Giants

Giants vs. Brewers lineups: Brandon Belt leading off, in left field

Giants vs. Brewers lineups: Brandon Belt leading off, in left field

Coming off a thrilling extra-inning victory, the Giants will look to keep the good times rolling when they take on the Brewers at Miller Park on Saturday.

Buster Posey's grand slam in the top of the 10th inning provided the decisive blow in San Francisco's 10-7 win in the series opener Friday night. It marked the fourth time in the last eight games that the Giants have scored at least 10 runs. They've gone 7-1 and outscored their opponents 63-30 over that span.

The Giants will put their best foot forward Saturday, as Madison Bumgarner (5-7, 4.03 ERA) takes the hill against the Brewers. The left-hander departed his last start in the third inning after being hit by a line drive, but avoided any serious injury. He's 2-0 in his last three starts, and there's a chance Saturday's could be his last in a Giants uniform.

Milwaukee will start Zach Davies (7-2, 3.07 ERA), who has never beaten San Francisco in his career. He suffered his first loss of the season in a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Giants on June 14 and hasn't won since, going 0-2 in his last five starts while posting a 5.32 ERA.

[RELATED: Which minor leaguers might you see in Giants' second half?]

The Giants will go with a predominantly left-handed lineup against the Brewers' right-hander, although Posey will bat second again after his heroics on Friday night.

Here are the lineups for Giants-Brewers on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. PT, and you can follow the action here.

San Francisco Giants (42-48)

Brandon Belt, LF
Buster Posey, C
Pablo Sandoval, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Mike Yastrzemski, RF
Kevin Pillar, CF
Brandon Crawford, SS
Joe Panik, 2B
Madison Bumgarner, P (5-7, 4.03 ERA)

Milwaukee Brewers (47-45)

Lorenzo Cain, CF
Christian Yelich, RF
Ryan Braun, LF
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Jesus Aguilar, 1B
Keston Hiura, 2B
Manny Pina, C
Tyler Saladino, SS
Zach Davies, P (7-2, 3.07 ERA)

Giants' Mauricio Dubon shares hilarious story of meeting Hunter Pence

Giants' Mauricio Dubon shares hilarious story of meeting Hunter Pence

Mauricio Dubon is living the dream of every young Giants fan right now. 

Dubon moved to Sacramento when he was 15 years old to live with a host family -- leaving his family in Honduras -- in order chase his dreams of playing baseball. He attended his first Giants game as a teenager in 2010, sitting in the center field bleachers as Tim Lincecum pitched the Giants closer to a division title. As a young shortstop he idolized Brandon Crawford, and now is his teammate and will be Crawford's double-play partner on many occasions this season. 

When Dubon first made his Giants debut in late August after being acquired in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, he certainly could feel his fandom come alive. The same can be said for when the team brought Hunter Pence back this offseason.

"The first time I saw Hunter at FanFest, I asked for a picture, actually," Dubon said on the latest episode of The Giants Insider Podcast. "I asked him for a picture, yeah. 2014, with the whole speech and everything -- as a fan, you kind of get excited. As a player, you get even more excited." 

Dubon said he had to get away from the Giants' veteran players last year when guys like Tim Lincecum, Angel Pagan and many others came back for Bruce Bochy's final game as San Francisco's manager. The young infielder simply couldn't help but get giddy seeing his childhood heroes. Dubon even used Pagan's salute celebration in high school. 

Now with Pence in the fold and Pablo Sandoval returning to San Francisco, Dubon doesn't see why the Giants couldn't shock the world again once the season returns amid baseball's suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[RELATED: How Dubon is staying ready after missing first Opening Day]

"I keep telling people that when were we favorites -- I say "we" as a fan -- when were we favorites to win a World Series in '10, '12 and '14? Never," Dubon said. "So why's it gonna change right now?

"We have the same veterans. Same hunger, probably even more. We got guys that are willing to do anything to win a game. I think we have a pretty good chance of [winning] the whole thing." 

Dubon is expected to be manager Gabe Kapler's do-it-all utility man up in the middle at second base, shortstop and center field this season to keep his athleticism in the lineup. And while his fandom always will live within him, he could be a major key to the Giants brining their next World Series trophy back to San Francisco.

Inside Giants' 2012 World Series sweep of Tigers from reporter’s view

Inside Giants' 2012 World Series sweep of Tigers from reporter’s view

Programming note: Watch the re-air of the Giants' 2012 World Series sweep of the Tigers today from 8 a.m. PT to 8 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Bay Area.

It was about 4 a.m. when my boss called, and as I stepped into a hallway at the Renaissance Center Marriott, the lobby party was still going.

The end of a World Series is a release for the players physically and mentally, but the same holds true for the media and all the behind-the-scenes staffers who are there every day that extra month. 

You spend a month working long days and nights, eating dinners out of sandwich boxes handed out in the press box -- the good days are the ones when you get there early and snag a chicken pesto -- and planning your travel a day at a time. Earlier in that 2012 postseason, I sat in the lobby restaurant at the Cincinnati Westin and watched the Giants file out and head for the airport. They were on the tarmac when the Cardinals beat the Nationals, and they found out they were going home instead of to D.C. I quickly canceled my flight to the nation's capital and smiled as I realized I didn't have to buy a winter coat the next morning on the way to the airport.

So when the World Series finally is over, it's a release and a bit of a party, and the Renaissance Center in Detroit was ready for the dozens of reporters who descended upon the lobby after Game 4.

It was a nice home for beat writers that week, mostly because it was freezing outside and you didn't have to leave the building to find food. There was a food court in the lobby of the massive building, and you can't ask for much more than that when the temperature outside is in the 30s. I ate a lot of chicken nuggets that week.

The lobby was rocking that final night, because there's not much to do in downtown Detroit, even when it's warm. But I was pulled away when my boss called and asked an urgent question.

"Have you been paying attention to Hurricane Sandy?" he asked.

I hadn't. It was cold in Detroit and wet at times over the previous couple of days, but anyone there was focused on the Giants and the Tigers. I didn't realize how bad Sandy had gotten, and when I think back to that 2012 World Series -- which will air today on NBC Sports Bay Area -- that's what I remember the most.

Sure, there was Pablo Sandoval's three-homer game and Ryan Theriot's slide into the plate. Barry Zito beat Justin Verlander and Sergio Romo froze Miguel Cabrera, but what I've always remembered most about that week was a mad scramble to get out of town before the airports shut down, and the words a young Buster Posey said earlier that night after the Giants had completed the sweep.

"It was a big win -- I know that sounds silly," Posey said, his voice getting serious in the middle of a celebration. "But they would have had Verlander tomorrow."

I've always thought about the last part of that quote. On paper, the 2012 World Series was a demolition, but a playoff series can turn on one hit, as the Giants proved that entire month. They won a record six elimination games to reach the World Series, stunning the Reds and then the Cardinals. They ended the postseason with seven consecutive wins, outscoring the Cardinals and Tigers 36-7, but Posey knew they couldn't give the Tigers any kind of opening.

With a win in Game 4, the Tigers could have regrouped, and they would have lined up behind Verlander, who finished second for the Cy Young that year. The Giants also knew the weather was coming, and it would hit hard. The day after Game 4, waves on Lake Michigan hit 20 feet, and schools outside of Detroit closed because of power outages. The World Series likely would have been disrupted, and perhaps a loaded Tigers team would have regrouped.

The Tigers had Verlander and Max Scherzer in their rotation, along with midseason addition Anibal Sanchez and the underrated Doug Fister. Current Giant Drew Smyly had a 3.99 ERA for Detroit that season, but the rotation was so stacked that he was sent to the bullpen. The lineup featured Cabrera, the MVP, and Prince Fielder, who hit 30 homers in the regular season.

That was a really good team, one the Giants couldn't afford to let off the mat. They stunned the Tigers in four games, from Verlander's reaction to Sandoval's homers to Romo's fastball that ended up being the final pitch of 2012.

That Giants team is remembered for the comebacks, but they also should be remembered for putting the hammer down when they had to, locking up a sweep. They made sure the Tigers never caught their breath, never got a chance to come back after the weather cleared and let Verlander try to make it 3-2.

"I'm just glad the whole world got to see what this team is about," Ryan Vogelsong said after Game 4. "Starting with Game 5 of the NLCS, we played our best baseball of the season."

[RELATED: Ranking Posey's best walk-offs]

The Giants held a parade two days later, and because of that 4 a.m. phone call, I was there to cover it. I hung up and switched my flight, then ran to my room to pack and head to the airport.

I was on a 6 a.m. flight to Chicago, and from there, it was smooth sailing. Just about every connecting flight was canceled later that day, and I know some of the other reporters had to drive hours to reach an airport that could get them back to San Francisco.

Everything could have looked so much different had the Tigers won Game 4, so as you rewatch those games today, remember the trait that Giants team showed on the final day of the season. They refused to give in for weeks, and when they had a chance to put the Tigers away and win a second title, they proved to be ruthless.