MESA, Ariz. — The Giants haven’t done much right over the past week. They’ve lost six straight after opening the spring 3-0. They made six errors in a home game on Thursday. On Friday, they had three hits in a 6-1 loss to the A’s.
But there was a positive to take away from the game. With the exception of one pitch, Jeff Samardzija was sharp in 2 2/3 innings. In his second outing of the spring, Samardzija struck out three, allowing his lone run on a Yonder Alonso homer.
“Shark was really good,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Buster said the same thing. The one ball carried out to left but he threw the ball very well. He mixed it up well. That’s a good day for him.”
Samardzija was just as happy as his manager.
“I was pretty surprised with the way the ball was coming out of my hand,” he said. “I’m not even upset about that (homer). It was a 2-0 count and he got a heater and back-spun it out.”
Samardzija’s next start will be a bit different. He has thrown to Buster Posey both times out, but Posey will fly to Florida on Monday to take part in the World Baseball Classic.
“I can’t say it’s ever happened to me before,” Samardzija said his catcher leaving for a few weeks. “But I don’t think it’s an issue. Anyone but Buster, you might be a little worried, but he’s such a pro. He’ll be ready.”
ICYMI: Posey had missed two straight games with a stiff neck, but he said this morning that he’s feeling much better and he plans to play three straight this weekend. Posey caught five innings Friday and got three plate appearances, going 0-for-2 with a walk.
THROWBACK: It’s combine weekend, which led to some post-start discussion with Samardzija about the end of his football career. Samardzija never went to the combine, instead signing with the Cubs, but he surely would have done well. He said he hasn’t run the 40 since his sophomore year of college, when he posted a 4.53. Pretty strong for a 6-foot-5 wide receiver. By comparison, only three running backs at this year’s combine beat that time by more than a tenth of a second. Christian McCaffrey, the explosive Stanford back, ran a 4.48.
STOCK RISING: Players who were at Thursday’s road game said Chris Marrero had a deep fly ball that was hit even harder than his homer. The wind caught that one. Marrero crushed another deep out in his first at-bat Friday. He’s certainly swinging the hottest bat right now of the bench candidates. Marrero started at first base. One of his replacements, Ryder Jones, made the play of the day with a scoop of a brutal short-hop.
QUOTABLE: “We had a strap-it-on day, that didn’t work. It’s Ronny’s (Ron Wotus) birthday. That didn’t work.” — Bochy on his team losing six straight.