Sandoval goes deep to end hitless streak, Giants steamroll White Sox

Sandoval goes deep to end hitless streak, Giants steamroll White Sox


CHICAGO -- Despite compiling the longest hitless streak of any Giants player since at least 1900, Pablo Sandoval insisted he wasn't focused on the dry spell.

"You know, I don't think about it," he said. "I keep swinging. It's one of those things, you have to grind every day (on) the field and think with a great attitude and great positivity to do everything you can to get out of it."

Sandoval snapped his 0-for-39 skid with a three-run homer, Matt Moore pitched effectively into the seventh inning and San Francisco beat the Chicago White Sox 9-2 on Friday night.

Denard Span also homered and Brandon Crawford had three hits with an RBI for the Giants, who have won back-to-back games after losing seven of eight.

Sandoval went 1 for 3 with four RBIs. His previous hit was a single on Aug. 25 at Arizona.

"There are a lot of ways to break out of it, but that's probably the best one right there - giving us a three-run lead," Moore said. "A no-doubter like that, he can kind of take a little bit of a breath for himself."

Avisail Garcia homered for Chicago, which has dropped five straight.

Moore (5-13) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. He won for just the second time in eight decisions.

Lucas Giolito (2-2) gave up five runs, three earned, and three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked four, struck out five and was ejected by plate umpire Gabe Morales after he was lifted.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria also was tossed, by crew chief Eric Cooper. Giolito had allowed one earned run in 14 innings over his previous two starts.

"I didn't think I said anything to warrant an ejection," Giolito said. "To a certain extent, you have to stand up (for) yourself. I guess I just said one too many things."

The 23-year-old right-hander didn't permit a hit until Crawford singled with one out in the fourth. Nick Hundley followed with a walk. One out later, Giolito hung a 2-1 changeup to Sandoval, who hit a 405-foot drive deep into the right-field bleachers for a 3-0 lead.

Garcia's two-run shot in the bottom of the inning made it 3-2.

The Giants added a couple of unearned runs in the sixth for a 5-2 lead.

Crawford had an RBI single in the seventh to make it 6-2. Span hit a solo shot and Hundley added a two-run single in the ninth.


Buster Posey, who reached on an error by Chicago second baseman Yoan Moncada, scored the first run of the sixth when the defense was caught napping. With runners on the corners, Crawford took off from first base on a 3-2 pitch to Hunter Pence. The pitch was called a ball, but catcher Kevan Smith threw to second base. Moncada went to tag Crawford as Posey ran home from third.

"When he came in, I said, `You know he walked, right?'" Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He got a great jump on that. They didn't have a chance on him."

Posey, though, wasn't credited with a steal of home. It was called a fielder's choice.


Giants: Injured closer Mark Melancon will have season-ending surgery on his right forearm Tuesday. Melancon has been bothered by chronic compression of a muscle in the forearm throughout the year, and the surgery will aim to relieve it. "After Colorado, we said let's go ahead and get this thing done for his peace of mind and everybody's," Bochy said.

White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon was placed on the 10-day DL with shoulder inflammation and the team announced he won't pitch again this season. Rodon had an MRI after being scratched from his scheduled start Thursday. He'll be re-evaluated next week. "We're just being extremely cautious," Renteria said. "(He's) a very important piece for us moving forward."


Chicago right-hander James Shields (2-6, 5.72 ERA) looks to snap an 11-start winless streak Saturday night in the middle game of the series. San Francisco righty Jeff Samardzija (9-2, 4.31) faces his former team for the first time since leaving as a free agent following the 2015 season.

Projection system loves Giancarlo Stanton at AT&T Park


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'


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."