SF Giants News
10-28-14: The San Francisco Giants battled the Los Angeles Dodgers all season long in the National League West division and ultimately settled for the second Wild Card and the last playoff reservation this season. The Giants did not let the regular season struggles affect them in the new season as San Francisco blew out the hosting Pittsburgh Pirates in the Wild Card round playoff game by the score of 8-0 to advance to the NLDS against the top seeded Washington Nationals. San Francisco went into the series with the Nationals as huge underdogs but once again did not let that faze them as they took out Washington in four games including an 18 inning marathon in Game Two. San Francisco advanced to the NLCS to take on a familiar foe in the St. Louis Cardinals with a trip to the World Series on the line. Major League Baseball prides itself on its parity but these two teams have seen each other many times recently in the postseason and this time the advantage went to the Giants once again as San Francisco beat the defending National League champions in five games. San Francisco was once again headed to the World Series and would face off with the Kansas City Royals from the American League. The Royals are being deemed as the Cinderella team this October and the never say die underdogs while the Giants are looking to cement a dynasty with their third World Series championship in the last six seasons under manager Bruce Bochy. These two teams had four full days off each before the start of the series so rust was expected to be a factor in the first couple games of the World Series. As you remember the Kansas City Royals have home field advantage for this series as the American League beat the National League in the All Star Game played in July.
In Game One of the 2014 World Series the fans were entertained by a pitching matchup of each team’s ace as San Francisco sent Madison Bumgarner to the mound to face off with James Shields. With the long layoff for both clubs the rust was present and obvious for both teams in the early innings, especially for Shields as he allowed three runs in the first inning including a Hunter Pence two run home run. Shields only lasted 3.0+ IP and was taken out of the game after allowing two more runs in the fourth inning as the Giants took a commanding 5-0 lead into the 7th inning. Danny Duffy was pitching for the Royals in the 7th as he looked to complete his fourth inning of relief but the Giants had other plans as the team scratched two more runs across the board to take a huge 7-0 lead with that dominating bullpen looming in the distance. Bumgarner went out to the mound for the 7th inning and completed the inning allowing his first run of the contest to Royals catcher Salvador Perez when he allowed a two out solo home run. Bruce Bochy went to his bullpen and Javier Lopez in the 8th and Hunter Strickland in the 9th inning as the Giants won the game by the score of 7-1. San Francisco and their offense took a 1-0 lead in the series and now hold home field advantage in the World Series. San Francisco is now just three wins away from their third World Series title in six seasons.
In Game Two of the 2014 World Series Kansas City looked to even up the series by sending rookie Yordano Ventura to the mound to face off with the Giants veteran Jake Peavy. You would think Ventura would feel the pressure of the postseason and the Fall Classic while the veteran Peavy would be cool, calm, and collected but the exact opposite occurred in this contest. Ventura lasted 5.1 IP and allowed just two runs while striking out two batters before Ned Yost handed the ball to his three headed monster of Kelvin Hererra, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland. Peavy on the other hand lasted just 5.0 IP allowing four earned runs striking out just one batter. Grego Blanco had a solo home run for the Giants in the first inning and Brandon Belt had an RBI double in the fourth inning to make up the scoring on the night for San Francisco while Kansas City put their Game One offensive woes behind them in the contest. Omar Infante led a five run breakout inning in the 6th inning for the Royals that included a home run off Giants relief pitcher Hunter Strickland that caused both benches to clear as hostility was in the air. No suspensions were given and the umpires did a great job helping to avoid any kind of altercation as Kansas City’s bullpen shut down the Giants en route to a 7-2 victory for the Royals. Kansas City tied up the series at 1-1 as both teams find themselves three victories away from a World Series championship.
In Game Three of the 2014 World Series the series shifted to San Francisco and AT&T Park as Kansas City lost their designated hitter advantage and their pitcher’s had to pick up a bat. The obvious advantage would seemingly go to the Giants in this one as San Francisco sent Tim Hudson to the mound in his first World Series start of his career. Kansas City countered the veteran right hander with veteran Jeremy Guthrie on the bump for the Royals. Hudson showed some nerves in his first Fall Classic start allowing three runs in 5.2 IP but the San Francisco bullpen shutdown the Royals for the remainder of the game to keep the Giants in the contest. Guthrie bested the savvy veteran Hudson as he pitched 5.0 IP of his own allowing just two runs handing the Royals bullpen a two run lead in the 6th inning when Kelvin Herrera came into the contest. Herrera allowed one inherited runner that was charged to Guthrie before getting out of the 6th with a 3-2 Royals lead. Herrera started the 7th and handed the ball to rookie Brandon Finnegan for Kansas City for the rest of the 7th. Ned Yost’s recipe for success continued in the 8th inning with Wade Davis and the 9th inning with Greg Holland as the Kansas City Royals held on for the 3-2 victory to take the 2-1 lead in the series. The Royals bullpen did not allow a single hit in the contest in 4.0 inning of relief while striking out four. Herrera did walk two batters but ultimately settled down as Kansas City finds themselves just two wins away from their first World Series victory since 1985.
In Game Four of the 2014 World Series San Francisco had to be thinking this was a must win game. No team has come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Fall Classic conveniently since the 1985 Royals did it to win the series. San Francisco sent Ryan Vogelsong to the mound looking to tie up the series and Kansas City sent Jason Vargas to the mound looking to take a commanding lead in the series. Many around the league questioned Bruce Bochy’s decision to not have Madison Bumgarner pitch on short rest in the series rather than saving him for Game 5 and Vogelsong did not help to quell the second guessing. The Giants jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning without getting a single hit and was riding high on emotions until Kansas City came up in the Top of the 3rd inning. In the inning Eric Hosmer, Omar Infante, and Salvador Perez all knocked in runs in a four run inning for the Royals as Kansas City took a 4-1 lead in the contest. Buster Posey knocked in an RBI with a single in the bottom of the 3rd to bring San Francisco back with 4-2 before Yusmeiro Petit came out of the Giants bullpen to shut down the Royals offense and allow the Giants back into the game. San Francisco second baseman Joe Panik doubled to lead off the 5th inning which chased the Royals starter Vargas and Hunter Pence singled him in two batters later to inch the Giants closer as the Royals lead shrunk to 4-3 before Kansas City brought left hander Danny Duffy into the game. San Francisco would load the bases off Duffy but a sacrifice fly would tie the game up at 4-4 in the 5th inning before Brandon Crawford struck out to end the inning and the rally. The Giants would load the bases against rookie Brandon Finnegan in the 6th inning and Pablo Sandoval would single to give the Giants a two run lead at 6-4 followed by a Brandon Belt single that gave San Francisco a 7-4 that the Giants bullpen would need to hold for three innings to tie up the series. San Francisco’s offense continued to pile on with four more runs to go on and easily win the game and tie the series with an 11-4 victory. The World Series is knotted back up at 2-2 and both teams are just two wins away from a World Series championship.
In Game 5 of the 2014 World Series the San Francisco Giants sent their ace Madison Bumgarner to the mound to face off with the Kansas City Royals ace James Shields in a rematch of Game One of the World Series. Bumgarner came into the contest looking to cement a World Series MVP trophy with a victory while Shields looks to rebound from a tough start and tough postseason in 2014. Shields was much better in this contest as he lasted 6.0 IP and allowed just two runs in the contest but Bumgarner was just that much better. Bumgarner pitched a complete game shutout allowing just four hits and striking out eight for his second win during this World Series. The Giants Brandon Crawford had a pair of RBI hits off Shields in the 2nd and 4th innings and had another off the oft-reliable Kelvin Herrera in the bottom of the 8th inning to put the Giants up 5-0. Juan Perez, friend and teammate of the recently Oscar Taveras, also came up with a big two run RBI double off the untouchable Wade Davis in the inning to help the Giants go on to victory. The Giants lead the series 3-2 and will look for their third World Series championship in six years on Tuesday night as the series shifts back to the American League and to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
10-20-14: The San Francisco Giants won the Wild Card this season and had to battle their way into the postseason in a one game playoff with the Pittsburgh Pirates. San Francisco blew out the first Wild Card winning Pirates to head to the NLDS to face off with the best team in the National League in 2014 in the Washington Nationals. San Francisco made quick work of the Nationals in four games in the NLDS setting up this matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals with a trip to the World Series on the line. The Giants and the Cardinals split the first two games of the series potentially setting up the longest series of the postseason thus far.
In Game Three of the NLCS the St. Louis Cardinals sent John Lackey to the mound to face off with the Giants Tim Hudson. This game was especially important for the Giants starter as he had never made an appearance past the Division Series in his postseason career and would be making his first ever start in the NLCS. The Cardinals countered with Lackey who has been on the big stage in October a million times before but didn’t pitch like it early in this one. Lackey allowed four runs in the first inning of the contest but would rebound to give the Cardinals 6.0 innings of work allowing just the four runs while striking out three on five hits. The Cardinals offense picked up Lackey in this one and continually chipped away at the lead scoring two runs in the 4th inning and a run in each of the 6th and 7th innings respectively to tie the game and get Lackey off the hook. The game tying run came off Hudson in his final batter of the game when he allowed a solo home run to Cardinals rookie outfielder Randal Grichuk. The Cardinals handed the ball to Marco Gonzales, Pat Neshek, and Seth Maness and the trio responded with a scoreless inning of relief a piece. The bullpen of the Giants with Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Casilla, Javier Lopez, and Sergio Romo held the Cardinals scoreless through nine innings as the game went into extra innings. Romo and Lopez held the Cardinals scoreless in the 10th and St. Louis sent out Randy Choate for the bottom of the 10th inning. Choate made a costly throwing error at first base that allowed the Giants to score a run and win the game to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
In Game Four of the NLCS the St. Louis Cardinals sent Shelby Miller to the mound looking to even up the series and the Giants sent Ryan Vogelsong to the mound looking for a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. Miller was not exactly what manager Mike Matheny had in mind in this contest lasting just 3.2 innings allowing three runs on six hits but neither was Vogelsong as he lasted just 3.0 allowing seven hits and four earned runs for the Giants. This game quickly became a battle of the bullpens and remained a 4-3 lead for the Cardinals until the bottom of the 6th inning. Marco Gonzales was credited with his first blown save of the series when he allowed three earned runs in just 0.2 innings on just one hit and a walk as the Giants took a 6-4 lead. Yusmeiro Petit was the pitcher of record before manager Bruce Bochy handed the ball to the Giants bullpen for three shutout innings including Sergio Casilla’s second save of the series. The Giants won the contest by the score of 6-4 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best of seven series with the Cardinals. The Giants found themselves just one win away from yet another World Series appearance this decade while the Cardinals were one loss away from heading home for the winter.
In Game Five of the NLCS the St. Louis Cardinals sent their ace Adam Wainwright to the mound looking to extend their season at least one more game. The Giants countered Wainwright with their own ace in Madison Bumgarner. This game was pitched as well as advertised between the pair of aces as Wainwright lasted 7.0 innings allowing just two runs while striking out seven. Bumgarner was even better as he lasted 8.0 innings allowing three runs as the Cardinals took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the 8th inning. Mike Matheny sent the oft-reliable Pat Neshek to the mound to hold the game for Trevor Rosenthal in the 9th inning but Mike Morse had different plans as he took the Cardinals righty deep to tie the game at 3-3 as the game headed into the 9th. Sergio Casilla and Jeremy Affeldt combined to pitch a scoreless ninth inning although St. Louis did have a hit and two walks off Casilla setting up the bottom of the 9th inning for the Giants. The Cardinals sent Michael Wacha to the mound and he had his troubles with the Giants. Wacha recorded just one out before walking a batter and allowing a hit setting up left fielder Travis Ishikawa’s chance at a walk off. Ishikawa launched a pitch off Wacha that went over the field in AT&T Park for a three run home run that would clinch the series for the Giants and send San Francisco to the World Series. The Giants won the series 4-1 for their third trip to the World Series in six seasons. The Giants NLCS MVP award went to starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
San Francisco is heading to the World Series as a second Wild Card winner to take on a fellow Wild Card winner in the Kansas City Royals. This is just the second time in Major League history that two Wild Cards have made up the pool in the World Series in the same season. Kansas City will have home field advantage for the World Series as the American League won the All Star Game this July. Congratulations to Bruce Bochy and the entire San Francisco Giants organization.
10-14-14: San Francisco started their playoff run when they won the second Wild Card spot in the National League and traveled to Pittsburgh to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in PNC Field. Pittsburgh had the 10th man advantage with the home crowd but the Giants offense quickly quieted the crowd with an early grand slam which accounted for four of the eight runs they would put on the board in that game. Madison Bumgarner pitched a complete game shutout as the Giants beat the Pirates by the score of 8-0 to advance to the NLDS to face off with the Washington Nationals, the team with the best record in the National League. San Francisco won the first two games of the series including an 18 inning affair to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in the NLDS and searched for the sweep against the top seeded Washington Nationals this week.
In Game Three of the NLDS San Francisco headed home looking for the sweep of the Washington Nationals. The Giants sent their ace Madison Bumgarner to the mound to face off against the Nationals Doug Fister in what turned out to be an old fashioned pitcher’s duel. The game was scoreless heading into the seventh inning when Asdrubal Cabrera knocked in two and Bryce Harper added a third run to put Washington up 3-0. Bumgarner’s night was done after the 7th inning as he finished with 7.0 innings pitched and three runs allowed, two earned, while Fister finished with 7.0 shutout innings of his own. Bryce Harper added a 9th inning home run off Jean Machi while Brandon Crawford added a ninth inning RBI that was too little too late as the game ended with Washington winning 4-1. Washington forced a Game Four while San Francisco still led the series 2-1 in the best of five set.
In Game Four San Francisco tried to finish the series at home and wanted to avoid heading back to Washington for a decisive fifth game by sending Ryan Vogelson to the mound. Washington looked to send the series home and keep their World Series hopes alive by sending Gio Gonzalez to the mound in a must win game for the Nats. This was another pitcher’s duel as Gonzalez went 4.0 innings allowing two runs, none earned, before handing the ball to the Washington bullpen. Harper doubled in a run in the 5th inning to pull within 2-1 and Bryce added a solo home run in the 7th inning off Giants reliever Hunter Strickland to tie the game for the Nationals. Washington handed the ball to Matt Thornton for the bottom of the 7th and he immediately gave up the lead on a Gregor Blanco RBI single to give San Francisco a 3-2 lead heading into the 8th inning. Sergio Romo pitched a perfect 8th inning for the Giants setting up San Francisco’s closer Santiago Casilla to pitch the 9th inning looking for the series clinching victory. Casilla made things interested with a 9th inning walk but struck out another batter in a 3-2 Giants victory. San Francisco won the NLDS 3-1 and headed to the NLCS to take on the St. Louis Cardinals.
In Game One of the NLCS San Francisco sent their ace Madison Bumgarner to the mound for the third time this postseason to face off with the St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright. Bumgarner was on his game in this contest and finished with a pitching line of 7.2 shutout innings striking out seven and allowing just four hits and a walk. Wainwright wasn’t as sharp as he lasted just 4.2 innings allowing three runs, two earned, while allowing six hits and three walks. Travis Ishikawa and Brandon Belt each had RBI’s in the contest while relievers Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla shut down the Cardinals to keep the shutout intact. San Francisco continues to shock the world as win in October on the road as the Giants took a 1-0 lead in the NLCS.
In Game Two of the NLCS the St. Louis Cardinals sent Lance Lynn to the mound to face off with the Giants Jake Peavy. The Cardinals brought their big bats for this game as St. Louis hit four home runs when all was said and done in this one. Matt Carpenter got the home run barrage started with a third run home run off Peavy to score the game’s first run. Both pitchers pitched well but weren’t long for the game as Peavy only lasted 4.0 innings while allowing two runs and Lynn lasted 5.2 innings and also gave up two runs as the game was tied heading into the 7th inning. San Francisco jumped out to a 3-2 lead in their half of the 7th inning but could not hold the lead as rookie outfielder Oscar Tavares hit the team’s second home run of the game to tie the game at 3-3. Pat Neshek pitched a perfect 8th inning for the Cardinals in the 8th when Matt Adams hit the team’s third home run of the contest, another solo shot, as the Cardinals took the 4-3 lead heading into the 9th inning. The Cardinals sent their closer Trevor Rosenthal to the mound looking to secure the victory but the pesky Giants offense was not going to go quietly as the team came back to tie the game at 4-4 in the top of the 9th. In the bottom of the 9th Bruce Bochy sent Sergio Romo to the mound looking to hold the tie game and force extra innings. Romo was not successful in holding down the St. Louis offense as the team hit their fourth and final solo home run of the contest, this time off the bat of Kolten Wong. The Cardinals would win the game in walk off fashion by the score of 5-4 evening up the series at 1-1 in the best of seven series.
10-7-14: The San Francisco Giants won the second Wild Card spot in the National League and barely squeaked into the postseason and had to travel on the road to play the Pittsburgh Pirates. There was not a single Giants ticket not sold for this game as the fans filed into PNC Park for what was scheduled to be a pitcher’s duel and low scoring affair. This is a one game series in the Wild Card Playoff round so the Giants sent their best starter in Madison Bumgarner and his 18 victories up against the Pirates Edinson Volquez. The Pirates were criticized for pitching their best pitcher, Gerrit Cole, on the final day of the season as the team was still mathematically alive in the NL Central division race. Volquez and the Pirates pitching staff struggled to keep the Giants offense off the base paths and allowed a total of eight earned runs. Eight runs was more than enough for the 18 game winning Bumgarner as he pitched a complete game allowing just four hits, one walk, and striking out ten batters.
With San Francisco’s victory over the Pirates they drew the NL’s best record holding Washington Nationals in the National League Division Series. San Francisco put up their eight game postseason winning streak against the Nationals Stephen Strasburg in his first career postseason start. Facing off with Strasburg in his first start was the savvy veteran and the revived Jake Peavy for the Giants. The media surrounded Strasburg as he made his first postseason start of his young career and in his first contest lasted 5.0 innings allowing two runs, one earned, while striking out just two. Peavy countered with 5.2 IP of shutout baseball of his own while striking out and walking three batters each. Peavy handed the ball to his recently reliable bullpen and the combination of Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo, and Santiago Casilla combined for 2.1 IP of shut out baseball. The only hiccup for the Giants pen was the pair of solo home runs that reliever Hunter Strickland served up to Bryce Harper and Asdrubal Cabrera. San Francisco took an early lead in the series by winning the game 3-2 and taking a 1-0 series lead over Washington. The Giants also extended their playoff winning streak to nine straight games.
In Game Two the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants played one of the longest games in postseason history as the fans were entertained by nine innings of free baseball during this 18 inning campaign. The game started with Jordan Zimmerman starting for the Nationals and Tim Hudson starting for the Giants and ended with a Tanner Roark loss and a Hunter Strickland save in a San Francisco 2-1 victory to take a 2-0 series lead. Washington held a 1-0 lead in the contest until the ninth inning when Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval tied the game with a two out RBI single scoring second baseman Joe Panik off Zimmerman who was searching for the complete game shutout. Hudson was off the hook for a loss he did not deserve after pitching 7.1 innings of one run ball striking out eight Nationals players. As the game headed into the Top of the 18th inning the Giants sent first baseman Brandon Belt to the plate and he connected with a solo home run off Roark making Yusmeiro Petit the winning pitcher for the Giants. Washington could not get anything going in the bottom of the 18th and fell to the Giants digging a bigger hole in the series. Washington will now have to win three games in a row if they want to reach the National League Championship Series.
10-1-14: After a midseason funk, the Giants rebounded nicely in August and September to grab the second NL wild-card spot. They will play the Pirates Wednesday night in the NL wildcard game. The signing of Tim Hudson in the offseason looked like to be an excellent siging mid-way through the season. Hudson earned a trip to the All-Star Game however, the second half of the season didn't go well. In his last 10 starts, Hudson posted a 1-5 record with a 5.94 ERA. San Fran did add Jake Peavy in a trade with the Red Sox back in July. Peavy posted a 6-4 record and 2.17 ERA in 12 starts.
9-30-14: The San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan will undergo season ending back surgery and will miss the entire 2014 playoffs for the team. Pagan has struggled to stay on the field since signing his four year deal worth $40 million in 2013 and has only been able to muster up 718 at bats in the last two seasons. Even without Pagan the Giants were able to hang on to the second Wild Card spot in the National League and will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates. Luckily for San Francisco the Pirates were trying to force a tiebreaker with the St. Louis Cardinals for the division and started their ace Gerrit Cole on the final game of the season making him unavailable for the one game playoff game. The Giants will send Madison Bumgarner and his 18-10 record to the mound to try and advance his team to the NLDS to face the Washington Nationals. San Francisco finished the 2014 season with a 88-74 record and officially won the second Wild Card spot after losing the tiebreakers to the Pittsburgh Pirates who had an identical record.
9-25-14: The Giants are struggling as they have dropped four out of their last five games. Currently, they’re 4.5 games back in the NL West standings. A division crown looks out of the question. Meanwhile, the red-hot Pirates have overtaken the Giants atop the NL wild-card standings, so at the very least, they will be looking to lock down home field in the Wild Card Game. They close out the season with a four-game series at home against the Padres.
9-23-14: The San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval looks all but certain to hit the free agent market this winter. The team and Sandoval had many discussions during the season pertaining to an extension but ultimately a deal was never struck and barring a late season agreement the Panda will hit free agency for the first time in his career this winter at age 28. With a weak third base market this season the Giants are likely to make one last run at Sandoval before offering a qualifying offer to the third baseman if he decided to test the market. It has been reported that the Giants are not currently negotiating or talking to any of their free agents to be about possible extensions so all signs are pointing towards Sandoval testing the market this winter. The Giants have already announced that they will offer Sandoval a qualifying offer this offseason with the expectation of him rejecting it. San Francisco would receive a draft pick as compensation if Sandoval were to sign with another team this winter. The Giants ended the week by switching the team’s Triple-A team to Sacramento, formerly the home of the Oakland Athletics Triple-A squad.
9-18-14: Despite dropping two out of three to the Dodgers over the weekend, leaving them three games back in the division race, the Giants still look poise to make the playoffs . They have a three-game lead over the Pirates for the No. 1 wild-card spot and 4.5 games altogether for a postseason spot. Their starting rotation is pitching lights out and Buster Posey has been one MLB’s hottest hitters. The Giants are hitting their stride at just the right time of the year and that could be bad news for the rest of baseball.
9-16-14: The San Francisco Giants would be in the playoffs as one of the two Wild Card teams if the season ended today but Tim Lincecum would likely be left off the playoff roster at this point. Lincecum has struggled as of late and lost his starting rotation spot to journeyman Yusmeiro Petit and would likely miss out on a roster spot to Petit and Ryan Vogelsong. Speaking of the rotation in San Francisco Jake Peavy is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career in his age 33 season. Peavye has signed three separate contract extensions and has been traded three times in his career but has never had a winter where he did not have a team. Peavy has reinvented himself as he has gotten older with a new motion and new grips on the ball as he looks to lengthen his career as a starter.
9-12-14: The Giants are again looking like the team that opened the year 42-21 and appeared to be on its way to a possible division title. They’re 2.5 games behind the reeling Dodgers and hold the No. 1 NL wild-card spot. Buster Posey has been hot since the All-Star break and he's not the only hitter who's been hot since the break. Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, Joe Panik and Michael Morse all have an OPS over .800 in the second half. The San Fran starting rotation again looks to be strength behind Madison Bumgarner and Jake Peavy. The Giants host the Dodgers this weekend in San Francisco.
9-9-14: The San Francisco Giants have called up the son of manager Bruce Brochy in Brett Bochy as a part of the September call ups and roster expansion this week. Bochy had a 3.57 ERA in 50 innings in Triple-A this season for the Giants. The Giants and soon to be free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval have not had any discussions regarding an extension. While an extension is not completely out of the question as GM Brian Sabean extended Hunter Pence and Tim Lincecum late during the 2013 season but the Giants may not be able to afford the 28 year old switch hitter. The Giants are still fighting for a playoff spot in 2014 so it makes sense that the extension talks have been shelved to the offseason. Currently San Francisco sits at 78-65 and trails the first place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West division and lead the first Wild Card race by 3.5 games over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers trail the Pirates for the shot to play San Francisco on the road by a half game each in the race.
9-4-14: The Giants are playing excellent baseball right now, and that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the
NL. San Fran was six games back in the NL West on Aug. 12th
13-6 and trimmed that deficit to just two games in the process. They look to be in a good position
to capture one of the NL wildcard spots. They have split two games with the Rockies this week
and end the week by playing the Tigers.
9-2-14: The San Francisco Giants relief pitcher turned starting pitcher Yusmeiro Petit set a new Major League Baseball record this week when he retired his 46th consecutive batter. This streak came over eight appearances and included 26 of the 46 outs by strikeout. The man that Petit replaced in the Giants rotation was troubled starter Tim Lincecum and the team announced this week that they are considering putting Lincecum in the closers role for the remainder of the 2014 season. Lincecum has had issues over the past month specifically throwing from the stretch and may be better suited to come in at the beginning of innings with the bases empty. The Giants currently sit at 74-62 in the NL West division and sit 2.5 games behind the first place Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants have won six games in a row to end the week and picked up a game on the rival Dodgers during the streak.
8-27-14: After a 42-21 start to the season, the Giants could have rolled over and died after a terrible 5-18 stretch in June. However, they haven't gone away and currently have a 1.5 game lead for the second wild-card spot in the NL. Their offense has started to pick things up, with Buster Posey, Michael Morse, Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, Joe Panik and Travis Ishikawa all hitting well this month. They split the first two games of their series versus Colorado this week and finish up the week with the Brewers. San Fran is only five games back of the Dodgers for the NL West lead.
8-26-14: The San Francisco Giants are still leading the second wild card spot by a slim margin in the National League but the team is falling out of contention in the NL West division. Heading into the end of the week the Giants are 4.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division race and currently own a 68-61 record. The Giants are slumping in the standings and part of that blame can be put on starting pitcher Tim Lincecum. Lincecum is handcuffing the Giants organization as he is in the first season of a two year deal with San Francisco worth $35 million and as he owns a 9.49 ERA over his past six starts. The best option for the Giants to replace Lincecum in the rotation is relief pitcher Yusmeiro Petit but manager Bruce Bochy is reluctant to move his reliever from the pen. Petit has retired 38 consecutive batters, 16 on strikeouts, and is just seven more consecutive outs away from tying a major league record. For now Lincecum’s next turn in the rotation is this Thursday and currently the Giants have the probably pitcher listed as a TBA.
8-20-14: Back in early June, the Giants looked like the best team in baseball at 42-21 and holding a 9.5 game lead in the NL West. They are just 25-37 in 62 games since and are trying to salvage a once promising season. They’re clinging onto a 0.5 game lead in the second NL wildcard spot. If there starting pitching doesn’t get it going quick, the Giants will be on the outside looking in come October.
8-19-14: The San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has once again stated that he would be willing to talk with the club about a contract extension but told reporters that the two sides have not spoken in months. Sandoval has steadily improved defensively at third base over the years and is slashing .283/.330/.438 with 14 home runs through 463 at bats. The playoffs may be enough to entice Sandoval to return to San Francisco but the team currently sits 3.5 games behind the first place Los Angeles Dodgers with a 65-58 record. The deficit has come down some in recent days as the Dodgers lost three straight games to end the week while the Giants won two straight games bringing both teams record to 4-6 in their last 10 games.
8-13-14: The Giants went just 1-5 last week, as they dropped two out of three to the Brewers in Milwaukee before being swept by the Royals in Kansas City over the weekend. Now, they have dropped two straight to the White Sox that leaves them 6 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West and a half-game back for the second NL wild-card spot. After their series with the White Sox, the Giants play the Phillies at home and then the Cubs on the road, so they have a prime opportunity to make up some ground on the Dodgers.
8-12-14: The San Francisco Giants have
lost their ace Matt Cain to season ending elbow surgery at the worst possible time. The team is in the middle of a dogfight with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West division title and are slipping in the standings behind LA. Last week the Giants lost two more of their players when they designated Dan Uggla and Tyler Colvin for assignment. Uggla has since been released and Colvin has been assigned to Triple-A on an outright assignment. Colvin accepted his assignment and will spend the rest of the season in the minor leagues.
8-6-14: A safe call at first base that was overturned proved to be the difference for the Giants as they were defeated by the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 Tuesday night. With two outs in the ninth inning, Brewers closer Frankie Rodriguez walked Hunter Pence. Joe Panik hit a ball to second baseman Rickie Weeks, who was shielded on the play by Pence before making his throw to first. Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke challenged the safe call, which was overturned after review. The Giants are 2.5 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West and tied with St. Louis atop the NL wildcard standings.
8-5-14: The San Francisco Giants received some terrible news to start this week as Matt Cain and his ailing elbow were sent to Dr. James Andrews for an examination. We all know Andrews is best known for bring the bearer or bad news regarding Tommy John surgery. Cain has been battling some inflammation in the right elbow but received some encouraging news that he is battling bone chips and not a torn ulnar collateral ligament. The Giants and Cain weighed their options of whether they should go ahead and get the cleanup surgery on his right elbow or try and pitch through it for the rest of the season. If Cain has the surgery now he will be out for the rest of the 2014 season but if he opts for postseason surgery he will likely be ready for Spring Training 2015. In the end Cain opted for the surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. The Giants are in a dogfight in the NL West with the Los Angeles Dodgers and for one of the two Wild Card slots so losing Cain is likely to hurt the team’s chances this summer.
7-30-14: The San Francisco Giants have added ace starting pitcher Matt Cain to the disabled list for the second time this season. This time Cain is battling elbow issues and this injury may force Brian Sabean’s hand and make him acquire a starting pitcher at the trading deadline. Jake Peavy of the Boston Red Sox is a move that seemingly makes sense on paper and could come cheap for the Giants leaving options left to acquire a right handed outfielder and/or a second baseman. The Giants called up Dan Uggla this week and immediately plugged him in at second base and batted him seventh in the lineup.
7-28-14: The Giants only lost one game each to the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies, as they continue to fight with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the top spot of the National League West. Hunter Pence’s clutch three-run double in the ninth inning helped San Francisco to Wednesday’s 3-1 victory. The Giants, who lost on Thursday and Friday, signed Dan Uggla and placed Marco Scutaro on the disabled list this past week.
7-24-14: Brandon Crawford hit a bases-clearing double to break a 14th-inning tie and Tim Lincecum earned his first career save as the Giants beat the Phillies 9-6 on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. Crawford snapped a 2-for-22 skid with his hit off the wall in left-center field and finished with four RBI for the game. The Giants, who are one game up on the Dodgers atop the NL West, improved to 8-2 in extra-inning games and 6-0 on the road this season.
7-21-14: The San Francisco Giants were said to be interested in bringing in the recently released Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla. The Giants ended the week by making the signing official with a minor league deal with the second baseman. The Braves will be on the hook for his salary this season and next and the Giants would roughly be obligated to pay Uggla roughly around $750K for parts of two seasons. The Giants are worried about Marco Scutaro and his health and wonder if he can return to his pre-injury performance. Any Uggla signing would be a huge low risk and high reward type signing as Uggla has proven he has 20-30 home run power to go with his 150-200 strikeouts a season.
7-19-14: The Giants’ final game before the All-Star break made Major League Baseball history with Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner becoming the first pitcher and catcher on the same team to hit grand slams in the same game as San Francisco defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 8-4. Although the Giants did not hit any grand slams on Friday, they beat the Miami Marlins, 9-1.
7-17-14: Through the first 63 games of the season, the Giants looked like the best team in baseball. The wheels have fallen off since, as they are just 10-22 in their last 32 games. They haven’t won more than two games in a row over that span. Just how important is Angel Pagan to this team? Last season, the Giants were 39-32 with him in the lineup and just 37-54 without him. This year, they are 37-25 with him and 15-18 without him. His return from injury will be a welcomed addition.
7-15-14: The San Francisco Giants boat is taking on some water and General Manager Brian Sabean has made any and all of his players available. The Giants are still in the thick of things in the National League West division with a 52-43 record and a one game deficit behind the Los Angeles Dodgers at the break. The problem is we all know the Dodgers will make trades and will add pieces at the deadline to improve the team. In response Sabean states that the Giants don’t have an untouchable player on their roster or in their organization although some will obviously be tougher and more expensive to get than others. The Giants did add another future trade piece when they signed their first round pick from the 2014 MLB draft in Tyler Beede from Vanderbilt. Beede received the full slot recommendation of $2,613,200 with an additional $36K in college tuition for next year.
7-14-14: The Giants have been playing only .500 baseball recently, but they are fortunate that the Los Angeles Dodgers have as well. San Francisco returned home a few days ago and has looked a little better at AT&T Park. The Giants dropped their two games in Oakland and then split their two home games with the Athletics. Then on Friday, Tim Lincecum won his fourth consecutive start as he shut down the Arizona Diamondbacks for seven scoreless innings.
7-10-14: The San Francisco Giants avoided being shut out in consecutive games for the first time since July 28-29 of 2012. With that being said, they lost for the 11th time in their past 13 games in Oakland dating to the year 2010. A’s starter Sonny Gray was outstanding as he shutdown the Giants offense for a 6-1 victory. The Giants are one game back of the Dodgers for first-place in the NL West.
7-7-14: The Giants have struggled mightily over the past few weeks. They are currently on a three-game losing streak and are officially out of first place in the National League West after having almost a double-digit game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers less than a month ago. The offense has failed this team recently, as they have been shutout three times in last five contests.
7-3-14: Tim Lincecum followed his second career no-hitter with another stellar performance, pitching eight innings to lead the San Francisco Giants past the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 on Tuesday night. He allowed four hits and struck out six, while walking just two. The Giants entered the game 1-6 on their homestand, including four straight losses to Cincinnati. It was the first time San Francisco had been swept in a four-game series at home in nearly 14 years. The Giants hold a slim ½ game lead on the Dodgers in NL West play.
7-2-14: The San Francisco Giants Tim Lincecum threw a no hitter this week against the San Diego Padres. This is the second time in two seasons Lincecum has thrown a no hitter against the Padres. Lincecum himself even had two hits and a walk in the contest to add insult to injury for the Friars. The Giants needed the big time pitching outing and the victory as the team has been struggling as of late with a 3-7 record in their last 10 games. With the slide the Giants have lost the best record in the National League to the Milwaukee Brewers and only lead the Los Angeles Dodgers in the division by one game. The Giants had the Dodgers buried just two weeks ago and now it’s looking like it will be a long and fun summer out west this season.
6-30-14: Before winning the final two games of their series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Giants had been going through a difficult stretch. Then, after San Francisco dropped two homes games to the San Diego Padres, Tim Lincecum threw the second no-hitter of his career on Wednesday. He struck out six Padres and gave up just one walk. However, the Giants placed Angel Pagan on the disabled list and dropped the first two games of their series with the Cincinnati Reds.
6-26-14: Tim Hudson lost for the first time at home this season, allowing six runs, four of them earned, on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings of work as Giants fell to San Diego 7-2 Tuesday night. San Fran has now loss 12 of their past 15 games played. Angel Pagan took batting practice and was to be re-evaluated to determine whether he’ll in the lineup or put on the DL. He has missed eight consecutive games with back tightness. The Giants have a slim three game lead atop the NL West over the surging Dodgers.
6-24-14: The San Francisco Giants have won the Daniel Carbonell sweepstakes after signing the Cuban defecting outfielder for $3.5 million for four seasons including a $1 million signing bonus. The Giants do not expect Carbonell to reach the majors in 2014 and are not comparing him to the likes of Yoenis Cespedes or Yasiel Puig, Carbonell is more of a project at this point in his career. The Giants are also said to be in on the Jeff Samardzija and David Price sweepstakes after sustaining an extended losing streak this week with the pitching struggling mightily.
6-18-14: Hunter Pence went 2-for-4 with a home run for the Giants, but it wasn’t enough as San Fran fell to the White Sox 8-2 Tuesday night. The Giants have now dropped four straight and seven of their last eight. Giants starter Matt Cain fell to 1-5 on the year and allowed eight runs, seven earned, and 10 hits in five innings. Yikes! It’s not panic time yet in the Bay Area as the Giants still hold a comfortable five game lead on the Dodgers in the NL West.
6-17-14: The San Francisco Giants may be looking to add some depth at second base this trading deadline but are not said to be interested in adding any starting pitching. The reason for this is San Francisco seems unwilling to make starting pitcher Tim Lincecum a $17 million relief pitcher again, and really who could blame them. Speaking of the Giants bullpen they designated David Huff for assignment and promptly traded him to the New York Yankees for cash considerations. The Giants are also said to have the most interest in acquiring the Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija which could make this a scary pitching staff if they acquire the ERA leader and young right hander. The Giants are also said to be very interested in the Phillies second basemen Chase Utley but it seems unlikely that Utley would waive his ten and five trade rights to accommodate any trade out of Philadelphia.
6-10-14: The San Francisco Giants took Tyler Beede from Vanderbilt University with the 14th overall pick in the 2014 MLB First Year Players Draft on Thursday. The Giants also designated left handed starting pitcher David Huff for assignment to make room for Matt Cain to finally come off the disabled list. Huff lost his roster spot with the New York Yankees to Masahiro Tanaka and will now look elsewhere for a roster spot after posting a 6.30 ERA this season in San Francisco. The Giants are still the best team in all of the major leagues with a 41-21 record and are absolutely running away with their division leading the second place Dodgers by 9.5 games heading into this week.
6-3-14: The San Francisco Giants almost had another no hitter when Tim Lincecum had a no hitter going through five innings before being lifted due to a high pitch count. The Giants had the no hitter going into the seventh inning when Jeremy Affeldt gave up a hit to end the bid for history. The Giants are still working internally at signing Pablo Sandoval to a contract extension before his current deal runs out at the end of 2014 and speculation states that the deal could get done by the All Star Break. The Giants need Sandoval back as the third base market is incredibly thin this offseason and more importantly Sandoval is an incredibly popular player with the fans.
5-28-14: The San Francisco Giants have taken the best record in baseball away from the Milwaukee Brewers and have kept on rolling putting some distance between themselves and the rest of the National League West division. There has been a committee formed to find the new commissioner of Major League Baseball to replace current commissioner Bud Selig and the Giants President Larry Baer could be a candidate. No word on whether the home town San Franciscan would want to give up his current job with his favorite team but it’s not often you get the shot at being the commissioner of baseball so that may be enough to change his mind. The Giants took Matt Cain out of his last start with an injury and will skip his next start because of the hamstring injury.
5-21-14: The San Francisco Giants have already lost their best hitter in Brandon Belt to a thumb injury and are now dealing with catcher Buster Posey being listed as day to day with a nerve irritation in his lower back. Back injuries and catchers are never a great match so the Giants will be extra cautious with Posey while he deals with this injury. All told the Giants have taken the best record in the National League from the Milwaukee Brewers and continue to be the best team in the major leagues that nobody ever talks about. The Giants tried to get even better by hiring Tony LaRussa but San Francisco was said to be happy with the guys calling the shots in their baseball operations and told reporters that LaRussa was not interested in an advisory role only. Either way the Giants look primed for another deep October run and may put the rest of the National League on notice before it’s all said and done.
5-15-14: The San Francisco Giants have the best record in Major League Baseball through two weeks of May and nobody outside of California probably knows it. The Giants are one of the most underrated and not talked about teams in all of baseball. The Giants have done it with pitching, even though they recently lost ace starting pitcher Matt Cain to an injury, and with hitting, even though their first basemen Brandon Belt is on the disabled list, for a total team effort. The Giants have been doing all their winning without much help from their third basemen, and soon to be free agent, Pablo Sandoval who started the season hitting just .191/.262/.294 through his first 194 plate appearances. The Giants and Sandoval were said to be in discussions for a contract extension but those talks have been put on hold and do not look likely to be brought back up until after the season. The Giants still, against all odds, are trying to run away with the National League West division.
5-7-14: The San Francisco Giants may be the best team in all of baseball that nobody is talking about right now after an impressive first month of the season. The Giants find themselves in first place in the National League West division and are leading the Colorado Rockies and the heavy spending Los Angeles Dodgers by a comfortable margin after the first 30 games of the 2014 season. The Giants are leading all of baseball in home runs and hitting in one of the biggest and most pitcher friendly parks in all of Major League Baseball. The Giants have been on a hot streak as of late that included winning nine of their last ten games including six in a row to take control of the division. You have to take the good with the bad though and the Giants recently lost one of their top prospects to Tommy John surgery although it wasn't a pitcher, it was top hitting prospect Mac Williamson. Williamson is the Giants fifth best prospect and was ranked 8th overall by MLB.com and will miss the rest of the 2014 season with the injury.
4-28-14: The San Francisco Giants are sitting at the top of the National League West division at the time of this writing on the backs and the bat of Brandon Belt who is tearing up the league while playing first base in San Francisco. The Giants worry about distractions though as their third baseman Pablo Sandoval is set to be a free agent after the 2014 season and is in the middle of a contract extension discussion with the team. Sandoval was recently looking at a contract in the neighborhood of five years and $90-$100 million but recent reports have stated Sandoval's price has increased. The Giants started the discussion at three years and $40 million so these two are far apart in talks that could last all season long. Voting has opened up for the 2014 MLB All Star Game for this July so remember to vote your favorite San Francisco Giants into the game.
4-14-14: The San Francisco Giants nearly had their second walk-off, inside-the-park home run against the Colorado Rockies in as many years on Sunday, as Gregor Blanco was gunned-down at the plate in the nick of time. Fortunately, Brandon Crawford was able to pick him up, crushing a solo shot into the bay in the 10th to give San Francisco a 5-4 win. Madison Bumgarner was shaky on the mound on Friday, but picked himself up with his performance at the plate. He knocked-in five of the Giants’ six runs on the day, including a grand slam in the 4th for his third career home run.
4-7-14: The San Francisco Giants played spoiler very well against their rivals over the weekend, taking two of three from the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. Madison Bumgarner was untouchable in his start Saturday, limiting the Dodgers to just two runs on eight hits as he fanned 10 in 6.1 innings. San Francisco (5-2) have already scored 40 runs on the season, which is a welcome sign for a team that struggled to push runs across a year ago. Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan have been leading the way, with a combined five home runs and 15 RBI in seven games.
4-1-14: Madison Bumgarner’s first start of the season did not go as planned, as the San Francisco Giants’ phenom lasted just four innings, allowing four runs on six hits. However, San Francisco’s offense was up to the task, as they countered with five runs of their own off of Arizona’s starter, Brandon McCarthy. Buster Posey busted the 7-7 tie with a two-run shot in the 9th that proved to be the difference as the Giants hung on to win it, 9-8.
3-27-14: The San Francisco Giants are inching closer to finalizing their 25 and 40 man rosters as they requested release waivers for Tony Abreu and his 40 man roster spot. The Giants would only be on the hook for a quarter of his $745K salary for 2014. The release of Abreu has made the last week of spring training interesting in the competition for the last bench spot on the team between Ehire Adrianza and non-roster invitee Brandon Hicks. Adrianza is getting a long look this spring because he is out of options and the Giants run the risk of losing him if he does not make the roster out of spring camp. The Giants have one more piece of business to take care of before Opening Day as Pablo Sandoval wants an extension before the 2014 season begins. The Giants offered the Panda a three year deal in the $40 million range which was rejected immediately. Sandoval wants a Hunter Pence type extension, which was in the five years and $90 million range, so things could be really interesting all season long out in San Francisco in 2014.
3-20-14: The San Francisco Giants have had a quiet offseason and that may not be a bad thing for them. Buster Posey is being Buster Posey this spring knocking the cover off the ball and playing gold glove defense behind the dish. Posey may be the happiest of all players when it comes to MLB basically banning home plate collisions as he lost a bulk of a season due to a knee injury caused by a home plate collision. The Giants are quietly above .500 in the Cactus League this season but are only 4-6 in their last 10 games, losing four straight games. Barry Bonds was also back in Giants spring training camp for the first time since the PED and steroid allegations caused a collusion of Bonds as a free agent and forced the All-Time home run king into retirement. Matt Cain will start on Opening Day for the Giants when San Francisco tries to take back the National League West crown from their rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
3-13-14: The San Francisco Giants are an exciting team to watch right now, especially if you are a Barry Bonds fan. Bonds made his return to baseball this spring training as a guest instructor for the Giants. The Giants are young and stacked with starting pitching but the problem with the Giants this spring is the same problem they have been plagued with the past three seasons or so, they do not score enough runs. You don't worry about allowing more runs in the spring then you score, especially when you have a winning record, but offense sells tickets and chicks dig the long ball. Maybe the addition of Mike Morse and the emergence of Brandon Belt the Giants can get back to the Bonds days of slugging the ball and filling the seats.
3-5-14: The San Francisco Giants have named Madison Bumgarner start opening day. The choice between he and Matt Cain but manager Bruce Boche said that he chose Bumgarner to award the young pitcher for his outstanding 2013 campaign. In other news the Giants and first baseman Brandon belt avoided arbitration as both sides came to terms on a one year deal worth $2.9 million.
1-24-14: In 2014 the San Francisco will welcome back former MVP Buster Posey who will provide a much needed spark which was missing all last year for the Giants. Madison Bumgarner was able to be the best pitcher on a staff that already had two time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum and All-Star Matt Cain giving them one of the best rotations in the leagues.
1-7-14: Last month the San Francisco Giants agreed to terms on a one-year deal with outfielder Michael Morse worth a reported $6 million. The Giants are also in talks to extend two of their current players in Pablo Sandoval and starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong.
12-9-13: The San Francisco Giants had an off year last year despite having many of the same faces in uniform that led them to the World Series just a couple years back. Recently the Giants re-signed picture Ryan Foglesong to a one-year deal with $5 million. The Giants are also in talks with outfielder Jeff Francore who just underwent LASIK surgery is hoping to join the team as a backup outfielder. Last season the Giants won only 76 games overall, but were able to post a 44-32 record against a weak divsion. The Giants also finished 8th overall in the Major Leagues in terms of team batting average. Despite rumors of moving first baseman Brandon belt into the outfield the Giants have come out and said that that will not happen and he will remain at first base.
8/21/13 - After contending for the last couple of years and winning last year's World Series San Francisco Giants find themselves in unfamiliar territory. At 13 games under .500 they are 17 games out of the division and in fourth place. Last night the Giants walked off against the Red Sox when Marco Scudero to the bases on balls forcing in the winning run In the bottom of the ninth inning. Catcher Buster Posey was 0-3 With one RBI and one strike out. After the Boston series the Giants will remain home for a four-game weekend wraparound series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
8/6/13 - Much to everyone’s surprise the San Francisco Giants are still in last place with a record of 50-61. They are only 4-6 in their last 10 games and currently 12 games out of first place in the division. This week they will host the Milwaukee Brewers in a four-game set.
7/19/13 - San Francisco Giants have followed up the World Series title with a disappointing season after. At 43 – 51 they’re in fourth-place NL West division. The Giants are 6.5 games out of first place the division and a full 9.5 games out of the National League wildcard race. Offensively they are led by 26-year-old catcher Buster Posey who is batting .325. After the All-Star break the Giants will face the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Giants have the seventh best team batting average in baseball hitting .264. Madison Bumgarner Leads the pitching staff with a record of 10 – 5 and an ERA of 3.02.
7/7/13 - Three San Francisco Giants were chosen for the 2013 National League all-stars. Left-hand pitcher Madison Bumgarner will make his first appearance, catcher Buster Posey will make his third appearance, and Marco Scutaro will also be making his first ASG appearance.
6/12/13 - After winning the World Series in sweeping fashion over the Tigers The San Francisco Giants currently find themselves in third place. This week they'll embark on a road trip against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Atlanta Braves. Pitching is always been the staple of the Giant's success however uncharacteristically this season they have a team ERA of 4.14. Tim Lincicum is averaging 9.16 strikeouts per nine innings. The San Francisco Giants are a team that can get hot at any point in the season and make a serious playoff push.