoak in a 2-1, walk-off loss to the Mariners Sunday afternoon?

Yes, of course it would. And we apologize in advance forthat.

So lets use one of Bruce Bochys favorite clichs, instead.

Buzzards luck, the manager said, leaning back in hischair.

RECAP: Baggs' Instant Replay -- Mariners 2, Giants 1

Seattle first baseman Justin Smoak made the defensive playof the game Sunday, diving to stop Hector Sanchezs hot grounder with two onand two out in the eighth inning. Then Smoak won the game for the Mariners inthe ninth, lacing a single to left field that scored pinch runner MunenoriKawasaki from second base.

The Giants dropped two of three to one of baseballs worstteams. They lost their first road series since May 7-9 at Dodger Stadium. Goodteams dont just take that result and shrug.

Of course, it must be pointed out that left fielder MelkyCabreras laser throw wouldve beaten Kawasaki to the plate by the length ofthree jet skis. It was buzzards luck that the ball hit the runner in the backwhen he was barely two-thirds of the way down the line.

And it was Bochys further misfortune that Smoaks defensivesave in the eighth came after the manager pinch ran Justin Christian for BusterPosey, his cleanup hitter and DH for the day.

I didnt think hed get to that ball, and Christians goingto score on that, Bochy said. No question, weve got to run for Busterthere.

Want more from the buzzard? Poseys spot came up with thebases loaded in the ninth inning. Bochy had to pinch-hit Nate Schierholtzinstead, who grounded out on a 3-2 pitch from hard-throwing closer TomWilhelmsen.

Nate, you know, he threw out a pretty good at-bat, Bochysaid. He got it to 3-2 there against a tough pitcher.

The Giants ended up losing on a day that Madison Bumgarneryielded a run on four baserunners in eight innings.

He was really, really good, said Sanchez, the catcher. Hethrew all his pitches down in the zone, especially his cutter. It was down andaway, down and in. Hes pretty amazing.

The Giants offense was less so. Their hitters were 1 for 8with runners in scoring position and stranded 12. They couldnt make their ownluck after the first inning against Felix Hernandez, who still has Cy Youngstuff even if his 3.70 ERA didnt inspire the same fears.

But Smoak snuffed out Sanchezs grounder in the eighth andCabrera, who can grow hits without a watering can, struck out on three pitcheswith the bases loaded in the ninth. Then came Schierholtzs jammed grounder.

The Giants couldnt make their own breaks. In the bottom ofthe ninth, the beleaguered home team finally received one.

We had em at the end, Bochy said. If that ball doesnthit the runner, hes dead. It's just, it's ...

Wait for it ...

"Buzzard's luck."

Dave Righetti is the face of the Giants' rebuild so far


Dave Righetti is the face of the Giants' rebuild so far

There was something almost disturbingly surreptitious about the Giants’ decision to announce Dave Righetti’s removal as pitching coach (for a front office job) Saturday. Saturday, after all, is the day you typically bury sports news that isn’t football, or related to football in some way.

But that could just be us being needlessly conspiratorial. We’re willing to bestow, if not the benefit of the doubt, at least the lack of doubt.

Still, Righetti’s reassignment, and those of bullpen coach Mark Gardner and assistant hitting coach Steve Decker, makes it clear that however the Giants want to avoid the use of the word “rebuilding,” they are indeed rebuilding – just not in the traditional new-players-for-old way.

General manager Bobby Evans made it clear without saying the words that Righetti’s messaging had lost its efficacy with the younger pitchers, who for the most part had not been part of the franchise’s most glorious times. And since the only pitchers still on the 40-man roster who had been with the club for its last World Series parade are Madison Bumgarner and Hunter Strickland, Evans clearly concluded that the message to the new staff needed to come from elsewhere.

Now this assumes that the problem with the Giants’ pitching was not the talent level or the execution, of course. Typically, it takes a lot for a manager or coach to screw up his job so profoundly that he needs to be replaced – mostly it’s considered an environmental matter that a new voice saying the old stuff is sufficient. It’s really more alchemy than science, and alchemy is fairly hit-or-miss.

But it is change where the Giants feel they can change; their four starters (Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore) and closer (Mark Melancon) are in for $70.8 million this coming year, so a full-on demolition is not cost effective, and the young’uns (Chris Stratton, Strickland, Cory Gearrin, Derek Law, et. al.) remain in that tenuous middle ground between dependable and disposable. In other words, there aren’t a lot of options for dramatic player change, and the Giants don’t look to be aggressive buyers in the off-season, crackpot Giancarlo Stanton rumors notwithstanding.

So this is the face of the Giants’ rebuild so far – Dave Righetti, Mark Gardner and Steve Decker. Make of the act and the circumstances of the release of the information what you will, but as it is neither the manager (Bruce Bochy is golden) or the players (who with only a few exceptions are decidedly meh, with a side of feh), it will have to do as the first answer to the question, “What do they intend to do about 64-98?"

I mean other than keeping a low profile about it.

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency


Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

With free agency set to begin five days after the World Series ends, two hitters that played for the Giants during the 2017 season have put their names on the open market.

Veteran third baseman Conor Gillaspie and longtime minor league outfielder Carlos Moncrief have both elected for free agency, according to Baseball America.

The 30-year-old Gillaspie appeared in 44 games for the Giants this past season. He hit just .168/.218/.288 with four doubles, two home runs and eight RBI. He was designated for assignment on August 3 and outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento on August 5. With the River Cats, Gillaspie hit .375 with four doubles in 15 games in August.

Prior to the 2017 season, Gillaspie signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Giants.

As for Moncrief, the soon-to-be 29-year-old finally got his first call-up the majors this past season after eight and a half seasons in the minors. He debuted for the Giants on July 29. In 28 games, he hit .211/.256/.237 with one double and five RBI. While he didn't do much with the bat, Moncrief showed off a cannon for an arm when he patrolled right field.