Giants

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from MLB-worst Giants' loss to A's

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AP

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from MLB-worst Giants' loss to A's

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OAKLAND — Santiago Casilla, the man blamed for just about all of last season’s bullpen issues, was in the opposing bullpen Monday. The night’s game was a reminder that Casilla was far from the only culprit in 2016. 

Two relievers combined to give up four runs in the sixth and two more gave up late insurance runs in an 8-5 loss to the A's. Because the Phillies won for the fifth straight game, the Giants officially have the worst record in Major League Baseball. 

The bullpen wasted no time blowing a 3-2 lead. Josh Osich loaded the bases before departing with one out in the sixth. George Kontos left a fastball right over the heart of the plate and Marcus Semien crushed it to left for a grand slam. Four Giants relievers -- Kyle Crick and Hunter Strickland also saw action -- combined to give up six earned runs on five hits and six walks. 

Yikes. Anyway, here are five takeaways ... 

—- Matt Cain gave up two runs in the first on two walks and a pair of hits, and he got an early visit from Dave Righetti. Cain managed to five-and-dive, though. Those two were the only runs he allowed. 

—- Carlos Moncrief picked up his first career hit in the fourth when he beat out a grounder for an RBI infield single that gave the Giants a 3-2 lead. In the seventh, he lined a 3-2 fastball the other way for a double. Moncrief then got caught in a rundown on a grounder back to the pitcher. 

—- Kontos gets the tough assignments, and in past years he handled them with relative ease. This year has been different, particularly lately. Over his last two starts Kontos has inherited five runners and all have scored. 

—- Moncrief, a former minor league pitcher, apparently hit 97 mph during a mop-up performance earlier this season. Believe it. He threw a one-hop seed from the track in deep right to second base when Matt Chapman tried to tag up in the fourth. Chapman wisely retreated. 

—- The latest bout of wrist soreness certainly seems gone for Brandon Belt. He had a double in the first at-bat and a good opposite-field single in the seventh to drive in a run.

Watch Giants prospect Jacob Heyward get ejected on call by robot umpire

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AP

Watch Giants prospect Jacob Heyward get ejected on call by robot umpire

Players getting angry towards an umpire is synonymous with baseball. And during the Arizona Fall League, it's no different ... even if you're arguing with technology.

During a Tuesday fall league game, Giants outfield prospect Jacob Heyward, the younger brother of Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, was ejected after striking out on a call made by a robot umpire:

Looks low and inside, right?

But if you scroll to the next photo of the Instagram post, the pitch tracker shows it was, indeed, a strike. 

So who (or what) was Heyward yelling at if he was unsatisfied with the call? Heyward appears to claim his displeasure wasn't with the home plate umpire -- who simply was relaying the call from a computer system -- but he was ejected nevertheless.

This year, the automated ball-strike system (ABS) has been implemented to use at all games being played at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The independent Atlantic League first tested the technology, which includes a real-life umpire still manning duties behind the plate. The ump receives communications via an earpiece that's connected to an iPhone, and then relays the call from the TrackMan computer system.

[RELATED: Giants infielder Dubon engaged at Disneyland Paris]

Yes, it's complicated.

Despite Heyward's reaction, the data shows the pitch was a strike. And even if this is the case from now on (MLB will sometimes adopt these "experiments" down the line) the human element of emotions still will always come into play. 

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Royals' Mike Matheny for manager job

MLB rumors: Giants interested in Royals' Mike Matheny for manager job

The carousel continues to turn for the Giants manager job.

Former Giants catcher Mike Matheny has drawn interest from San Francisco for its managerial position, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports.

Matheny played his final two MLB seasons with the Giants and retired from baseball in 2007. The four-time Gold Glove winner managed the Cardinals from 2012-18, finishing with 591 wins and 474 losses, good for a .555 winning percentage. 

He has spent the past two seasons with the Kansas City Royals as a special advisor for player development. 

[RELATED: Source: Giants interested in Cubs' Venable for manager job]

It is important to note the Giants have not been reported to have reached out to Matheny or brought him in for an interview.

As the process continues, Matheny is not likely to be the last name we hear associated with interviewing to take over for Bruce Bochy in San Francisco.