RECAP: Giants win 5-3 against the Cubs in the full game on Thursday against the Cubs

Seven-plus hours after the supposed 1st pitch of the resumed game, which was affected by the rain delay, the Giants and Cubs complete their series at Wrigley Field, and in the full game (the regularly scheduled game) the Giants beat the Cubs 5-3 to take the series.

Madison Bumgarner was on the mound for the Giants, and besides giving up 3 runs in the first inning, Bumgarner was lights out in the other 6 innings he pitched. Bumgarner went seven innings pitched, giving up three runs, on seven hits, a walk, and threw 12 strikeouts. To describe how impressive he was he got the Cubs’ up and coming star Javier Baez to strike out four times, handing him the “golden sombrero”.

The Cubs did get to Bumgarner in the 1st inning, beginning with Justin Ruggiano going yard on Bumgarner, taking the ball beyond the Wrigley Field ivy in right field. That home run by Ruggiano put the Cubs on top 2-1 at the time. Immediately following that, catcher Wellington Castillo went back-to-back for the Cubs, making it a 3-1 Cubs lead.

If this was the Giants of June and July, you would imagine the Giants would be down and out and struggle to comeback, and yes even against a team like the Cubs. But this is the late August, and hopefully September Giants, and their hot run as of late, came to bat in the middle innings.

Before the Cubs went to bat in the 1st, Angel Pagan showed his impact as the lead-off hitter, and for the second straight day, he set up the table, by getting on-base, and Pablo Sandoval scored him in on a base hit to left field. Sandoval on the day, would go on to get three hits and two RBI’s in four at-bats.

In the middle innings down by two runs, the Giants went to bat. In the top of the 3rd inning, Sandoval got his second hit, as he doubled to score Buster Posey, to cut the deficit in half to just a run. In the 4th inning, Bumgarner tied it up, by scoring Joaquin Arias from 2nd base to make three all at Wrigley.

One of the things that has become apparent, not just by Pagan’s at-bat’s, is that the Giants are making an impact by way of their lead-off hitters. In the 5th inning, with Posey leading-off the inning, he hit a solo home run beyond the ivy in left-center field to put the Giants to the lead. Beyond the home run, Posey had an incredible night at Wrigley, going 4 for 4, with the HR and an RBI, after taking the night off on Wednesday due to a sore hip. This trend of lead-off batters getting on base, and/or making a game-changing impact is becoming apparent for the Giants, despite the fact they still struggle a little bit with the lead-off situations.

At the same time, one particular problem that kept occurring tonight for the Giants was the runners they keep leaving on-base at the end of their half of the inning. In the first inning, the Giants left the bases loaded, and couldn’t expand their early lead. This problem continued in a lesser role throughout the game. The Giants left a total of eight runners on-base all game.

Nonetheless the Giants, will be looking ahead at the next big challenge in the land of House of Cards (our nation’s capital Washington D.C.) to face the Washington Nationals.

Game notes…

-During an at-bat by the Cubs’ Arismendy Alcantara in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Bumgarner threw a pitch that looked a bit inside called a ball by the umpire, and the Cubs thought that pitch hit Alcantara, and requested for a review. The review confirmed the umpire’s call, and it remained a ball, and the Cubs were left without a replay. Later in top of the 4th inning, the run scored by Arias was questionable as it appears his foot was above home plate when he crossed the plate. But without challenges left, the Cubs could not request for a review to overturn the play.

-That’s all I have, other than CSN Bay Area went technical difficulties on us, sending the game into broadcasting apocalyptic hell.

Tomorrow…

The Giants make their way to Washington D.C. to take on the National League East Division-leading Nationals.

The Giants send Tim Hudson to the mound. Hudson is 8-9 on the season, with a 3.03 ERA. He has yet to pick up a win on his win-loss tally, since July 19th. Last time out against the Philadelphia Phillies, he was taken out early, going only four innings pitched, giving up five earned runs on eight hits, three walks and threw three strikeouts. He was handed a no-decision as the Giants came back and won that game 6-5.

The Nationals will send Doug Fister to the mound. Fister is 12-3 this season, with a 2.20 ERA. Last time out Fister pitched against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and settled to a no-decision, going seven innings pitched, giving up no runs, on five hits, a walk and threw five strikeouts.

First pitch will be at 7:05 pm local time in the Nation’s Capital, and 4:05 pm Pacific time. The game will be on CSN Bay Area on the television, and KNBR 680 on the radio dial.

Game .5 of 1.5 Quick Recap: Giants lose 2-1 to Cubs to complete the rain-called-turned-suspended game.

In the unprecedented nature of the baseball, and the protest being upheld by MLB, the rain-called opening game of the Giants and Cubs series became suspended to be played on Thursday at 4:05 pm Chicago time, 2:05 pm local time, and by that time, guess what another rain delay. This time the rain was harder, but fortunately, the tarp was already properly placed. 2 hours later, the first pitch of the resumed game was thrown.

The Giants lose 2-1 to the Cubs in the resumed opening game of the series, with Yusmeiro Petit on the mound for the Giants to begin the game in the bottom of the 5th inning. The game up until suspension, was 2-0 Cubs, by way of an Anthony Rizzo 2 run home run.

Petit was lights out. He went 2 innings, facing 6 batters, all batted into an out, 5 of them by way of the strikeout. Petit, Machi, and Affeldt combined for a near perfect effort for the bullpen, to give the Giants a better chance at catching up to the Cubs, having already been down by 2 runs.

The Giants bats made an impact in this resumed game right away in the top of the 6th inning, when 2nd baseman Joe Panik, who came in as a pinch-hitter, singled in Adam Duvall to cut the deficit in half. Unfortunately for the Giants, that would be the only run they would score in this game.

The regularly-scheduled game between the Giants and Cubs is set to begin at 8:05 pm in Chicago, 6:05 Pacific Time. Madison Bumgarner will pitch for the Giants, Travis Wood will pitch for the Cubs.

2-in-1 post: Giants doubled-down in wins on Wednesday: Winning the game 8-3 against the Cubs and a protest

(Game recap follows below the briefing on the Giants’ protest regarding Tuesday rain-shortened game, HINT: Follow the vertical line down to the recap.)

Giants files 1st successful MLB protest since 1986

Talk about the luck swinging in the Giants’ favor on the 2nd to last Wednesday of August. After an unjust Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning in Wrigley Field due in large part to the “TarpGate” snafu by the grounds crew at Wrigley, Wednesday went much better for the Giants.

Let’s begin with what happened before Wednesday’s game. Giants manager Bruce Bochy, following the called game on Tuesday, hinted at filing a protest in regards to how the called game transpired, and on Wednesday morning, protest they did.

The Giants according to Major League Baseball, protested that the game should have been suspended at the moment of play in the bottom of the 5th inning because of the error made by the Wrigley Field grounds crew in regards to the laying out of the tarp, citing Rule 4.12(a)(3) in the MLB rule book. In addition to that, the Giants covered all bases of the protest, and asked to see if the Cubs were in violation of Rule 4.16 in the rule book, seeing if the Wrigley Field grounds crew were doing their due diligence with getting the field prepared for a possible resumption of play on Tuesday night.

The protest was resolved in time for Wednesday game. when Major League Baseball released a statement announcing that they have upheld the Giants’ protest to Tuesday’s game, and declaring that Tuesday’s game is suspended until Thursday. The MLB Front Office also ruled that the Cubs will not have to forfeit Tuesday’s game, as they felt that there was “no basis for the game to be forfeited by the Cubs” as they felt the grounds crew did a sufficient job in getting the game prepared for a possible resumption on Tuesday.

The upholding of this protest is the first successful protest by a major league team since 1986, when the Pittsburgh Pirates successfully won a protest to resume their game against the St. Louis Cardinals, citing the umpires did not wait the full 30 minutes during a rain delay to call the game, a standing rule at the time. That game was resumed two days later. The Giants protest on Wednesday is the15th successful protest to occur in the history of baseball.

As a result, Tuesday’s opening game of the series between the Giants and the Cubs will resume on Thursday late afternoon in Chicago. Resuming at 4:05 pm local time in Chicago (2:05 pm Pacific time). The resumption of this game precedes the regularly scheduled game on Thursday which is scheduled to start at 7:05 pm Chicago time (5:05 pm PT) The situation at the time is as follows: Cubs lead the Giants 2-0 entering the Bottom of the 5th, Ryan Vogelsong is still eligible to pitch, but is not expected to continue pitching.

Giants go on to beat the Cubs 8-3 on Wednesday too.

With one win in hand today, in the form of an upheld protest the Giants looked to take the “un-official” opening game of the series, and that they did. The Giants went on to beat the Cubs 8-3 as the bats woke up and balls were landing all over the park.

The Giants bat got going in the 1st inning, with Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence getting on base and setting up the table for Pablo Sandoval, when he starts the run scoring, by bringing in Pagan from 3rd base on a sac fly to make it 1-0. 2nd baseman Joe Panik made it 2-0 by scoring in Pence. With Michael Morse, who got on prior to Panik’s at-bat, and Panik on base, Travis Ishikawa started off what would go on to be a great night for him. He would hit a 2 RBI double, to make it 4-0.

Ishikawa would go on to hit 3 for 5 for the night, when he hit another double, garnering him his 3rd RBI of the night in the 3rd inning scoring in Morse making it 5-2 Giants at the time. The Giants continues to score runs in the 3rd inning, when catcher Andrew Susac hit his first career major league home run, a 2-run shot, scoring both Ishikawa and himself, making it a 7-2 game. Hunter Pence wraps up the run scoring with a solo shot to lead off the 4th inning to make it an 8-2 Giants lead.

Meanwhile, it was the right-hander Jake Peavy on the mound, looking to keep the winning streak rolling, after picking up his 1st win since April 25th (with the Red Sox at the time), against the Chicago White Sox last Wednesday. Peavy had comfortable run support on Wednesday before he threw a pitch off the mound. He didn’t need to do much, and held his own. He went on to pitch 7 innings, giving up 2 runs on 10 hits, no walks and threw 8 strikeouts.  

Peavy had to struggle in the 2nd inning, when he gave up 2 runs to the Cubs, off a Chris Valaika 2-run home run, which also scored Luis Valbuena. Cubs scored a 3rd run in the bottom of the 8th inning, off of Giants reliever Juan Gutierrez, when Valbuena hit a solo home run.

Game Notes:

  • Catcher/1st Baseman Buster Posey, was left out of Wednesday’s line-up, with soreness in the hip. He is expected to play on Thursday.

Tomorrow…

Giants and Cubs play 1.5 games, beginning with the completion of Tuesday’s game, and regularly scheduled Thursday game.

For the suspended game, as mentioned earlier the Giants and Cubs are entering the bottom of the 5th inning with the Cubs leading 2-0. Ryan Vogelsong is the pitcher of record for the Giants at the time, but the chance of him returning to pitch is questionable, but not ruled out since Thursday is his scheduled bullpen session day. Vogelsong at the point of suspension, had pitched 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts. For the Cubs, the pitcher of record is Tsuyoshi Wada, he has yet to give up a run, but has given up 6 hits, on 3 strikeouts. This game will be resumed at 4:05 pm local time in Chicago, and 2:05 pm PT.

Following the completion of the resumed game, the scheduled starters for regularly scheduled Thursday, which will begin no earlier than 7:05 pm Chicago time (5:05 pm PT) or 30-or-so minutes following the completion of the first game, whichever comes later. Madison Bumgarner (13-9, 3.14 ERA) will head out to the mound for the Giants, while the Cubs will send out Travis Wood (7-10, 4.86 ERA).

Both games will be on CSN Bay Area on TV, and KNBR 680 on the radio dial.

"Back from assignment" game recap: Giants played the "Panik card" (sorry had to…) and gets the 6-4 win in the desert.

Writers note: I’ll go ahead and say this. Maybe it’s my fault the Giants had to sink so low, I’ve been on assignment with the World Cup, and converted some of my focus away from the Orange and Black and towards the world’s game. For that I’m sorry… :(… But I’m back for the night, to recap this game. But bare with me, this recap may not be my best work.

The Giants end the snide, and pick up a 6-4 win after an eventful day off the field for the Giants, with a major call-up. The Giants before the game called up infielder, and the Giants 1st round pick of the 2011 Major League Baseball 1st-year player draft, Joe Panik from Triple-A affiliate Fresno, due in part to the growing list of injuries on the Giants roster.

Nonetheless, after losing their 6th straight game, and 9 out of their last 10 games, the Giants needed to get it together, before self-imploding in the desert. After Friday’s game, Giants manager Bruce Bochy called a closed door team meeting, to remind the players who they were and today that message seems to have worked, as the Giants got it going again, winning 6-4.

The Giants bat got it going instantly in the top of the 1st, taking advantage of Arizona’s starter, Brandon McCarthy, by going through the whole lineup in the 1st inning. Hunter Pence got the Giants first hit on a single, followed by a hit by Buster Posey, before Pablo Sandoval scored in Pence on a big single to left field. Tyler Colvin would go on to score Posey on another single. Putting the Giants up by 2 runs before the Diamondbacks got to the plate to bat. Sandoval would go on to score Posey in, in the 2nd inning, to be up 3-0. 

With Ryan Vogelsong on the mound, the expectations for Vogelsong to do well was at an all-time high, and Vogelsong held his own in 5 innings of work. He got through the 1st inning easily. But faced trouble in the 2nd inning, when he gave up 2 runs in the 2nd. He would have no problems facing the D-backs hitters in the 3rd or 4th inning, before entering into his eventual final inning of work for the night in the 5th inning. 

In the 5th inning, the Giants scored an additional run to make it a 5-2 lead, but the lead was cut to a run, when Aaron Hill scored in Jordan Pacheco and Didi Gregorius (who were on base in a 2-out, bases loaded situation), before getting tagged out stretching for 2nd base, on the single. The Giants would at that point lead 5-4.

In the top half of the 6th inning, the Giants sealed the lead, with a Hunter Pence home run deep into the 2nd deck in left field. When he made contact with that pitch, the sound from the contact sounded like a home run even before it was gone. That home run evoked memories of Buster Posey’s home run here in this same ballpark on Opening Day back in March. Posey’s 9th inning shot landed in the same neighborhood, but in the lower deck vs. Pence’s home run which landed in the 2nd deck patio. But nonetheless, if it was anything, the Giants offense was back in some form.

The bullpen would come in to pitch the rest of the way, and the combination of Affeldt, Machi, Casilla, and Romo led to the Giants victory. They combined for 4 innings of work, and despite not giving up a run, they did make the situation interesting, especially Romo at the end, when he put 2 runners on, before getting the final outs to end the game.

Oh and that Panik kid? Yeah he was used in a pinch-hit situation, and the Giants got a taste of what to expect with this kid, when he took a walk in his first at-bat appearance. He took 3 straight balls to get his first on base appearance. This kid had quite an eye for the baseball. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to be brought in for a run, but hey you can’t always get what you want, in your debut.

Additional game notes:

-Roster moves: In order to make room for Joe Panik on both the 25- and 40-man roster(s). The Giants sent down outfielder Juan Perez, but that might be a short trip (more to follow below) to open a 25-man slot. For the 40-man roster slot, the Giants designate relief pitcher Jake Denning for assignment.

-Injury notes: A couple of injury notes of note after today’s game, both involving the Giants starting outfielders. First, during the game left-fielder Michael Morse was taken out of the game in the bottom of the 5th inning, the Giants official reason was for back tightness a common issue the Giants have been facing with injuries lately. Second, was center-fielder Angel Pagan, Pagan missed his 4th straight game, and it was for a back injury as well. After today’s game, Bochy told the beat writers that Pagan was not available at all from the bench tonight, and talk of a disabled list run for Pagan is “gaining steam”. This would most likely mean a quick return for Juan Perez from Triple-A affiliate Fresno. 

Tomorrow, the Giants for the first time in over a week or so, have a chance at taking the series against the Diamondbacks, before heading home for a 10-game home stand.

Pitching match-up: Madison Bumgarner (8-4, 2.85 ERA) vs. Mike Bolsinger (1-2, 5.70 ERA)

First pitch: 1:10 PM

TV/Radio: CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680

Notes: Giants send south-paw Madison Bumgarner to the mound, last time out against the Colorado Rockies at home, he went 7 innings, throwing 9 strikeouts in a no-decision. Bumgarner gave up 4 runs on 6 hits, and 4 walks in the 8-7 loss. Arizona sends right-hander Mike Bolsinger to the mound. Bolsinger, last time out at home against the Milwaukee Brewers, gave up 3 runs on 7 hits, while nabbing 6 strkeouts, in 6 1/3 innings pitch earning a no-decision in a 7-5 loss.

Giants get win #40, behind a Posey game-winning HR in the 8th, and Cain’s strong return

It’s June 6th, and the San Francisco Giants, having just completed a 4-2 win over the New York Mets tonight, are 40-21 on the season, 8.5 games ahead in the division against the 2nd place Los Angeles Dodgers. Oh did I mention this 40-21 record right now is the best record in majors? 

On Friday, the Giants saw the return of Matt Cain to the mound, after another stint on the DL (strained hamstring from his last start in Colorado), and he was absolutely impressive. Cain started the game with four perfect innings, before giving up a lead-off walk to Curtis Granderson in the 5th inning. The Giants defense behind Cain, got Cain out of the inning, which included a double play following the Granderson at-bat. This left Cain the opportunity for a no-hitter while facing the minimum amount of hitters in play.

In the bottom of the 5th inning, the Giants were the first to put a run on the board in this game, with Brandon Hicks leading the inning off with a lead-off triple to left-center field, an unusual position to hit a triple, considering Triple’s Alley in right-center field has received more of the notoriety. It took the other Brandon, Brandon Crawford to hit in Hicks on a sacrifice fly, to lead 1-0.

The no-hitter was broken immediately in the 6th inning, when Ruben Tejada reached on an infield single, but again another double play, this time “around the horn” (Pablo Sandoval-Brandon Hicks-Michael Morse) got Cain quickly out of the inning and Cain faced the minimum 18 hitters through 6 innings.

Cain’s spotless start, was smudged in the 7th with a 2-run home run hit by Daniel Murphy. Putting the Mets up 2-1, and essentially taking the win away from Cain.

After completing his 7th inning of work, he was pinch-hit for by Joaquin Arias in the bottom of the inning. Cain left the game, in line for the loss, pitching 7 innings, giving up the 2 runs on 3 hits, a walk and 3 strikeouts. 

But instead of being responsible for the loss, the Giants offense got Cain out of a loss situation and left him with a no-decision, when the Brandon’s got to work in the bottom of the 7th, with Crawford hitting in Hicks on a single, tying the game 2-2. 

In the 8th, the Giants took the lead behind a two-run home run by Buster Posey, scoring him and Angel Pagan, to take a 4-2 lead. Sergio Romo would come in, in the top of the 9th, to close the game out and give the Giants win #40 of the season, putting the Giants in both a precarious and sacred position. 

Here’s an idea of how precarious this is for the Giants. The San Francisco franchise best record, according to the Giants Media Guide, after 61 games, is 40-21, and that was achieved back in 1962, back when this team had the likes of Mays, McCovey, and many of the greats the Giants celebrate today, with their numbers retired next to the Left Field foul pole at AT&T Park.

Also if you want to compare this season to recent seasons, in each of the seasons between 2010-2012, the Giants had a 34-27 record each time after 61 games. Last season, the Giants were only 32-29, and they didn’t get their 40th win until July 6th last season.

Looking ahead to at least up to the All-Star Break. The Giants have a very favorable schedule, barring a significant injury (knock on wood). There are 34 games between now and the All-Star Break, and only 2 games are outside of the Pacific Time Zone (on the road in Chicago against the White Sox).

Also, 26 of those 34 games are at home or at least in the Bay Area (24 at home, and 2 games in Oakland). Once again good news for the Giants, who are enjoying their home-field advantage to say the least, considering after Friday’s game they not only have the league best record overall, they have the best home and away records at 20-9 and 20-11 respectively. 

Additional notes from tonight’s game

  • The winning pitcher tonight, was Jeremy Affeldt, who conveniently celebrated his 35th birthday today. This is his 1st win on his birthday in his career. Oh and for what it’s worth, he celebrated his birthday before the game at Chuckie Cheese’s with some of his teammates… Yeah he would. Happy Birthday Jeremy.
  • Update on injuries: Brandon Belt (broken thumb), had a pin (inserted days following his injury during the game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on May 9th) removed today in the affected area on his thumb. The Giants medical staff believe Belt will be able to grasp a baseball again in the next week. Santiago Casilla (Grade 2 strained hamstring) is making a quick recovery. Initially estimated to be out until the end of June, could be facing hitters within the next two weeks, is set to throw a bullpen session on Saturday. 
  • Transaction news: In order to make room on the 25-man roster for Cain, reliever David Huff was designated for assignment. This move surprised Huff, according to reports, but he nonetheless was thankful for his opportunity to play with the Giants and will accept a minor-league assignment, if he clears waivers.

Tomorrow…

Mets vs. Giants

Game time: 7:05 pm

TV: CSN Bay Area

Radio: KNBR

Pitching probables: Bartolo Colon (5-5, 4.52 ERA) vs. Tim Hudson (6-2, 1.75 ERA) 

Preview: Tomorrow, the Giants plays game two of the three-game series with the Mets, and the Giants will send Tim Hudson to the mound, who has been pitching absolutely spectacular baseball this season for the Giants. Hudson last time out, pitched 7 innings of shut out baseball, giving up only 3 hits, 2 walks, and throwing 6 strikeouts. The stat of note for Hudson this season, is the number of walks he has allowed through 11 starts, he’s only given up 8 walks (4 hit by pitches excluded), and has thrown 50 strikeouts this season. His strikeouts-to-walk ratio is at 6.25, incredible all things considering. At home here at AT&T Park, Hudson is 4-0 in 5 starts, with all 5 games resulting in a win, and his ERA at home this season in 2.13.

The Mets will send Bartolo Colon to the mound. In his last start, against the Phillies, Colon pitched 7 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits, and struck out 5 picking up his 5th win this season in a 11-2 win. Colon, who last season played for the Giants’ Bay Bridge rival Oakland A’s, has played the Giants on 3 occasions, going 2-1 with a 5.12 ERA, and at AT&T Park he is 2-0 against the Giants.