Spring training: Giants 9, White Sox 9 (tie) … bullpen springs a leak
All we can say about Monday’s spring training 9-9 tie against the Chicago White Sox is … get used to it, Giants fans.
The Giants blew a 9-0 lead as the White Sox rallied for seven runs in the eighth inning.
With the Giants set to lose a large chunk of its bullpen to the World Baseball Classic (Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, Jose Mijares, Sergio Romo), the Giants loaded its spring training roster with pitchers. So a lot of young pitchers will get a chance to show what they can do — and what they can’t.
Through five innings Monday, the Giants were rolling to a 9-0 lead. Madison Bumgarner threw two scoreless innings, and Dan Otero, Romo and Michael Kickham followed with a scoreless inning each, marking 15 consecutive scoreless innings by Giants relievers this spring.
It wouldn’t last through a 16th inning.
In the sixth, the Giants sent in Chris Heston, who was thought to be near the top of the list of possible call-up candidates this season if the Giants need another starter. Heston had a solid season for Double-A Richmond in 2012.
On Monday, Heston gave up a single, hit a batter, then gave up a two-out, two-run triple to cut the Giants’ lead to 9-2.
Who is Fabio Castillo, you say. Well, that’s what we said, too.
Castillo, 24, was signed as a minor league free agent in November after seven seasons in the Rangers’ system. He went 4-1 with a 3.54 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A last season. His 14 games for Triple-A Round Rock marked his first stop above Double-A in his career.
On Monday, the White Sox greeted Castillo with a single, out, single and RBI double. After a walk loaded the bases and a visit from the pitching coach, Castillo walked in the second run of the inning.
From there, the Hollywood script writers must have gone to get a beer, because Chicago’s Josh Bell greet Brett Bochy with a ground-rule double to score two runs. The next batter, Seth Loman, lauched a three-run homer to right.
“You’re nervous for him, and that probably goes with being a dad,” Bruce Bochy said. “I put him in a tough spot but he’s a tough kid. He’ll be fine.”
After a walk, and a coaching visit, Bochy settled down to end the inning with a strikeout and a forceout to third.
“Once I’m out there, the focus is on pitching,” Brett Bochy said when asked about his father handing him the ball. “Being the first time, I noticed it, but once I toed the rubber, it’s just like any other game.”
- OF Cole Gillespie continued his early push to become this year’s Gregor Blanco (a player signed to provide organizational depth but pushes his way onto the roster with a strong spring) by going 2 for 3 with two doubles, two runs and two RBI. We like Cole. He’s from Oregon State. Go Beavs!!
- Hey look! Marco Scutaro is putting the bat on the ball again. He went 2 for 3 with an RBI.
- Pablo Sandoval made his third straight start at 3B. He went 1 for 3 with a double and run.
- Hunter Pence had a triple, walk and two runs scored in three trips to the plate.
LINK OF THE DAY
There were times late last season, when Pence would get behind in the count and had two strikes on him, you just knew he was going to swing and miss at a pitch down and away off the plate.
But as the postseason advanced, there was something about Pence that you just had to like, even when the sabermetricians told you not to. The Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins captures that here.
Tim Lincecum makes his spring debut against the Dodgers in Glendale, Ariz., at 12:05 p.m. Lincecum is known for getting bounced around early in spring as he refines his mechanics, so it’s doubtful we’ll be able to draw any conclusions from this start.