San Francisco, CA – Call it torture baseball! The Giants had their streak of ten-consecutive postseason elimination games snapped in tonights 6-5 loss to the Cubs. An epic collapse by San Francisco’s bullpen who gave up four runs in the ninth and a total of 32 blown saves for the season.
“I would like to think you’re going to get three outs there,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “We couldn’t do it. Because of the job he did, we had all the guys lined up, we just couldn’t get outs.”
The Giants headed into the ninth with a 5-2 lead. After Matt Moore tossed a phenomenal eight frames his night was done. Many will wonder had he stayed in after throwing 120 pitches, San Francisco would be celebrating instead of Chicago. Once the bullpen took over, Derek Law gave up a leadoff single to Kris Bryant.
Then Javier Lopez walked Anthony Rizzo. Sergio Romo replaced Lopez and surrendered a double to Ben Zobrist who scored in Bryant. Will Smith replaced Romo and yielded a single to Wilson Contreras who knocked in two more runs tying the game 5-5. Hunter Strickland came in and gave up a single to Javier Baez who drove in Jason Heyward to extend the Cubs lead 6-5.
After that, defeat had spread across the field. The fight the Giants had in yesterday’s game was gone. Closer Aroldis Chapman got a second chance to prove himself after unraveling yesterday in the ninth. Chapman struck out the side to end the game and send Chicago to the National League Championship Series as they await the winner of the Washington Nationals vs Los Angeles Dodgers game Thursday night.
“We’re building that reputation just like the Giants have established,” manager Joe Maddon said. “You play until the last drop, and this time of the year you better come with your A game because we’re going to show up for 27 outs.
Johnny Cueto at Wrigley Field, I was telling folks, if you ever look at those numbers, they’re not good for us. He’s really tough on us. So, I’m happy to not have to face him in a winner-take-all-game.”
San Francisco used one of their biggest weapons on the mound tonight. Moore struck out a postseason career-high 10 batters and became just the 10th pitcher in Giants franchise postseason history to record double-digits strikeouts. Moore certainly could’ve gone the distance. But Bochy thought his bullpen could get three simple outs.
“Nobody really came up to me and told me I was done,” Moore said. “I think everyone kind of new it was my last one, no real conversation about it. That’s how baseball goes sometimes. In the moment of where were at winning, I didn’t want to make about myself and say ‘hey leave me in’ and we have guys down there. This is one of those moments we can change next year, the agony of losing.”
Moore had a strong start after retiring the first two batters he faced before giving up a walk to Rizzo in the first. Moore exited the inning without any damage. San Francisco’s offense got off to a good start when Denard Span doubled, advanced to third and scored on Buster Posey’s sacrifice fly making it a 1-0 game.
But it wasn’t long before the Cubs responded. David Ross led off the third with a solo shot to left field tying the game 1-1. Ross’ only previous postseason home run was back in 2012 when he played for the Atlanta Braves. After that hit, the Giants defense got better allowing no runs until the fifth.
“I was trying to be like these young guys who have way better swings than I do,” said Ross. “I’m just trying to get something up in the zone and put a good swing on it. We got down early and I tried to get us back in the game. I put some good wood on it and that doesn’t happen to often for me.”
The Giants got a break against Lackey in the fourth. Lackey loaded the bases with two back-to-back singles and walked Gregor Blanco. Moore’s RBI single scored in Conor Gillaspie and Span followed grounding out into a force out making it a 3-1 game. Brandon Belt flew out to center field stranding two.
No room for mistakes, Brandon Crawford threw to first baseman [Brandon] Belt after Javier Baez grounded to him but Crawford over threw first and Baez advanced to third in the fifth. Ross’ sacrifice fly scored in Baez to trim San Francisco’s lead 3-2. Meanwhile Lackey was pulled after surrendering two runs in the fourth. He tossed four innings, gave up seven hits, three runs and struck out four.
Crawford smashed a home run untouched that bounced off the right field wall, Pence stayed at second only to double back to second and then finally ran to third. The play was ruled a double though Pence could’ve scored on the play. Nevertheless, Gillapsie came through and drove in Pence extending their lead 4-2.
“I think he thought he missed second, so that’s why he went back to make sure he tagged it,” Bochy said. “It didn’t hurt us there with Conor getting that big hit there.”
Gillaspie went 4-4 at the plate and became the just the 15th Giant to record four hits in a postseason game. The last player to do that was Pablo Sandoval on October 24, 2012 in Game 1 of the World Series. San Francisco now heads into the offseason with many changes to be expected with their bullpen after such a tough loss.
“The season was very trying, baseball is amazing cause you never know what will happen next,” Romo said. “Tonight’s a great example and last night was a good example. So being part of the bullpen you want to do your job and we were unable to do that tonight.”
“A loss is always disappointing, especially since I’m a bullpen guy and I take pride in that,” said Strickland. “We can’t control where the ball falls, it hurts, it’s frustrating for sure. We win and lose as a team. We’ll prepare and get ready for next year.”
Bruce Bochy takes his final bow at Oracle Park
San Francisco – In front of a sellout crowd, Bruce Bochy tipped his cap for the last time. Bochy announced his retirement at the start of the season, so the Giants prepared a send-off that was more than the Skipper could handle.
“This was a tough a day as I’ve ever had,” Bochy said. “I had no idea that this send-off would be like it was today.”
Despite San Francisco being shutout 9-0 by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The final game of the season was more about the thirty-sixth manager of the organization than the loss. Throughout the game there were video tributes on Bochy’s astounding forty-four years in the Majors. But what brought the tissues out during an emotional ceremony was who showed up to say their final farewells.
The Giants had a few surprises up there sleeves and I have to be quite honest. It blew me away as well. After the game, Bochy’s retirement ceremony began with the “Forever” Giants in attendance, Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, Felipe Old and Juan Marichal to name a few.
Former players, including Dodgers manager Dave Roberts jogged onto the field to greet his former teammates. Barry Bonds took his cap and tossed it on the field. The crowd roared with laughter and excitement. After Roberts (who played for Bochy in 2007) embraced Bochy with a hug and handshake he headed back to the dugout.
“His hat should’ve been thrown,” said Bochy with a smile.
“I wish we would’ve played better for him the entire year,” Brandon Belt said.
Dereck Rodriguez didn’t have the start he would’ve liked on Bochy’s final game. Rodriguez loaded the bases after giving up a walk to Chris Taylor and two back-to-back singles to A.J. Pollock and Cory Bellinger.
Cory Seager knocked a single down the right field line and cleared the bases with a three-run double. Will Smith followed with a two-run homer to center field to make it a 5-0 game in the first frame. After Rodriguez put two on in the second, Bochy decided his time on the mound was done.
Sam Selman replaced Rodriguez who walked Bellinger to load the bases again. Selman forced Seager to ground out to end the threat. Rodriguez tossed 1.2 innings, allowed five hits, five runs, one home run, struck out two and walked two. While San Francisco’s defense kept the Dodgers off the board five more frames.
They added three more runs in the seventh and the eighth inning. After loading the bases for the third time, Sam Coonrod walked Matt Beaty, gave up a single to Kristopher Negron and hit Will Smith with a pitch. Coonrod walked in a batter after he walked Gavin Lux.
By the eighth, Joc Peterson led off the frame with a single and back-to-back walks to Chris Taylor and Max Muncy loaded the bases. Austin Barnes singled Peterson and Taylor score. Muncy scored on a fielding error by shortstop Mauricio Dubon to make it a 9-0 game.
Players from the 2010 championship team walked out on the field, Nate Schierholtz, Cody Ross, Edgar Renteria, Brian Wilson, and Aubrey Huff. The 2012 team, Angel Pagan, Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong, Santiago Casilla and Marco Scutaro. And finally from the 2014 team, Javier Lopez, Gregor Blanco, Jake Peavy, Jeremy Affeldt and Tim Lincecum. Many of these players played all three years but it was Lincecum’s arrival that really choked Bochy up.
“It was just gradually building,” Bochy said on his emotions unraveling during his ceremony. “And, at the end, Timmy… When he was announced, that put me over the edge. Timmy’s somebody that’s really close to my heart and for him to come down here, that’s a pretty big deal for me.
He’s a tough one to get a hold of. I’ve tried to text him. I’ve tried to see him in Seattle.”
Lincecum never returned to the Giants after leaving almost four years ago. Invites were unanswered and the guy once known as “The Freak” moved on to play for the Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers. But what Lincecum did as a Giant was one for the history books.
Three World Series, four National League Pennants, and twenty-five years as a manager in the Majors. Bochy’s 2010 championship team was the first to bring a World Series to the organization in fifty-two years. He’s the fifth manager to to lead a team to three titles in a five year span, joining Connie Mack, Joe McCarthy, Casey Stengel and Joe Torre.
“Seeing Boch get emotional throughout the day, definitely made it hit home,” Buster Posey said on Bochy retiring. “See him talk a lot. I’ve never seen him get emotional before. So, obviously this was a big day for him to say the least.”
“The team called me about this event and I couldn’t have picked a better day to make it special for him,” Former Giant Pagan said. “It’s his time, it’s his moment and I wanted to be there to thank him personally for everything that he did, not only for me but for all the teammates that I’ve had and all the players that have come through his hands. So I cannot feel any more grateful to be here and this will make me come back more often.”
Giants blank Marlins behind Tyler Beede
San Francisco – Another great performance from rookie Tyler Beede tonight. He shutout the Florida Marlins and recorded his second start of the season. The Giants rallied behind Beede and produced one run enough for the 1-0 victory over the Marlins.
“This is a time for these guys to shine and show that they belong up here,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “You’re hoping that they can pitch here and play here, so it was a really nice job by the three kids today. That’s a close game, a one-run ballgame that didn’t faze them at all.”
Beede tossed six frames, allowed three hits, walked one and struck out five. And his backup didn’t disappoint, Ty Rodgers spun 1.2 innings striking out three while Shaun Anderson got the save. Anderson replaced injured closer Will Smith and recored his second save of the season.
“Those guys have been super impressive all year,” Beede said. “Rog, what you see from him now is what’s he’s done his whole career in the Minor Leagues. I’m super happy for him to be able to come up here and continue to be Tyler Rogers. The Giants are lucky to have guy like that who they can throw out there in big-time situations.”
After five scoreless innings, San Francisco got on the board with a RBI single from Buster Posey. Florida’s defense did a good job keeping the Giants off the board behind Sandy Alcantara’s pitching. Alcantara allowed no runs until Stephen Vogt doubled and scored off Posey’s single.
Vogt led off the sixth with a double. Kevin Pillar grounded out to first baseman, Neil Walker and Vogt advanced to third. Posey bounced an RBI single over third baseman, Starlin Castro and Vogt scored making it a 1-0 game.
“I thought he took some good swings today,” said Bochy of Posey. “He ended up getting that big RBI for us.”
The Giants had a few opportunities to control the game. Vogt and Brandon Crawford both singled in the second but Mauricio Dubon struck out swinging to end the inning. Brandon Belt who had three hits for the night, singled in the third. Evan Longoria was hit by a pitch but Vogt flew out to center field to end the threat.
Belt’s ground-rule double in the fifth was just short of a home run. Mike Yastrzemski advanced to third on the hit. Longoria grounded out to end the threat, stranding two. Not the best permformance on offense for the Giants. As the season end nears, there’s a big opportunity for the younger guys to prove their worth in the Majors.
Giants rally in the eighth for epic win over A’s
Oakland – The Bay Bridge series is always exciting. This battle never gets old, and tonight was an epic performance. Eight runs scored in one frame led to the Giants rally in the eighth. It was something you just don’t see too often in baseball especially at the Coliseum.
The A’s have been consistent in their wins but tonight, the bullpen failed and former Oakland player, Stephen Vogt capped the night off with a three-run blast against his old team. San Francisco’s 10-5 win over the A’s was a stellar comeback.
“Felt like we did’t get out for an hour,” said manager Bob Melvin.
The eighth inning lasted so long, Oakland used four pitchers in one frame. Vogt had four at-bats that didn’t get him on base. But his fifth at-bat, capped off a phenomenal offensive outburst for the Giants in the eighth.
After Vogt lined out, Melvin made a pitching change. Back-to-back singles from Buster Posey, and Alex Dickerson. Evan Longoria’s RBI single drove in Posey to make it a 4-3 game. A.J. Puk replaced Yusmeiro Petit. A wild pitch by Puk led to Dickerson scoring to tie the game 4-4.
Puk also walked Austin Slater. Melvin made another change, Lou Trivino replaced Puk. Kevin Pillar cleared the bases with a double driving in both Longoria and Slater to extend their lead to 6-4. Then pinch-hitter Donovan Solano and Brandon Crawford hit back-to-back singles.
Melvin made his final switch in the frame with Ryan Butcher replacing Trivino. After striking out Mike Yastrzemski, Vogt went yard with a three-run home run. That gave San Francisco a good lead, making the A’s work hard to dig their way out of a hole too deep.
“I think we have to just move on from this one, we’ve been playing well up to this point,” Melvin said. “We just basically had a bad inning today.”
“It’s just one game, it is what it is,” said Chris Bassitt. “We can make this a huge deal but it’s just one game. Lick your wounds, come in tomorrow and do your job.”
Oakland was in control early on, Mark Canha went deep in the second recording his 20th home run. Josh Phegley’s RBI single in the second made it a 2-0 A’s lead. Crawford went yard in the fifth to cut the lead in half. But Oakland’s offense stayed hot.
By the sixth, Bassitt gave up a double to Dickerson and Longoria followed with a single scoring in Dickerson in to tie the game 2-2. That knocked Bassitt out of the game, and the bullpen took over. Profar Jurickson led off the frame bottom of the inning with a single. Phegley’s sacrifice bunt advanced Jurickson to third. Marcus Semien’s RBI single made it a 3-2 game. And Matt Olson’s RBI singled drove in Semien to extend the A’s lead 4-2.
The Battle of the Bay Bridge series is always exciting. Oakland opened up up Mount Davis to accommodate the 53,367 fans that showed up for the series. With both teams making a push for the postseason, the Bay Bridge series focuses on the rivalry across the bridge. Vogt a fan favorite in Oakland, had missed the entire 2018 season rehabbing from shoulder injury after he was released by the A’s.
“It was really special for me with the fans,” Vogt said. I was very moved by them cheering. The way that I was received the first time back, it really meant a lot to me. Obviously, this is a special place for me and for my family. To come back and have the fans say ‘Thank you’ or ‘Hi’, it was a very neat moment.”
Notes – In Bruce Bochy’s final farewell tour, A’s manager Bob Melvin gifted him with a bottle of red wine from the team.
“It’s always a lot of fun (Bay Bridge Series) especially with Mount Davis opened (upper level seating at the Coliseum),” said Melvin. “As far as Bochy goes, I guess I’ll have a few more wins in my pocket once he retires. He’s been so big for the Giants and what he’s accomplished.
He’s been a friend of mine for a long time, we talk quite a bit. Its hard not to like the opposing team whens he’s over there. He’s one of the greatest of all time and will be headed to the Hall of Fame, deservingly so. It’ll be kinda weird knowing this is that last time he’ll managing in Oakland.”
Athletics Director and head coach, John Beam threw out the first pitch for the A’s vs Giants game. Beam led his Laney College football team to the State Championship and won in 2018. He was recognized as leading the #1 team in the nation and as the California Community College Football Coach of the Year.
“I have been coaching football for 40 years,” said Beam. “I stay in it because of the kids. I get paid to have fun.”
Before Beam began his career at Laney, he was the head football coach at Skyline High school for 22 years. The next chapter of his life began as Laney’s Running Backs coach in 2004, and in 2005 he was promoted to Offensive Coordinator where he led an explosive offense that won 3 conference championships and five straight bowl game appearances. By 2012, Beam was named head coach.
“My assistants are unbelievable, many are Skyline graduates,” Beam explained. “Friendships that started off as student-teacher developed over time and that’s what I like about this job because I can see those transformations. People say its a new generation but the kids still want to learn and be taught how to play the game, and we enjoy that.”
The A’s have been a huge contributor to Oakland schools and community colleges. They donated $100,000 to the Peralta Community College District after their offer to build a ballpark next door to Laney was shutdown. Another commitment from the A’s is to support the Peralta College Workforce Development Program. Which will honor four scholarships annually for student studying business, digital media, communications and technology.
“The A’s have been phenomenal partners with us (Laney College) and with Oakland,” Beam said. “Our championship rings, the A’s helped pay for them.” I appreciate the A’s bringing me here to throw out the first pitch. I wish I would’ve done better with that pitch but [Marcus] Jensen (A’s Bullpen Coach) did good by catching my grounder.”
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