Giants

Manny Machado in a Giants uniform? Mike Krukow would love to see it

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NBC Sports Bay Area

Manny Machado in a Giants uniform? Mike Krukow would love to see it

Manny Machado on the Giants?

There's a microscopic chance that the free agent signs with the Giants, but broadcaster Mike Krukow would like to see it happen.

"As far as his makeup, stepping on guys going down the first base line, I think that's bush [league]," Krukow said on KNBR 680 Friday. "Does he run everything out? And then he addresses the fact that he doesn't run out ground balls, and to me, that's just stupid. Despite all that, I'd love to see him in a Giants uniform. I think every team says the same thing. He is a catalyst player and he's 26 [years old.]"

With his free agency looming, Machado brought the wrong kind of attention to himself during the postseason with the Dodgers. In one instance, he appeared not to hustle to first base. In another incident, he stepped on the foot of Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar.

Aside from all that, Krukow has been impressed with Machado.

"I think his baseball skills are off the charts,' Krukow said. "He can do things phyiscally that other people can't do."

Machado's baseball skills aren't the only thing that has impressed Krukow.

"I think he's smart," Krukow said.

The supposed character issues that come with Machado don't seem to bother Krukow at all.

"I wouldn't even worry about it," Krukow said. "If he got in the right clubhouse, to me, it's not even an issue as to whether he's a positive or a negative. I think he's a positive, so I think he's a guy worth investing in."

Machado is seeking a mega contract, the kind of contract Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi doesn't give out to free agents. At the moment, the three known pursuers of Machado are the White Sox, Yankees and Phillies. Chicago has reportedly presented a formal offer to Machado.

Another thing standing in the way of Machado coming to the Giants? They have shortstop Brandon Crawford and third baseman Evan Longoria signed for the next several years. Crawford is a cornerstone player for the Giants, so he isn't going anywhere. Longoria is aging and his production is dipping, so he'd be tough to move.

Sorry, Kruk, but we don't think Machado is coming to San Francisco. But we made a snazzy jersey swap for you to dream about what Machado looks like in a Giants uniform.

How many wins will it take for Giants to sneak into MLB playoffs?

How many wins will it take for Giants to sneak into MLB playoffs?

DENVER -- For all the fun the Giants are having right now, you can sense that they understand the reality of the situation. There's a reason projection systems like FanGraphs' playoff odds give the Giants a little more than a two percent chance of making the playoffs. 

When you've spent much of the first half sitting 10 games under .500, even having a winning season seems a difficult task. Compiling enough wins to clinch a Wild Card spot can seem impossible at times, but hey, the Giants are streaking, and that allows you to view things a different way. 

So what exactly would it take to actually get into the play-in game? The Giants have been there twice before and won twice before. In 2014 they won 88 games and in 2016 they won 87, both times tying the team that hosted the game (the Pirates and then the Mets). 

That's pretty much your baseline, and as you do the math, that's where you want to be looking. Since MLB went to a two-team system in 2012, the NL Wild Card game never has featured a team that won fewer than 87 games. 

In five of the seven years, the first Wild Card team has won at least 93 games, and the Nationals seem a good bet to be that team this year. Led by a deep rotation, they're 50-43 and have a 25-10 record since June 1. 

The second spot is much more wide open. The Rockies took it with 91 wins last year and in 2015 -- when the NL Central was absurd -- the Cubs won 97 games and still finished behind the Cardinals and Pirates in their own division. But it has taken just 87 wins to get that second spot twice, 88 wins twice, and 90 wins once. 

The Giants are 46-49 after Tuesday's 8-4 thriller and have won 11 of their last 13 games. They're five back of the Nationals and three back of the second spot, but the climb to 87 still is steep. They have to go 41-26 the rest of the way, a .611 winning percentage. The only team in the NL this season to play .611 ball is Los Angeles, a juggernaut that will easily win the division yet again. 

[RELATED: Cueto taking big step in return from Tommy John surgery]

It's a tough task. Then again, the Giants are in this position in large part because the National League is pretty mediocre this season, and the teams ahead of them -- the Nationals, Phillies, Brewers, Cardinals and Diamondbacks -- have had their own issues. You can't look at that group and see two teams that will run away from the pack. The Astros got into the AL Wild Card game with 86 wins in 2015 and the Twins did it with just 85 two years later, and perhaps this is the year when a lesser record gets it done in the NL. 

That would help, but history tells us a more likely outcome. If you're looking for a target, make it 87 wins. That's still a lofty goal, but with the way the Giants are playing right now, anything seems possible. 

New-look outfield does it all as Giants win for 11th time in 13 games

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USATSI

New-look outfield does it all as Giants win for 11th time in 13 games

DENVER -- After he finished his daily session with the media on Tuesday afternoon, Giants manager Bruce Bochy sat against the wall in the dugout and spent a silent moment looking out at the grass at Coors Field. 

"It's amazing how big the outfield here is," Bochy finally said.

The manager admitted that sometimes he stands on the top step, looks out at the alleys that go 375 feet and 390, and the center field wall 415 feet away, and marvels at how much space there is to cover. 

In down times, the Giants haven't been able to do it. Those alleys paved the way for one Rockies win after another the previous two seasons as the Giants' aging outfield looked overwhelmed. But this is a different time for Giants outfielders, defensively and at the plate.

Kevin Pillar had his second consecutive brilliant defensive effort in center and the two fellow newcomers flanking him, Alex Dickerson and Mike Yastrzemski, paced a lineup that made up for Will Smith's blown save and ran away from the Rockies in the 10th for an 8-4 win, the 11th in 13 games. 

Dickerson had a career-high four hits to raise his average to .342. Yastrzemski had three hits and a big homer in the ninth. But it was Pillar who made the biggest contributions. He has a half-dozen diving catches in this series, repeatedly halting Rockies rallies. Pillar made three tremendous plays in center on Tuesday night alone. 

"It's like nothing I've ever seen," Dickerson said. "Every ball, if there's even a question, he's diving and he's got it. It's like nothing I've ever seen."

Pillar backed Drew Pomeranz's strong effort, and once again the lineup came through. Dickerson and Yastrzemski were in the middle of a two-run rally in the second and Dickerson's single gave the Giants an insurance run in the eighth. Yastrzemski added another with a homer in the ninth, but Smith couldn't hold on. 

The All-Star closer allowed just eight runs in the first half but gave up three in the ninth inning, with Trevor Story and Ian Desmond going deep. But the Giants stormed right back for four in the 10th.

"A lot of character was shown there with what happened in the ninth," Bochy said. "Smitty has been so good but it can happen fast in this ballpark. The boys just kept battling. That's what you've got to do."

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Dickerson made it all sound so easy as he went over the rally, which started with walks from Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval and took off with three straight singles from Dickerson, Brandon Crawford and Yastrzemski. 

"We weren't going to shy away from it," Dickerson said. "We still had that game under control. I think you saw it, that's as focused an inning as you can have."