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MLB Team Report - San Francisco Giants - INSIDE PITCH
The Giants haven't been the same since Angel Pagan hit a walk-off, inside-the-park homer May 25.
Pagan hasn't played a game hitting his inside-the-parker, thanks to a bum hamstring that required surgery, and the Giants' season went in the tank.
At the end of that day, they were five games above .500 (27-22) and tied for first place in the NL West. Now they're 13 under (50-63) and in last place, all alone. They've dropped two in a row to the Brewers, including Wednesday's 6-1 defeat.
Now Pagan's expected back around Sept. 1, though that's likely too late to make a difference.
"He's coming around. He's actually doing quite well," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He'll have to (go on a rehab assignment) -- I don't know when we'll start that -- but it's good to hear that he's upbeat and he'll be playing in September."
Pagan was the Giants' leadoff man in their championship season of 2012. Without him, Gregor Blanco and Andre Torres were so ineffective that Baker inserted Marco Scutaro and then Hunter Pence atop the lineup this week.
Pence went 0-for-4 Wednesday in his leadoff debut for the Giants. San Francisco leadoff men have now gone hitless in their last 22 at-bats.
Giants leadoff hitters have combined to go a shockingly bad 6-for-74 (.081) with just five runs in 19 games since the All-Star break.
MLB Team Report - San Francisco Giants - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost two
PAST 10 GAMES: 4-6
NEXT: Brewers (Donovan Hand, 0-3, 3.60) at Giants (Tim Lincecum, 5-11, 4.43)
--LHP Madison Bumgarner wasn't just a hard-luck loser Wednesday. He was denied a small piece of Giants history because of one bad inning. Bumgarner was attempting to become the first Giants pitcher in 44 years to pitch at least seven innings and give up no more than three runs in 10 consecutive starts. He appeared well on his way with seven shutout innings. However, the eighth went about as poorly as possible, as his own throwing error contributed to a four-run Brewers uprising that helped produce a 6-1 Giants defeat. The Giants weren't credited with any other errors in the inning, but LF Roger Kieschnick just missed a double by Brewers INF Yuniesky Betancourt that helped set the stage for the flurry of runs. Also Giants SS Brandon Crawford failed to get an out on a routine grounder, double-clutching a throw on what was generously ruled a hit by Brewers INF Jeff Bianchi. Bumgarner has now lost three of his last four starts despite pitching well enough to win them all.
--RHP Tim Lincecum will make his first home start Thursday since the trade deadline came and went without a deal for the two-time Cy Young Award winner. How long Lincecum remains a Giant will be determined this offseason, when his contract expires. In the meantime, the right-hander will attempt to prove -- to the Giants as well as any potential suitor -- his future is as a starter. He's certainly looked the part in recent outings. He allowed only three earned runs over 14 innings in two starts that sandwiched last week's trade deadline. His career numbers against Thursday's foe, the Brewers, are mediocre: 3-3 with a 4.59 ERA in nine starts.
--RF Hunter Pence batted leadoff for the first time in his Giants career in Wednesday's 6-1 loss to the Brewers. Given how San Francisco leadoff hitters have performed lately, it went predictably poorly. Pence went 0-for-4 in the game, meaning Giants leadoff men now have gone 22 consecutive at-bats without a hit. Chances are Pence will get another shot Thursday because, well, manager Bruce Bochy's options are limited. The Giants have tried OF Gregor Blanco, OF Andres Torres and 2B Marco Scutaro in the leadoff spot since CF Angel Pagan got injured in May. None has done even an adequate job. The Giants leader in hits (122) entering the game, Pence had batted leadoff 32 times in his career prior to coming to the Giants. However, he posted just a .320 on-base percentage in those games, so it was determined he's better suited batting in the middle of the lineup. The Giants might soon draw that conclusion as well.
--2B Marco Scutaro took two cracks at the Giants' leadoff spot this week and failed miserably, going 0-for-9. Chances are he won't be called upon to do that again. Not that the Giants have a whole lot of other options. It's just that Scutaro was doing fine batting second, where he earned a spot on the All-Star team with an average that's hovered in the .320 range most of the season. It's down to .302 now after the leadoff experiment, prompting manager Bruce Bochy to give the 37-year-old the night off Wednesday. Scutaro is expected to return -- in the No. 2 spot -- in Thursday's series finale against the Brewers.
--OF Jeff Francoeur has hit just .210 since joining the Giants last month. That's not very good, but it's great by comparison when placed alongside OF Gregor Blanco's .067 mark since the All-Star break and OF Andres Torres' .177 average since July 1. So when manager Bruce Bochy went looking for a center fielder to potentially add a little punch to the lineup Wednesday, he opted for Francoeur's offense over the far better defense of the other two candidates. The start in center field was his first as a Giant and just the seventh of his major league career, five of which came with his first team, the Atlanta Braves. Then again, the Braves had a good reason to give Francoeur only limited opportunities in center field. They had a guy named CF Andrew Jones patrolling those pastures for years. Francoeur went 0-for-3 in Wednesday's 6-1 loss to the Brewers. The Giants don't exactly employ a guy like Jones, so it's possible Francoeur will get another shot at center field soon.
--RHP Yusmeiro Petit, designated for assignment by the Giants after the July 28 game, subsequently cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Fresno. Petit threw 5 1/3 innings of two-run ball in his lone outing for San Francisco.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Our execution killed us in the eighth. We're playing like where we're at (in the standings) right now. It shouldn't happen but it did, and to get this kind of pitching and not get some wins, shame on us." -- Manager Bruce Bochy, after the Giants gave up four runs in the eighth inning en route to a 6-1 loss to the Brewers.
MLB Team Report - San Francisco Giants - ROSTER REPORT
--RHP Ryan Vogelsong (broken right hand) went on the 15-day disabled list May 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 8. He underwent surgery May 21. He threw off flat ground July 1. He threw a bullpen session July 11. He began a rehab assignment July 23 in the rookie-level Arizona League, then pitched July 26 for Class A San Jose and July 30 and Aug. 4 for Double-A Richmond. He will come off the disabled list for an Aug. 9 start.
--INF Tony Abreu (bursitis left knee) went on the 15-day disabled list July 29.
--LHP Jeremy Affeldt (left groin strain) went on the 15-day disabled list July 21.
--CF Angel Pagan (torn left hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 28, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL July 5. An MRI revealed bursitis, and he received a cortisone shot May 29. He began a rehab assignment with Class A San Jose on June 20, but he fell while running the bases and was carted off. He had surgery June 25. He might be able to return late this season.
RHP Matt Cain
LHP Madison Bumgarner
RHP Tim Lincecum
RHP Chad Gaudin
RHP Sergio Romo (closer)
LHP Jose Mijares
LHP Javier Lopez
RHP Sandy Rosario
RHP Santiago Casilla
RHP Jean Machi
LHP Barry Zito
RHP Guillermo Moscoso
1B Brandon Belt
2B Marco Scutaro
SS Brandon Crawford
3B Pablo Sandoval
INF Brett Pill
INF Joaquin Arias
LF Jeff Francoeur
CF Gregor Blanco
RF Hunter Pence
OF Andres Torres
OF Roger Kieschnick