Giants

Jeff Samardzija placed back on the DL with shoulder injury

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USATSI

Jeff Samardzija placed back on the DL with shoulder injury

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was clear on Saturday night that Jeff Samardzija still isn't right. On Sunday morning, Samardzija was put back on the disabled list. 

The right-hander lasted just four innings against the A's with diminished velocity and poor command, and afterward admitted that he had trouble getting and staying loose during the start. That has been an issue for Samardzija going back to spring training, and he will spend the final day before the break getting examined by team doctors and undergoing another MRI. 

Manager Bruce Bochy said he did not know what's next for Samardzija. He likely will need another extended break, although surgery has not yet been discussed. Bochy said Samardzija will throw a bullpen session at some point after the break to see if his shoulder has improved. He will get treatment throughout the All-Star break. 

Samardzija missed 18 games at the start of the season and then 35 more after he tried to return. Bochy credited him with trying to stay on the field and pitching through pain. 

"He's such a competitor," Bochy said. "He wants to be out there. He willed his way through four innings yesterday, I think."

To take the roster spot, the Giants added Kelby Tomlinson to the roster. Derek Holland likely will take the rotation spot after the break, although the Giants do not need a fifth starter right away because they're off after three games in Oakland next weekend. 

As he visits D.C. for final time, Bruce Bochy takes moment to reflect

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USATSI

As he visits D.C. for final time, Bruce Bochy takes moment to reflect

WASHINGTON D.C. -- More than 50 years later, Bruce Bochy is still holding the grudge. 

As a 12-year-old growing up in the D.C. area, Bochy had a paper route for "The Evening Star." He still can't figure out how he didn't win when the paper held a contest that promised free Washington Senators tickets to the five kids who solicited the most customers. Adult Bochy said young Bochy was "hustling."

"It was fixed," he said this week. "Because I got a lot of customers."

Those memories came flooding back Tuesday when Bochy walked into Nationals Park, which was built decades after his father took him to his first game at RFK Stadium. Bochy remembers seeing the Cleveland Indians visit that day in 1966. He sat in the upper deck, along the third base line. The next year, he got an up-close view of Mickey Mantle and the Yankees.  

Bochy has tried not to think of this season as a farewell tour, and there were no signs of that on the season-opening trip. But the Giants visit San Diego and Los Angeles again. This was, barring a surpise playoff matchup, Bochy's final trip to Washington D.C. as a manager, and he admitted that he gave that some thought, calling the city "a special place for me."

"This is a city and ballpark that I have thought about because this is where it probably started for me as far as really having that passion and desire to play baseball," he said. 

The Giants entered the series with a 15-20 record at Nationals Park, but this is where Bochy's team had one of its most spirited wins en route to a title. It's impossible for anyone affiliated with the organization to walk into the clubhouse and not think about Brandon Belt's 18th-inning homer in the NLDS in 2014. Before Wednesday's game, a couple of Giants employees fondly remembered Yusmeiro Petit's herculean effort that night.

That night was a special one for Bochy, too. He spent several years living 20 minutes away in Falls Church, and this is always a homecoming. Much of Bochy's pregame time Tuesday and Wednesday was spent greeting family members and friends who drove into town to watch Bochy manage one last time. 

"I was amazed at how many of them came out," Bochy said. 

Giants pitchers dig too deep a hole for hitters in loss to Nationals

Giants pitchers dig too deep a hole for hitters in loss to Nationals

WASHINGTON D.C. -- The Giants trailed by seven runs at the beginning of the ninth inning Wednesday night. About 15 minutes later, Sean Doolittle was on the mound and Reyes Moronta was hurrying to get hot in the visiting bullpen.

A spirited comeback fell short when Evan Longoria popped up with two on, capping a 9-6 loss. Those kinds of rallies leave you feeling better about your night. They also leave you with plenty of regrets. The main ones on Wednesday: Jeff Samardzija gave up two homers in the first and Travis Bergen allowed two more in the seventh.

"We just dug ourselves too big a hole," manager Bruce Bochy said. 

Samardzija had not allowed a homer in his six previous starts, including three strong ones to start this season. That was a big deal for a pitcher who once led the league in homers allowed and gave up 30 bombs in another season. But on this night, the Nationals jumped on two bad two-seamers in the first. 

Juan Soto got one that leaked up and in and crushed a no-doubter to right, giving the Nationals an early 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Howie Kendrick did similar damage to a two-seamer that again was in the happy zone. Samardzija said he'll go back to the drawing board, noting he felt too quick with his delivery. 

"It was a battle out there," he said. "Especially early."

The Giants lost for the 11th time in their first 19 games, and while this one was unfamiliar in terms of power on both sides -- they hit two homers in the ninth -- the comeback was something they've become used to. The lineup makes a habit of coming through late, and on most nights the regret is that there wasn't enough production early. This time the hole was too deep because of the pitching, but Samardzija hoped that ninth inning would help out in the series finale. The Nationals ended up using three relievers in the inning, including their closer. 

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"It's not surprising," Samardzija said. "It was great to see. You get into the bullpen and even in a loss you make them get a few guys up, a few more than they wanted to. Those things carry over."