Giants

Instant Replay: Bumgarner, Crawford power Giants past Padres

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Instant Replay: Bumgarner, Crawford power Giants past Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN DIEGO — Madison Bumgarner continues to claim after starts that his mechanics aren’t locked in. His work on the field tells a different story. 

Bumgarner struck out 11 and needed just 108 pitches for his 11th career complete game. Brandon Crawford took care of the offense, driving in all the runs in a 5-1 win that extended the Giants’ winning streak to six games.

Early on, Bumgarner had a “something special might happen tonight” look on the mound. Denard Span’s spectacular catch in center helped Bumgarner have a six-pitch first inning, and he struck out the side in the second. Jose Pirela hit a leadoff double in the third, but Bumgarner retired the next nine, getting four outs on strikeouts. 

One of them, a whiff of Wil Myers, came with drama. Bumgarner stared Myers down after the strikeout that ended the third, and Myers looked back with a confused look on his face and asked, “What the (bleep) are you looking at man? Come on.” That emptied the benches, with Jake Peavy and Roberto Kelly flying in to make sure Bumgarner didn’t escalate things. 

Cooler heads prevailed, and the Giants kept cruising. They led 3-0 at the time on Crawford’s three-run blast, and Crawford hit a sacrifice fly to tack on another run in the top of the sixth. His double in the eighth made it 5-0.

Myers got a measure of revenge with a double that put two in scoring position in the sixth, but Bumgarner struck out Derek Norris and Brandon Belt went far into foul territory to catch a pop-up for the third out. He worked around an error in the seventh and a double in the eighth, getting out of that inning on his 97th pitch. 

Matt Kemp kept Bumgarner from his sixth career shutout with a mammoth homer in the ninth that hit the third deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. building. 

Starting pitching report: Bumgarner walked off the mound with a 2.45 ERA. His best as a big leaguer is 2.77. 

Bullpen report: They got the night off, except for a jog to the plate when the benches cleared. 

At the plate: Crawford got the green light 3-0 and hit a 402-foot bomb through the thick air. The homer was his fifth of the year. He had his third career five-RBI game.

In the field: Span got a great jump and went a long way to rob Myers of a leadoff double in the first. Advanced metrics have him about league average defensively, but that’s still a huge upgrade over last season for the Giants. 

Attendance: The Padres announced a crowd of 24,433 human beings. Bumgarner was booed in his first at-bat post-dustup.

Up next: Johnny Cueto makes his Giants debut at AT&T Park South. He’ll face lefty Drew Pomeranz (4-3, 1.80 ERA), who is off to a terrific start. 

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Giants' Evan Longoria expresses displeasure with slow MLB free agency

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USATSI

Giants' Evan Longoria expresses displeasure with slow MLB free agency

Despite playing 11 years of Major League Baseball, Giants third baseman Evan Longoria has never gone through free agency. He signed a six-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, and then a 10-year extension with the club in 2012.

But with what he's witnessing this offseason, it's safe to say he isn't looking forward to the day he has to partake in the process.

Longoria took to Instagram to share his displeasure, writing the following: 

We are less then a month from the start of spring and once again some of our games biggest starts remain unsigned. Such a shame. It’s seems every day now someone is making up a new analytical tool to devalue players, especially free agents. As fans, why should “value” for your team even be a consideration? It’s not your money, it’s money that players have worked their whole lives to get to that level and be deserving of. Bottom line, fans should want the best players and product on the field for their team. And as players we need to stand strong for what we believe we are worth and continue to fight for the rights we have fought for time and time again.

What Longoria is arguing is a lot of common sense that baseball fans need to understand.

Let's look at the following point: "As fans, why should “value” for your team even be a consideration? It’s not your money, it’s money that players have worked their whole lives to get to that level and be deserving of. Bottom line, fans should want the best players and product on the field for their team." 

He's not wrong. 

The money either goes to players, making them millionaires, or owners, making them billionaires. Who are we watching on the field? It's quite simple. 

Sure, it might be fun to play armchair GM, but fans should want the best and most entertaining product on the field. We can understand why teams rebuild, but that doesn't mean we have to get to this point as fans. Every team can afford a Bryce Harper or a Manny Machado.

The best game is the most competitive game, and that's what players want. Fans should be nodding their head in agreement. 

What's most interesting from Longoria is the fact that he's calling out the system and calling for players to fight back. The MLB collective bargaining agreement ends at the end of the 2021 season. If anger increases from players, negotiations could get quite awkward. 

Joey Bart named Giants' best defensive prospect by MLB Pipeline

Joey Bart named Giants' best defensive prospect by MLB Pipeline

Giants top prospect Joey Bart is known for his bat. The No. 2 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft hit 13 home runs in his first 51 minor league games, which is just three behind Evan Longoria's team lead on the big-league club. 

Don't forget about his defense, though.

Bart, the top catching prospect in baseball, also has been named the Giants' top defensive prospect by MLB Pipeline of MLB.com. He has markedly improved since high school, when scouts wondered if he could stay at catcher, enhancing his agility and receiving and improving the accuracy of his strong arm.

The fact that scouts once questioned Bart's future at the position and now his defense is being praised, as it pertains to the Giants' farm system, says a lot. On the 20/80 scouting scale, MLB Pipeline rates Bart's defense as a 55 and his arm as a 60. 

At Georgia Tech, Bart was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. He also called pitches, a task that manager Danny Hall didn't even let two-time Gold Glove winner Matt Wieters do when he was a Yellow Jacket. 

In his final college season, Bart had a .992 fielding percentage and threw out 12 of 21 stolen base attempts. After joining the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (Short-Season Class A), Bart's fielding percentage dropped to .983 after he allowed six passed balls and five errors. He did, however, gun down 15 of the 21 runners trying to swipe a bag on him.

Bart's bat most likely always will be ahead of his glove. The fact that he's seen as such a well-rounded prospect, though, is an added bonus to the player the Giants hope can lead them back to the top in the near future.