Giants

With Melancon set to start rehab, Bochy ready to see a core group in bullpen

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USATSI

With Melancon set to start rehab, Bochy ready to see a core group in bullpen

SAN FRANCISCO -- A day after his bullpen blew yet another lead, Bruce Bochy was able to dream a little bit. Mark Melancon will start a rehab assignment Sunday in Sacramento, and Bochy intends to have Melancon return as the closer after a few rehab innings. That will bump red-hot Sam Dyson to the eighth and Hunter Strickland down to the seventh. 

"It's going to give us a better idea of where we're at as we go into the future," Bochy said. 

The Giants intended to have a similar setup this season, but Will Smith had Tommy John surgery, Derek Law pitched his way back to Triple-A, and Melancon struggled and then got hurt. Bochy said it's important to see some sort of structure in the back of the bullpen, and the Giants are sketching out a future where it's better than it's been. Smith will return next year and should give them a reliable lefty in the bullpen, and there's another option developing. 

Kyle Crick struck out two in the eighth inning of his first game at Dodger Stadium. He has a 1.88 ERA but he has only pitched in one game the Giants have won. Bochy said that will change. 

"We're bumping him up each time," Bochy said. "I think he's handled it well and he's commanding his fastball. The thing I like about him is he's getting better with his slider and using his changeup."

The bullpen has given up leads for two straight years, but Bochy sees a light at the end of the tunnel. Now, that could change. Strickland is a trade chip, Dyson could revert to his earlier Texas form, Melancon's elbow could finally give out, Crick could lose his command. But Bochy is optimistic, and he's hoping that he soon has two months of games to test whether the Giants really are on the way to having this fixed. 

--- I wrote yesterday that Tyler Beede's season is almost certainly over. Bochy confirmed the details, and added that the Giants haven't given up hope on Beede returning in late September. The Giants are also hoping to get Austin Slater and Christian Arroyo back over the final couple of weeks. 

--- Nick Hundley was originally in today's lineup but he has a headache after taking a wicked foul tip yesterday. So Buster Posey is catching, with Jae-Gyun Hwang at first since Brandon Belt still has a sore wrist. If Hundley does have a concussion, Tim Federowicz is the likely pick. He's ahead of Trevor Brown on Sacramento's depth chart, although he's not on the 40-man roster. 

--- Madison Bumgarner will start Sunday night to stay on turn. Matt Cain has been bumped to Monday in Oakland. It'll be a sneaky-big moment for Bumgarner. His reputation took a hit with the accident, but he'll get a chance to pitch in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Baseball. 

--- For the weekend crowd, a podcast with top prospect Chris Shaw.

POLL: Giants Memorable Moments -- Cain's Perfect Game vs Winning 2010 NL Pennant

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AP

POLL: Giants Memorable Moments -- Cain's Perfect Game vs Winning 2010 NL Pennant

PROGRAMMING NOTE: NBC Sports Bay Area is looking back at the Giants' 60 Memorable Moments since the franchise moved from New York to San Francisco. Tune into Giants Pregame Live at 3pm to see the next two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Giants and Mets conclude, tune into Postgame Live to see which moment will move on.

1. Matt Cain's Perfect Game in 2012 (15-time winner -- Defeated Giants win 2012 NL Pennant against Cardinals in rain-soaked Game 7)

(From Matt Cain - Giants Pitcher, 2005-2017)

The Perfect Game was one of the most memorable nights of my playing career. 

I had always dreamed of throwing a no-hitter. I had come so close so many times throughout my career and in my younger years, but never had one. 

The ballpark was so electric that night. We had the TaylorMade guys out hitting golf balls. Dustin Johnson hitting monster drives into McCovey Cove, and I snuck one good swing in there as well. 

Pretty surreal day. I still think back to all the plays and pitches during that game. To have every single player on the same wave length and all realizing what was unfolding is truly something special. Everyone likes to say I pitched a perfect game and I get the credit for it but I’m in debt to everyone of the guys who made a play behind me , one that still doesn’t make sense in right center field, and I owe the most to the guy who called 125 perfect pitches behind the plate. 

Thanks to all the fans that have come up to me and shared there story about that night. So fun to hear them all!!

VS.

2. Giants win 2010 National League Pennant

(From former Giants outfielder and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Andres Torres)

If you ask me what was harder...winning the World Series against Texas or beating Philly in the NLCS...it was beating Philly. They had a great lineup and pitching staff and those fans there...they're no joke. Fans yelling at you all the time. It wasn't easy to play against them when they were at home.

Juan Uribe was really good...he had that stance...that power...he used to hit with a weight on his bat...he's really strong...great hitter. When he hit that home run...we were going crazy...really pumped. Cody Ross was also great that series. Two home runs off Roy Halladay.

I was so excited, we were going to the World Series and we were going to win. Think about beating Philly with that lineup and that pitching staff was no joke either. We were built like a great like a great company and everbody coming into the clubhouse, we made them feel comfortable, when new guys came in we made them feel welcome and comfortable and we had fun. That's how the Giants are, and when we beat Philly...I thought we had already won the World Series because we believed in each other.

VOTE HERE:

MLB rumors: Giants place Andrew McCutchen on revocable waivers

MLB rumors: Giants place Andrew McCutchen on revocable waivers

NEW YORK — The Giants did not sell at the trade deadline, preferring to give a .500 roster a few more weeks to try and climb into the race. It appears the weekend in Cincinnati finally led to some decisions from the front office. 

According to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, the Giants have placed Andrew McCutchen on revocable waivers, potentially clearing the way for a trade over the coming days. McCutchen is only owed about $3 million at this point and could be a fit for a contending team looking for outfield help down the stretch. If McCutchen is claimed, the Giants will have little leverage in negotiations, but they should be able to salvage a prospect or two in exchange for a player who will be a free agent at the end of the season. 

The interest in McCutchen at the deadline wasn’t enough to have the Giants seriously consider a deal, but his numbers have ticked up a bit in the second half. Trading McCutchen would serve multiple purposes. The veteran could potentially find himself in a playoff race, in search of his first ring. For the Giants, a deal would clear salary space and get them further from the tax line, and potentially allow for more September call-ups. It also would clear playing time in the outfield, allowing Austin Slater to play every day, or Chris Shaw to get an audition over the final month. 

The Giants have avoided any talk of putting up the white flag, but they were swept over the weekend in Cincinnati and have not had the road trip they had hoped. They won 2-1 Tuesday, but still will face Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom in this series.