Giants

Bumgarner throws gem, Giants win 7-0

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Bumgarner throws gem, Giants win 7-0

BOX SCORE
SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner reached an important milestone in his final start of the season, but the Giants' left-hander was more impressed by teammate Conor Gillaspie's first career home run.The rookie's stumbling, falling down inside-the-park home run in the seventh inning capped a stellar night for the defending World Series champs, who are trying to salvage what they can from this disappointing season."If somebody with his speed is able to run around, fall down and still make it, he must have hit it a long way," said Bumgarner after combining with two relievers on a three-hitter in San Francisco's 7-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night. "That's a good first home run story."Bumgarner has a pretty good tale of his own, finishing with a 13-13 record after starting the season 0-6. He won his final five starts at AT&T Park with a 0.54 ERA during that stretch.Against Colorado, Bumgarner was outstanding. He retired 18 of the final 19 batters he faced, did not walk anyone for the second straight start and finished with nine strikeouts.That gave him 191 strikeouts for the season and pushed Bumgarner over 200 innings pitched - a goal he set out for himself coming out of spring training."From last year and earlier this season you've seen the growth in this kid," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's got presence out there, he's got poise and he keeps coming at you."Brandon Belt homered into McCovey Cove while Brandon Crawford added two hits and an RBI for the Giants, who have won two straight following a four-game losing streak.That's little consolation for the defending World Series champs, who will still miss the postseason a year after claiming their first title in 54 years.Colorado only got one runner to third base and lost for the 11th time in 13 games to fall 22 games behind Arizona in the NL West."We did not pitch and when you don't pitch you can't win at this level," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "Combine that with the fact that we got three hits ... maybe we're fortunate that we got beat only 7-0."Bochy juggled his lineup slightly, starting Gillaspie at third and moving Pablo Sandoval to first. It seemed to do the trick.Gillaspie singled and scored on Belt's homer in the fourth then stumbled his way around the bases in the seventh for his first career home run.The Giants rookie hit a deep fly ball into the gap in right center that sailed over the head of Colorado outfielder Ty Wiggington. Gillaspie raced around the bases and broke for home when Wiggington overthrew cutoff man Mark Ellis. He tripped after rounding third then had to hustle to beat the throw home from shortstop Tommy Field."I thought for sure I was going to get thrown out," Gillaspie said. "If I wouldn't have fallen I think I would have had it easy. But it worked out and it's pretty exciting."Belt hit his ninth homer, a two-run shot off Rockies starter Alex White, in the fourth. It was Belt's first splash hit and the 84th overall at the Giants waterfront ballpark.The only player younger than the 23-year-old Belt to reach the waters at ATA&T Park is Sandoval, who did it 12 days shy of his 23rd birthday. Giants hitters have done it a total of 60 times, 35 from home run king Barry Bonds.Belt later walked and scored on Crawford's triple in the sixth.That was all the support Bumgarner needed to secure San Francisco's seventh consecutive win over Colorado and 13th overall this season.Bumgarner, the winning pitcher in Game 4 of the World Series last season, allowed only two hits and pitched with runners on base in only two innings - the second and sixth. Each time, he worked out of trouble.Kevin Kouzmanoff doubled leading off the second and took third on Jordan Pacheco's single to right. Bumgarner (13-13) then struck out the next three hitters, including Wilin Rosario and Field who were both caught looking at a third strike.Ramon Ramirez pitched the eighth and former starter Barry Zito worked the ninth to complete the shutout.White (2-4) got off to a rough start, walking leadoff batter Andres Torres on six pitches then uncorking back-to-back wild pitches to advance Torres to third. Mike Fontenot followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.San Francisco put two runners on in the second and had a runner at second in the third but couldn't add on until Gillaspie singled in the fourth and Belt homered.Crawford's RBI triple was the second of the rookie's career. He later scored on a wild pitch, the fourth of the night thrown by Colorado pitchers.Notes: Tracy will bring back his entire coaching staff next season, including hitting coach Carney Lansford and pitching coach Bob Apodaca, both of whom have come under fire this year. ... Colorado general manager Dan O'Dowd and slugger Jason Giambi held a lengthy meeting in the dugout two hours before the game discussing the future of the club and some of the players. ... LHP Drew Pomeranz makes his fourth career start for Colorado. Pomeranz (1-1) allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings but left with a no-decision against the Giants on Sept. 17. ... LHP Eric Surkamp (2-1) pitches for San Francisco. ... Bill Neukom, who will retire as the Giants' controlling owner at the end of the year and be replaced by Larry Baer as chief executive officer, was on the field during batting practice. ... Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell and winger Ryan Clowe of the San Jose Sharks were among those in attendance.

Report: Two Giants hitters elect free agency

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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

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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.