Instant Replay: Giants 3, Padres 2


Instant Replay: Giants 3, Padres 2


SAN FRANCISCO The Giants were held hitless for six innings between the first and eighth, but broke a 2-2 tie in the ninth on Brandon Crawfords line-drive single to center for their sixth walk-off win of the season.Starting pitching report: Madison Bumgarner started and ended a 1-2-3 first inning with strikeouts, then watched as his offense staked him to a 2-0 lead. But Bumgarner gave it right back in an ugly second inning that included two doubles and a bloop hit from San Diegos starter Edinson Volquez.After his 26-pitch second inning, Bumgarner benefited from a spectacular double play in the third, then worked around a leadoff double with two strikeouts for a scoreless fourth.Bumgarner kept the Padres off the board in the fifth and sixth innings as well, but racked up 100 total pitches in the process, putting him on a short leash entering the seventh.The Giants 22-year-old leftys best inning was his last, as he cruised through the seventh with two strikeouts and a slick fielding job on a comebacker to end the inning.Despite the quality start, Bumgarner actually raised his home ERA this season from 1.81 to 1.90.Bumgarners final line: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K (111 pitches, 69 for strikes)Bullpen report: Sergio Romo entered a tie game in the eighth inning and wouldve been on the hook for a loss if not for Angel Pagans spectacular catch and throw double play to end the inning.Santiago Casilla got the call in the ninth and issued a one-out walk to former Giant Jesus Guzman. But the fill-in closer got Everth Cabrera to strike out to end the inning At the plate: The Giants wasted no time getting on the board, just as they did in Mondays 7-1 win. It wasnt a four-run first inning like in the series opener, but the Giants managed two runs to give Madison Bumgarner an early cushion.Nate Schierholtz, leading off for a fourth straight game, roped a double into the rightfield corner, advanced to third on Ryan Theriots infield single, and scored on a Melky Cabrera groundout. Pablo Sandoval just missed a home run with a deep drive into triples alley. Though he only ended up on second, it was more than enough to bring in Theriot for a 2-0 lead.After the Padres tied the game, the Giants went down in order in the second and wasted back-to-back leadoff walks in the third thanks to back-to-back strikeouts from Buster Posey and Brandon Belt.In the fourth through seventh innings, the Giants mustered just one walk and struck out six times against Edinson Volquez. When Luke Gregerson entered the game in relief of Volquez in the eighth, the Giants struck out two more times before collecting their first hit since the first inning, an infield single from Cabrera. He was stranded, though, when Buster Posey grounded into a fielders choice.Belt led off the ninth with a full-count walk against Joe Thatcher and advanced to second when Angel Pagan poked a ball through the hole between shortstop and third. With Brandon Crawford attempting to lay down a bunt, both runners advanced on a passed ball, changing Crawfords approach at the plate. Crawford came through with a clean line-drive single back up the middle to score Belt and end the game in style.In the field: Ryan Theriot, Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval teamed up for a very high-degree-of-difficulty double play to end the top of the third inning. Theriot fielded Carlos Quentins sharp ground ball while on his knees, then fed Brandon Crawford, who leaped to avoid the baserunner and get off a throw. Crawfords relay was low, but Sandoval dug it out while stretching to do the splits. Unfortunately, the highlight-reel play cost Sandoval, as he left the game immediately after with a left hamstring injury.With the go-ahead run at first, Angel Pagan brought back memories of Gregor Blancos catch in Matt Cains perfect game when he covered a lot of ground in the left-centerfield gap and dove to make an amazing grab to rob Carlos Quentin. Pagan wasnt done yet, as he threw the ball back toward the infield as his momentum carried him closer to the outfield wall. Brandon Crawford caught Pagans throw and relayed the ball to Brandon Belt at first to complete the rare 8-6-3 double play.On the bases:In the third inning, Nate Schierholtz and Melky Cabrera contributed their third and eleventh stolen bases of the season, respectively. Neither came around to score, though.Attendance: The Giants announced their 131st consecutive sellout crowd with a paid attendance of 42,559.Up next: The Giants will go for the three-game sweep in a Wednesday matinee game at 12:45 p.m. The Padres will start right-hander Jason Marquis (3-5, 3.79 ERA) to oppose fellow right-hander Tim Lincecum (4-10, 5.72 ERA). Lincecum dominated the Padres on April 28, allowing just an unearned run in eight innings; hes also 10-4 with a 2.03 ERA against San Diego in his career. Your current Jeopardy! champion, Insider Andrew Baggarly, will be back on the beat for the series finale.

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.

Giants reassign pitching coach Dave Righetti, two other coaches


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.