Instant Replay: Giants offense shows pop vs Reds, win streak reaches three

Instant Replay: Giants offense shows pop vs Reds, win streak reaches three


SAN FRANCISCO — It took a while, but the Giants are starting to check items off a pretty standard to-do list. On May 14, they clinched their first three-game winning streak of the season. In his eighth start, Jeff Samardzija finally picked up a win. 

The Giants took the tension out of this one early, leaping out to a big lead and riding Samardzija into the late innings. The 8-3 victory clinched just the third series win of the year and gave a struggling team four wins in five games. 

The Giants scored just 13 first-inning runs in their first 38 games, but they broke through against right-hander Tim Adleman, who dealt with neck discomfort and was removed before the bottom of the second. The four-run frame kicked off with Scott Schebler dropping Denard Span’s fly ball to right-center. Joe Panik doubled Span home and Buster Posey’s single brought Panik racing in. Eduardo Nuñez capped the scoring later in the inning with a two-run single to left. 

The Giants tacked on three more in the second, and again Span was right in the middle of it. He scorched a leadoff triple and scored on Panik’s sacrifice fly. Brandon Crawford’s double added the extra point. 

Samardzija didn’t need nearly that much help. He took the lead into the seventh, scattering nine hits while striking out eight. 

Starting pitching report: Samardzija capped a big series for the starting staff. Ty Blach, Johnny Cueto, Matt Moore and Samardzija combined to throw 29 innings with a 2.48 ERA. 

Bullpen report: STEVEN OKERT GOT AN AT-BAT. (He was under orders not to swing and he struck out. Still, that was the good stuff.)

At the plate: Span has raised his average 68 points in four games since he came off the DL. 

In the field: Panik quietly had one of the best defensive series you’ll see from a second baseman. His running over-the-shoulder catch in the fourth might have been his highlight of the weekend. A former infielder, Nuñez, also had a big day. He snagged Adam Duvall’s liner to left with a diving grab, saving at least a run and ending a promising inning. 

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 42,122 human beings. Shoutout to the moms. 

Up next: Another round with the Dodgers. Matt Cain and Twitter’s Brandon McCarthy get the first game. 

Giants starter Jeff Samardzija to get MRI on right shoulder


Giants starter Jeff Samardzija to get MRI on right shoulder

The Giants almost made it through spring training with no serious injuries.

But as they get set to leave Arizona for the Bay Area, Jeff Samardzija is dealing with a shoulder issue.

On Wednesday, Samardzija pitched in a minor league game. He gave up two homers, hit a batter in the fourth inning and was pulled from the game.

A day later, the Giants announced that Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his right shoulder. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, results of the MRI will be known later Thursday evening.

Samardzija's numbers in official spring training games this year are ugly. In 11 innings, he's 17 hits, 13 earned runs and six home runs.

No. 79? No. 53? Before they were stars, Giants wore random numbers


No. 79? No. 53? Before they were stars, Giants wore random numbers

SCOTTSDALE — A couple of veterans walked past a clubhouse TV earlier in camp and saw that the Giants and Padres were tied heading into the bottom of the 10th of an exhibition game. The Padres infielders were just standing around, and there was not yet a new pitcher on the mound. 

“It’s that time when No. 99 comes in to pitch,” one of the players joked as he headed home for the day.

A few seconds later, a big left-hander took the mound. He was, in fact, wearing No. 99, and in his inning on the mound he would face a No. 74 (Aramis Garcia) and No. 78 (Steven Duggar). This is the norm for spring training, when dozens of players — including teenagers and journeymen still hanging around the low minors — get into every game. That leads to action between numbers you would never see in a normal game. The Giants had 60 players in camp, plus 10 coaches and staff members with numbers. Throw in their 10 retired numbers and the unofficially retired ones (25, 55, etc.) and, well, there aren’t a whole lot of choices left. 

If Duggar makes the Opening Day roster, he’ll get an upgrade from his lineman’s number. Ditto for Garcia, who could be Buster Posey’s backup as soon as next season. Still, a taste of big league action doesn’t guarantee a normal number in camp, when young players regularly find themselves back at the end of the line. 

Ryder Jones wore 83 in camp last year and 63 in the big leagues. When he showed up this year, with 150 big league at-bats under his belt, he was told that he would have to wait until the end of the spring to upgrade. Players with more service time (think No. 2 Chase d’Arnaud or No. 19 Josh Rutledge) get priority, at least until all the cuts are made. Jones said he has a few numbers in mind for his next stint in the big leagues, but he won’t be picky. 

“Anything under 40 works,” he said, smiling. 

The steady climb toward single digits happens to just about everybody. Long before Brandon Crawford’s became @bcraw35, he wore 79 in his first camp. He moved up to 53 after that and Mike Murphy flipped that to 35 when Crawford became the big league shortstop. Hunter Pence doesn’t remember his first spring training number with the Astros, but he knows it was in the low eighties. Joe Panik wore 66 the first time he spent a spring at Scottsdale Stadium. “I was an offensive lineman,” he joked. Tyler Beede, now on the cusp of his big league debut, got promoted from 63 to 32 when he arrived last spring, only to swap to 38 this year because of some in-season shifting. When Pablo Sandoval arrived last summer, Steven Okert switched from 48 to 32.

Then there are those who have only known one jersey. Posey was a can’t-miss prospect when he arrived and doesn’t remember wearing anything other than 28. Brandon Belt was a top-25 prospect when he came to camp for the first time, and he’s been 9 since that day. Madison Bumgarner wore 40 in his first big league camp because he had already made his big league debut, but somewhere in the team archives, there are probably a few photos of a 19-year-old Bumgarner wearing something else. 

“The previous spring I came up to pitch a few times,” Bumgarner said. “I’m pretty sure I had a different number every time I came over and I’m pretty sure it was always in the eighties.”

There were seven Giants in the eighties this spring. Duggar was one of two top prospects — Chris Shaw inherited Crawford’s old 79 — to come close, and he didn’t mind one bit. He’s not thinking too far ahead, even though he could be a big leaguer in eight days. 

“I’ll take anything if I’m in the big leagues,” he said. “I’ll take No. 112 if that’s what they give me.”