Giants

EXTRA BAGGS: Casilla likely to avoid DL, Posey moseys, etc.

763428.jpg

EXTRA BAGGS: Casilla likely to avoid DL, Posey moseys, etc.

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO The Giants are off to San Diego and theyhope to have a full complement in their bullpen.

Closer Santiago Casilla was unavailable for a thirdconsecutive day because of a bone bruise in his knee, but Giants manager BruceBochy said the right-hander was improved. There was no discussion of placinghim on the disabled list.

Actually, hes doing pretty good, Bochy said.

The Giants also stayed away from using Sergio Romo, who hashis own issues after aggravating his subluxed knee during the Cubs series.Bochy was hopeful Romo would be ready to go as well when the Padres seriesbegins Tuesday night.

--
Not only did Buster Posey become the first catcher in 36years to draw four walks in a game, but he also did it while running the countto 3-2 each time. He saw a total of 27 pitches, which came in very handy to getJeff Samardzija and his nasty arsenal out of the game after five innings.

RECAP: Baggs' Instant Replay -- Giants 3, Cubs 2

The Giants made Samardzija throw 110 pitches. (No wonderStarlin Castro lost track of the outs in the fifth inning. He was listening tothe five-inning, 110-pitch lullabye.)

Posey became the third catcher in the Giants San Franciscoera to draw four walks in a game. The others were Dave Rader (in 1975) and DickDietz (in 1969). But put an asterisk on Raders game, since wily Cardinals managerRed Schoendienst intentionally walked him three times.

Posey also joined Juan Uribe and Dustan Mohr in a veryunique club. They are the only Giants other than Barry Bonds to have afour-walk game since 2000. (Bonds had 16 of them over those years, includingthree five-walk games.)

BAGGARLY: Giants establish winning pattern, sweep Cubs

Yes, Uribe. I still can't figure out what happened that dayat Citi Field in 2000. He saw 19 pitches and didnt let the bat leave hisshoulder once.

Well, it was New York, so that explains it, a wisecrackerin uniform told me. He was out all night.

--
I'm sitting in the press box awaiting the Giants' first-round draft pick.

Every draft is important, even if you don't have a top-10 choice. So this one is no different, especially because, even if the minor league standings don't leave this impression, it hasn't been a great year for the farm system thus far.

Gary Brown is not going to fly through the minors the way everyone thought and it looks like he'll need to overhaul his unorthodox swing. Kyle Crick is not the same kind of strike thrower that Madison Bumgarner was as a teenager and Matt Cain became in short order. And Heath Hembree, after a great start, is not being used on consecutive days at Triple-A Fresno. It sounds as if he's being coaxed along, possibly because of arm tenderness.

I always expect the Giants to take a pitcher, since they evaluate and develop them so well. But I will only make one prediction as the time nears for the Giants to be on the clock: They will describe their choice as "the best player available" and "someone we had at the top of our board" and they will be "very excited that he was available."

Durable Longoria ready for additional boost from ballpark, Giants fans

Durable Longoria ready for additional boost from ballpark, Giants fans

SAN FRANCISCO — The field at AT&T Park is covered with patches and small piles of dirt right now, showing the signs of a winter hosting holiday parties and concerts, and a week with plenty of rain. 

For Evan Longoria, though, that grass was a beautiful sight.

A month after a trade that had him switching coasts, Longoria was introduced at a press conference at AT&T Park and ran the usual gauntlet with team employees and season-ticket holders. He spent some time this week looking for housing in the Bay Area, but soon he’ll be back in Scottsdale, getting to know new teammates and preparing his body for the 2018 season. 

Longoria said his workouts have been a bit different with a new staff, but the goal remains the same. He is a player who prides himself on taking the field every day, and that’s one of the traits that drew the Giants to Longoria. He has played at least 156 games in five consecutive seasons, and 160 in four of those seasons. 

It’s no accident that Bruce Bochy has mentioned durability during every media session this season. Andrew McCutchen has a similar track record, and the Giants lineup certainly could use some stability, especially at third base, where seven different players made double-digit starts last season. Longoria will change that. 

“I have a desire to play every day, and I think that that is infectious,” he said. “Players that may feel the grind of a long season or might be in a little bit of a funk offensively or defensively or with pitching, something like that can give you a boost when you have guys around that you know come to play and compete on a daily basis, no matter what the circumstance is.”

[RELATED: Just a number? Longoria says slow down with concerns of Giants' aging roster]

For Longoria, who turned 32 early in the offseason, the circumstance has changed for the better. After years on the unforgiving turf at The Trop, he comes to a park and division featuring nothing but natural grass. 

“I hope it helps,” he said. “Going on the road (with the Rays), my body definitely felt better when I played on grass. I’m sure that it will help. It’s definitely not going to be a negative. Not playing on the turf anymore is something that crossed my mind as soon as the trade happened.”

Longoria expects to benefit from another aspect of AT&T Park, too. The Rays finished dead last in the majors last year with an average of 15,670 fans per game. Even though their sellout streak ended, the Giants still had an average of more than 40,000 per night. Asked about playing outdoors, Longoria smiled and added, “in front of fans.”

“The environment here is obviously much different, so it’s going to be nice to step into that on a daily basis and play in front of a fan base that’s obviously very storied,” he said. “It helps with energy. It helps with motivation.”

McCutchen ready for more conversations with 'Steve the Seagull' at AT&T Park

McCutchen ready for more conversations with 'Steve the Seagull' at AT&T Park

Andrew McCutchen has been one of the best players in the National League for years now. The 31-year-old is a five-time All-Star and was named the 2013 NL MVP. 

Not only do his stats stand out, McCutchen is also one of the most entertaining players in baseball. And that's clearly going to continue in San Francisco. 

On Thursday, McCutchen was asked about the famous seagulls of San Francisco flying around the outfield at AT&T Park. 

"I definitely made a few friends out there over the years. Steve the Seagull out there, I know him," McCutchen said on KNBR. "He comes in every now and then. We have a little pow-wow when I come to San Francisco. Yeah, we get along well, me and the guys, me and the birds. They know when to come in that's for sure." 

Denard Span, who the Giants traded to acquire Evan Longoria, had a much different relationship with the seagulls. 

McCutchen is clearly the opposite of Span in this regard though. He seems about as calm as can be when it comes to the birds paying him a visit. 

"They chill, we have some conversations. It's all good," says McCutchen. 

One other aspect McCutchen can't wait for in the outfield at AT&T Park, is getting to know all the fans. Specifically, not being a part of a special chant Giants fans have for opposing outfielders. 

"I'm lookin' forward to fans not callin' me bums anymore," McCutchen said with a laugh. "I'm glad I'm on the winning side. I'm glad I'm on the San Francisco Giants side. I can't wait to meet all the fans."