Giants

Bumgarner, Stewart propel Giants past Rockies 9-1

539987.jpg

Bumgarner, Stewart propel Giants past Rockies 9-1

Sept. 16, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
DENVER (AP) -- A late-season surge by Madison Bumgarner is helping to fuel the San Franciso Giants' last-ditch playoff push.Bumgarner allowed one unearned run in seven strong innings and hit a two-run double, leading the Giants past the Colorado Rockies 9-1 on Friday night for their sixth straight win.Brandon Belt, Cody Ross and Chris Stewart all homered for the Giants, who closed within six games of NL West leading Arizona with 11 games remaining. The defending World Series champions also gained ground in the NL wild card race, getting within five games of the Atlanta Braves."We've got to win every game and hope that they don't to have a chance, but everybody is playing relaxed right now," said Bumgarner. "We've got a good vibe in the dugout and a lot of the pressure that seemed to be on everybody is gone."
URBAN: Without Pressure, Giants are flourishing
Added Giants manager Bruce Bochy: "I've been saying this for the last week - we're hanging by a thread. But we're still alive. We're coming out every day trying to win ball games and hopefully get some help."There was one glitch on this otherwise hopeful night for the Giants.Ross, whose fifth-inning solo shot was the 100th homer of his career, left the game with a strained right hamstring in the sixth. He suffered the injury while running to first base after hitting an RBI single.Bochy said after the game that the team expected Ross to miss about a week but remained hopeful he could return for final week of the season."I'm optimistic that it's not as bad right now as I thought, but it is going to take some time," Ross said. "I want to come back as fast as I can and I'll do anything I can to speed it up."
RELATED: Ross exits Giants game early with leg injury
Bumgarner (12-12) allowed six hits in winning his career-best fifth straight. He dropped his ERA in that span to 1.04."This kid is just getting better and better," Bochy said. "He's been on a good roll, really hitting his spots with all his pitches. He's got to feel good about how it's gone for him, especially with the rough start that he had."Alex White (2-2) gave up six runs on nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. White, who has struggled to keep the opposition in the ballpark, gave up two of the Giants' three homers. He has allowed 11 home runs and has an ERA of 8.46 in five starts since coming to the Rockies as a key part of the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland."It's frustrating," White said. "It's time for this not to happen. There's nothing to do but keep working."Belt gave the Giants a 2-0 lead in the fourth when he connected for his second homer in as many days. He drove White's first pitch over the center field fence following Aubrey Huff's one-out single.The Giants went up 3-0 in the fifth when Ross drove an 0-1 offering from White into the Rockies' bullpen behind the right-centerfield fence for his 14th of the season.Colorado got on the board in the fifth when third baseman Pablo Sandoval bobbled Dexter Fowler's grounder for an error, allowing Willin Rosario to score from third base.But the Giants broke the game open with a three-run sixth, with all the runs coming with two outs.Brandon Crawford began the rally by drawing a walk. White hit Chris Stewart with a pitch and Bumgarner then doubled off the centerfield wall, scoring Crawford and Stewart.Ross lined a base hit to left, scoring Bumgarner, but began limping noticably as he ran to first base. The team said Ross strained his right hamstring, and was replaced by pinch runner Andres Torres.With Aaron Cook making his first relief appearance in eight years in the seventh, the Giants added three more runs on Stewart's two-run homer and Crawford's RBI single.Notes: Cook had made 184 consecutive starts for the Rockies since his last relief appearance on Sept. 27, 2003. ... Rookie left-hander Eric Surkamp will be going for his third victory in four outings when he starts for the Giants on Saturday against Rockies. It will be Surkamp's first appearance against the Rockies. He'll be opposed by fellow rookie Drew Pomeranz, a winner in his major league debut for Colorado last time out. ... INF Hector Gomez joined the Rockies on Friday after being recalled from the team's Double-A affiliate in Tulsa, where he hit .235 with 14 home runs and 50 RBIs. ... The Giants' winning streak is the longest since a seven-game run from June 22-28.

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

gillaspie-moncrief-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

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.

Giants reassign pitching coach Dave Righetti, two other coaches

righetti-dugout-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Giants reassign pitching coach Dave Righetti, two other coaches

SAN FRANCISCO — Late in a 98-loss season, general manager Bobby Evans met with members of the coaching staff to discuss new roles. The shakeup of the staff ended up being a stunning one. 

Pitching coach Dave Righetti was one of three coaches to be reassigned Saturday morning. After 18 seasons as pitching coach, Righetti will now serve as special assistant to the general manager. Bullpen coach Mark Gardner was given a “special assignment role to assist in pitching evaluations.” Assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will be a special assistant for baseball operations. 

The moves cap a 13-month run in which the coaching staff has taken much of the blame for a $200 million roster that was poorly constructed in places and played embarrassing baseball for long stretches of the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Third base coach Roberto Kelly was let go after the 2016 season and first base coach Billy Hayes was reassigned. More changes appear on the way. 

“It does raise the level of attention to change when you struggle as much as we have, but you’re always contemplating making changes to try to help keep pushing your guys and make sure you continue to have different perspectives and new voices and reflections on how to get the most out of them,” Evans said on a conference call. 

Throughout September, multiple coaches expressed concern about their future roles, but the Giants held off several weeks before announcing changes. At least two members of the staff were involved in managerial searches elsewhere, and third base coach Phil Nevin is reportedly still a candidate for the open job in Philadelphia. 

Evans confirmed that he has interviewed outside candidates for a hitting coach role, but he would not go so far as to say Hensley Meulens will be reassigned as well. He also would not speak to the future of Ron Wotus, although the longtime bench coach is expected to be mixed up in future changes as well. Evans indicated he would announce further moves after all the open managerial vacancies are filled.

For now, the Giants are in the process of trying to find a new pitching coach. They are focused on experienced outside candidates, and they have plenty of options, as several other teams have made changes this month. Evans hinted that he wants the next pitching coach to have a more analytical approach. 

Righetti's replacement will have massive shoes to fill. His run was the longest for a pitching coach in franchise history. The Giants, usually so reliant on pitching, finished 16th in the Majors with a 4.50 ERA, but it’s hard to see how Righetti takes the blame for that. Madison Bumgarner missed a chunk of the season after a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto had a brutal injury-plagued year, Matt Moore battled himself and had the worst ERA in the National League, and the bullpen struggled, with closer Mark Melancon pitching through an injury that required season-ending surgery. 

Righetti was credited with helping to develop a rotation and bullpen that won three titles, and the bond he shared with pitchers was on display during the final weekend of the year, when Matt Cain talked repeatedly about their close relationship and went straight for Righetti after he came off the field for the final time. While it’s often hard to figure out where to give credit, even in a down year for the staff, Righetti played a role in Sam Dyson’s resurgence, and he helped Ty Blach and Chris Stratton break in as big league regulars. 

“Ultimately a change for us in the clubhouse is really an opportunity just to put a new voice with our pitching staff and try to keep pushing to the heights that we aspire as an organization and a club,” Evans said. “Changes sometimes are needed as much for the sake of that new voice as anything, and I think that was really the priority here.”

Righetti will help Evans in a front office role. Evans admitted that Righetti’s “heartbeat is in uniform as a coach,” but said he was willing to take on a new role for an organization he loves. 

Gardner, a former Giants pitcher, had been on staff since 2003. He will now help to evaluate pitchers inside and outside the organization, and Evans said Gardner could serve an important role in evaluating trade options. Decker joined the big league staff in 2015 after a long run working in the minor leagues. The 2017 season was his 23rd with the organization. He will have a “blank canvas,” Evans said, working in different roles inside the organization. Decker will also help with draft preparation.