Giants

Giants hope to complete deal with Willie Mac Award winner

Giants hope to complete deal with Willie Mac Award winner

ORLANDO — It doesn’t sound like the Giants will fly home with any fresh faces in the fold, but it’s possible that a familiar one will be locked up soon. 

General manager Bobby Evans said the front office is “actively pursuing Nick Hundley and hopes (to) get that done.” Hundley said at the end of the season that he wanted to return for another year in San Francisco, and the Giants have put a priority on locking up a quality bat as Buster Posey’s backup. 

Hundley’s first season with the Giants included far more at-bats than expected and he took advantage of them. The 34-year-old had nine homers and 23 doubles in 101 appearances. He was just about an everyday player down the stretch as Posey moved to first base after Brandon Belt’s season-ending concussion, and at times the Giants felt Hundley was one of their few power bats. 

There was some thought that Hundley might find an everyday job elsewhere, but that apparently hasn’t developed. The Giants will be happy to have him back for multiple reasons. Hundley improved defensively over the course of the year and proved to be a valuable addition in the clubhouse, providing leadership for a group that often looked lost at sea. In late September, Hundley was given the prestigious Willie Mac Award. 

Bobby Evans dismissal hard to swallow for Giants clubhouse

Bobby Evans dismissal hard to swallow for Giants clubhouse

SAN FRANCISCO — About 20 minutes before players took the field for batting practice on Monday, the man who signed so many of them got in a car and headed home to tell his family he was no longer the general manager of the Giants. 

Ownership relieved Bobby Evans of his duties in the afternoon. Hopefully an executive who lived and breathed Giants for 25 years took a night off from watching them. The team lost 5-0 to the Padres, nearly getting shut out by Bryan Mitchell, who entered with an ERA that started with a six. 

Before the game, manager Bruce Bochy met with Evans one final time.

“I thanked him for all his help. Bobby and I spent even more time together the last couple of years but he’s always been around and been helpful,” Bochy said. “Twenty-five years here, that shows you the continuity we have in San Francisco. He did a lot for the organization. I was glad I had a chance to talk to him before he left.”

There have been rumors for weeks, and when strength coach Carl Kochan was let go, the clubhouse became all too aware that two poor seasons on the field would lead to plenty of changes. Still, this was hard for some to swallow. 

Evans put this team together and believed in the group, and his fingerprints are all over the roster. He negotiated with free agents like Mark Melancon and Tony Watson, signed non-roster invitees like Dereck Rodriguez and Derek Holland and traded for players like Will Smith and Sam Dyson. When Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt and others got their extensions, Evans was the point man on the other side. When young players were called up this season, Evans was often on the other end of the first call they received. 

“Obviously something like that is part of the business side of baseball, but it kind of sucks that somebody like Bobby or somebody behind the scenes like Carl loses his job because we didn’t perform on the field,” Crawford said. “That’s always tough.”

The Giants have now let go of their strength coach and general manager this month. More changes are expected. 

“Change is tough,” Bochy said. “You have relationships with everybody. It’s that time of year.” 

Giants shut out against Padres to kick off season's final homestand

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USATSI

Giants shut out against Padres to kick off season's final homestand

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO  — Bryan Mitchell struck out seven in 8 2/3 strong innings, Jose Pirela had a homer among his three hits, and the San Diego Padres defeated the San Francisco Giants 5-0 Monday night.

The Giants lost their fifth straight game hours after the team announced the dismissal of general manager Bobby Evans. The move comes amid a Giants team freefall.

San Francisco is four years removed from winning their fourth World Series championship in five years, and in the last week of its second consecutive losing season.

The Giants are 4-17 in September, and 166-225 since taking a 53-73 record (best in the majors at the time) into the 2016 All-Star break.

Mitchell (2-4) walked just three in what was by far his best start of an uneven season that included a stint on the DL with right elbow impingement.

In his last start on Sept. 17, he gave up four runs in five innings in a 4-2 loss to the Giants.

The 27-year-old right-hander came to the Padres in an offseason trade with the New York Yankees that also brought Chase Headley.

Mitchell had never thrown a complete game in his 19 previous career starts. He’d walked 40 in 64 1/3 innings going into Monday.

Mitchell was within a pitch of what would have been his first career complete game, let alone a shutout.

But with two on and two out in the ninth, Mitchell walked Gorkys Hernandez on his 118th pitch.

Andy Green then summoned Kirby Yates, who struck Austin Slater for the final out.

Jose Pirela homered off Giants starter Derek Holland (7-9) to lead off the fourth. His fourth homer gave the Padres a 3-0 lead.

Pirela has 26 hits and 13 RBI in his career against the Giants, more than against any other team.

Franmil Reyes had two hits and two RBI, and Wil Myers had two hits and two runs scored.

Francia Mejia doubled with one out in the top of the second and scored the game’s first run on Manual Margot’s single.

Reyes singled in a run in the third and Hunter Renfroe singled in a run in a two-run sixth inning off Ty Blach.

Holland gave up three runs on eight hits and two walks in five innings.

DIALED IN

The Padres have 19 home runs and 171 hits at AT&T Park since the start of 2017, more than any other visiting team over that stretch.

UP NEXT

LHP Robbie Erlin (4-7, 4.33 ERA) is 1-3 with a 5.64 ERA in eight appearances (five starts) against San Francisco. RHP Chris Stratton (10-10, 4.88) is 2-3 with a 4.70 ERA in five games (four starts) against San Diego.