Betting on Madison Bumgarner to reel in the Reds for rare win

Betting on Madison Bumgarner to reel in the Reds for rare win

In the latest edition of “Survivor: Daily News,” nationally known columnist Mike Lupica voted himself off the troubled tabloid. A spokeswoman for his agent stated clearly that Lupica wasn’t fired: “Mike left the Daily News.”

Word is the former sports journalist will author adult thrillers full time for Penguin Books. Another crushing blow for the News, but Gov. Cuomo, who has been very opinionated lately, said Lupica “was never that great.

How about this? The Giants are 10-20 over the past two years when Madison Bumgarner starts. Injuries and control issues have plagued the once-dominant fireballer. The Giants are in Cincinnati, and Matt Harvey (you remember him) has performed quite well wearing Red and will take his turn. The Giants need to gain ground in the divisional and wild-card races. 20 units on the Giants.


After a nearly two-hour rain delay, the Cubs got by the Pirates 1-0. Cole Hamels, loving life as a Cub, went seven for the W. Kyle Schwarber’s homer was the difference. Victory cuts losses to -372 sandbergs.

Giants remain offensively challenged, fall to last-place Reds in 11

Giants remain offensively challenged, fall to last-place Reds in 11

CINCINNATI — The Giants want to take advantage of this so-called easier part of the schedule, a stretch of 10 games against teams that are in last place or close to it.

We await one of three true outcomes.

The Giants could go on an outrageous run and make themselves serious contenders. They could crash and burn and never be heard from again. Or they could split the games, a typical scenario in a season in which all roads seem to lead to .500.

The stretch started with Friday’s 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Reds in which the Giants demonstrated enough pitching to stay in the game but not enough hitting to win it — one of those season microcosms.

The Giants’ 3-4-5-6 hitters went a collective 1-for-18. That’s after the 3-through-6 hitters went 1-for-20 in Wednesday’s 12-inning loss in Los Angeles.

“We’ve just got to find a way to get a run,” manager Bruce Bochy said, “and it’s getting to the point where it’s almost borderline ridiculous how often we’re getting shut down considering this lineup.”

The only hit coming from the middle of the lineup was Brandon Belt’s single to open the fourth. He was erased from the bases when Evan Longoria grounded into a double play. Meantime, Bochy continues to tweak his batting order and Friday inserted Belt as the cleanup hitter and bumped Brandon Crawford two notches to sixth.

“It’s not on Boch,” Buster Posey, the Giants’ No. 3 batter, said. “It’s on us. We’ve got to find a way. It’s as simple as that.”

The Reds won the game on a homer by Phillip Ervin, the first batter Ray Black faced in the 11th. Otherwise, the bullpen was excellent. Five relievers, including Black, combined for 52/3 shutout innings through the 10th.

Even starter Casey Kelly, the son of Reds bench coach Pat Kelly, did well to limit the damage in his 41/3 innings, yielding one run despite nine hits.

“Our pitching’s been really good all year and especially good here of late,” Posey said. “Offensively, we’ve got to be better, plain and simple.”

The Giants, who got their run on leadoff man Andrew McCutchen’s third-inning single — the first of his three hits — have two more games against the Reds before flying to New York for four against the Mets. They return home to play the Rangers in a three-game interleague series.

Then it gets tougher with the Giants hosting the Diamondbacks. So the time, as they say, is now. Asked about the key 10-game stretch that’s under way, Posey said, “Honestly, where we are, it’s a key stretch for us the remainder of the way.”

Kelly filled in for Dereck Rodriguez, who strained his hamstring in Tuesday’s fracas at Dodger Stadium, and pitched in traffic most of the night. Kelly threw 73 pitches two days after throwing 20 in relief and needed some big help in the fifth, his final inning.

Jose Peraza opened with a single, and Posey threw him out trying to steal. Scooter Gennett singled, and Bochy summoned Reyes Moronta, who struck out two consecutive batters.

“It was definitely a cool experience,” Kelly said of pitching in front of his dad in the other dugout. “I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to do that again, so you try to embrace it. Once the first pitch left my hand in warm-ups, it was me versus the Reds. It wasn’t about my dad.”

Kelly’s mother was in attendance, as were his brother, sister and fiancee. Father and son had breakfast early Friday, and each was careful not to get caught up in exchanging information.

“I guess in a perfect world,” Pat Kelly said before the game, “he throws six shutout innings, and we beat the relievers.”

That’s not exactly what happened, but it was close enough for the proud papa who couldn’t help but smile while waiting outside the Giants’ clubhouse after the game.

John Shea is The San Francisco Chronicle’s national baseball writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @JohnSheaHey

SF Giants Minor Lines 8/17/18: Logan Webb Ks 9

SF Giants Minor Lines 8/17/18: Logan Webb Ks 9

There’ve been some wacky plays around baseball this week. In the majors, we had the first triple play in over 100 years in which the batter wasn’t one of the outs. Then last night in Springfield we saw a Sac Fly to the Catcher! This game never lacks in creativity…

We got lots of extra innings and lots of Rockies affiliates. Let’s get to it!

HIGHLIGHTS: Logan Webb K’d 9 over 5.1 shutout innings; Heath Quinn had four hits and walk in perfect night; Manny Geraldo had three hits, two walks and SB.


Sacramento lost at Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies), 8-7

Shaun Anderson navigated the high air of Albuquerque pretty well, allowing just three runs over 6 innings. Anderson struck out just 2 batters, which is a season low for him in his starts this year, but he avoided free passes, which is a great idea in Rocky Mountain states. Overall, Anderson is learning that PCL hitters are a step up from AA and he’ll need to adjust to the advanced level. After striking out a batter per inning in the EL over 93 IP, and walking just 22, the peripherals have both moved a little in the wrong direction against AAA hitters: he’s K’d 24 in 35 IP while walking 11. Adjustments.

Still, against a good ‘Topes lineup he delivered a Quality Start, and his only real mistake came in the form of a monster two-run shot from former big league All Star Matt Holliday, who is hoping to find his way back into a big league dugout with the Rockies (and quite likely will next month).

Sacramento strung together five singles in the top of the 7th to take a 5-3 lead. One of those hits came from Miguel Gomez who apparently read yesterday’s Minor Lines and said: “hey! I don’t want to break my .300 streak!” Gomez had his second consecutive three-hit game and has eight hits over his last three games, raising his average 23 points in that time.

But in the bottom of that same inning, the Summer of Derek Law’s Discontent continued when he coughed up a two-out Grand Slam to hand the lead right back.

(I feel like I don’t comment enough on the ‘Topes/Simpsons connection hereabouts)

More disappointing injury news by the way: Chris Shaw has been placed on the DL.


Richmond beat Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies), 3-0

Things were getting pretty groovy at The Diamond last night!

Yep, they busted out some psychedelic wear and it sparked a chord in the Squirrels as they came up with their sixth shutout win of the season. Though they obviously got strong performances from all three of their Pithcers, the star of the night was starter Logan Webb. The Kid from Rocklin loves him some Tie Dye apparently!

I feel like I keep saying this, and nobody really seems to be proving me wrong — in a season that has season most of the top prospects land on the spectrum of “okay if you contextualize it enough” to “complete and utter faceplant,” Webb is one of the very few who have had an unambiguously successful year (and actually, pretty much everybody else in that category had a big day yesterday, so we’ll get to congratulate the whole club).

The 21 year old RHP set a career high with 9 Ks against the Yard Goats, while going a season high 5.1 innings. In his final start at San Jose he hit the 80 pitch count for the first time this year, and since moving up to Richmond he’s been in the mid-80s in all three games, while going at least 5 innings each time. It speaks to his efficiency yesterday that he struck out 9 batters, using almost the exact same number of pitches he had in his previous start in which he struck out 0. He struck out the side in three of his five complete, and two of those (1st and 5th) were 3 up/3 down. The five hits he allowed were all singles, and most of the ground ball or soft bloop variety.

Total dominance.

We should give a shout out to Garrett Williams, who shut the door over the final two innings and completed the shutout. Williams had allowed six earned runs over his previous four games (5.1 IP), so it was good to see his 2 inning, 0 run appearance.

You know, I kind of like the tie dyed look. Maybe they should go with it permanently!


San Jose lost to Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies), 9-6 in 10 inn

Like their Sacramento brethren, San Jose pitching just could not hold a lead yesterday (against yet another Rockies affiliate) and finally detonated in extra innings, allowing a huge 4-run 10th to lose it. They held a 4-1 lead in the 6th and blew it. They held a 5-4 lead in the 9th and blew it. That gives the pen a league leading 24 blown saves on the year (which is apparently a thing in the organization this year).

Poor Frank Rubio took the brunt of it. The right-hander — one of many, many pitchers who have found it hard to duplicate their Sally League success this year upon being promoted to the Cal — surrendered a leadoff triple in the 9th inning while trying to preserve a one-run lead. The tying run would score on a wild pitch. Going back out for the 10th, Rubio would allow another triple and a homer to put the cap on things.

On the offensive side, however, the lineup was full of strong performances. Jacob Heyward started things off with his 9th HR of the year, a long blow to the power alley.

Jalen Miller added to a nice August with two hits, including a booming double that the Giants hoped was bringing in the game winning run (and if it had gone just a few feet higher perhaps it would have). That was his 32nd double of the year, to go along with his career high 13 HRs. Miller is hitting .280/.345/.380 for a nice finishing stretch. Interestingly, in July he struggled in average (.238) but hit for much more power (.446) including four home runs. Still, the .770 OPS represents a real break through for the 2b who is still just 21 years old. Jalen joins Webb on the unambiguous step forward club.

As does, of course, OF Heath Quinn, who’s been San Jose’s best hitter this year. Quinn recorded a perfect night last night, reaching base safely in all five plate appearances. He had a four-hit night including his 21st double of the year. And when he came to bat following Miller’s booming double with a chance to widen the Giants lead, the Jet Hawks wisely avoided throwing him any strikes and sent him on to 1b. The big night pushed Quinn’s season OPS to the threshold of .900, as he’s hitting .311/.397/.502 on the year. Excellent job of putting 2017 in the rear-view mirror, Heath. I should say, he did make one out last night, getting thrown out at 2b trying to steal. That was his first CS this year (in 4 tries).

Before we go, Baseball America has their annual survey of league managers and scouts for the Best Tools edition out this week. The Giants’ system, perhaps unsurprisingly, didn’t make too many lists, but a couple of San Jose players were singled out. Melvin Adon was voted the Cal League’s Best Fastball, and Brandon Van Horn took the vote for the league’s Best Defensive SS (his San Francisco Brandon-counterpart took the same honor for the NL). Nice going Brandon! He celebrated by doubling in two runs last night.


Augusta lost at Kannapolis Intimidators (White Sox), 6-3
losing their series 0-3

Who else can we find to add to the Unambiguous Step Forward club?

Why Manny Geraldo qualifies I would say! And like Heath Quinn, Geraldo had a perfect night last night to allow us to brag on him. The SS went 3 for 3, walked twice, and stole his 21st bag of the year. That’s the 4th best SB total in the system, trailing just Johneshwy Fargas, Bryce Johnson, and teammate Logan Baldwin. If he cranks another homer he’ll join another pretty short list of folks in the system with double/doubles on the HR/SB list. Andrew McCutchen, Chase D’Arnaud, Orlando Calixte, Luigi Rodriguez, and Jalen Miller are the only Giants to accomplish that this year.

Malique Ziegler picked up two hits, including a double. That’s Ziegler’s third double in his last five games and he has six hits overall in that span. In his non-hit PA yesterday, Ziegler took a hat trick, however, and strike outs have definitely been the weak link in his season as he’s K’d 43 times in 165 PA.

Jeffry Parra had one of those occasional games that makes you sit up and take notice, doubling and homering. His average stubbornly sits where it’s been nearly all year — .189. There’s power and some defensive chops in that package though.

After having a little burst earlier in the month, Heliot Ramos has been going back the other way again. He’s gone just 3 for his last 22, though two of those hits have gone for extra bases. His friend Jacob Gonzalez’ gas tank has really hit E though, as Gonzalez is batting just .140/.229/.186 in the Dog Days.


Salem-Keizer lost to Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks), 6-4

Joey Bart was also reading Minor Lines yesterday apparently! You want Dingers? I’ll GIVE you dingers! Bart went deep for the 10th time this year in 32 games with Salem-Keizer and he showed off his arm as well, back picking a runner at 1b for a pleasant Two Tool Night! Bart is slugging .664 and has an OPS of 1.038 as he puts the finishing touches on a long and fruitful 2018.

David Villar and Kyle McPherson both added double doubles to the effort, but the Volcanoes couldn’t overcome a poor start from Miguel Figueroa who has stepped into the rotation to take over Gregory Santos spot. Which just reminds us to be sad about Gregory Santos again.

Sigh.


AZL Giants Black beat AZL Angels, 5-4 in 11 inn

AZL Giants Orange beat AZL D-backs, 4-3 in 10 inn

The AZL clubs both came up with extra inning wins. The Black team had a lot of help as they scored the tying run in the bottom of the 10th on a passed ball and the winning run in the bottom of the 11th on an error. But they gladly accepted the gifts, which keep them 1 game out of the division lead. The Orange team won on a 10th inning PH double from their 2018 18th rounder out of Puerto Rico, Bryan Hernandez. The 18 year old OF hasn’t found much success so far, hitting just .171 in his debut. However, three of his seven hits have gone for extra bases.

Another youngster struggling with the adjustment to pro ball is toolsy 6th rounder PJ Hilson. Hilson went 0 for 2 yesterday, dropping his average to .184 with a whopping 37% K rate. There is a potential pitcher conversion in that package though if the hitting thing doesn’t work out — as we know from Dereck Rodriguez, that’s not a bad thing to have in your back pocket.

After a torrid July got Alexander Canario’s season pointed in the right direction, he’s heading back down the slope again as well. Canario has gone just 3 for his last 25. He’s K’d 24% of the time this year. That’s rough for this level of competition.

Both AZL teams got excellent starting pitching yesterday. Jasier Herrera had a rough stretch where he allowed at least 4 earned runs in four consecutive starts. But he’s now given up just 2 earned runs in his last two starts combined, both going 6 innings. The strong armed right-hander has 44 Ks in 52 IP this year in his first season as a starter.

20 year old Colombian right hander Luis Moreno has been pretty consistently excellent in 2018. Two rough starts account for half of all the earned runs he’s allowed this year, but overall he has a 2.98 ERA in 54.1 IP (12 games) with 53 Ks to just 12 BBs.


DSL Giants lost to DSL Tigers2, 4-2

Woah, Ghordy, you just got to .200! Don’t slip back the wrong way!

After today, the DSL Giants have just one week remaining in their season. And what can we make of the 2018 edition? Luis Toribio’s 10 HR season was certainly notable. But this hasn’t been a team that had much in the way of standout offense. Of the players with 100 ABs or more, Samuel Jorge’s .271 batting average is the high water mark. Most of the regulars land in the .260s or lower (Jean Peña has floated all the way down to .240 with bushels of strikeouts). On the whole, this has been one of the more lackluster offensive groups of recent years.

On the mound there are several kids with good bodies (like yesterday’s starter Ivan Armstrong) and strong arms (like Jesus Gomez, who should pitch today). The only strong performer on the year (obligatory caveat on the meaninglessness of DSL pitching performances) has come from LHP Jesus Sanchez who is probably the MVP of this team. Sanchez’ 3.39 ERA is a bit elevated for the level, but his 63 Ks to just 13 BBs in 61 IP have been by far the best peripherals on the staff.


Today’s Scheduled Starters:
Sacramento: Ty Herb vs. David Holmberg
Richmond: Michael Connolly vs Sean Nolin
San Jose: Carlos Sano vs. Brandon Gold
Augusta: TBD vs. Garrett Schilling
Salem-Keizer: Seth Corry vs. TBD
AZL: OFF
DSL: Jesus Gomez

Seth Corry takes the hill for a truly important start against the powerful Hops. The Volcanoes need a win and they need to show they can beat Hillsboro (who would be their opponent should they make the playoffs). More than that, their staff needs some one to step up and support the offense a little bit. Go get ‘em Seth! Get a few tips from this guy before the game:

Why Giants' Rodriguez was among first on field during Puig-Hundley scuffle

Why Giants' Rodriguez was among first on field during Puig-Hundley scuffle

CINCINNATI — Rookie pitcher Dereck Rodriguez was one of the first Giants off the bench as catcher Nick Hundley and the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig squared off Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

“Being in Puerto Rico and watching my dad over the years, you kind of know when stuff starts to heat up,” said Rodriguez, son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez. “Once I saw Puig look at Hundley and start saying some words, I knew something was going to go down.

“I had one foot out of the dugout, and when (Puig) pushed him, I took off. I didn’t want (Hundley) to be there by himself.”

Rodriguez was on a peacekeeping mission, he said, adding, “I’m not a big altercation guy.”

As it turned out, Rodriguez strained his right hamstring during the tussle and on Thursday was sent to the 10-day disabled list. Friday, with his left leg wrapped in ice, Rodriguez said he felt what he thought was a leg cramp when running onto the field.

When Rodriguez was holding back players during the scrum, he felt it more. He figured it would go away overnight, but it didn’t. An MRI exam showed a Grade 1 hamstring strain, not as severe as Grade 2, but enough to keep him off the mound.

Rodriguez threw on flat ground Friday and said he felt fine throwing but would have issues fielding his position and hitting. He is eligible to pitch Thursday in New York (10 days is retroactive to his last start), but that might be premature.

Rodriguez’s absence — he has a 2.25 ERA in 14 games (12 starts) and 1.28 ERA since June 24 — could hurt his Rookie of the Year candidacy, but more than that, he’ll be missed as an integral part of the rotation. He said if he were an American Leaguer, with the designated hitter rule, he could keep pitching, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy denied such a possibility.

“It’s unfortunate,” Bochy said. “This guy was throwing the ball as well as anybody. He’ll be down 10 days at least.”

Strickland to return: Hunter Strickland will come off the DL on Saturday after missing two months with a broken hand, and Bochy said he could use the right-hander in the sixth, seventh or eighth innings.

Strickland hasn’t pitched in the majors since June 18, when he gave up three runs to the Marlins and punched a clubhouse door. His six-game minor-league rehab assignment ended Wednesday.

“It’s definitely taken longer than I wanted, but it’s part of it,” Strickland said. “It’s something I brought on myself, so you’ve just got to deal with it and move forward.”

John Shea is The San Francisco Chronicle’s national baseball writer.

Giants walked off by Reds in 11th for second straight loss

Giants walked off by Reds in 11th for second straight loss

CINCINNATI – The first night at the Great American Ball Park wasn’t what you would expect. The Giants and Reds took a 1-1 tie deep into the night in one of the league’s best hitters parks before Phillip Ervin took Ray Black deep in the 11th.

The Giants lost their second straight after a hot start to this trip. They are 2-2 on what they felt would be a trip that could get them back into the NL West race. Here’s what else you need to know from a disappointing night… 

— The lineup did absolutely nothing against Anthony DeSclafini, who entered with a 4.46 ERA. He was finally knocked out in the eighth when the Giants put two on with two outs, but Buster Posey tapped out to short. 

— The Giants couldn’t have asked for much more from Casey Kelly, an emergency starter after Dereck Rodriguez strained his hamstring. Two days after pitching the 12th in Los Angeles, Kelly gave up one run over 4 1/3 innings. He allowed nine hits – eight singles – but repeatedly wiggled out of trouble. It helped that he picked Billy Hamilton off.

— Kelly shared a cool moment with his dad, Pat, the bench coach for the Reds. The two made eye contact before the first pitch and saluted each other. 

Giants fall to Reds on walk-off homer in 11th

Giants fall to Reds on walk-off homer in 11th

CINCINNATI – The Giants want to take advantage of this so-called easier part of the schedule, a stretch of 10 games against teams that are in last place or close to it.

We await one of three true outcomes.

The Giants could go on an outrageous run and make themselves serious contenders. They could crash and burn and never be heard from again. Or they could split the games, a typical scenario in a season in which all roads seem to lead to .500.

The stretch started with Friday’s 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Reds in which the Giants showed enough pitching to stay in the game but not enough hitting to win it — one of those season microcosms.

Phillip Ervin, the first batter in the bottom of the 11th inning, homered off Roy Black to force the Giants to walk off the field to begin a series and stretch that they desperately need to go their way.

The Giants have two more games against the Reds before flying to New York for four against the Mets. They return home to play the Rangers in a three-game interleague series.

Then it gets tougher. The Giants host the Diamondbacks for three. So the time, as they say, is now. But it’s impossible to be much of a threat when the 3-4-5-6 hitters go a collective 1-for-18, as was the case Friday.

Pitcher Casey Kelly filled in for Dereck Rodriguez, who strained his hamstring in Tuesday’s fracas at Dodger Stadium, and generally did what he was supposed to do. Despite giving up nine hits, he was effective enough to limit the Reds to one run in 4 1/3 innings.

Kelly, the son of Reds bench coach Pat Kelly, was in the stretch most of the night because he gave up hits to four of the five leadoff men he faced. Five of his first batters got hits including No. 8 hitter Curt Casali, who drove in the only run against Kelly.

The Giants tied the score in the third when Steven Duggar doubled, advanced on a sacrifice and scored on Andrew McCutchen’s first of three hits.

For the most part, Kelly limited the damage. He got help in his final inning when Buster Posey threw out Jose Peraza trying to steal and when reliever Reyes Moronta entered with one on and one out and struck out consecutive batters.

Kelly also helped himself by picking off speedy Billy Hamilton after he opened the first inning with a single, the first of three hits in the inning.

Kelly threw 73 pitches, appearing just two days after throwing 20 pitches in the 11th and 12th innings of Wednesday’s 12-inning loss in Los Angeles.

He had breakfast with his dad in the morning, and each was careful not to get caught up in exchanging information. As the elder Kelly said before the game, “Your emotions are very unique in those situations.”

He added, “I guess in a perfect world, he throws six shutout innings, and we beat the relievers.” It didn’t quite work that way, but the elder Kelly was seen more than once in the dugout flashing a wide smile while watching his kid, a proud papa if there ever was one.

Mark Melancon, Tony Watson, Sam Dyson and Black pitched the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th innings, retiring 12 of 13 batters.

John Shea is The San Francisco Chronicle’s national baseball writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @JohnSheaHey