Barry Zito is selling Villa Della Place for $11.45M
The Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw matchup lived up to the hype, as both walked none and struck out 10 as the Giants took over first place in the NL West with a 2-1 win over the Dodgers. Bumgarner allowed four hits to Kershaw’s six, and two fewer runs as well as both worked eight innings.
This is the ninth time since 1957 that two starters combined for 20 or more strikeouts without walking a batter. On July 12, 1997, Roger Clemens and Aaron Sele combined for 27 K without a walk, the most in that time.
More interesting, however, is that three of those nine games happened this season. On July 15, A.J. Burnett and Yovani Gallardo combined to strike out 21, and on May 24, Dan Haren and Jason Vargas struck out 20. We even had a 19 K game on August 3 between Josh Johnson and Gio Gonzalez. There’s been a lot of talk this year about strikeouts being up, but the elite pitchers don’t seem to be walking many batters, either.
On this day in baseball history in 1957, Giants president Horace Stoneham violated baseball’s protocol for announcements about teams relocating to new cities by failing to wait until after the World Series. Stoneham cited declining attendance to the press as to why the Giants were headed to San Francisco to play their home games for the following season. The team’s board of directors approved the move by the vote of 8-1 with M. Donald Grant casting the lone dissenting vote. Grant would later go on to become the chairman of the expansion Mets.
Here’s the latest news and headlines from around the league…
Melky Cabrera‘s suspension ensures that the beleaguered outfielder won’t see the field again until the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean he can’t win the NL batting title, writes Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com. Doyel suggests MLB commissioner Bud Selig should intervene and prevent Cabrera from receiving the award if he finishes the season with the highest batting average in the league. Andrew McCutchen currently leads the NL with a .356 average entering Sunday’s action as compared to Cabrera’s .346 mark with 43 games to go.
The Mets may have a trade partner for Johan Santana this offseason if the left-hander can regain the strong form he’s occasionally displayed this season, opines Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino looks at the Dodgers as a possible fit for the former two-time Cy Young winner given their newly-minted deep wallets. With Santana guaranteed over $25MM next season, the Mets may elect to keep their struggling ace rather than pay $20MM to watch him pitch for another team.
Bobby Valentine never had a chance as the manager of the Red Sox given the state of the franchise from top to bottom, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. When Boston brought Valentine aboard to replace Terry Francona this offseason, it was getting a brilliant baseball mind who could identify talent at an expert level but was prone to a soap opera from time to time. As Heyman puts it, the Red Sox never should have hired Valentine if they were just going to cut his vocal chords mere months later in the wake of the Kevin Youkilis incident.
Alexi Amarista went two for four with his fourth triple of the season as the Padres downed the Giants 7-1. The 23-year-old second baseman is living up to his minor league numbers. Twenty of his 56 hits this season went for extra bases, mostly doubles and triples. He doesn’t walk much, so his OBP is very dependent on his batting average. Right now, those stand at .259 and .297.
I like that the Padres bat him down in the order, sixth today. With a low OBP, you don’t want Alexi batting near the top of the order. With the kind of power that works at PETCO, batting him sixth gives him an opportunity to drive in runs. Right now, he’s better at finishing an offensive sequence than starting one.
We’ll see how he continues to develop. He hit for a high average in the minors, so his OBP was pretty good. If he gets his BA above .270 and walks more, he could be an Elvis Andrus type hitter.
With the loss, the Giants fall 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the race for the NL West title.
In today’s column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that despite the perception that Jacoby Ellsbury would like to leave Boston down the line, a source says that he would actually like to stay if at all possible. Neither side has asked the other to consider a long-term deal, but that could certainly change in the offseason. Here’s more from Cafardo..
In last week’s column, Cafardo wrote that Braves officials thought Michael Bourn would not re-sign when he becomes a free agent due to a less-than-stellar track record with Scott Boras clients. However, Boras told Cafardo that he has had an excellent relationship with General Manager Frank Wren and the club as a whole. The agent says he is not ruling out Atlanta at all and added that Bourn enjoys playing there.
The Red Sox are very interested in pursuing a new deal with Cody Ross, who will be coming off of a one-year, $3MM pact this winter. With many teams in need of a righthanded bat, he could likely net a Josh Willingham-type three-year, $21MM deal.
The Orioles, Nationals, and Dodgers may be among teams looking at Red Sox pitcher Aaron Cook now that he is on trade waivers.
Mariners pitcher Kevin Millwood has not been placed on trade waivers yet but he could be one of the more sought-after pitchers once he is. “He’s got ice water in his veins and he knows how to get big outs,” said a veteran scout. “A guy like that isn’t going to do the Mariners any good going forward but he could solidify a rotation.”
Cubs personnel are disappointed that Alfonso Soriano won’t waive his 10-and-5 rights to go to the Giants. The outfielder doesn’t want to play in a colder climate that could adversely affect his hitting.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (video link) has posted his latest edition of Full Count, so let’s dive in..
The Rangers likely promotion of top prospect Jurickson Profar doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll trade Elvis Andrus this offseason, but its possible. Profar is 19-years-old with many years of club control ahead of him while Andrus has only two years left on his contract after this season. Andrus is a Scott Boras client, making an extension unlikely.
The Padres want one more piece for their rotation to support Clayton Richard and Edinson Volquez and Chase Headley could be the piece to help them make that happen. San Diego didn’t get the prospect package that they wanted for Headley before the deadline but they could get a solid big league pitcher for him this winter.
The Giants made a serious run at Ichiro Suzuki at the deadline before he wound up with the Yankees. GM Brian Sabean instead went for Hunter Pence as he felt the lineup needed more power. Rosenthal wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants pursue Ichiro in free agency, depending on how they feel about re-signing Melky Cabrera.
A source told Rosenthal that the Pirates could have gotten Shane Victorino from the Phillies before the deadline for Brad Lincoln. Of course, Pittsburgh instead sent Lincoln to the Blue Jays for Travis Snider.
The Giants are seeking outfield help following Melky Cabrera‘s 50-game suspension but in the short-term, they’ll look to work with what they have in-house. More on the situation in San Francisco..
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter) notes that the Phillies sent money to the Giants in the Hunter Pence deal. The Giants still won’t have an easy time finding an outfielder, but money shouldn’t hinder their pursuit.
As General Manager Brian Sabean insisted yesterday, the Giants’ pursuit of Hunter Pence started long before whispers of Cabrera’s suspension began circulating, tweets Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Schulman notes that the Giants tried to get Pence last July, when Cabrera was still a member of the Royals.
However, the price tag for Pence was different this time around, Schulman tweets. The Astros were seeking Zack Wheeler plus another prospect for Pence and were seeking the same for Michael Bourn. The Giants acquired Pence from the Phillies for right fielder Nate Schierholtz, minor league reliever Seth Rosin, and minor league catcher/first baseman Tommy Joseph.
We took a look at both Western divisions earlier today, now we’ll zero in on just the National League side..
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter) wonders if Jeff Francoeur could be a fit for the Giants. Rosenthal notes that the outfielder, owed $6.75MM next season, would likely would clear waivers. However, the Royals couldn’t be expected to just give him away.
It has been widely speculated that the Giants acquired Hunter Pence as a response to rumors surrounding Melky Cabrera‘s possible suspension, but GM Brian Sabean denied that being a factor, writes Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. ”We tried to acquire [Pence] at the deadline last year and he was going to be a Giant if we could find a way to do it this year,” Sabean said. The GM also said that there was nothing “too compelling or interesting” available on the waiver wire.
The new Padres ownership could take the club in a number of directions, writes Chris Jenkins of U-T San Diego. The sale of the team is now complete as it was approved at the owners meetings this week.
Wednesday was a busy day for baseball’s two West divisions, as the Giants lost Melky Cabrera for 50 games while Felix Hernandez threw the first perfect game in Mariners history. Here is Thursday’s news and notes from the left coast…
Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle says the Giants have a decision to make in the wake of Cabrera’s suspension. The 28-year-old is due to become a free agent after the season and team seemed likely to explore a multiyear extension before yesterday’s news broke.
Giants GM Brian Sabean has not been much of an Alfonso Soriano fan through the years, so he seems unlikely to pursue him following Cabrera’s suspension according to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Yesterday we heard that Soriano is unlikely to approve a trade to San Francisco anyway.
Joel Sherman of The New York Post wonders if the Mariners‘ willingness to commit to Hernandez and Hernandez’s willingness to remain in Seattle will fall in line when the right-hander hits free agency after 2014.
In a chat with David Laurila of FanGraphs, David Murphy says getting traded to the Rangers was the best possible opportunity for him and his career. Murphy was part of the trade that sent Eric Gagne to the Red Sox in 2007.
The Giants are seeking outfield help following Melky Cabrera‘s 50-game suspension, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). For now the team plans to promote Justin Christian from Triple-A and stick with Gregor Blanco, Angel Pagan, and Hunter Pence as the regulars.
Rosenthal reports that Scott Hairston and Juan Pierre have yet to be placed on trade waivers, though the Diamondbacks would likely block both players from getting to San Francisco. Arizona has a higher waiver priority and both Hairston (approximately $300K) and Pierre ($200K) are reasonably priced for the remainder of the season. Alfonso Soriano remains unlikely to approve a trade to the 2010 World Champs.
Kevin Millwood and Josh Beckett still have yet to be placed on waivers according to Rosenthal. The Red Sox have put a handful of players through waivers but otherwise have remained quiet this month.
Tom Tango notes that writers are likely to be outraged if Melky Cabrera wins the batting championship.
Personally, I think the American League should be more outraged that Melky’s performance in the All-Star game led to the NL getting home field advantage this season. Quite possibly, the Dodgers, Cardinals and Pirates should be outraged that all the games Melky helped the Giants win might keep those teams out of the playoffs. The batting title is the least outrageous thing to come of this. Of course, the Dodgers can’t complain too much since they did have the Manny Ramirez factor in 2008.
I wonder if there should be a penalty for a team, especially when someone is caught like this in season. Cabrera has generated 4.5 wins above replacement (WAR) according to FanGraphs. Round that to five, and retroactively replace a Giants win with a loss against the five closest opponents in the races. So if the Dodgers, Pirates, Cardinals, Braves, and Diamondbacks lost to the Giants this year, each would get one of those losses changed to a win, and the Giants would get five more losses. Dock the teams, and maybe they’ll keep a better eye on the players. (And yes, I realize this will never get past the union.)
Alfonso Soriano told Theo Epstein & Co. that he would not accept a trade to the Giants when San Francisco showed interest in him prior to the July 31st deadline. The club may have renewed interest in the veteran after Melky Cabrera was hit with a 50-game suspension, but the Cubs outfielder says that he still doesn’t think that the Giants would be a good fit for him, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. ”San Francisco is not good weather to play in. It’s on the West Coast and I’ve never played on the West Coast. We’ll see what happens if they call. I’ll talk to my family then and see. It’s not my call. I know it’s 50 percent of my call, but it’s my family’s [call] too. I’d talk to my family and see what happens,” Soriano said. More on Cabrera and the Giants..
The suspension changes the complexion of the National League West race, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Cabrera theoretically could return to action for the sixth game of the postseason, but it’s unlikely that the Giants would leave a roster spot open for him without knowing what he’ll be able to contribute.
Cabrera’s sudden turnaround in San Francisco seemed too good to be true, and it turns out that it was, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. It’s possible that teams will entirely discount his strong play in 2012 when he’s on the open market this winter, but others may seize the opportunity to buy low.
Cabrera’s agents didn’t pursue an in-season extension once they were notified of his positive test, Heyman tweets.
There’s no doubt that the Giants heard of Cabrera’s positive test at the time they acquired Hunter Pence, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. While the official word didn’t come out until this afternoon, there were strong whispers of the news in late July.
Dave Cameron of Fangraphs opines that Cabrera might have cost himself $60-70MM this winter. Cameron also doesn’t see the 28-year-old having many suitors in free agency.
The Giants appear to be in serious trouble without their star slugger, but that doesn’t mean that the Dodgers can rest on their laurels and celebrate, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times.
Via Hank Schulman, the Giants are tentatively scheduled to visit Yankee Stadium during interleague play next season. It would only be San Francisco’s second trip to the Bronx in the last 50 years — the Bombers took two of three in 2002, but that series was all about Barry Bonds hitting a ball to the moon damn near the top of the upper deck in the Old Stadium. The Yankees lost two of three to the Giants out in California in 2007.
Last month we heard that the Yankees are tentatively scheduled to open next season at home with three games against the Red Sox, and that they were likely to face the NL West during interleague. This Giants stuff reinforces that and it’ll be neat given the club’s New York roots, but with all due respect to the 2010 World Champs, I’m still hoping we get to see Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw do their thing in Yankee Stadium next year.
Post from: River Ave. Blues A New York Yankees blog
Giants tentatively scheduled to visit Yankee Stadium in 2013
Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, reports ESPN’s Jorge Arangure (on Twitter). MLB has confirmed both the suspension and that substance was testosterone. The suspension takes effect immediately and will cost him the rest of the season.
“My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used,” said Cabrera through a statement, courtesy of Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle (on Sulia). “I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down.”
Cabrera, 28, was in the middle of a breakout season and is scheduled to hit free agency this coming winter. Both Melky and the team recently agreed to put contract extension talks on hold. Cabrera hit .346/.390/.516 with 11 homers in 501 plate appearances during his first season in San Francisco, earning him his first All-Star Game nomination.
Ryan Braun was suspended for a failed PED test this past offseason but successfully appealed and did not miss any games. Cabrera will not do the same based on his statement. He was set to hit the open market as one of the most coveted free agents available due to his age and production, but the suspension will surely impact his next contract, perhaps in a real big way.
Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com confirmed that Cabrera will be eligible to play in the postseason once his suspension is over (Twitter link). He would have to miss his team’s first four games, however. The Giants are currently tied atop the NL West with the Giants at 64-53.
The Giants beat the Nationals 6-1 behind a five-hitter by Madison Bumgarner, and three hit games by Marco Scutaro, Hunter Pence, and Brandon Belt. The Giants remain tied for first in the NL West with the Dodgers. The Cardinals beat the Diamondbacks 8-2 to put some distance between those two teams in the wild card race, Matt Holliday continuing his power hitting with his 23rd home run. Matt got off to a slow start, but is slugging nearly .600 since the middle of May.
With the Dodgers beating the Pirates earlier, the race for the second wild card slot became very interesting. One game now separates the Pirates, the NL West leaders, and the Cardinals. If the Dodgers and Giants end up tied for the NL West, and tied with one or more teams for the second wild card, we’ll have a fun few days of playoffs. The NL West teams would play for the division, then the loser would go into a playoff for the second wild card position, and the winner of that would need to play the first wild card for the right to go to the NLDS. If we end up with three teams tied for the second wild card that would require a two-day playoff. So in the best case scenario, we are looking at four days of playoff games to determine a first round team, the Giants or Dodgers potentially playing in all four games, potentially in four different cities.
The Nationals chase Ryan Vogelsong after 2 2/3 innings. The Nationals used six singles and two doubles to score eight runs, seven in the third inning. Kurt Suzuki had the big blow with a bases loaded double. Vogelsong gave up eight runs in his previous seven home starts. The Giants have their work cut out, facing Gio Gonzalez.
The AP notes Drew Pomeranz‘s short start Saturday afternoon seems to be normal for the Rockies:
The Rockies starters have pitched four innings or fewer a major league high 33 times.
You can see how poor the Rockies rotation performed this season in the game score report. As the average game score goes down, the difference between any two adjacent teams is small, until you get to team 27. There’s a big drop from 26 to 27, but the Royals, Indians, and Twins are grouped close together. Finally, there is another big drop from those teams to the Rockies in last place. There average game score is just 41.9. They have only turned in 24 quality starts, while every other team has at least 41. At the end of the year, it will be interesting to see how the average game score for this rotation ranks over a long time span.
The Giants win 9-3. Buster Posey returned to the lineup and went two for four with a homer and a walk to continue his hot hitting.
Carlos Beltran hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and that was all the Cardinals would need as the Giants fall 3-1. Of course, if Carlos hit it in the ninth with the score tied at one, or even losing 1-0, it would have been a much more important, clutch hit and everyone would be singing his praises as a great clutch hitter. From a team winning perspective, I like the big home run early that prevents the need for the big home run late. It’s less exciting, but does a better job assuring a victory.