Two-faced Giants play different games home and away


Two-faced Giants play different games home and away


SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy walked up to the Gatorade bucket after his morning lies-and-whispers media session, filled his cup with some blue concoction and said in a stage whisper, I told Theriot we need 20 bombs from him or were going to be in trouble.

Then he looked up to see who was listening, found a couple, and smiled. Yeah, hes gotta start poppin the ball out of here.

Well, mission failed. Ryan Theriot did not hit 20 home runs Saturday, or even one. He was, however, part of a lineup that got a hit from every slot in the order and treated the Colorado Rockies as they are accustomed to being treated in a 9-3 San Francisco win.

RECAP: Giants 6, Rockies 3

But Bochys undermessage was also received, because he kept going back to it as the day went on. He knows the offense has been a monument to indifference at home, he knows the Giants dont hit home runs in park that has become increasingly cruel to home run hitters, and he knows that his is a team that will go exactly as far as the pitching rather than the hitting will take it.

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Still, nine is nine, especially when it comes after a night of zero, and Bochy subtly reminded the audience that talking about the offense at home is belaboring the obvious, as well as repeating the immutable.

Well, maybe this will get people to stop talking about it for a day, at least, he said after the Giants hit in all but the first and fourth innings, and scored in five of the nine off Colorados Drew Pomeranz, Josh Roneicke and Rex Brothers.

But he knows better. He has to finds his teams offensive efficiencies in other ways, because it is not a team of power hitters, or particularly gifted at scrounging its way on base. It has to take solace in the knowledge that being in the bottom fifth of the league in most of the basic metrics and only above average when one takes into account the ballpark factors.

In other words, the raw numbers at home are going to be mediocre, but the central truth is that they still have the seventh-best record in the majors at home, and whether its pitching, fielding, cheating or stuffed animals that does it, that is the real number.

The Giants, in short, are different teams at home and on the road, and the biggest factor is the place they play. If they were bad hitters in general, they wouldnt be averaging 5.1 runs per game on the road, and on a pace to score a fairly absurd 414.

But the telling part is that they are on a pace to give up 243 at home, which makes their pace of 250 scored a bit more tolerable for the fan base. Not a lot more tolerable, trust us, but a bit more.

They are essentially who they are now -- they pitch at home and hit on the road. They were closer to an even split in 2010, but they won that World Series in September and October on the strength of their pitching staff. Thats how it is, and how it will be for the foreseeable future, and wanting the Giants to be something other than that is time wasted that one could spend wanting to hit the lottery.

Except of course for Ryan Theriot, who at zero is still 20 homers from his target number. Clearly, as Bochy said with tongue jammed deep into Gatorade-filled cheek, he is hurting the ballclub.

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster


Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure


Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”