Shaun Anderson, Giants top pitching prospect, impresses in MLB debut

Shaun Anderson, Giants top pitching prospect, impresses in MLB debut

SAN FRANCISCO -- All eyes were on Giants top pitching prospect Shaun Anderson on Wednesday afternoon, but you'll forgive some of his new teammates if they didn't pay full attention when Anderson dug into the box in the second inning. 

Even Aramis Garcia, his offseason workout partner, friend, and catcher, did not have high -- or any -- expectations as Anderson stepped up for the first time. A year ago with Double-A Richmond, Anderson had borrowed one of Garcia's bats. Apparently the results were not memorable. 

"In Richmond, man ... it looked like, ah ... we thought he was going to hurt himself with how hard he was swinging," Garcia said, smiling. 

Anderson, listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, is still swinging hard. And in his debut that swing twice put the barrel on an Edwin Jackson pitch, leading to two hits in a 4-3 win over the Blue Jays. He also pitched five solid innings, more than enough to guarantee a second start. That'll come next week at Oracle Park, when Anderson will try to build on the historic start at the plate. 

Anderson had an opposite field double that left the bat at 108.9 mph -- giving him the 12th hardest-hit ball of the year by a Giant -- and a seeing-eye single. He became the first pitcher in Giants history to have two hits in his debut and the first to do it for any team since the Mets' Steven Matz in 2010. 

So yes, for a few days, Shaun Anderson has bragging rights over Madison Bumgarner. 

"I actually worked with him in spring training on hitting," Anderson said. "So I can credit him a little bit."

Anderson surely will slow down at the plate, but on the mound, the signs were just as positive. He gave up three runs -- two earned -- and all three were easily avoidable.

"They got a couple of cheap runs," was how manager Bruce Bochy put it. 

All three runs against Anderson were scored by Blue Jays leadoff hitter Brandon Drury, but just two were earned, and the rallies weren't exactly concerning. Drury led off the game with a broken-bat bloop single to right and scored with two outs when Anderson threw one of just two curveballs on the day. It checked up near the bottom of the zone and Freddy Galvis yanked it into the right field corner. 

"I was going with a different look," Anderson said. "I went with the curve in the zone and left it right there and he got to it."

Brandon Crawford, who hit the go-ahead homer after Anderson had departed, said that's something that will change with experience. The curve might be Anderson's fourth best pitch, and Crawford said he'll learn to bury it in that situation. But Crawford did see something he liked in that moment. 

"He was aggressive," he said. 

Two innings later, Drury drew a walk, went to second on a wild pitch, took third on a deep fly ball, and raced home on another wild pitch. Anderson got to the plate in time for the tag but dropped the ball as he collided with Drury. In the fifth, Drury reached on Evan Longoria's error and went all the way to third when Anderson's pickoff throw got down the line. He scored on a slow roller to third. 

"That's something I need to limit," Anderson said of the wild pitches and errant pickoff. "Limiting those mistakes would have helped me win."

Regardless, there was more than enough to build on. Anderson leaned heavily on a fastball that hit 95 and has natural cut. He can sink it or throw it straight to mix it up. He also threw plenty of hard sliders, with two different variations. The curveball will come with time, and Crawford, who faced Anderson in spring training, said the changeup is actually an underrated offering. 

What does not need any sharpening is the demeanor. Anderson is known as a "bulldog," and Garcia said he's the type -- in the Bumgarner mold -- to stare a hitter down. Anderson showed confidence and aggression Wednesday, but he never appeared out of control.

"He's one of my favorite guys to catch, for sure," Garcia said. 

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With Buster Posey set to return Friday, Garcia may not be around for Anderson's next start. But the important thing right now, for an organization looking for any signs of future life, is that Anderson earned a next start. Bochy left no doubt when asked, saying he's in the rotation for now, which means a few more at-bats, at the very least. 

"I didn't know he could swing the bat like that," Bochy said. "That's a pretty nice debut, isn't it?"

Drew Pomeranz was thinking 'attack' in historic effort in Giants' loss

Drew Pomeranz was thinking 'attack' in historic effort in Giants' loss

Drew Pomeranz had a career night Monday at Oracle Park. Unfortunately for the Giants starter, he still came away with his eighth loss of the season.

In five innings pitched, Pomeranz matched a career high with 11 strikeouts. It's the third time in his nine-year career that he's struck out that many batters in a game.

But that's not even the best stat regarding Pomeranz's 11 strikeouts against the Rockies.

That's right. Pomeranz did something that no other Giants pitcher had accomplished in 126 years.

"I was just thinking attack," Pomeranz told the media after the Giants' 2-0 loss to the Rockies. "Didn't want to walk guys, even though I did walk guys. Some of the other guys had three-pitch strikeouts, so that helps balance things out."

Pomeranz walked just two batters. He pitched well enough to win, but his one mistake — a two-run homer allowed to Rockies outfielder David Dahl — cost him.

[RELATED: Bochy shows confidence in Anderson]

"He had good stuff," Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the media. "His curveball got better as he went. Had a good fastball going tonight, good life on it, and I think it showed on the strikeouts."

Rockies vs. Giants lineups: Red-hot Alex Dickerson batting second

Rockies vs. Giants lineups: Red-hot Alex Dickerson batting second

Giants fans at Oracle Park on Monday night will get an early look at Alex Dickerson.

As the team returns to San Francisco from a seven-game road trip, Dickerson will be batting second in the lineup against Jon Gray and the Colorado Rockies.

Dickerson joined the Giants on Friday in Arizona and went 5-for-12 with four extra-base hits and nine RBI in the three-game series. He batted seventh in all three games.

Giants starter Drew Pomeranz takes his 7.09 ERA to the mound and will look to bounce back from a rough outing in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

First pitch for Rockies-Giants is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT, with pregame coverage beginning at 6 p.m. You can follow all the action on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming online and on the MyTeams app.

[RELATED: Bochy shows confidence in Anderson]

Here are the full Rockies-Giants lineups:

Colorado Rockies (40-37)
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) RF
2. David Dahl (L) CF
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Daniel Murphy (L) 1B
5. Ryan McMahon (L) 2B
6. Raimel Tapia (L) LF
7. Pat Valaika (R) SS
8. Tony Wolters (L) C
9. Jon Gray (R) P (7-5, 4.18)

San Francisco Giants (33-43)
1. Mike Yastrzemski (L) RF
2. Alex Dickerson (L) LF
3. Buster Posey (R) C
4. Pablo Sandoval (S) 1B
5. Kevin Pillar (R) CF
6. Evan Longoria (R) 3B
7. Joe Panik (L) 2B
8. Donovan Solano (R) SS
9. Drew Pomeranz (R) P (2-7, 7.09 ERA)