Results tagged ‘ Chicago Cubs ’

San Francisco Giants 2, Chicago Cubs 0: Barry Zito needs to buy Alfonso Soriano dinner

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A rare thing happened Sunday at AT&T Park, something Giants fans haven’t seen in the past five-plus seasons.

Manager Bruce Bochy came out of the dugout to pull Barry Zito from the game after Zito walked a batter, and the crowd at AT&T booed.

OK, that’s not so rare. But try this on for size.

They booed Bruce Bochy.

Zito threw 8 1/3 scoreless innings Sunday. But after giving up a one-out walk to Darwin Barney, Zito was pulled despite throwing only 96 pitches.

“Your heart’s telling you ‘Hey, give him a shot” at the shutout, Bochy said. “But your brain’s telling you the right thing to do is go get him and bring in (Sergio) Romo.”

In other words, if the Giants were up 6-0, Bochy leaves Zito in the game. But with the tying run at the plate, calling on Romo was the right call.

Romo struck out Starling Castro and got Alfonso Soriano to hit a come-backer for the final outs.

So Zito’s chance for a second shutout this season went by the wayside. But thanks to Romo, he did get the victory to improve to 5-2.

And while he’s at it, Zito should also thank Soriano for the win. Thanks to the outfielder’s inept defense, the Giants were able to put two runs on the board.

The first defensive lapse by Soriano came in the fifth inning when the Giants were still searching for their first hit off Travis Wood.

Angel Pagan hit a deep liner to left that just about any other left fielder in the National League (yes, perhaps even Aubrey Huff) should have been able to catch. But Soriano didn’t read it right and his sore legs allowed the ball to sail over his head for a double, extending Pagan’s franchise-record home hitting streak to 27 games.

One out later, Joaquin Arias, who had been 3 for 17 with two outs and runners in scoring position, slapped a single to right. Cubs right fielder Reed Johnson threw home and the ball appeared to arrive just ahead of the sliding Pagan at home, but catcher Koyie Hill could not corral the throw, and Pagan scored the game’s first run.

It stayed 1-0 until the eighth when Gregor Blanco walked with one out. Blanco was running with the pitch when Melky Cabrera singled to left. Blanco motored to third, and when Soriano was slow getting to the ball and then threw it into second, Blanco raced all the home for a 2-0 lead.

It would surprise us to see Soriano sitting on the bench Monday afternoon.

But that should distract us much from the solid outing from Zito. The lefty lowered his ERA to 2.98 after giving up just four hits and two walks, while fanning five.

Zito’s outing shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, especially given the opponent.

One of Zito’s three victories in 2011 came against the Cubs on June 28, when Zito was making his first start in more than two months on the DL. On that day, he limited the Cubs to two runs on four hits in seven innings in a 6-3 Giants win in Wrigley Field.

In his next start Friday at AT&T, Zito will get the opportunity to do something he didn’t get the chance to do in 2010 — pitch against the Texas Rangers.

UP NEXT

The Giants will try to go for the sweep and post their first four-game winning streak of the season when they send Ryan Vogelsong against Jeff Samardzija at 12:45 p.m. Monday.

San Francisco Giants 2, Chicago Cubs 1: Dead-ball era brought back to life

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The San Francisco Giants turned back the clock to 1912 on Saturday, figuratively and literally.

The Giants and Cubs broke out the 1912 uniforms to commemorate the four-year anniversary of the Cubs’ last World Series (which they shouldn’t have actually won … see Fred Merkle).

Then the Giants won a game in dead-ball fashion, scoring both runs with the benefit of an RBI hit.

The Giants loaded the bases in the sixth on singles by Ryan Theriot, Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan. Then scored on a walk by Aubrey Huff and an infield forceout by Joaquin Arias.

The rest of the work was done by Matt Cain.

Cain had a rough moment in the fourth, giving up a two-out solo home run to David DeJesus followed by a double to Alfonso Soriano.

In his other seven innings of work, he limited the Cubs to three hits and two walks in eight innings, throwing 117 pitches.

Three of the Giants’ six hits came in that sixth inning. Cain had one of the remaining three hits. The walk to Huff was the Giants’ lone walk in the game.

Giants pitching have shutout the Cubs so far this series when they’ve kept the ball in the yard.

UP NEXT

The Giants hope to break out offensively when Barry Zito faces Travis Wood at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. The game will be carried live on WGN.

Bob Brenly’s funny schtick about The Stick

When I first subscribed to MLB.TV, I decided it was worth it to get the premium package so that I had the choice to pick the Giants feed.

So instead of having to endure the opposition’s broadcast crew, I watch Kruk and Kuip for most of my Giants viewing.

But my schedule Friday took me away from the computer. So I decided to DVR WGN’s broadcast and watch the game when I got home.

The bad part of that is it subjected me to the obligatory showing of the Buster Posey/Scott Cousins play from last May when Posey made his first plate appearance. And of course, that replay has to be quickly joined by the moronic comment about how that play “ended the Giants’ playoff hopes in 2011″ even though the Giants were still in first place in the NL West well into August.

The upside is that it did allow us to hear Bob Brenly’s funny reflections on Candlestick Park.

Now, some former Giants, like Duane Kuiper or Mike Krukow, will associate The Stick with some fond memories.

But not Brenly, who played almost his entire nine-year big league career with the Giants and at Candlestick.

Brenly’s broadcast partner Len Kasper mentioned how he enjoyed hearing his partner’s off-colored remarks about the Stick as they would drive past it after flying into the Bay Area from San Francisco International.

“This time I just asked for a moment of silence for all of us who had to play our careers in that dump,” Brenly said Friday.

But then Kasper took Brenly to task saying “I know you’ve got a soft spot in your heart for Candlestick.”

Brenly then gave in … a bit.

Brenly said that it was true “only because it was the first place I played in the major leagues. And in that respect, it will always have a special place in my heart.”

Then he added: “But it moved to other parts of my anatomy later in my career.”

Brenly added that after visiting other ballparks with better facilities and less wind and cold, The Stick paled by comparison.

“Underweight fans at The Stick had to put rocks in their pockets to make sure they didn’t get blown around the park like a hot dog wrapper.”

And this from a guy who now calls Wrigley Field home.

San Francisco Giants 4, Chicago Cubs 3: Madison Bumgarner was great … for eight innings.

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In almost a blink of an eye, Friday’s Giants-Cubs game went from a being a 4-0 snoozer win for the Giants to a one-run nail-biter with the Cubs putting the go-ahead in scoring position.

So how did that happen?

Well, let’s take a look at Madison Bumgarner’s night.

At the start, four of the first five balls the Cubs put into play went for singles. But Cubs didn’t do any damage with that because MadBum recorded five of his first seven outs by strikeout. The other two outs came on the the only other ball the Cubs put in play, a double-play grounder by Steve Clevenger.

From there, Bumgarner set down 15 of the next 17 batters, including one double play.

So when he went out for the ninth inning, having thrown 97 pitches, it looked like Bumgarner was headed for his first career shutout.

But after falling behind his first two batters in the ninth — and giving up back-to-back singles — MadBum got the hook from Bruce Bochy.

Normally, I feel Bochy tends to let his starters linger too long. But in this case, with MadBum at 102 pitches, I would have liked to see him face another batter.

But Bochy called on closer Santiago Casilla in what was now a save opportunity. Casilla gave up a three-run homer to Alfonso Soriano, one thing that MadBum is particularly good at avoiding.

Now, a one-run game, Casilla got Reed Johnson for the first outing before giving up a double to Bryan Lahair. Darwin Barney reached on a swinging bunt. Casilla hurt his knee on the play and came out of the game (although Bumgarner indicated later he didn’t think the injury was serious).

Javier Lopez came in and got Clevenger to ground out to first, advancing the runners to second and third. Lopez then got David DeJesus to fly to center to end the game.

Phhhew.

OTHER NOTES

  • OF Angel Pagan went 1 for 4 to extend his hitting streak at home to 25 games, the best by any player in franchise history.
  • Maybe that stint on the DL is just what 2B Ryan Theriot needed. He went 3 for 3 with a double and walk on Friday. He’s 8 for 21 since coming off the DL is now hitting .234 for the season. He was hitting .179 when he went on the DL.

UP NEXT

Matt Cain faces Matt Garza in game 2 of the series at 4:15 p.m. Fox game on Saturday. That means if you’re local Fox affiliate chooses not to carry the Giants vs. Cubs (like the Portland affiliate which thinks we care about the Damn Yankees vs. the Tigers) it means the game won’t be available on MLB.TV. Why does Fox think by blacking out a game on MLB.TV it means we’ll have no choice but to watch the Yankees-Tigers? I’ll be listening on KNBR.

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