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#pounditMonday, August 8, 2022

Articles tagged: San Francisco Giants

NL team viewed as contender to sign Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge running

Aug 23, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (99) runs to first base after hitting a single against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees were unable to reach a deal on a contract extension prior to this season. That means the 30-year-old slugger is headed for free agency over the offseason.

Judge has elite power and entered Friday leading the AL in home runs for the second time in his career. Teams will want to have an MVP contender like Judge in their lineup, so he should have no shortage of suitors. Some wonder if he could end up getting a $300 million contract in free agency.

In addition to the Yankees, there is one National League team that reportedly is expected to have interest in Judge.

In a notes column for the New York Post, Jon Heyman reported that the San Francisco Giants are a possible landing spot for Judge.

Judge is from Northern California and grew up as a Giants fan. The Giants prefer bargain deals over big free agent splashes, but Judge could be worth the big deal. The team had interest in Bryce Harper, so it sounds to reason they would also have interest in Judge.

Would the chance to play near where he grew up serve as a factor? Possibly.

If Judge’s preseason negotiations with the Yankees taught us anything, it’s that Judge will probably sign for the most amount of money possible. He’s batting .307 with 14 home runs and a 1.045 OPS in 36 games this season. He’s playing like a guy who wants a $300 million contract.

Giants bring back 2 key starting pitchers

Anthony DeSclafani pitches

The San Francisco Giants are bringing back two key members from their 2021 pitching staff.

The Giants announced on Monday that they signed Anthony DeSclafani to a 3-year deal.

The contract is worth $36 million and will pay DeSclafani $12 million in each season.

The Giants are also bringing back pitcher Alex Wood on a 2-year deal reportedly worth more than $10 million per season, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The Giants led MLB with 107 wins last season. Wood went 10-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 138.2 innings last season. DeSclafani went 13-7 with a 3.17 ERA. They, along with Kevin Gausman and Logan Webb, formed the core of the team’s pitching rotation.

Photo: Apr 21, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani (26) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Kris Bryant unlikely to return to Giants?

Kris Bryant in the dugout

Kris Bryant’s time with the San Francisco Giants could end up lasting for all of three months.

The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly said Thursday on MLB Network that Bryant is unlikely to return to the Giants in free agency. Baggarly added on the air that the Giants were not particularly impressed with Bryant, especially defensively, and that the former NL MVP’s swing might not age well.

Baggarly later took to Twitter to clarify that the team was happy with what Bryant contributed and knows that he is a star. However, certain aspects of Bryant’s game underwhelmed. Baggarly also said in the clarification tweet that Bryant’s swing relies on athleticism and thus poses some risk.

The 29-year-old Bryant arrived in San Francisco in a midseason trade with the Chicago Cubs. He hit .262 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs through 57 regular season games for the Giants. Bryant also went a scorching .471 with eight hits (including a homer) in San Francisco’s five-game NLDS loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Giants already lost one cornerstone of last season’s 107-win team. Now it sounds like they may be willing to let another top contributor walk as well.

Photo: Aug 3, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Kris Bryant (23) looks on in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Mookie Betts has great response to question about Dodgers-Giants rivalry

Mookie Betts

The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants breathed more life into their rivalry this year by battling it out in a thrilling five-game NLDS, but the two teams have a long way to go before they can call themselves baseball’s biggest rivals. Just ask Mookie Betts.

After the Dodgers defeated the Giants in a thrilling 2-1 game on Thursday night, Betts was asked if he thinks the two California teams have what his former team, the Boston Red Sox, has with the New York Yankees. Betts seemed hesitant to respond at first, but Max Scherzer pressured him into saying what he was thinking. The short answer was “no.”

Here’s the video:

“That Yankees-Red Sox, man, that’s mean. That’s different,” Betts said. “This is definitely different.”

Very few rivalries in sports come close to matching the intensity that we see when the Red Sox and Yankees face one another. The controversial way Game 5 of the NLDS ended (video here) might help drum up some more hostility between the Giants and Dodgers, but they’ll probably never have what the Red Sox and Yankees do. Betts understands that better than most.

Look: Giants dress up as sailors in must-see photo

Giants captain sailors

The San Francisco Giants may have lost on Thursday, but that didn’t stop them from having fun afterwards.

Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman shared a photo on Twitter that showed some of his teammates dressed up. Brandon Belt is in the foreground as the captain. His “seamen” are lined up on the stairs of the plane behind him.

So what’s the deal? Belt recently anointed himself the captain of the team and even had a funny marking on his jersey to show it. He has completely embraced the persona. He also said he is the first one off the plane.

It looks like the team was having fun with Belt’s captaincy and gave him a crew. Some of the guys behind him include Logan Webb, Lamonte Wade Jr. and Zack Littell.

Maybe this is the kind of loose attitude a team in the playoff race needs.

Video: Giants beat Dodgers on crazy close play at first base

Giants Dodgers first base

The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers began their huge series this weekend with an epic game on Friday night at Oracle Park.

The Giants scored in the third inning and led 1-0 for nearly the entire game. Then with two outs in the top of the ninth, Chris Taylor singled in the tying run. The teams traded runs in the 10th, and then it got tight again in the 11th.

The Giants had the bases loaded with one out and grounded out, bringing up Buster Posey with two outs. Posey hit a sharp ball up the middle on a 1-2 pitch and Trea Turner went to his left to field it. He set himself but still threw high to first, where catcher Will Smith was playing. The 5-foot-10 catcher had to leap to make the catch, which pulled himself off the bag.

Posey was able to step on first while Smith was off and was called safe.

The call stood upon a review, giving the Giants a 3-2 win in 11 innings.

That play was on Turner. He had time to make a better throw but screwed up by throwing high.

The Giants now lead the NL West by a game over the Dodgers.

Kris Bryant traded to Giants as Cubs blow up roster

Kris Bryant

The Chicago Cubs blew up their roster leading up to Friday’s MLB trade deadline, and the San Francisco Giants emerged victorious in the Kris Bryant sweepstakes.

Bryant has been traded to the Giants, ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported.

The Cubs were by far the biggest sellers at the trade deadline, so it’s no surprise they parted ways with Bryant. They had been shopping the star third baseman in trade talks dating back to last offseason. It looked at one point like the New York Mets were the most likely suitor, but they instead acquired shortstop Javier Baez from Chicago on Friday.

Bryant is hitting .267 with 18 home runs, 51 RBI and an .861 OPS. The 29-year-old has bounced back after batting just .206 in last year’s pandemic-shortened season.

Chicago appears to have entered total rebuild mode. In addition to Baez and Bryant, they also traded closer Craig Kimbrel to the cross-town rival Chicago White Sox. The Cubs are 50-54 and not in the playoff hunt, so they have decided to restock their farm system. Their 2016 World Series champion team seems like a distant memory.

These three teams are reportedly top suitors for Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer

The Washington Nationals appear to be moving closer to a Max Scherzer trade. While many teams are interested, Scherzer’s veto rights over any trade mean only a few are likely destinations.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and San Diego Padres are believed to be the three leading suitors for Scherzer. Morosi adds that a deal could be agreed on by the end of Wednesday.

It’s not a coincidence that all three teams are based in California. A Tuesday report from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman stated that Scherzer was believed to prefer a trade to a West Coast contender.

While pitching isn’t necessarily the greatest need for any of these teams, it would be hard to pass up an ace like Scherzer. The 37-year-old has a 2.83 ERA this season with 142 strikeouts in 105 innings. He’s had some lingering injury concerns, but there does not appear to be any reason for concern that Scherzer won’t be good to go for the rest of the year. He could absolutely make the difference in a short playoff series.

Giants pitcher had funny good-luck charm before game

Anthony DeSclafani

San Francisco Giants pitcher Anthony DeSclafani threw one of the best games of his career on Monday night, and the right-hander believes it may have been the result of some good luck that came from an unlikely source.

DeSclafani pitched a complete-game shutout and allowed just three hits in San Francisco’s 12-0 win over the Colorado Rockies. As he wrapped up his press conference following the victory, he informed reporters that a bird pooped on him prior to the game.

A lot of people think being crapped on by a bird is good luck. The same can be said for rain on your wedding day. Is that just a way of making people feel better? Almost certainly, but it’s hard to argue against the results for DeSclafani.

Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time an MLB pitcher has credited bird poop for his goof fortune.

MLB opening night drew record ratings after sports hiatus

Rob Manfred

Major League Baseball officially returned on Thursday night with the start of the 2020 regular season, and the ratings for the two games prove just how much fans missed live sports.

The first game of the night between the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals drew 4 million viewers, which was the largest audience ever for an Opening Night. The contest was also the most-watched regular season MLB game in nearly a decade, according to a press release from ESPN.

Yankees-Nationals drew an 8.4 rating in the Washington, D.C., market, making it the most-watched MLB regular season game ever on ESPN in that market. The 7.8 rating in New York was the highest for a regular season game for the network in that market since 2015.

The second half of ESPN’s double-header was nearly as popular. That game, which featured the San Francisco Giants hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers, drew a 6.9 rating in the San Francisco market, making it the highest-rated regular season game on ESPN in that market since 2013. The 6.8 rating in Los Angeles was topped only by the Dodgers’ 2018 tie-breaker game against the Colorado Rockies.

MLB’s return marked the first night where fans could watch a live, regular season game from one of the four major American sports in over four months. The ratings from “The Match” gave us a hint that Opening Night would be a success for MLB, and the numbers were definitely eye-opening.