There has been a lot of chatter by baseball analysts on the new slide rule at second base after the first week. A lot of noise from former players.
Harold Reynolds, Mark DeRosa, Preston Wilson, Eric Byrnes, Eric Karros, Frank Thomas, et al. And almost uniformly, former players don’t like the new slide rule, basically because it is not the style of baseball they were used to playing.
Well, no duh. It isn’t. There has been a rule change.
Finally, we got some analysis that is absolutely, 100 percent, complete accurate, spot-on from a very unexpected source … MLB Network’s Billy Ripken.
Ripken broke down the new slide rule with examples of its enforcement in the opening week of the season, and every point he makes is excellent.
Here’s is his breakdown:
In his breakdown, Ripken said:
MLB is being consistent with its interpretation of this rule, calling to the letter of the law.
YES! MLB learned this two years ago with the home plate collision rule. MLB tried to give players some latitude in the enforcement of the rule. The result was sometimes it was ruled one way, then the next day it would be called the other way. This caused a lot of confusion. By enforcing the rule as it is written causes no confusion, and players and teams will learn it faster.
Ripken says he was not on board with the rule at home plate a couple of seasons back. Then he says “But last year, I didn’t miss any blow-ups. No catcher go steam-rolled, and I didn’t miss it.”
YES! We’ve been saying this for years. In fact, we even blogged about it TWO YEARS AGO. Read it yourself.
On the Colby Rasmus play, which was not going to be a double play, Ripken says MLB needs to put the onus on the baserunner and the team. “Have some court awareness. If it’s not going to be a double play, slide into the second base.”
YES! That’s the one thing people upset about this call that people weren’t saying. They didn’t like it was a tough way to end the game. They didn’t like that the Brewers weren’t going to turn a double play. But no one was saying that then made Rasmus’ slide a dumb slide. The fault there was on Rasmus. And that’s what MLB is trying to teach players: There is no advantage in breaking this rule, so you’re better off following it. Rasmus would have been better off following the rule here.
He showed an example of Jose Bautista adjusting his slide from last week, when he was called for interference, to this week, when he successfully broke up a double play with a legal slide, by the new rule. Ripken said he liked how Bautista learned from one situation to another “whether he likes it or not, it is the rule.”
YES! We’ve said this, too. Players and teams must learn the rule and abide by it. Here’s another blog post.
If MLB keeps calling it the same way, within two weeks, we won’t be seeing this controversial plays because players will begin to adhere to the rule.
YES! Completely agree. Once players learn there is no advantage in breaking the rule, they won’t break the rule. And, guess what? You won’t miss it. The only time you will notice it is when players break the rule.
Ripken said he was never a supporter of the neighborhood play. “The base is there for a reason.”
YES! I have never been a fan of the neighborhood play. That’s because the neighborhood plays doesn’t — and more importantly HAS NEVER — resided in the rulebook. Neither has the idea of the a “legal slide” is one in which the runner can reach out and touch the base. Look it up. They aren’t there. In fact, the opposite is there. Here is the rulebook.
Rule 5.09 (a) Retiring a batter
The batter is out when:
(13) A preceding runner shall, in the umpire’s judgment, intentionally interferes with a fielder who is attempting to catch a thrown ball or to throw a ball in an attempt to complete any play.
Well, that seems pretty clear. Why are we even having this discussion? Oh, there is a comment after the rule, which reads:
Comment: The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously, this is an umpire’s judgement play.
See, that’s where we get into trouble. The play has to not only be “deliberate” but also “unwarranted” and “unsportsmanlike.”
So the interpretation of this rule is born about of the rough and tumble days of the early 20th century when Ty Cobb would sharpen his spikes and gash at infielders. So baseball rules that Cobb’s actions are now unwarranted and unsportsmanlike. And now the interpretation is broadened to allow take-out slides as long as runner can slide and reach out and touch the base. This falls under the “umpire’s judgment” and a very loose interpretation of the three-foot wide baseline rule. But then you also need to protect the infielders, so the umpire’s judgment also included the neighborhood play. This wasn’t written into the rule, but adopted as practice by umpires under the “umpire’s judgment.” But what it actually did was move baseball further away from the original letter of the rule to protect players, when all you needed to do was enforce the rule as written.
And you do that by sticking with “deliberate” and removing “unwarranted” and “unsportsmanlike.”
The advent of replay allows us also to remove the umpire’s judgment. In an age when baserunners can be called off from coming off the bag for a fraction of a second, we can also take a look a plays at second base.
While safety is a big part of this new rule, you can’t underplay the impact that replay has made and a return to the true, original intent of the rulebook.
Last week, Giants fans were upset when second baseman Joe Panik was ruled to have come off the bag early. I responded that if first baseman Brandon Belt’s foot had come off first base before receiving the throw from Panik — and replays confirmed that — no one would have been upset. The same idea is at play at second base.
I also heard Eric Karros, sighting a comment by Mets manager Terry Collins, that he felt this new rule would result in infielders being hurt by “being comfortable around the bag.”
Having covering amateur baseball for 25 years, where the take-out slide is not legal — I can tell you this is utter hogwash. Like the home plate rule, in time, you won’t miss take-out slides, and this is just an attempt by a player lost in the past grasping at straws to try to make an argument against a change.
We will see far fewer injuries around second base under this year’s rule than we would under previous years’ rules.
And that’s the point.
So well done Billy Ripken. You are my new favorite baseball analyst.
Until you say something stupid.
The San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday as the Giants took three of four from their rivals from the south.
But, of course, you knew that was going to happen because we told you.
So let’s take a look at our projections about Sunday’s game.
- We said the Giants would beat the Dodgers. CHECK!
- We said for the Giants to win, the Dodgers would have to score first. Well, all we really needed was a 1-0 lead so 5-0 — all in the first inning — was a little excessive, Johnny Cueto, but … CHECK!
- And we said the Giants would score 12 runs. I guess we’ll just have to settle for nine runs.
So two out of three ain’t bad.
But there was another projection that our team of analysts should have seen coming.
The Giants would go yard on Sunday.
The Giants brought out the thump, getting home runs from Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan in a 9-6 win over the Dodgers.
The Giants set a franchise mark by homering in their first seven games of the season. In fact, they’ve belted 14 total. Here they are.
Monday: Giants 12, Brewers 3
HRs: Matt Duffy, Denard Span, Joe Panik, Buster Posey.
Tuesday: Giants 2, Brewers 1
HR: Brandon Crawford
Wednesday: Brewers 4, Giants 3
Thursday: Giants 12, Dodgers 6
HR: Hunter Pence
Friday: Giants 3, Dodgers 2 (10)
HRs: Trevor Brown, Crawford
Saturday: Dodgers 3, Giants 2 (10)
HR: Madison Bumgarner, Ehire Adrianza
Sunday: Giants 9, Dodgers 6
HRs: Posey, Brandon Belt, Angel Pagan
That’s 14 home runs by 11 different players. Every starter has at least one, plus Adrianza, Brown and Bumgarner.
Last season, it took the Giants 22 games to hit 14 home runs. They have hit eight at home, which didn’t happen until May 3 last season.
However, none of those home runs went into the bay. Oh well, that will have to wait until next homestand.
Any loss is tough.
Any loss to the Dodgers is especially hard.
A loss to the Dodgers when it looked like the Giants had it won, well that’s almost unbearable.
But that’s what San Francisco Giants were faced with Saturday afternoon when the Dodgers rallied to beat the Giants 3-2 in 10 innings.
Things looked sticky when Santiago Casilla loaded the bases with one out and Adrian Gonzalez coming to bat while protecting a 2-1 lead in the ninth.
Casilla was looking for a strikeout or a pop-up. But what he really wanted was a double-play ball. And that’s exactly what he got when Gonzalez hit a grounder to second. But on a slick and rainy infield, second baseman Kelby Tomlinson mishandled the grounder, leading to only one out instead of two, and allowing the Dodgers to tie the game.
Luckily, MoreSplashHits’ team of analysts have come up with some projections based on trends so far this young 2016 season that may brighten the hearts of any Giants faithful.
Our analysts are projecting:
- The Giants will win on Sunday.
- The Giants will score 12 runs on Sunday.
- The first two things will happen provided the Giants don’t score first on Sunday.
Let’s take a closer look at these projections.
GIANTS WILL WIN ON SUNDAY: The trend so far this season has gone like this: The Giants won on Monday, they won on Tuesday, but they lost on Wednesday. The Giants won on Thursday and won on Friday, but lost on Saturday. So the trends say the Giants will win on Sunday … on their way to 108-54 season.
GIANTS WILL SCORE 12 RUNS: The Giants scored 12 runs on Monday, then played a one-run game on Tuesday and played another one-run game on Wednesday. The Giants scored 12 runs again on Thursday, then played a one-run game on Friday and another one-run game on Saturday. So trends indicate the Giants will score 12 runs on Sunday, with a five-run eighth inning.
GIANTS SHOULDN’T SCORE FIRST: Scoring first in a game is generally regarded as a good thing. It’s no fun trying to play from behind. In fact last season, the Giants were 57-32 when scoring first, and 27-46 when the opponent scored first. But this season, it’s the exact opposite. The Giants are 0-2 this season when they score first, but 4-0 when the opponent scores first. So our analysts project that the Dodgers will score first on Sunday, but will still lose. And that makes perfect sense, considering that they will be giving up 12 runs to the Giants.
So rest well, Giants fans, tomorrow will be a brighter day.
Do you like the look of the 2016 San Francisco Giants? Hopefully you do because they are going to be together for a while.
The San Francisco Giants and first baseman Brandon Belt have come to terms on a contract extension for six years, $79 million.
The deal locks in seven of their eight starting position players through the 2018 season. Consider:
- 1B Brandon Belt (signed through 2021)
- 2B Joe Panik (team control through 2020)
- SS Brandon Crawford (signed through 2021)
- 3B Matt Duffy (team control though 2020)
- C Buster Posey (signed through 2021)
- LF Angel Pagan (signed through 2016)
- CF Denard Span (signed through 2018; team option 2019)
- RF Hunter Pence (signed through 2018)
On the good side, it means consistency over the next couple of years. The down side is, there’s a logjam for players coming up through the system.
Here are positions players listed among the Giants’ top 30 prospects, according to MLB.com, and where they are opening the 2016 season.
- SS Christian Arroyo (AA)
- SS Lucius Fox (low-A)
- 1B Chris Shaw (high-A)
- OF Mac Williamson (AAA)
- C Aramis Garcia (high-A)
- SS Jalen Miller (low-A)
- OF Jarrett Parker (AAA)
- OF/IF Hunter Cole (AA)
- 2B Austin Slater (AA)
- OF Ronnie Jebavy (high-A)
- OF Dylan Davis (low-A)
And this list doesn’t include players no longer considered prospects like IF Kelby Tomlinson and C Andrew Susac.
It’s great to have depth in the system, and it also allows that none of the Giants’ current prospects will be rushed to the majors.
It also means you likely won’t be seeing many of the above listed players in San Francisco black and orange any time soon, except for perhaps the outfielders like Williamson or Parker.
The Giants made a major offseason commitment with free agents. They are committing a fair amount to their own products.
Belt’s signing means the Giants aren’t likely to make a big splash in free agency in the near future.
Pitchers Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Cain are under contract through 2017 (Cueto has an opt-out; Cain has a team option the team is likely not to exercise). Jake Peavy will be a free agent, and the Giants are hopeful that some within the system can fill that void like Chris Heston, Clayton Blackburn or Chris Stratton.
In the bullpen, Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez are potential free agents after 2016. But the rest of the bullpen is under team control through 2019, and the Giants have a ton potential bullpen candidates in the system.
Jon Miller is a Hall of Fame announcer, and he proved it Thursday during the Giants’ home opener against the Dodgers with a Hall of Fame save.
The Giants were leading 8-6 in the bottom of the eighth and had the bases loaded. Hunter Pence came to the plate against the Dodgers’ Pedro Baez.
On a 1-0 pitcher, Pence sent the ball sailing over the left-center field fence for a grand slam and a 12-6 lead.
If you didn’t want to listen, it went something like this:
“Swing and there’s a high drive, deep left-center field.
It’s on its way.
A grand slam for Buster Posey …. ‘s good friend, Hunter Pence.”
Whoops. Posey had just struck out ahead of Pence.
Anyway, the blast capped a five-run eighth inning – the second five-run eighth inning for the Giants in this new season – as the Giants rallied from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Dodgers 12-6.
If you want to watch, Pence’s blast with Duane Kuiper’s call, it’s here.
BUNTING ON OPENING DAY: The Giants used three of their four bench players as pinch-hitters Thursday. And the first two bunted. Kelby Tomlinson bunted for a single in the fifth inning, and Ehire Adrianza sacrificed two runners over in the sixth, setting up Angel Pagan’s go-ahead two-run single.
THIN BENCH: The use of Adrianza in the sixth was interesting because if left manager Bruce Bochy with no available reserve infielders. Had Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford or Matt Duffy been hurt or ejected in the last three innings, Gregor Blanco would have had to play the infield. Or, I suppose, they could have moved Buster Posey around the infield. He did play all eight positions in a college game at Florida State.
OUT HELPS GIANTS: While there were a lot of key at-bats that produced hits, one overlooked at-bat the produced an out for the Giants also proved pivotal. In the fifth after the Giants had scored three runs off Dodgers’ starter Alex Wood and had runners on first and third, Brandon Belt grounded to second to end the inning. That allowed Wood to stay in the game. He likely would have come out if Belt had reached. Wood then batted in the top of the sixth, a 1-2-3 inning by Chris Heston. He came out to pitch the sixth, gave up singles to Matt Duffy and Brandon Crawford before getting the hook. Those hits sparked a four-run inning that gave the Giants a 7-3 lead.
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The death of the neighborhood play proved costly for the Giants in the second inning. An apparent inning-ending double play was wiped out when a replay review confirmed that Joe Panik’s foot came off the bag before receiving the throw from Crawford, resulting in a run scored by the Dodgers. While many Giants fans voiced their frustration, that is the rule now. But here’s another way of looking at it. If Brandon Belt’s foot came off the bag while receiving a throw, and replay confirmed that, no one would have made a peep. This play at second is exactly the same thing.
FRIDAY: Matt Cain makes his first start of the season when he faces Dodgers rookie Ross Stripling, who will be making his big-league debut. Stripling has never pitched above Double-A, going 3-6 with 3.88 ERA for Double-A Tulsa in 2015. Game time is 7:15 p.m.
Did you see the ending of Tuesday’s Blue Jays-Rays game?
Have you read the rule about runners impeding fielders on plays at second?
Anyone who thinks the Blue Jays got hosed on the final call that cost the Jays the go-ahead run when Jose Bautista was called for interference hasn’t done both.
And that must include Toronto manager John Gibbons.
“Maybe we’ll come out wearing dresses tomorrow,” Gibbons said. “Maybe that’s what everybody’s looking for.”
Gibbons then backpedalled from those remarks Wednesday, saying he was just trying to inject some levity into a tense situation.
“I cannot understand how it would offend anybody, to be honest with you,” Gibbons said before the game with the Rays. “It doesn’t offend my mother, my daughter, my wife, who have a great understanding of life. I do think the world needs to lighten up a little bit.”
The implication of the remark is that women wear dresses so therefore women can’t play the game the way it’s played in MLB. Anyone woman or girl who has played the game would – and should – take offense with that remark.
If Gibbons wanted to make his point, he could have said something like “maybe we should put players in bubble wrap.”
Let us please get the dresses remarks or powerpuff remarks out this. It is 2016, and they are outdated, like John Gibbons.
Oh, and one more thing John Gibbons: Instead of bellyaching and coming up with outdated lines of levity, how about LEARNING THE RULE.
The rule is in place. You may not agree with it. But it’s there. It is not going to change anytime soon. So learn the rule. Teach the rule.
That’s what Ned Yost has done in Kansas City.
“From Day One of spring training, we have been talking to our team about that very situation, how it can cost you a game,” Yost said on MLB Network’s High Heat. “And how important it is with this new rule to slide directly into second base, and don’t try to go to the left, don’t try to go to the right.”
Huh. Maybe that’s why Ned Yost has a World Series ring, and John Gibbons has dress jokes.
Major League Baseball is going to enforce the rule to the letter of the law in the opening weeks of the season. Why? So they can teach the players the rule.
That’s how it worked with the home plate collision rule a couple of years back. Early in the season, there were runners who were ruled to be safe, even though they probably should have been out, because the catcher was ruled to be blocking the plate. Later in the season, the interpretation of the rule was loosened up, as players on both sides of the play adjusted to the new rule.
The same thing will happen here.
The Jays learned the lesson the hard way. It would have been much easier if Gibbons spent time teaching that lesson during six weeks of spring training instead of being a 1970s stand-up comedian.
Johnny Cueto, who signed a six-year, $130 million contract in the offseason, made a solid debut for the Giants, holding the Brewers to one run on six hits, no walks — we’ll say that again NO WALKS — and four strikeouts over seven innings as the Giants beat the Brewers 2-1 on Tuesday.
Cueto said he felt no pressure going into his Giants debut.
“No, no, why should I feel any type of pressure? That’s just another game,” he said.
Cueto got into a bit of trouble in the second inning after the Brewers puts runners on the corners with no outs. Cueto got Ramon Flores to hit into a double play, allowing Jonathan Lucroy to score. But that was it as Cueto kept the Brewers hitters off-balance.
“He just has great savvy, stuff, everything,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s enjoyable to watch.”
Cueto said it was a great start to his Giants career.
“I felt very comfortable since Day 1. I’m going to be here for a long time based on the contract that I signed,” Cueto said. “It’s good that I had a good outing, especially the first one.”
Wait?!? A long time?? Doesn’t Cueto’s contract have an opt-out clause after 2017??
Cueto’s win was the first by a Dominican Giants pitcher since Sergio Valdez did it 21 years ago.
It was also a far better debut than the Giants’ last big free-agent pitcher they signed: Barry Zito.
After signing a seven-year, $126 million deal in 2007, Zito gave up two runs in five innings in a 7-0 loss to the Padres. It didn’t get much better after that.
Cueto also had a fun exchange with the Brewers’ Ryan Braun.
In the third inning, Cueto struck out Braun on a 3-2 changeup. Afterwards, Braun smiled at Cueto and said “Good pitch.”
When Cueto started Braun out with the same changeup in the sixth, Braun smacked it into left-center for a double. Cueto smiled back at Braun.
Watch the exchange here:
THE OFFENSE: The Brewers’ Jimmy Nelson did well to keep Giants hitters off-balance. After scoring 12 on Opening Day, the Giants managed just two on Tuesday. Brandon Crawford belted a solo home run in the second, and Matt Duffy added an RBI groundout in the third.
THE BULLPEN: After Cueto left after the seventh inning, Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla went six up and six down in the eighth and ninth innings.
THE DEFENSE: Right fielder Hunter Pence couldn’t catch a liner by Chris Carter in the second. But by keeping the ball for going to the wall, he was able to hold Carter to a single. That proved to be a key play when Carter was a erased on a double play that scored Lucroy.
The Brewers got Jonathan Villar to third in the bottom of the third. But Villar was erased at home trying to score on a grounder by Domingo Santana. Crawford, playing in, fielded the grounder but threw home on the wrong side of the plate. Buster Posey caught the ball and placed a perfect sweep tag on Villar for the out.
“It was a great, great tag there by Buster,” Crawford said. “Obviously if that doesn’t happen, it’s the tying run and who knows, we might still be playing right now. So, that was definitely a little thing early in the game that ended up mattering in the outcome.”
WEDNESDAY: Jeff Samardzija makes his Giants debut. Instead of facing Matt Garza, who was placed on the DL with shoulder troubles, he will face Taylor Jungmann. Samardzija may have some different faces playing behind him as Bochy said he planned to rest some starters after the flu bug swept through the clubhouse and the Giants return to San Francisco for their home opener on Thursday. Wednesday’s first pitch at 10:40 a.m.
Even though he’s supposed to be serving a two-game suspension, Chase Utley’s name popped up a couple of times on Opening Day.
The first occurrence came in the initial application of the “Chase Utley Rule.” In the Braves-Nationals game, the Braves’ Nick Markakis ran himself into a double play when he was ruled to have illegally contacted Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy with a take-out slide.
Markakis was on first when Hector Olivera hit a ground to third. Markakis was forced out at second, but his slide went wide of the bag at second base, taking out the legs of Murphy. A double play was ruled as Markakis was ruled for interference because, even though we was able to contact second base, he slid past the bag, making the slide illegal according to the new rule.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez stepped out of the dugout for a moment, but that was only to allow the Braves to take a look at the play. Once the Braves saw that Murphy was on the bag when he received the throw, Gonzalez returned to the dugout. No argument.
In the Dodgers-Padres game, Utley was trying to score from first on a double into the left-field corner. As Utley ran down the third-base line to home plate, he ran inside the baseline, then slide into home with his legs out wide toward Padres catcher Derek Norris as he reached back to the plate. Norris was able to catch the throw and tag Utley out.
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) April 5, 2016
The reaction to the play ranged from “Utley with another dirty slide” or “Utley is human garbage” to “Oh, get over yourself. This was a good heads-up baseball play. Stop coddling baseball players.”
As is usually the case, these stances on both sides of the issue are wrong.
First, was this a dirty slide? No.
Utley was not trying to injure Norris or was the slide reckless enough to potentially injure Norris, like Utley’s slide in the playoffs last fall against the Mets’ Ruben Tejada.
Secondly, was this a good heads-up baseball play? No.
It was an illegal slide.
It’s an illegal slide in 2016. An illegal slide in 2014. An illegal slide 30 years ago … if you actually take time to read the rule book.
According to rule 7.08 (b), any runner is out when he intentionally interferes with a thrown ball or hinders a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball.
On this play, Utley tried to do both.
The problem with this rule comes with the interpretation. Umpires will say they can’t read minds and determine a player’s true intent. Because of that, players have been allowed a huge amount of latitude on plays like these, causing only the most egregious violations of the rule to be called. And that has led to the current quandary.
On this play, Utley’s intent is obvious. No runner coming home after rounding third base ever runs inside the baseline unless he is trying to avoid a tag at home.
But Utley wasn’t trying to avoid a tag as he ran directly toward Norris and his tag.
What Utley’s intent here was – and even those folks on Utley’s side of this argument agree with this – was to A) potentially block Norris’ line of sight to the ball coming in; B) hope to get into the ball’s flight path to Norris and possibly be hit by the thrown ball; C) if all that fails, try to disrupt Norris’ attempt to catch the ball and make the tag.
In these three scenarios, A is still OK. But B and C are illegal, and Utley’s attempt to cause these things to happen is obvious.
Fortunately for the Padres, Utley’s attempts went for naught and Norris caught the ball and applied the tag.
The ironic part of this play is that if Utley went directly into home plate, or even tried a sweep slide on the OTHER SIDE of the baseline, he may have stood a much better chance of being safe.
But this rule is not complicated. And umpires need to stop giving the runners the latitude, and start giving the benefit of the doubt to the fielder.
The job of the runner is to do one of two things: attempt to get the base as quickly as possible in order to beat the throw, OR attempt to avoid the tag. If runners are determined to do anything other than that, they are out.
As great as Opening Day, there’s only one thing that can make it greater.
When your team actually wins on Opening Day.
Well, Giants fans, you don’t have to worry about when the first win of 2016 will come. It arrived in a big way Monday as the Giants hit four home runs, including back-to-back-to-back shots by Denard Span, Joe Panik and Buster Posey in the eighth inning as the Giants rolled to a 12-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Life is good. The Giants are 1-0.
We can set aside any concerns … like how Madison Bumgarner’s springs struggles continued.
Bumgarner walked in a run in the first inning and allowed leadoff home runs in the second and third inning. Despite battling flu-like systems, Bumgarner gutted out five innings, allowing three runs and walking a career-high five. He also fanned six, including the last three batters he faced.
“I think, without question, the flu bug caught up to him,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I was worried about him. It was obvious that it was tough sledding. He’s not going to say anything and still won’t, but he found a way to get through it. He gave us five.”
The Giants didn’t need Bumgarner to be his best on Monday because the hitters came to hit.
After the Brewers took 1-0 after one inning, the Giants scored in every inning from second to fifth, bookended by Matt Duffy’s two-single in the second and two-run homer in the sixth.
“It’s just that — potential,” Duffy said. “But we understand that we can hit, top to bottom.”
That became evident in the eighth when the Giants broken the game open with five runs, including consecutive home runs by Span, Panik and Posey, the first back-to-back-to-back shots by the Giants since Barry Bonds, Ray Durham and Pedro Feliz on July 20, 2006. It was also the first time a team went back-to-back-to-back on Opening Day since the 1997 San Diego Padres, also managed by Bruce Bochy.
- Monday marked the first time in major league history both teams batted the pitcher in the eighth spot on Opening Day. Bumgarner walked and scored a run in three plate appearances.
- Span became the first Giants to have five RBI in his debut since RBI became an official stat in 1920. He became the first Giants to drive in five runs on Opening Day since Barry Bonds in 2002.
- The 12 runs were the most the Giants have scored on Opening Day since scoring 13 in a 16-13 loss to the Padres in 1983.
- Johnny Cueto makes his Giants debut on Tuesday when he faces the Brewers’ Jimmy Nelson at 5:10 p.m.
The 2016 baseball season is opening.
And that means it’s prediction time. Everyone is making his or her picks to win the World Series.
The Dodgers (gimme a break).
And this is also the time of year when MoreSplashHits makes its prediction on how many games the Giants will win in 2016.
But instead of just going with our gut, this year MoreSplashHits turned it over to its advanced analytics team (advanced analytics being all the rage right now).
Our advanced analytics have been crunching the numbers, looking at trends to project how the Giants will do this season.
And here is the result.
The advanced analytics team says ….
The Giants will win between 88 and 94 games.
The Giants will make the postseason.
The Giants will win the World Series.
See you all on Market Street this fall.
Congrats to all my old teammates! Better enjoy this, it only happens every 2 years!!
— AUBREY HUFF (@aubrey_huff) October 30, 2014