Giants

Mike Yastrzemski's homer in Fenway Park debut highlights Giants' win

Mike Yastrzemski's homer in Fenway Park debut highlights Giants' win

No one could have scripted it any better.

Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, playing his first game in grandfather Carl's old stomping grounds, did what the Red Sox legend did so many times: He manned left field, just in front of the fabled Green Monster, and launched a home run at Fenway Park in his team's victory.

The special moment came in the top of the fourth inning of the Giants' series opener against the Red Sox, when Yastrzemski blasted a 3-1 fastball off Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi 401 feet to dead center.

Yastrzemski, who finished 2-for-7 with the homer, one double, one walk and two runs scored, led off the game and received a standing ovation from the Fenway crowd ahead of his first at-bat. He ended up striking out, but he got the better of Eovaldi the next time they faced each other.

"It was incredible, just being able to be in front of family and friends," Yastrzemski told NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez immediately after the Giants' 7-6, 15-inning win, "and I couldn't have asked for a better welcome from the entire crowd. That was special."

Alex Dickerson's pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the 15th eventually ended the marathon, but all the postgame attention was on Yastrzemski, who was born in the Boston suburb of Andover. Tuesday's homer increased Yastrzemski's season total to 20, giving the Giants two outfielders -- Kevin Pillar being the other -- with 20 or more for the first time since 2006, when Barry Bonds and Moises Alou accomplished the feat.

[RELATED: Younger Yaz soaks up first Fenway visit as a player]

Perhaps most impressive of all, Yastrzemski's 20 homers have come in just 97 games with the Giants, who acquired the Baseball Hall of Famer's grandson in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles in March.

Not too shabby for a 29-year-old rookie.

MLB rumors: Mark Kotsay entered Giants manager interviews as favorite

MLB rumors: Mark Kotsay entered Giants manager interviews as favorite

As the Giants watch the World Series from home, their search for a new manager continues. Replacing a legend like Bruce Bochy won't be easy, but president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi can't wait forever. 

Interviews have begun, and the favorite coming into the process might be someone who would just have to switch sides in the Bay Area. The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly reported Monday that "word around the industry is that [Mark] Kotsay entered this process as a favored candidate." One source also told Baggarly that he would be surprised if the Giants didn't hire Kotsay.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic first reported on Oct. 9 that the Giants would interview Kotsay, who currently serves as the A's quality control coach.

Kotsay, 43, had a 17-year MLB career where he spent four seasons -- 2004 through '07 -- as an outfielder for the A's. Zaidi was a baseball operations analyst in Oakland when Kotsay played for the A's. 

Kotsay retired after the 2013 season and became a special assistant in the San Diego Padres' front office the next season. He then served as the Padres' hitting coach for the 2015 season and was the A's bench coach in 2016. 

[RELATED: Could MadBum's ugly road stats hurt him in free agency?]

The Giants already interviewed in-house candidates Hensley Meulens and Ron Wotus. The San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman and John Shea reported Monday that San Francisco also interviewed Cubs first base coach Wil Venable on Friday.

Other reported candidates include Astros bench coach Joe Espada, Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro and former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler

Could Madison Bumgarner's bad road stats hurt him in MLB free agency?

Could Madison Bumgarner's bad road stats hurt him in MLB free agency?

Madison Bumgarner is entering free agency at a curious time in his career. The longtime Giants ace has built a legendary reputation, but plenty of question marks also surround the 30-year-old.

Bumgarner proved he's still a workhorse after missing time the previous two seasons with freak injuries. His 34 starts were tied for the MLB lead, and his 207 2/3 innings pitched ranked second in the NL.

But while looking at Bumgarner's stats from this past season, one thing stands out that could hurt him in free agency and actually help the Giants if they want to bring back the left-hander.

MadBum's home-road splits were staggering in 2019. He was a completely different pitcher in front of the home crowd at Oracle Park, compared to pitching away from San Francisco.

Here are Bumgarner's home stats this past season, compared to when he pitched on the road.

Home: 19 GS, 6-2, 2.93 ERA, 122 2/3 IP, 40 ER, 15 HR, 120 SO, 21 BB, 0.93 WHIP, 5.71 SO/W
Away: 15 GS, 3-7, 5.29 ERA, 85 IP, 50 ER, 15 HR, 83 SO, 22 BB, 1.41 WHIP, 3.77 SO/W

Oracle Park is known as a pitcher's dream. In fact, the Giants' home park was the least favorable for offenses this season by Park Factors, per ESPN. The 11-year veteran used that his advantage, but that luxury didn't follow him on the road.

Bumgarner allowed the same amount of homers in four fewer road games as he did at home. He also walked one more batter and allowed five more hits -- 98 on the road, compared to 93 at home. For someone with a lot of mileage on his arm and his fastball declining in velocity, that's certainly alarming.

[RELATED: Astros call possible Giants target Cole 'West Coast guy']

As a pitcher who's never tested the open market and has spent his entire career in a pitcher's paradise, these numbers will be looked at closely by front offices around the league this offseason.

Bumgarner figures to join Gerrit Cole, among others, as the most coveted starting pitchers in free agency. So, while his road numbers could help the Giants in keeping him in San Francisco, they also could prevent the veteran from signing the hefty contract he likely desires.