Giants

'Mad' Giants ready to move past Dodgers' sweep

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'Mad' Giants ready to move past Dodgers' sweep

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SAN FRANCISCO Ryan Vogelsong is mad. Not at his offensefor failing to score against Clayton Kershaw. Not even at Marco Scutaro for hiserror that led to an unearned run. Instead, the Giants veteran right-hander ismad at himself for failing to pick up his teammate after the error. I need to pick him up right there, Vogelsong said ofScutaros two-out, sun-induced blunder that led to the Dodgers second run ofthe fourth inning. I felt worse about not picking him up after that play thananything else today.The lingering anger from Sundays 4-0 loss to cap athree-game sweep that creates a tie for first place in the N.L. West shouldserve the Giants well moving forward, according to Vogelsong.If anything, this makes us a little mad, Vogelsond said.You have to take it out on the Mets.The New York Mets are in town for the first of four gamesstarting on Monday to face a Giants team with a familiar perspective. After aseason-high 13 consecutive days atop the standings, the Giants are back tofighting for sole possession of first place with the Dodgers, who leaveNorthern California with their first back-to-back shutout wins in San Franciscoin franchise history.Giants manager Bruce Bochy didnt express anger like hisstarter did. As the skipper of a floundering club, he stayed positivethroughout his postgame press conference. Unfortunately in this game youre going to get it handed toyou some times and your lineup, theyre going to go through their tough times,Bochy said. I dont care who you are or what club you are, its going tohappen. Whats important is how we deal with this.The only thing you do is press on. Thats the only thing we can do.The Dodgers went through a similarly tough time earlier thisseason and responded by acquiring Hanley Ramirez, who drove in six runs in thesweep. Bochy wasnt ready to say the Giants need to make a move to match theirrivals headline-grabbing trade. Ive got 25 guys here that were going to battle every daywith, Bochy said. Thats all I can be concerned with. Thats all they need tobe concerned with, not were getting this or that. If were doing that, thenwere distracted. Angel Pagan, who had one of the Giants five hits Sunday,said the team just needs to focus after Kershaw struck out seven and didntallow an extra-base hit in his fifth career shutout, two of which have comeagainst San Francisco.He kept the ball down and over the plate and he didnt make many mistakes,Pagan said. Turn the page and keep going. Its no fun losing games but wecant panic.Pagan had the best chance to snap the Giants scorelessstreak back in the second inning, when he reached first on a one-out error byDodgers shortstop Luis Cruz. But he was picked off just before Scutaro andBrandon Belt put together back-to-back singles, helping Kershaw escapeunscathed.Where the Giants failed, the Dodgers succeeded, as theyturned Scutaros error into a run in the fourth inning. Vogelsong was on theverge of dancing out of danger like Kershaw did in the second, but came up justshort. The Dodgers had runners at first and third with one out when Ramirez hita sharp ground ball to third. Scutaro made a quick turn to get the force out atsecond, but Ryan Theriots relay to first was a split-second too late.Ramirezs hustle paid off even more when he came around to score afterScutaros error kept the inning alive.Despite throwing 41 pitches in the fourth, Vogelsong stillstayed on the hill for six innings and has now worked at least that deep intoall 19 of the games hes started this season. Only one of his two runs wereearned and he struck out five Dodgers on the afternoon.Ill take that start any time, Bochy said.While Vogelsong earned his managers seal of approval, he knows he has a thinmargin of error to work with when dueling Kershaw, who he beat in two priormatchups this season.Thats what happens when youre facing one of the bestpitchers in the game right now, Vogelsong said. One mistake, one run can costyou the game.One run will cost the Giants any game if they continue tolook so helpless at the plate. The top of the Giants lineup, which consistedof Gregor Blanco, Theriot, Melky Cabrera and Buster Posey, combined to go1-for-15 with a walk and five strikeouts. The lone hit came from Posey on aground ball to Ramirez at third base with two outs in the ninth and couldvebeen ruled an error. Cabrera accounted for three of the top half of thelineups five strikeouts for his first hat trick as a Giant.Cabrera had just one strikeout and hit .364 as the Giants reeled off threestraight shutout wins over the Dodgers at AT&T Park from June 25-27. Butthat series is ancient history now that Don Mattinglys club has returned thefavor.They pitched well, they played great, just the opposite oflast time we played them, Bochy said. Thats baseball.

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

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AP

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have made a habit in recent winters of “kicking the tires,” so to speak, on as many free agents as possible. General manager Bobby Evans is committed to being thorough, but at times there is probably no need. 

Hitters have made no secret of the fact that they prefer friendlier confines, and if you’re a power hitter, you’re going to ask Evans for a significantly larger check to play 81 of your games at the harshest power park in the majors. That’s what makes Giancarlo Stanton, readily available via trade, so intriguing. But would Stanton be fully immune to the realities of AT&T Park?

The numbers, at least in a small sample, suggest he would. Stanton has played 27 games in San Francisco and taken 108 at-bats. He has nine homers, 11 doubles and a triple. His .676 slugging percentage at AT&T Park isn’t far off his mark at Coors Field (.714), and his 1.048 OPS is higher than his OPS during the 2017 season, when he hit 59 homers. 

The damage has been done in limited time, but the Giants clearly believe it’s fully sustainable, and a recent study done by ESPN’s Dan Szymborski backs that up. Szymborski ran his ZiPS projection system to estimate Stanton’s stats over the next 10 years for a variety of suitors. The numbers in orange and black are overwhelming. 

The projections have Stanton at 46.2 WAR over the next 10 seasons, including 7.1 in 2018 and 6.8 in 2019, the two seasons the organization should be focused on given Madison Bumgarner’s contract situation. ZiPS projects Stanton at 46 homers next season if he plays for the Giants, followed by 43, 42, 39, 35 over the following four years. For comparison’s sake, Brandon Belt led the Giants in homers each of the last two seasons and he has 35 total during that span. 

Any sort of projection system needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt, especially with a player who has had injury issues in the past. But ZiPS believes Stanton -- who plays in a huge park already -- is a rarity, the kind of power hitter who can keep crushing well into his 30’s and put up huge numbers even if he is limited by the realities of getting older and getting hurt. Szymborski’s projections have Stanton playing just 102 games in 2025, but he’s still projected to hit 23 homers, 20 doubles and post an OPS+ of 121. Even in the 10th year of the projections, ZiPS has Stanton down for 16 homers. 

There are no sure things in this game, but as Evans continues to chase a blockbuster deal, he can be confident that Stanton is one player who should be able to provide power for years to come, no matter what AT&T Park does to hold hitters down. 

Former A's slugger Gomes offers Ohtani scouting report: 'Big fan of the dude'

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AP

Former A's slugger Gomes offers Ohtani scouting report: 'Big fan of the dude'

Former A's left fielder/DH and Bay Area native, Jonny Gomes, last played Major League Baseball in 2015. The next year, Gomes looked to continue his career in Japan with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. 

Gomes struggled in Japan, batting just .169 in 18 games. While in Japan though, Gomes saw firsthand the two-way talent of Shohei Ohtani. 

"The dude throws 100 miles per hour consistently," Gomes said Tuesday to MLB Network Radio. "That plays."

With MLB, the Players Association, and the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization agreeing to a new posting system, Ohtani should soon be available as a free agent to MLB teams. Gomes was adamant that Ohtani will live up to the hype. 

"If you have the arm speed to throw 100 miles per hour, guess what your slider's gonna do -- yikes. And he also has a split, which is yikes with that arm speed. And he also has a changeup, and he also has a curveball. You're talking about five plus, plus, plus pitches.

"If he was in the draft, I think it would be a no-brainer right now that he'd be No. 1 overall," Gomes said. 

Since turning pro as an 18-year-old, Ohtani has been a dominant force on the mound. The 6-foot-3 right-hander owns a 42-15 career record with a 2.52 ERA and 1.076 WHIP. 

What makes Ohtani, 23, so intriguing is that he's not only the best pitcher in Japan, he may be the best hitter too. In 2017, Ohtani hit .332 with eight home runs in 65 games. The left fielder/DH owns a .286/.358/.500 career slash line with 48 home runs. 

"Now hitting wise, is it gonna transfer, is it not? I've seen the dude hit a fly ball that hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome," Gomes remembers. "So, what does that tell you? That bat speed's there, that power's there, that he's generating a lot out front.

"To be able to hit the roof of the Tokyo Dome is way more impressive than hitting any other roof in the states. It would be like hitting the roof in Seattle when it was closed, it's way up there."

Everyone knows about Ohtani off-the-charts talent. The stats are there. What we don't know as much about is his personality. Gomes does and he believes his leadership will make him be a star in the states. 

"I'm a big fan of the dude," Gomes says. "I saw his work ethic, I saw how players treated him, I saw how respectful he was. Over there it's all about seniority. Granted he was the biggest star on the field at any given moment, but still gave the utmost respect to seniority guys on his ball club."