Today’s game was just what the doctor ordered for the San Francisco Giants after yesterday’s stinker against Team Japan. Besides Andres Torres playing center instead of Angel Pagan, the lineup looked like what we saw throughout most of the postseason. They also played like they did in the last seven games of the 2012 playoffs in a 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers.
— Matt Cain was on it, giving up nothing besides a couple singles. He became the first Giants starter to last five innings this spring. He threw 70 pitches, 49 for strikes. After the game he was asked if he’s on Twitter. “No,” Cain scoffed. “I’m not on that dumb thing.”
— Buster Posey caught two guys trying to steal with near-perfect throws, and the one guy who did steal only did so because he got a great jump. With Posey no longer forced to spend most of his hours getting his ankle back to full strength, it appears that he worked on his throwing this offseason. Anytime an opponent has stolen a base on his watch that I’ve seen, it hasn’t been Posey’s fault (cough … Madison Bumgarner). Maybe he’s tired of being known as just an offensive catcher compared to Yadier Molina, who has thrown out 45% of attempted basestealers in his career. Posey’s career mark is 33%.
— Hunter Pence clubbed his first spring homer, and Andrew Baggarly called it before the 3-2 pitch was thrown. He went 2-for-3 and finally displayed the video game power he’s been showing during BP before games.
— Andres Torres got thrown out at third again. On Thursday it was on a double he tried to stretch into a triple, and today it was when he tried tagging up on a fly ball to right fielder Craig Gentry. However, he had a line drive single and his first home run as well. Torres hasn’t played much, but he’s making solid contact.
— Pablo Sandoval came up with a single in three at-bats, and made a nice defensive play at third, reaching up from a prone position on a bad hop, then getting up and making a one-hop throw to get the runner. He also lost 14 pounds on the play.*
*I lie sometimes.
— I took a bunch of photos of Sergio Romo, because this was the first time he has pitched since rejoining the team after Mexico was eliminated in the WBC. He got the first two outs, then gave up a single to Adrian Beltre and a double to Jim Adduci to allow the Rangers’ first run.
And maybe seeing 21 players get a little bad news on cut day this morning put a little spark into the regulars, because this two hour and 15 minute game was so crisp that Bruce Bochy said the phrases “well-played game” and “good at-bats” multiple times. Afterward Bochy was asked about some of the players still remaining, and who was cut. Here were his quotes on a few players, starting with someone he has a specific interest in:
“I told him last night. We had dinner last night. He knew, they all knew. When it’s meal money day, they figure it out.”
The best part about having Bochy the Younger in camp?
“More than anything, every day he was here. You spend so much time away from your kids, particularly when you’re in baseball. There he was every day, had a chance to watch him pitch and go through the drills. I realize he’s worked hard to get here to this point. So I was very proud of him.”
Gary Brown (27 PA, 1 HR, .259/.259/.481)
“I thought he had a good spring. He’s made a little adjustment (in his swing). Overall he had a good spring.”
HERE AND HURTING
Hector Sanchez (right shoulder)
“It looks like it’ll be Tuesday when he starts swinging again but he needs to get a lot of at-bats too. He’s a candidate to go to the Minor League side.”
Tony Abreu (knee)
“He’s coming along slow. It’s going to be a few days. I think he’s had three MRIs. It’s one of those things he just can’t turn the corner on so we’re going to shut him down a few days.”
Jose Mijares (elbow)
“He’ll be here tomorrow. Personal issue. He had permission to take off. He’s (throwing off) flat ground. Tomorrow he’ll throw off the mound. Hopefully next week we’ll have him throwing to hitters.”
HEALTHY AND HITTING
Francisco Peguero (35 PA, .412/.429/.529)
“He’s competing for a job … We got some ways we could go. We could go with four outfielders, and extra infielder or catcher. That has not been determined. He’s in the mix. He’s coming off a good year, he’s got some experience last year and he’s having a good spring. He gives you speed, a slight bit of pop. Good defender.”
What do you like about Pegs?
“The way he’s carrying himself, the way he’s playing. He knows he’s got the talent to play here. He’s got the confidence. He’s determined to do all he can to make it hard on us. He’s got all the tools to be an everyday outfielder. But if he’s not, he’s a pretty nice weapon to have off the bench. Pinch hit, pinch run, double switch, things like that.”
You can also check out my predictions for the Opening Day roster.