Giants

Giants hang around, but Phillies hang on for win on sloppy night

Giants hang around, but Phillies hang on for win on sloppy night

PHILADELPHIA — The Giants did a lot wrong on Tuesday night. A lot. And yet somehow there they were, sending Buster Posey to the plate as the tying run with two outs in the eighth. 

Posey rolled a Tommy Hunter pitch softly to third and the Giants went down quietly in the ninth. They lost 4-2 to the Phillies on a night when they were sloppy defensively and on the bases and did little but whiff at the plate. They've dropped the first two here after sweeping the Braves. 

Here are the details... 

--- The biggest surprise this season might be how sloppy the defense has been. When Cesar Hernandez hit a double to the wall in the third, Austin Jackson dropped the ball three times, allowing Hernandez to cruise into third. He scored two batters later when Odubel Herrera’s grounder up the middle got under Alen Hanson’s glove. Hanson isn’t known for his defense, but Jackson was brought here to fix the issues in center field. The Giants have 11 errors through the first five games of this trip. 

--- A night after Zach Eflin set a new career-high in strikeouts, Aaron Nola did the same. He struck out 12 over seven dominant innings, allowing just a second-inning run on a Brandon Crawford groundout. Nola got 26 swinging strikes. This is becoming a bit of a trend for the Giants. They’re up nearly 5 percent from a year ago in strikeout rate. 

--- Jackson struck out three times. He has 35 strikeouts in 85 at-bats. 

--- With two outs in the fifth, Gregor Blanco on first, and Andrew McCutchen at the plate, Nola made a pickoff throw that was so close that the Phillies challenged the call. They were unsuccessful, but two pitches later, Nola did pick Blanco off. The Giants have had six runners picked off this season, the most in the majors. They had 11 runners picked off all of last season. Here’s another area they need to clean up. 

--- It could have been worse for Derek Holland. He gave up a couple of homers in the first three innings but managed to get through five. He was charged with three earned on six hits and two walks. 

MLB rumors: Giants expected to target Patrick Corbin in free agency

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MLB rumors: Giants expected to target Patrick Corbin in free agency

Once MLB free agency begins after the World Series, Diamondbacks ace Patrick Corbin could be the top free-agent arm on the open market.

It's no surprise that he will have plenty of suitors, and one of them reportedly will be the Giants.

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Corbin is expected to draw a lot of interest from the Giants. And why wouldn't he?

Corbin, 29, is coming off the best season of his six-year career, and the Giants certainly want him away from an NL West opponent. This past season, Corbin went 11-7 with a career-best 3.15 ERA. He also tossed exactly 200 innings with a career-high 246 strikeouts and a career-low 1.050 WHIP. 

The left-hander also has been a menace against the Giants. He went 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA against them last season, including a complete-game shutout on one hit and eight strikeouts in his fourth start of the year. 

For his career, Corbin is 8-8 with a 3.04 ERA in 25 appearances against the Giants.

Cafardo also lists the Dodgers, Braves and Yankees as other suitors for Corbin. In the same report, Cafardo projects Corbin to sign a deal for at least five years at $20 million to $25 million per year. 

Giants Review: Ryder Jones' opportunity cut short by tough knee injury

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Giants Review: Ryder Jones' opportunity cut short by tough knee injury

SAN FRANCISCO — Nobody helped their stock in September more than Aramis Garcia, who took advantage of an opening and showed that he can have quality at-bats and handle a second position. That opening originally might have belonged to another player. 

With Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval already done for the year, Ryder Jones would have been the beneficiary when Brandon Belt was finally shut down. But Jones was on the disabled list, too, after suffering one of the worst injuries of the season. 

Jones crumpled in the batter’s box on September 9 after his left knee twisted awkwardly on a swing. He dislocated it, and would have surgery three days later to repair ligament damage. That limited Jones to just eight at-bats in 2018 and kept the Giants from further evaluating a player who still is just 24. 

What Went Right

Jones had a decent season in Triple-A, batting .274 with a .745 OPS, 11 homers, 22 doubles and four triples. At the big-league level, he had hits in three of those eight at-bats, two of which were impressive homers. In a cameo in July, he hit a go-ahead homer off Edwin Jackson in Oakland. In September, he hit a pinch-hit shot off the Brewers’ Joakim Soria. 

The Giants had just four homers leave the yard at 111 mph or above. Mac Williamson had two and Jones had the other two -- again, in just eight at-bats. His homers had exit velocities of 111.7 and 112.1 mph, giving him two of the three hardest-hit homers of the season by a Giant. 

What Went Wrong

Those Triple-A numbers were actually kind of disappointing given that Jones was repeating the level and had better numbers across the board in 2017. His OPS was .969 in his first run through the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. 

The big-league sample size is extremely small, but while Jones homered twice, he struck out in five of his six other at-bats. 

Contract Status

Jones hasn’t accrued much service time. He has two minor-league options remaining. 

The Future

The best thing going for Jones right now is his age. He turned 24 during the season, so he remains younger than just about all of the rookies who broke through during the season.

Jones is capable of generating tremendous bat speed, and the Giants hope that something clicks next season and he consistently taps into his power. The knee had bothered him before and Jones was hopeful that the procedure clears this up once and for all. He is buried on the depth chart, though, with Evan Longoria and Pablo Sandoval at third and Belt, Posey and others — Garcia? Austin Slater? — capable of handling first. Jones has taken fly balls in the outfield before but that hasn’t stuck.

He’s kind of in limbo right now, but given his age and natural power, he’s a player the new front office should spend a lot of time evaluating.