Giants

Giants get shut out by Pirates after retiring Barry Bonds' jersey

Giants get shut out by Pirates after retiring Barry Bonds' jersey

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SAN FRANCISCO — A day before facing the Giants, Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams posted a funny message on Twitter.

“I’m really excited to watch Barry Bonds get his number retired by the Giants on Saturday,” Williams wrote. “I’m also slightly terrified that he will sign a one-day contract and be in the lineup.”

Williams had nothing to worry about. Bonds spent the night in a suit and tie, making the rounds on his big night. The guys on the field did absolutely nothing against Williams, who dominated in seven innings of a 4-0 win. The Giants scattered six hits and went down quietly inning after inning.

Here's what else you need to know ... 

— Ty Blach’s return to the rotation wasn’t great. Blach was sharp early, but gave up a three-run homer to Josh Bell in the fourth to fall behind 4-0. That was his final inning. 

— Casey Kelly took over for Blach and pitched well in his Giants debut. The former top prospect allowed just two singles over five shutout innings. There’s a very real possibility that he’s the fifth starter now. 

— The Giants failed to take advantage of a rough night for the top of the NL West. The Diamondbacks lost to the Reds and the Dodgers got walked off at Coors Field. The Giants remain six games out. 

— Francisco Cervelli left the game after taking a foul tip off the mask early on. Both Giants catcher have been watched for concussion symptoms in the past week. Catching is a rough job, man.

Baseball Hall of Fame: Good, bad news for two former Giants on ballot

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AP

Baseball Hall of Fame: Good, bad news for two former Giants on ballot

SAN FRANCISCO -- A pair of former Giants middle infielders made modest gains in Hall of Fame voting, but only one of them seems to have a real shot. 

In his second year on the ballot, Omar Vizquel went from 37 percent to 42.8 percent.

Jeff Kent, now in his sixth year on the ballot, reached a new high of 18.1 percent, but he is far, far away from the 75 percent needed for induction, and he's running out of time. Kent has been between 14 and 18.1 percent in every year he has been on the ballot. 

The Kent case is a bit baffling, as he's the all-time leader in home runs among second basemen, a five-time All-Star and the 2000 National League MVP. He has seemingly been punished for playing in a homer-happy era and having a less-than-stellar defensive reputation, but Kent still seems worthy of far more discussion than he gets on a yearly basis. 

Perhaps Kent will benefit from a bit of a ballot purge, as four players were voted in Tuesday. Mariano Rivera became the first unanimous Hall of Famer and will be joined in the 2019 class by Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, and the late Roy Halladay. Barry Bonds, in his seventh year on the ballot, received just 59.1 percent of the vote. 

Vizquel is one of the best defensive shortstops of all-time and finished his career with 2,877 hits. The 11-time Gold Glove winner played four seasons with the Giants and is an interesting spot. He currently is far from induction, but there are always players who make massive leaps in their final years on the ballot and get to the threshold. Martinez was at 43.4 percent as late as 2016 and Mussina was at 43 percent that year. Both are now Hall of Famers, and with a similar trajectory, Vizquel could join them one day. 

[RELATED: Bonds gains ground, but falls short of Hall of Fame again]

Another player with Giants ties certainly will not. Miguel Tejada got five total votes in his first year on the ballot and will not be eligible again. 
 

Barry Bonds gains votes but remains far from Hall of Fame induction

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AP

Barry Bonds gains votes but remains far from Hall of Fame induction

SAN FRANCISCO — Once again, Barry Bonds saw small gains in Hall of Fame voting, but it wasn't nearly enough. 

Bonds was listed on 59.1 percent of ballots this year, a bump from his total of 56.4 percent in 2018, but remains well short of the 75 percent required to make the Hall of Fame. This was his seventh time on the ballot, meaning he has just three more years of eligibility.

Four players will be inducted this summer, led by former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who became the first player to be inducted unanimously. Former Mariners star Edgar Martinez easily made it in his final year on the ballot, the late Roy Halladay made it in his first, and longtime Orioles and Yankees ace Mike Mussina made it in his sixth year. 

Bonds, a seven-time MVP and the all-time home run leader, was first on the ballot in 2013, when he got just 36.2 percent of the vote. He dipped to 34.7 percent the next year before going 36.8, 44.3 and 53.8 the next three years. The final jump coincided with Bud Selig, who oversaw the steroid era, getting in, which led many voters to change their minds. 

Bonds has also slightly benefited from younger voters entering the process. According to Ryan Thibodaux’s vote tracker, Bonds was on the ballots of seven of the eight first-time voters who made their choices public before Tuesday’s announcement. Still, it has not been nearly enough. The climb has been slow, and he does not appear to be trending towards induction. 

Bonds and Roger Clemens have always been side by side because of their similar cases. They are all-time greats, worthy of unanimous inclusion if not for PED connections. In recent years, Bonds has mostly stopped commenting publicly about his fate, but he has become more visible in San Francisco. Bonds had his number retired last season as part of an ongoing effort to celebrate his achievements.