March 2010

Spring training: Padres 7, Giants 1

Relievers Guillermo Mota, Denny Bautista and Brandon Medders also pitched well over the first four innings before the Padres jumped on Osiris Matos during a seven-run fifth innings, as the San Diego Padres beat the Giants split-squad 7-1.

Mota started and pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three. Bautista struck out the side in the third, and Medders allowed just one walk in the third.
Inside the box score
Eugenio Velez was 1 for 4.

Nate Schierholtz was 1 for 3 with a triple and two strikeouts.
Aubrey Huff was 1 for 2 with a walk and run scored.

Eli Whiteside had a tough day behind the plate. The Padres were 5 for 5 in stole bases off the Giants catcher. The stolen bags came off five different pitchers.
Giants defense, which was leading spring training with fewest errors, had four — Kevin Frandsen, Ryan Rohlinger, Dan Runzler and Micah Downs. None of these players are expected to be in the starting lineup on Opening Day.

Up next
The Giants are on TV on Tuedsay when they meet the Cleveland Indians. The game will be showed on a tape-delay basis at 2 p.m. PDT on the MLB Network. Tim Lincecum will get the start for the Giants. 

Spring training: Giants 8, Rangers 5

It was a good news/bad news day for two of the Giants top prospects trying to make the big club on Monday.

Buster Posey continue to swing a hot bat, going 2 for 4 with a run scored, as the San Francisco Giants beat the Texas Rangers 8-5 in a split-squad game for the Giants.
The outing wasn’t quite as good for pitcher Madison Bumgarner. The young left-hander earned the win in three innings of work, but struggled at times giving up three runs on three hits and three walks. He even hit a batter.
The outing appeared to slip Bumgarner behind Kevin Pucetas and Todd Wellemeyer in the battle for the No. 5 spot in the Giants rotation.
And Bumgarner was talking like someone resigned to that assessment.
“Fighting for a job isn’t as important as getting ready for the season and being ready when the season starts, no matter where that may be,” Bumgarner said Monday.

Inside the box score

Fred Lewis continue his recent hot streak, hitting a two-run home run in the first inning off Texas’ Rich Harden. Lewis was 1 for 4 with two walks.
Andres Torres was 1 for 4 with two walks, one run and one RBI.
John Bowker was 2 for 4 with a walk.
Brian Wilson pitched two innings, giving up only one walk and no hits or runs.

Spring training: Brewers 10, Giants 8

After two scoreless outings, Jonathan Sanchez struggled to find the plate Sunday, walking five batters and giving up six earned runs in two-plus innings of work in the San Francisco Giants 10-8 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

Sanchez lost control of his fastball in the second inning. He walked five of the 13 batters he faced. Twenty-seven of 53 pitches were out of the strike zone.

“I know what’ wrong,” Sanchez told the San Jose Mercury News. “I’m not finishing my pitchers. I have stay back more, get on top of it more. It’s something I’ll be working on.”

It’s the third consecutive unpolished outing by a Giants starter, following Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.

On the flip side, the Giants hitters had a good day. They jumped on Brewers’ starter Jeff Suppan for four runs in four innings, going against a trend of slow starts by Giants hitters in spring training games.

The Giants hit four home runs in the game. Aaron Rowand led of the game for the Giants with a solo shot to right center for his first spring homer. Aubrey Huff followed three batters later with another home run. In the fourth inning, Fred Lewis and Nate Schierholtz also went deep off Suppan.

Inside the box score

Rowand was 2 for 3 with a double and home run. His spring average is .500.

Edgar Renteria is starting to heat up. He was 2 for 4 with an RBI.

Buster Posey was 2 for 2 with two RBI. He’s hitting .429. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Brewers stole three bases in four attempts with Posey behind the plate.

Injury updates

Aaron Rowand felt tightness in his left quad chasing down a fly ball in the seventh inning Sunday, and manager Bruce Bochy said his center fielder will be rested for a couple of days.

Travis Ishikawa ran the bases for the first time this spring and hopes to play in an intrasquad game in Minor League camp later this week. Ishikawa, who injured ligaments in his foot during a mishap at home this winter, says he feels certain that he’ll be ready to play by the Giants’ April 5 season opener. But he also admits that he’ll be dealing with discomfort in the foot for much of the season.

Up next

The Giants will play split-squad games on Monday. Madison Bumgarner will get the start in the 6:05 p.m. against the Texas Rangers in Surprise, Ariz. The Giants also will face the Padres at 7:05 p.m. in Peoria, with Guillermo Mota leading a contingent of relievers on the mound.

These will be penultimate split-squad games for the Giants, so roster cuts may soon follow later this week.

The Giants next split-squad day is March 24 when the Giants face the Reds in a regularly schedule game and the Royals in a makeup of a March 7 rainout.

Spring odds & ends: Catch the Giants on TV

San Francisco Giants from across the country can get their first look at the 2010 Giants (or at least the players who hope to comprise the 2010 Giants) on Tuesday as the Giants game against the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear, Ariz., will be broadcast by the MLB Network.

The game is slated to start at 1:05 p.m. PDT, but MLB Network’s broadcast is scheduled for 2 p.m. The Giants Web site indicated the game will be aired tape-delayed. Tim Lincecum is schedule to start for the Giants vs. Cleveland.
Other Giants spring training games scheduled to be aired by the MLB Network this spring include March 20 vs. the Cincinnati Reds, March 25 vs. the Oakland A’s, March 27 against the Los Angeles Angels, April 1 and 2 vs. the Oakland A’s at AT&T Park and April 4 against the Seattle Mariners at AT&T Park.
The Giants’ 2010 season opener at Houston is schedule to be broadcast on ESPN2 on April 5.
More Giants on TV
The MLB Network’s “30 Clubs in 30 Days” will preview the 2010 season of the San Francisco Giants at 7 p.m. PDT on March 21. The show will be re-aired several times before Opening Day for folks who miss the March 21 airing or forget to set their DVR.

Battle for No. 5 rotation spot
Kevin Pucetas and Todd Wellemeyer have appeared to take the early lead in the battle for the No. 5 spots in the Giants starting rotation. 
With three perfect innings Saturday, Pucetas has a spring ERA of 0.00 in 7 innings pitched. Wellemeyer’s ERA is 2.00 in 10 innings of work. Madison Bumgarner has a 4.50 ERA in 4 IP after struggling with his control in his most recent outing.
Joe Martinez had been in the running at the start of camp. But Martinez, who gave up four runs in his lone inning of work this spring, has been bothered by elbow soreness. An MRI performed Thursday revealed only inflammation. He hopes to resuming throwing in a couple of days, but that will put him far behind the others.

Injury news
Manager Bruce Bochy made his strong declaration on the availability of second baseman Freddy Sanchez for the Giants’ April 5 season opener.
“He’s not going to be ready,” Bochy told Chris Haft of “He’s come along fine, but there’s not enough time.”
We would expect Sanchez, who is coming off shoulder surgery, to be ready to play by the second week of the regular season — barring any setbacks.

Spring training: Giants 8, Mariners 4

Kevin Pucetas continued to make a strong case for a spot in the Giants rotation, while outfielder Andres Torres kept swinging a hot bat in the Giants’ split-squad win over the Seattle Mariners, 8-4.

Pucetas retired all nine hitters he faced to keep his spring ERA at 0.00. It’s a far cry from last spring, when he had an 8.04 ERA in 15-plus innings. This spring, he’s allowed just three hits in seven innings.
Torres, who got off to a slow spring start, had another strong game, going 2 for 4 with a triple, home run, three runs, two RBI and a walk. He’s hitting .318 for the spring, just a few games after sitting around the .200 mark.
Inside the box score
Fred Lewis, who is battling for an outfield spot on the roster with Torres, also got some good production, going 2 for 4 with a walk and run scored.
John Bowker was 1 for 4 with two RBI.
Edgar Renteria was 1 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored
Up next
Jonathan Sanchez takes his 0.00 spring ERA into a 1:05 p.m. PDT game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

Spring training: A’s 8, Giants 7

After two solid spring starts, Giants pitcher Matt Cain got knocked around for five runs (four earned) on eight hits in 2 2/3 innings as the Oakland Athletics beat a Giants split-squad 8-7 on Saturday.

“I threw the ball all right,” Cain told the Associated Press. “Obviously, I left a good bit of breaking balls up and they took advantage of that, so I’m going to go back and kind of check on what I did on that.”
Like we said with Lincecum, this is not reason for worry with Cain. It’s spring and he’s clearly working on things. That is evident by the fact that he did not walk a batter and struck out three. So he was clearly around the plate. During the regular season, you would not see a Cain outing that involved eight hits surrendered and no walks.
More disturbing is the Giants continued struggles against their opponents’ starting pitcher. Against Oakland’s Gio Gonzalez, the Giants managed just two hits in three scoreless innings. And those hits were not impressive. Mark DeRosa had a double that popped out of an Oakland outfielder’s glove and Aaron Rowand had a bloop single.
During the spring, the Giants have scored eight runs in the first inning, but six of those runs have come in two games against Seattle’s Doug Fister. They’ve scored 5 runs in the second inning, but 4 came in one start against Colorado’s Jeff Francis. And in the third inning, the Giants have tallied 6 runs — five came against in one game against Chicago’s Carlos Zambrano.
On Saturday against Oakland, the Giants hitters came to life against the A’s relievers.
Inside the box score
Aaron Rowand was 2 for 3 with a walk and RBI. He’s hitting .476 this spring.
Aubrey Huff had a double in three ABs. He’s hitting .353.
Mark DeRosa was 2 for 3 with a double and run scored.

Bengie Molina was 1 for 2 with a double, run, RBI and walk. He’s hitting .467.
Buster Posey continues to make the Giants think about what they plan for the young catcher this season. Posey went 2 for 4 with a double, walk and RBI. He’s hitting .368.
Nate Schierholtz was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.
Left-hander Dan Runzler maintained his 0.00 spring ERA by striking out the side in the eighth.

Spring training: Giants 9, Rockies 2

Todd Wellemeyer had his best outing of the spring, throwing four scoreless innings and allowing just two hits in the San Francisco Giants 9-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.

Wellemeyer, who is battling for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, did not walk a batter, did not record any strikeouts and needed only 41 pitches to get through his four innings of work. His spring ERA sits at 2.00.
Inside the box score
Andres Torres, in need of some good news, got it. He was 2 for 3 with two doubles and two runs scored, raising his spring average to .278. He’s battling for an outfield spot on the Giants roster.

Buster Posey continued to look strong this spring, going 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI.
Nate Schierholtz, playing in his first game since fouling a ball off his knee and knocking his head on the batting cage during a simulated game Sunday, was 2 for 3 with double, two runs scored and two RBI.
Fred Lewis was 0 for 2 with a run scored. He’s hitting .158 this spring.
Micah Downs had a triple and run scored in 3 at-bats. He’s hitting .429 this spring.

Up next
The Giants will split squads on Saturday. Matt Cain will get the start in a game against the Oakland A’s, while Kevin Pucetas pitches for the Giants against the Mariners.

Spring training: Mariners 6, Giants 2

Tim Lincecum gave up four runs — two earned — in 2 2/3 innings of work in his second spring start as the Giants lost to the Seattle Mariners 6-2.

Lincecum says he’s been struggling to master his mechanics in two uneven spring starts, but is not conerned with the results.
“Stuff wise, I felt like everything was good,” Lincecum told the Associated Press. “I think right now everything is just location. I just try to take something positive from each outing. My curveball was breaking really well, the slider was doing well. The change-up when it was down was good, same with the fastball. The only time I really got hurt was Ichiro’s (leadoff double). … The key for me is rhythm. My mechanics kind of follow that.”
The Giants also aren’t too concerned with the early results from Lincecum.
Here’s Moresplashhits’ take: It’s still March 10. Lincecum has been working on his curveball this season, so he’s going to spend these spring starts working on pitches and not necessarily getting people out. You can look at this outing and see the positives: He threw 59 pitches, so he remains on pace to be ready for the season opener. And he struck out four batters in 2 2/3 innings.
You’ll remember Lincecum came out of the gate in the regular season last year with a couple of uneven early starts before hitting his stride by mid-April, en route to a second Cy Young season.
No need to panic.
Inside the box score
Aaron Rowand was 2 for 3 with one strikeout. He’s hitting .444 this spring.

Pablo Sandoval had a double in 2 at-bats.

Mark DeRosa was 2 for 2 with a walk and an RBI

Fred Lewis and Andres Torres, two outfielders battling for roster spots, continue to struggle. Lewis was 0 for 3 (.176 this spring); Torres was 0 for 3 (.200).
Madison Bumgarner followed Lincecum by two earned runs in two innings. Most disconcerting were the four walks allowed by the youngster.

Spring training: Giants 5, Cubs 1

Pablo Sandoval capped a five-run third inning with a grand slam off Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano as the Giants improved to 7-1 in Cactus League play with a 5-1 win over Chicago on Wednesday.

Zambrano allowed soft singles to John Bowker (1 for 3), Kevin Frandsen (1 for 3) and Aaron Rowand (1 for 4) before hitting Eugenio Velez with a pitch to score Bowker.
Sandoval then hammered a line driver over the right-field wall, giving the Giants a 5-0 lead.
Inside the box score
Jonathan Sanchez struck out five in three scoreless innings of work. He gave up three hits and no walks.
Aubrey Huff had a double off Zambrano and finished 1 for 4.
Bengie Molina was 1 for 2 with a walk.
Velez was 0 for 3 with a run and RBI. He started in center field, hoping to show he can handle that position as a backup to Rowand. If Velez can show he can play all three outfield positions, as well as second base, it would greatly increase his chances of making the club, particularly since Andres Torres has been struggling this spring.
Up next
Tim Lincecum is slated to make his second spring training start Thursday against the Seattle Mariners. His scheduled start Sunday was rained out, so Lincecum threw a simulated game indoors.

Spring training: Giants 6, White Sox 2

Fred Lewis and Buster Posey hit back-to-back home runs as part of a five-run eighth inning as the Giants beat the Chicago White in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The game started after a 59-minute rain delay.
The game continued an early trend this spring for Giants hitters. The Giants couldn’t muster much against White Sox starting pitcher John Denks, who gave up two hits while striking out four in three innings of work. And the Giants hitters fattened up on the Sox bullpen.
Since the spring training opener, the Giants have totaled five runs in the first three innings of six spring training games. And four of those runs came in the second inning against the Rockies’ Jeff Francis, who is trying to rebound after missing all of last season because of an injury.
Inside the box score
Aaron Rowand had a double and a strikeout in three at-bats. He’s batting .455 this spring.
Buster Posey started at catcher and played the entire game, going 2 for 4 with a home run.
Andres Torres did not help his case in a battle for a roster spot. He was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.
Mark DeRosa made his spring training debut, lashing a sharp single in his first at-bat. He was 1 for 2.
Matt Cain put in another solid outing, giving up one run in three innings.
Brian Wilson pitched two scoreless innings, with two strikeouts.
Sergio Romo struck out the side in the ninth.
Up next
Jonathan Sanchez will start as the Giants travel to Mesa to play the Chicago Cubs.