The Giants were busy making moves on Saturday, activated reliever Santiago Casilla from the disabled list and promoting outfielder Jeff Franceour from Triple-A Fresno.
The Giants sent infielder Nick Noonan and reliever Jean Machi to Fresno to make room for Casilla and Francoeur.
But in order to activate Francoeur, the Giants needed to create room on their 40-man roster. They did that by designating pitcher Chris Heston for assignment.
The move was surprising because Heston came into spring training as the No. 1 option in the farm system should one of the Giants’ five starting pitchers get injured.
Heston was drafted in the 12th round by the Giants in the 2009 draft out of East Carolina University. This season was his fifth in the Giants’ organization, and he seemed to be getting better as he moved through the system.
- 2009, he was 1-5 with 4.11 and 1.143 WHIP for the Giants Arizona Rookie League team
- 2010, he was 5-13 with 3.75 ERA and 1.305 WHIP for Class A Augusta
- 2011, he was 12-4 with 3.16 ERA and 1.219 WHIP for Class A San Jose
- 2012, he was 7-6 with 2.24 ERA and 1.103 WHIP for Double-A Richmond.
He was a Giants organization All-Star in 2011 and 2012. He was the Eastern League pitcher of the year in 2012, beating out, among others, former Giants prospect Zach Wheeler.
Last November, he was added to the Giants’ 40-man roster to protected from the Rule 5 draft, along with Noonan, outfielder Juan Perez and pitchers Edwin Escobar and Jake Dunning.
But then things went poorly for Heston. He went 0-1 with 9.28 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in four outings during spring training. For Triple-A Fresno, he was 7-6 with 5.80 ERA and 1.610 WHIP.
Even though PCL hitters were hitting .301 against Heston, the decision to DFA him seemed odd for a team so lean on starting pitching in the system. Both CSN Bay Area’s Andrew Baggarly and The Chronicle Henry Schulman speculated the Giants may be looking to trade Heston. They have 10 days to trade, release or put Heston on waivers.
Here’s a breakdown on the other players on the Giants’ 40-man roster who have not appeared in a game with the Giants in 2013.
P Edwin Escobar – Signed as an international free agent from Venezuela at age 17, Escobar, 21, is in his fifth year in the organization. A reliever, Escobar is 3-4 with 2.89 ERA, 92 strikeouts, 17 walks, 1.138 WHIP in 74.2 innings for Class A San Jose.
P Dan Runzler – Runzler, 28, was a ninth-round draft pick in 2007 by the Giants. He made his big-league debut in 2009 and he’s believed to be the only player in Giants’ history to pitch for the big club after pitching for four different levels of the minor leagues. After going 3-0 with 3.03 ERA for the Giants in 2010, his career got derailed a bit by injuries. He worked himself by into shape and was thought to be a leading contender to make the club out of spring training this season, but was optioned instead to Triple-A Fresno, where his has gone 3-3 with 5.08 ERA in 39 innings. But he is left-handed.
P Hunter Strickland – A career minor leaguer, Strickland, 24, was claimed off waivers from the Pirates prior to the start of the 2013 season, added to the 40-man roster, and optioned to Class A San Jose. Strickland has never pitched above Double-A in six minor-league seasons. He’s been very good at San Jose this season, going 1-0 with nine saves, a 0.86 ERA and 0.714 WHIP in 21 innings.
P Eric Surkamp – The former sixth-round pick in 2008, Surkamp was the Giants’ top-rated pitcher in the system in 2011 after they dealt Zach Wheeler to the Mets. Surkamp was promoted from Double-A Richmond and went 2-2 with 5.74 ERA in six starts for the Giants at the tail end of the 2011 season. But he developed elbow problems and required Tommy John surgery last season. During his rehab this year, he made five starts for Class A San Jose, going 0-0 with a 2.93 ERA. After being optioned to Triple-A Fresno, he is 2-0 with 2.81 ERA in three starts. He could be an option to start for the Giants in August.
IF Ehire Adrianza – Adrianza has the reputation as having a great glove, but lacks offense. His best offensive season was 2011 when he hit .273 with .352 OBP between low-A Augusta and high-A San Jose. He hit .220 for Double-A Richmond in 2012 and was hitting .242 with .334 OBP for Richmond in 2013 before getting promoted to Triple-A Fresno last week.
OF Roger Kieschnick – The left-handed hitting Kieschnick looked to be headed to the big leagues last season when he hit .306 with 15 HRs and 40 RBI in 55 games for Triple-A Fresno. But he injured his shoulder running into the outfield wall, which effectively ended his season. In 2013, he hasn’t been the same, hitting .265 with 11 HR and 51 RBI in 90 games.
Bruce Bochy said that the the no-hit loss to Homer Bailey was rock bottom for the Giants.
Others may say it went a little farther down on Wednesday.
The Giants were shut down by an ex-prospect as Zach Wheeler limited his former team to one run on three hits over seven innings as the Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Giants with a 7-2 win.
Wheeler came into Wednesday’s game scuffling a bit, sporting a 4.29 ERA in his first four big-league starts. But that was no concern against the Giants. Why?
Because young pitchers have owned the Giants in 2013.
Wednesday’s game was the 13th time this season a young pitcher has started a game against the Giants for the first time in his career. In each of these games, the Giants had never faced this young pitcher (in a regular-season game). And we consider a “young pitcher” as entering the season with less than one full year of MLB service time.
Care to guess what the Giants’ win-loss record is in those 13 games? The Giants are 5-8 in those games.
Those games were started by the Dodgers’ Hyun-jin Kim and Matt Magill, Cardinals’ Shelby Miller and Tyler Lyons, Brewers’ Wily Peralta, Phillies’ Jonathan Pettibone, Bravers’ Julio Teheran, Athletics’ Dan Straily, Pirates’ Gerrit Cole, Marlins’ Tom Koehler and Jacob Turner, Reds’ Tony Cingrani and the Mets’ Wheeler.
In those 13 starts, the young pitchers facing the Giants for the first time are 6-2 with 3.55 ERA. If you remove two starts in which the Giants got to a young pitcher (vs. Peralta and Magill WAY back in April), those numbers drop to 6-2 with a 2.81 ERA.
Since beating Lyons in St. Louis on June 2, young pitchers facing the Giants for the first time have gone 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA over five starts.
So it begs the question: Do the Giants have scouts that they send out to get reports on these young pitchers?
If so, do the Giants share this information with their players?
If so, do the players read these reports and adjust accordingly?
And if not, why?
Just when you thought you’ve seen every possible way the Giants could shoot themselves in the foot, they managed to come up with something new on Saturday.
After Madison Bumgarner set the Dodgers down in order in the top of the first, Gregor Blanco opened the bottom of the frame with a double down the left-field line.
After Marco Scutaro bunted Blanco to third (we could have another blog post on WHY Scutaro feels he needs to bunt Blanco to third), Buster Posey spanked another double to score Blanco.
Then Dodgers manager Don Mattingly came out of the dugout with his lineup card in hand. Mattingly pointed out that Posey was not slotted to bat third; Pablo Sandoval was. Posey was slotted to bat fourth.
The umpires conferred and agreed. The Giants batted out of order. Posey’s double was negated, Blanco went back to third, Sandoval was ruled out, and Posey returned to bat again as the No. 4 batter. Posey then flied to right to end inning. The score was 0-0, instead of 1-0 Giants.
“I just at that point said “What else? What ELSE?” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, expressing a sentiment most Giants fans would echo.
Bochy said the mix-up was a product of a “perfect storm” of circumstances.
Circumstance No. 1
Ever since Sandoval came off the disabled list June 24, Posey had batted in the No. 3 hole in every game — nine games — until Friday’s game, when Bochy put Sandoval at No. 3 and Posey at No. 4. We can only guess he did this in an effort to get Sandoval going. If Posey is batting behind Sandoval, perhaps Sandoval gets better pitches to hit.
Circumstance No. 2
When the Giants returned home from the road trip, the team had installed an electronic display where the lineup was posted in the clubhouse. On that electronic display, it listed Posey No. 3 and Sandoval No. 4.
Bochy said the lineup he wrote up on the actual lineup card that were exchanged at home plate said Sandoval No. 3, Posey No. 4.
Circumstance No. 3
Bochy was so busy trying to finalize the All-Star selections during the day that when Posey went up to bat in the first inning, he had a brain-lock. He said he began doubting which lineup he had submitted.
“When Buster was up, actually I was telling (coach Ron Wotus), ‘Actually, I wanted Buster hitting fourth.’ I didn’t think to look at my lineup card, I thought I wrote it down wrong, because I got a little tied up with the All-Star stuff.
“And when he was getting up there to hit, I realized, I looked, I said, ‘We just hit out of order, hoping they don’t notice it.’ But they picked it up.”
Bochy later said: “I looked up there and I thought I was losing it (when Posey went up to hit). I wanted to flip-flop those guys. At that point I should’ve looked at my card just to verify it, but I thought, well, inadvertently I went back to (Posey) in the 3-hole.”
Luckily, the lost run didn’t come back to haunt the Giants largely because of gifts they got from from the Dodgers in the second inning.
- Brandon Belt was hit by a pitch
- Andres Torres reached on an infield single when Hanley Ramirez took too much time to throw to first.
- Brandon Crawford reached on an error when Nick Punto’s throw to force Torres at second drew Ramirez off the bag.
- Madison Bumgarner walked to score the first run.
- Blanco got another infield single when Punto got to the ball, but tried to flip the ball to Ramirez at second toss the ball behind his back, and it went wrong. That scored the second run.
- Marco Scutaro’s sacrifice fly scored the third run.
That would be enough for Madison Bumgarner and the bullpen.
And now the Giants will try to steal Game 3 on Sunday against Clayton Kershaw. Let’s just hope they get the lineup right.
The San Francisco Giants went from four All-Star starters in 2012 to none in 2013.
But the Giants will be represented by three players in this year’s Midsummer’s Classic in New York as reserves — Buster Posey, Marco Scutaro and Madison Bumgarner.
Here are the NL starters for the July 16 game at Citi Field as voted upon by the fans.
- C – Yadier Molina, Cardinals
- 1B – Joey Votto, Reds
- 2B – Brandon Phillips, Reds
- SS – Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
- 3B – David Wright, Mets
- OF – Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
- OF – Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
- OF – Bryce Harper, Nationals
Thirteen pitchers were selected to the team, 8 by a players vote, five more by manager Bruce Bochy (although we don’t know which pitcher were picked by players, and which were picked by Bochy. Although we can tell you than the five pitchers Bochy selected were starting pitchers, as players were required to vote for three relievers and there are only three relievers on the roster)
- Matt Harvey, Mets
- Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
- Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks
- Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
- Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
- Carlos Lee, Phillies
- Jose Fernandez, Marlins
- Travis Wood, Cubs
- Madison Bumgarner, Giants
- Jeff Locke, Pirates
- Craig Kimbrel, Braves
- Jason Grilli, Pirates
- Aroldis Chapman, Reds
That left 12 reserve position players, eight of which were voted on by the players, four were picked by Bochy, although again we don’t who picked whom. But we can assume that Bochy picked Goldschmidt or Craig (probably Craig), Scutaro or Carpenter (probably Scutaro), Segura or Cabreraj (probably Cabrera) and one of the four outfielders (probably Brown)
- 1B Paul Goldschimdt, Diamondbacks
- 1B Allen Craig, Cardinals
- 2B Marco Scutaro, Giants
- 2B Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
- SS Jean Segura, Brewers
- SS Evreth Cabrera, Padres
- 3B Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
- C Buster Posey, Giants
- OF Andrew McCutcheon
- OF Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
- OF Carlos Gomez, Brewers
- OF Domonic Brown, Phillies
OK, so how did MoreSplashHits did from our projections posted earlier this week.
Well, pretty darn good. Of the 33 players we projected to make the All-Star team, 29 actually made it.
One miss we had no control over, and that’s because of the fan vote. We had Justin Upton, because Upton was No. 3 in voting when we made our post. Harper passed Upton in the closing days of voting. We did say that neither player would make the team if he did not win the vote, and Upton did not make the team.
Our other misses were….
SP TRAVIS WOOD, CUBS: Wood is a solid pick to represent the Cubs with 5-6 record and a 2.69 ERA in 17 starts. We went with a reliever, Kevin Gregg, who is 2-1 with 1.59 ERA with 14 saves in 15 opportunities in 29 appearances.
SP MADISON BUMGARNER: Bumgarner has been the Giants’ best starting pitcher this year. He is 8-5 with 3.08 ERA in 17 starts. Bumgarner actually ranks 15th in the NL in ERA among starters. To put him on the team, Bochy had to leap from pitchers like Mike Leake (2.73), Shelby Miller (2.80), Hyun-Jin Ryu (2.82) and Mat Latos (3.03). We went with Sergio Romo as Bochy’s pitching pick from the Giants. At 3-3 with a 2.32 ERA and 19 saves, we felt that would be easier to defend than Bumgarner.
2B MATT CARPENTER: This was a logistics decision. We thought Bochy would go with a third catcher, so we had Wilin Rosario of the Rockies on the team. Going with two catchers means that Molina likely will catch five innings, then Posey will come in to catch the last four innings. But what happens if the game goes in extra innings. Bochy surely doesn’t want Posey catching more innings than necessary. Now, it is likely that Troy Tulowitzki won’t play because he’s still on the DL. With two reserve shortstops (Segura and Cabrera) on the roster, Bochy could choose to replace Tulowitzki with another Rockies player — Rosario — and then he’ll have three catchers. As it is now, Carpenter earned a spot on the team that Rosario did not. Actually, we don’t know if Carpenter earned a spot through the players vote and Bochy picked Scutaro, or the other way around.
The 2013 All-Star voting is boiling down to the final hours. Balloting is down to online voting from now until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, the Fourth of July.
Last year, during this period, there was a flood on votes cast. For example, Yadier Molina was the leading NL vote-getter when the most recent results were released Tuesday with almost 5.1 million. By the time the final surge of votes are counted, he may need more than 7 million votes to keep the title of leading vote-getter.
So a lot can still change. The All-Star teams will be announced on Saturday.
Still, MoreSplashHits is taking our best guess as to what the NL All-Star team might look like.
We’ll start with an assumption (a very shaky assumption at that) that the vote leaders won’t change in the final days of voting. But that at least serves as a starting point.
The position leaders we feel most likely will hold onto their leads and be voted All-Star starters are SS Troy Tulowitzki (although he’s injured and likely will be replaced) and OF Carlos Beltran.
We’ve added an “IF” section for those positions where the vote is close.
We’ve included their July 2 vote total, and lead over No. 2 vote-getter at their position.
- 1B – Joey Votto, Reds (3.62 million, +587K over Paul Goldschmidt)
- 2B – Brandon Phillips, Reds (3.41 million, +225K over Matt Carpenter)
- SS – Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies (4.07 million, +1.7M over Brandon Crawford)
- 3B – David Wright, Mets (4.45 million, +842K over Pablo Sandoval)
- C – Yadier Molina, Cardinals (5.09 million, +419K over Buster Posey)
- OF – Carlos Beltran, Cardinals (5.01 million)
- OF – Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies (2.93 million)
- OF – Justin Upton, Braves (2.92 million, +15K over Bryce Harper)
PLAYERS VOTES (16 players)
The players vote on eight pitchers (five starters, three relievers) and the eight backups at each position. So this is a prediction on who those players would be based on the aforementioned projected starters.
- SP – Matt Harvey, Mets
- SP – Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
- SP – Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks
- SP – Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
- SP – Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
- RP – Craig Kimbrel, Braves
- RP – Jason Grilli, Pirates
- RP – Aroldis Chapman, Reds
- 1B – Paul Goldschmidt , Diamondbacks
- 2B – Marco Scutaro, Giants
- SS – Jean Segura, Brewers
- 3B – Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
- C – Buster Posey, Giants
- OF – Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
- OF – Michael Cuddyer , Rockies
- OF – Carlos Gomez , Brewers
When players vote, it’s often more about reputation than results. But I think the players will get this mostly right. The one reputation vote goes to Chapman. Results say better options could be Jonathan Papelbon of the Phillies, Edwin Mujica of the Cardinals or Rafael Soriano of the Nationals. But Chapman brings the heat. It’s not a bad pick. When Chapman is on, he’s filthy. The other tight vote goes to Scutaro. Results here say Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals is the better pick, if you base that off this year’s numbers. But if you go back to the second half of last year, then Scutaro is clearly deserving. When you add Scutaro’s postseason heroics and the fact he’s a 37-year-old veteran who has never made an All-Star team, Scutaro becomes a sentimental pick.
MANAGER PICKS (9 more)
This is where Bruce Bochy comes in. And it’s not just Bochy picking his nine favorite players. There are other factors, including making sure every team is represented and picking a third catcher.
- P – Cliff Lee, Phillies
- P – Jose Fernandez, Marlins (Marlins rep)
- P – Jeff Locke, Pirates
- P – Kevin Gregg, Cubs (Cubs rep)
- P – Sergio Romo, Giants
- BP – Wilin Rosario, Rockies
- BP – Everth Cabrera, Padres (Padres rep)
- BP – Dominic Brown, Phillies
- BP – Allen Craig, Cardinals
OK, first the team reps. For the Marlins, a month ago it may have been closer Steve Cichek. But his ERA is on the rise. And a nod to a 20-year-old rookie would be nice bonus for Marlins fans looking to the future. For the Cubs, the best position player candidate is OF Nate Schierholtz. No kidding! Schierholtz. But really it’s down to starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija and Gregg. Samardzija has a lot of K’s, but a losing record (5-7). Gregg has been great out of the pen. For the Padres, the two candidates are up the middle: Cabrera or rookie Jedd Gyroko. Both deserving to represent the Padres, but the Tulowitzki unlikely to play (opening a roster spot for the Nationals’ Ian Desmond), Cabrera seems like the smart choice. As for the rest, Lee and Locke are solid choices. Romo is the easiest Giants selection for Bochy to defend (and if you go back to second half of 2012 plus the postseason, it’s not a bad pick). Rosario would be the third catcher (always a must in an All-Star game), and sluggers Brown and Craig round out the team.
Bochy will get to select the five candidates for the fans to vote for the last roster spot. All of these five players are deserving. Carpenter could have been picked over Scutaro. Choo or Bruce over Brown. Freeman over Craig. Soriano over Chapman. I don’t see Bochy opening up a spot on this vote for Yasiel Puig (unless MLB makes him). Bochy loves veterans, and is unlikely to open a spot for a guy who has been up for four weeks. And frankly, we agree with that thinking.
- Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
- Shin-Soo Choo, Reds
- Freddie Freeman, Braves
- Jay Bruce, Reds
- Rafael Soriano, Nationals
NOW FOR THE IF’S
Votto, Wright and Phillips are good bets to hold onto their leads. But if by chance they end up losing the vote, they will win on the players vote. The same is true for Molina if Posey makes a late surge. If Carpenter pulls off the upset at second base, that could bump Scutaro into a manager’s pick, bumping either Brown or Craig off the team and onto the Final Five vote (bumping Soriano off Final Five). While Scutaro is battling back issues and mallet finger — meaning he could use the break — I think Bochy would select him anyway, then maybe just give him a pinch-hitting opportunity in the All-Star Game.
Upton holds a narrow lead over Bryce Harper for the final outfield spot. I don’t think either makes the team if they don’t win the voting. Upton got off to a torrid start, but has cooled WAY down since and is hitting below .250. Harper has just been activated after spening a month on the DL. Matt Holliday and McCutchen are within striking distance in the voting, and don’t count out Hunter Pence (in 7th in voting) if Giants fans get out the vote again.
The San Francisco Giants are 39-43. They are 10-18 since June 1. They’ve lost seven of their last eight games, nine of their last 11, 12 of their last 16.
Has the June swoon, which continued into July with an 8-1 rain-shortened loss to the Reds on Monday, cooled the fervor of Giants’ fans from getting out the vote for the NL All-Star game?
Last season, a late push of online votes propelled Buster Posey, Melky Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval into All-Star starters. Posey set an all-time record for all-star votes with more than 7 million votes.
In voting results released Tuesday, the Cardinals’ Yadier Molina continues to be the NL’s leading vote-getter with 5,093,645 votes. Posey is No. 2 at the catching position, more than 300,000 votes behind Molina. Posey is the No. 3 overall NL vote-getter — outfielder Carlos Beltran has 5.013 million votes.
All-Star voting ends on Thursday.
Again, no Giant leads his position in All-Star voting. David Wright of the Mets extended his lead over Pablo Sandoval at third base to 842,000 votes.
In fact, the Giants player who is closest to the top vote-getter at his position is Marco Scutaro, who trails the Reds’ Brandon Phillips by less than 300,000 votes. However, Scutaro is in third at second base, as the Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter is in second, 44,000 votes ahead of Scutaro.
Brandon Crawford continues to be No. 2 among shortstops, but trails leader Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies by almost 1.7 million votes.
First baseman Brandon Belt is fourth at his position. Hunter Pence is 7th among outfielders, while Angel Pagan is 9th and Gregor Blanco is 13th.
The Giants snapped a six-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
It also snapped a five-game losing streak at Coors Field.
The Giants finished the first half of the season a 39-42, their worst 81-game record since going 35-46 in 2008, the Giants’ last losing season.
Once again, Buster Posey made a key contribution. Playing his second consecutive game at first base, Posey homered in the third inning. It was the fourth time in the past five games that Posey has gone deep.
Posey was at the plate when the Giants scored again in the fifth, although he didn’t get credit for the RBI because the Giants scored with help from a Colorado error.
With runners on second and third, Posey grounded to second. After Posey was thrown out at first, Rockies first baseman Jordan Pacheco tried to throw out Tony Abreu, who had wandered too far away from second. But Pacheco’s throw went into left field, allowing Andres Torres to score.
It was the first time since June 15 the Giants scored an unearned run.
Hunter Pence followed with a two-run home run to right center. It was the first time in five games a player other than Buster Posey had driven in a run for the Giants.
The Giants caught another break in the seventh when Juan Perez scored all the way from first on a Texas Leaguer to shallow right-center by Guillermo Quiroz.
That was more than enough for Madison Bumgarner, who gave up a solo home run to Carlos Gonzalez in seven innings of work.
Sergio Romo worked around a two-out double by Todd Helton in the ninth for his first save in 11 games. He had not saved a game on the road since June 2 in St. Louis.
Now the road trip heads to Cincinnati for a four-game set against the Reds.
For what it’s worth, the Giants have won their last four games at Cincinnati, including all three there during the NLDS last fall.
The Giants’ June swoon continued Saturday as the Giants’ offensive woes continued in a 2-1 loss to the Rockies.
The loss was the Giants’ sixth in a row. It’s been a long time since Giants fans have witnessed certain things. Consider …
- Last time the Giants won a game in Colorado — May 16, an 8-6 win. Since then, the Giants have dropped their last five games at Coors. In their last four losses at Denver, the Giants have scored a total of four runs.
- Last RBI by anyone other than Buster Posey: Andres Torres’ RBI single in the 9th on Tuesday (since then all runs scored on two-run homer by Posey on Thursday, solo homer by Posey on Friday and RBI double by Posey on Saturday).
- Last time Giants had more than two runs on the board by the end of the sixth inning — Monday, June 17 vs. Padres (12 games ago)
- Last time a Giant came to the plate with the Giants holding the lead — Friday, June 21 (8 games ago) when Giants led 3-1 in the fifth during a 6-3 loss to Marlins (the Giants beat the Marlins 2-1 the next day, but that came on a walk-off hit to give Giants the lead for first time)
- Last time Giants enjoyed a three-run lead — Saturday, June 15 (14 games ago) when Giants led 5-2 in the sixth inning vs. the Braves, a game they would end up losing 6-5.
- Last time the Giants won a game on the raod — Friday, June 14, a 6-0 win over the Braves. The Giants have lost 7 straight on the road since.
- Last time Buster Posey did not start a game — Monday, June 17. He’s started 11 games since, including three at first base (June 21, June 26 and June 29). He may very well be at first base again Sunday against the left-hander Drew Pomeranz.
What’s going on with the San Francisco Giants fans?
Are they depressed by the team’s recent hitting woes? Have they let the team’s string of injuries drag them down?
Or are they simply laying in the weeds to make another big last-minute surge in the polls like they did last year?
Whatever the explanation, they haven’t gotten out the vote so far. And if the voting for the All-Star Game ended today, here’s how many Giants would be in the starting lineup for the Midsummer’s Classic …
None. Nada. Zilch. A big fat goose eggs (and we are not talking about Pablo Sandoval).
David Wright of the Mets has surpassed Pablo Sandoval as the top vote-getter among third basemen, and Yadier Molina of the Cardinals has passed Buster Posey as the leader among NL catchers.
Molina, in fact, is the leading vote-getter among all NL players with almost 3.6 million votes. Oddly enough, Posey is the second-leading vote-getter for all NL players with a little more than 3.5 million votes.
Last year, Posey set the record for the most votes received by any player elected to the All-Star game with more than 7.6 million votes. A huge chunk of those votes came in the final week of balloting — all of which was done online — when Giants fans flooded the ballots to elect Posey, Melky Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval as NL all-star starters.
Voting for the 2013 All-Star Game will continue through July 4, so there’s plenty of time for another Giant surge of votes.
And it’s not like Giants fans aren’t voting. Four Giants are the No. 2 vote-getters at their positions.
In addition to Posey, Sandoval trails Wright at third base (2.92 million to 2.79 million), Marco Scutaro trails Brandon Phillips at second base (2.6 million to 2.27 million) and Brandon Crawford trails Troy Tulowitzki (3.1 million to 1.76 million). Additionally, Brandon Belt is fourth at first base (behind Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt and Allen Craig). In the outfield, Hunter Pence is 8th, Angel Pagan 10th and Gregor Blanco is 13th.
It’s hard to ignore that Cardinals fans are getting the vote out. There are only two teams that have players listed among the top five at every infield position and all three outfield candidates listed in the top 13 — the Giants and the Cardinals.
Allen Craig is No. 3 at first base, Matt Carpenter is No. 3 at second base, Pete Freakin Kozma is No. 4 at shortstop, David Freese is third at third base, Molina leads at catcher and in the outfielder, Carlos Betran is No. 1, Matt Holliday is No. 6 and Jon Jay is No. 12.
The last time the San Francisco Giants beat the Marlins in San Francisco, it took extra innings. And it took extra innings to end the streak on Saturday.
The 11th-inning run rally Saturday for the Giants in a 2-1 win over the Miami Marlins was truly the definition of a scratch-it-out win.
The Giants loaded the bases in the 11th inning without hitting the ball out of the infield. Then they won the game on a bloop single down the left-field line by a hitter batting under .200 — Hector Sanchez.
And so ends the Marlins’ nine-game winning streak at AT&T Park. Let’s relive it.
The last time the Giants beat the Marlins in San Francisco was on July 28, 2010 when Andres Torres singled home Aaron Rowand with the bases loaded and one out for a 10-9 victory. Clay Hensley was the losing pitcher. Chris Ray, acquired earlier that year in a trade with Texas for Bengie Molina, was the winning pitcher.
Since then it’s been all Marlins.
- July 29, 2010 — Marlins 5, Giants 0
- May 24, 2011 — Marlins 5, Giants 1
- May 25, 2011 — Marlins 7, Giants 6, 12 innings (the Buster Posey injury game)
- May 26, 2011 — Marlins 1, Giants 0
- May 1, 2012 — Marlins 2, Giants 1
- May 2, 2012 — Marlins 3, Giants 2, 10 innings
- May 3, 2012 — Marlins 3, Giants 2
- May 4, 2012 — Marlins 6, Giants 4
- June 20, 2013 — Marlins 2, Giants 1
- June 21, 2013 — Marlins 6, Giants 3
As you can see, the Giants just don’t score many runs when the Fish come to town.
The Giants could manage only one run for 10 innings Saturday. And the Giants were lucky to get that one run.
After the Marlins perfectly defended a safety squeeze — throwing out Juan Perez at the plate on a bunt by Barry Zito — Zito was allowed to score on a ground-rule double by Gregor Blanco.
Blanco drove the ball deep into triples alley and the ball bounced straight up the wall in right center and apparently was grabbed by a fan. The umpires ruled — with Zito running with two outs — that Zito would have scored on the play.
And they were right. Zito would have scored if the ball had remained in play, but it’s a call that home teams don’t often get when a ball is interfered with. Marlins manager Mike Redmond argued the call and was tossed.
After that ground-rule double by Blanco, the next 15 Giants were retired in order. No baserunners in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings. It wasn’t until Joaquin Arias got a two-out bloop single to right in the 10th that the string was broken.
Thanks to some good work by Zito and the bullpen, the Giants were allowed to stay alive into the 11th inning.
The Marlins were shut out for 10 consecutive innings after Ed Lucas’ first-inning home run.
So the Giants won a game the old Giants’ way. With good pitching and just enough offense.
In the 11th, Blanco led off by beating out in infield single. Marco Scutaro bunted him to second. The Marlins surprisingly pitched to Buster Posey, who bounced a ball up the middle that the second baseman was unable to field cleanly and Buster beat it out for another infield single.
After Hunter Pence was walked, Sanchez dropped a flare down the left-field line for the winner.
Whew. And Fish streak is over.