Giants

Giants regress in postseason race after wild night at Wrigley Field

Giants regress in postseason race after wild night at Wrigley Field

You're forgiven if you lost track of everything that happened at Wrigley Field on Wednesday night for the Giants. 

A 12-11 loss to the Cubs was one of the wildest games of the year, one in which both starters got rocked, both bullpens buckled, and seven balls left the yard. It was the first time since 2002 that these two teams faced off and each scored double-digit runs. 

The final blow, a two-run shot by Kris Bryant off Reyes Moronta, decided the game and put the Giants in a difficult spot. Here are three takeaways from the second night at Coors Field By The Lake:

A Tough Spot

It's pretty amazing that the Giants played well enough for a stretch to get into the Wild Card discussion, but the climb is once again really, really steep. 

Even before this game, FanGraphs gave the Giants just a 1.4 percent chance of grabbing a wild-card spot, and they're further back after dropping the first two against one of the many teams they're chasing. The problem with trailing so many teams is that on any given night at least one or two of them is going to win. It's hard to make up ground, and the Giants failed to do so Wednesday. 

The four teams at the top of the NL Wild Card race all won Wednesday. The Cubs have the second spot currently, and the Giants are 5 1/2 games back. They're 6 1/2 back of the Nationals with just 35 to play. These guys did what they had to do against the Diamondbacks, taking three of four, but this series in Chicago was the big one on the trip, and so far the Giants have dropped two games to a team they need to catch. 

A Sneaky Timeshare 

It's gone under the radar, but Buster Posey and Stephen Vogt have come pretty close to splitting time this month. Vogt made his 10th start of August on Wednesday night and has 48 at-bats in the month. Posey has started 12 games this month and has 49 at-bats. 

Vogt has provided another power bat against righties and helped spur the sixth-inning comeback, ending a long at-bat against Yu Darvish with a two-run blast to right. He tied the game in the seventh with an RBI single up the middle. There's a reason he's playing so often. 

Another Find?

The Giants put Jandel Gustave on the 40-man roster in July but didn't call him up right away. They saw something in the right-hander and wanted to keep him in the organization, and lately, the rest of us have seen why they were excited. 

Gustave came one pitch away from throwing an immaculate inning and calmed things down with a perfect seventh. He struck out two, lowering his ERA to 1.32 in 10 appearances. 

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The 26-year-old primarily relies on a fastball that sits 97-98 most nights and led to three swinging strikes out of his 14 pitches Wednesday. He has allowed just eight hits in 13 2/3 innings since a promotion and has worked his way into a bigger role. With a few more like this one, he could be a true late-innings guy for Bochy down the stretch, and given the way the bullpen looks right now, maybe the Giants should take a long look and see what Gustave can offer for 2020. 

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Astros' Joe Espada for manager role

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Astros' Joe Espada for manager role

Go ahead and add another name to the candidacy list to take over the Giants' managerial role after Bruce Bochy announced his retirement following the 2019 season.

San Francisco reportedly has asked the Houston Astros for permission to speak to Joe Espada, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Espada also is a candidate for the Cubs' managing job.

Espada, 44, currently is the bench coach for the Astros. His background before joining Houston includes a stint with the New York Yankees as the special assistant to general manager Brian Cashman in 2014, where he later was named the team's third-base coach. Before that, he was the third base coach for the Miami Marlins.  

He also coached the Puerto Rican team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. 

Espada was drafted by the Oakland A's in the second round of the 1996 MLB Draft and spent a decade playing internationally and made it through to Triple-A.

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He joins a list of potential Giants managers that includes Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro, former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler and A's quality control coach Mark Kotsay ... to name a few.

As Heyman points out, this is a younger group of candidates, which appears to be the theme across the board for Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.

There surely will be many more names to come before we know who will man the Giants' dugout in 2020.

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Rays coach Matt Quatraro for manager

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Rays coach Matt Quatraro for manager

A new name has been added to the running list of candidates to be the next Giants manager. 

The Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin reported Thursday that the Giants are interested in Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro to fill their managerial opening left by Bruce Bochy's retirement. 

Quatraro, 45, was named Tampa Bay's bench coach prior to last season. He spent the 2018 season as the Rays' third base coach after four seasons as the Indians' assistant hitting coach. 

The Indians ranked fifth in MLB in runs per game (4.6) during his time in Cleveland and fifth in on-base percentage (.327). By comparison, the Giants ranked 28th in the majors last season in total runs scored (678) and in on-base percentage (.302). 

While Quatraro doesn't have managing experience in the big leagues, he has managed in the minors. Quatraro managed two seasons in Short-Season Class A Hudson Valley (2006-07), one season for Class A Columbus (2008) and one season for Class A Bowling Green (2009). '

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Quatraro joins known Giants candidates Hensley Meulens and Ron Wotus, Mark Kotsay, Pedro Grifol, Gabe Kapler and Wil Venable to possibly be the next manager in San Francisco. 

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi will search far and wide, and Quatraro seems to check every box he's looking for.