Giants vs. Cubs: Jeff Keppinger, Pablo Sandoval Back Madison Bumgarner For 4-0 Victory

After falling short of a series win against the lowly Houston Astros, the San Francisco Giants turn their focus to the Chicago Cubs as they head to the City for a three game set at AT&T Park. The Black and Orange are running out of games to make up ground in the division, so some wins against the Cubbies would be crucial. For more on the Giants head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants vs. Cubs, MLB Scores: Jeff Keppinger, Pablo Sandoval Blast Giants to 4-0 Victory

Maybe all they needed was a little kick in the pants. 

On a day that saw the San Francisco Giants release two of their veterans players and call up another youngster, Bruce Bochy and his boys apparently were tired of losing ballgames. Jeff Keppinger and Pablo Sandoval's back-to-back jacks got the team rolling, while Madison Bumgarner's brilliant outing kept it going as the Giants avoided the sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs by a score of 4-0 at AT&T Park. 

Bumgarner (W 9-12) was absolutely lights hand in his eight innings pitched this afternoon, allowing only two Cubs hits while walking only two, all the while fanning an impressive 11 batters along the way. He threw first pitch strikes to all but 5 batters he faced, 119 pitches total, while lowering his ERZ to 3.43 on the year. Sergio Romo shut the Cubbies down in the ninth.

As for the offense, Keppinger and Sandoval's back-to-back show ignited the crowd, hitting their sixth and 16th of the year respectfully. Kep would add another with an RBI single in the fifth, followed by a Chris Stewart RBI double in the sixth. Every Giants starter got a hit aside from Cody Ross (0-3) who continues to struggle and Carlos Beltran (0-3, BB) who has cooled off a bit the last few games. 

Rodrigo Lopez (L 4-6) got shelled in his 5 and 1/3 innings, allowing all four runs on nine hits, along with two walks and two strikeouts. 

With the win the Giants move to 72-65 on the season, crossing their fingers that the D'backs finally lose a game tonight. Full box score can be found here

For more on the Black and Orange, head over to McCovey Chronicles

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Giants vs. Cubs, Starting Lineups: Cody Ross in Left, Brandon Belt, Aubrey Huff Sit

Obviously Aaron Rowand or Miguel Tejada won’t be in the lineup today.

The San Francisco Giants are trying anything they can to wake up their players, even cutting veterans almost to say "hey, this could be you too. Step it up." Nevertheless the show must go on, and the Giants are trying to keep from being swept ay home versus the Chicago Cubs.

Cody Ross will be in left field tonight as Brandon Belt gets a day off, as does Aubrey Huff as Mark DeRosa will play first base thins afternoon. Pablo Sandoval and Carlos Beltran flipped spots in the lineup, while Chris Stewart will catch for Madison Bumgarner.

Your San Francisco Giants:

1. Andres Torres, CF
2. Jeff Keppinger, 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
4. Carlos Beltran, RF
5. Mark DeRosa, 1B
6. Cody Ross, LF
7. Mike Fontenot, SS
8. Chris Stewart, C
9. Madison Bumgarner, LHP

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Starlin Castro, SS
2. Reed Johnson, RF
3. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
4. Jeff Baker, 1B
5. Alfonso Soriano, LF
6. Marlon Byrd, CF
7. Geovany Soto, C
8. Darwin Barney, 2B
9. Rodrigo Lopez, RHP

First pitch is set for 12:45 pm PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

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Aaron Rowand, Miguel Tejada DFA'd by Giants

In a possible move to cut some extra baggage for the rest of the season the San Francisco Giants have designated veterans Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada for assignment. The timing couldn't be more telling as the rosters expand tomorrow, signaling that the Black and Orange aren't trying to keep two of their worst contracts on the team, possbily holding them back from a playoff run. 

Rowand may have struck a nerve after an interview that seemingly dissed San Francisco still has one year on his five-year, $60 million contract he signed in December of 2007. He's batted just .253/.310/.394 with a .704 OPS during his tenure with the Giants, not exactly living up to the standards the team thought he would reach. The 34-year-old is holding the Giants hostage for $12 million in 2012, but could be a useful platoon/bench veteran for another team, for the league minimum of course.

As for Tejada, he's been handcuffing the Giants all season long, but his mini pity party the other day may have been the last straw. GM Brian Sabean signed him to a one-year, $6.5 million contract during the offseason, but has been piss-poor for San Francisco, batting just .239/.270/.326 with four home runs, along with a .596 OPS over 343 plate appearances this year.

I can't speak for everyone, but personally I'm really, really, glad to see these guys go. I think many a Giants fan will rejoice with their departure, opening up spots for some talented youngsters on the up and up, such as Brett Pill and Eric Surkamp

What do you think? Head over to McCovey Chronicles to get in on the discussion. 

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Pat Burrell Activated, Giants To Purchase Brett Pill's Contract

According to the San Jose Mercury News’ Andrew Baggarly the San Francisco Giants have activated veteran outfielder Pat Burrell, and will purchase the contract of minor league prospect Brett Pill at some time today as well.

Pat Burrell activated and the Giants will purchase Brett Pill’s contract today.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

Burrell has been dealing with a bone spur in his foot that will eventually require surgery that may possibly end his career. But after some rest and rehabilitation Burrell is healthy enough to play, but is fighting through some pain still. He likely will be used mostly to pinch hit, but with the loss of Nate Schierholtz he may see some time in the outfield as well.

As for Pill, he is batting .341 for Triple-A Fresno this season, along with 25 homers and 107 RBI, something the Giants hope will continue when he gets to the show.

For more on the Giants head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants vs. Cubs Preview: Madison Bumgarner Praying For Run Support

But those prayers may as well go unanswered. 

The San Francisco Giants are the defending champs of Major League Baseball, taking their storied four game lead in the NL West into the All-Star break. Since then they've entered into an catastrophic free fall, sporting a 19-25 record since the break and their playoff hopes drifting farther and farther away. Their woes will hopefully stop this evening as they host the Chicago Cubs, who are looking to sweep the struggling Black and Orange at AT&T Park.

Madison Bumgarner (8-12 3.59 ERA) will take the mound for the Giants, looking for some help from his offense. He was lucky to get a win in his last start after giving up an earned run to the Astros, lasting six and 1/3 innings while striking out two. Bummy is 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA in three starts against the Cubs, racking up 18 strikeouts with just five walks in those three starts.

Whatever there is to be said about the Giants terrible offense has been said over and over again, so I'll just keep it simple and say hopefully they figure something out against Rodrigo Lopez (4-5 4.80 ERA); though they have been known to make pitchers like Lopez look like Roy Halladay from time to time. 

First pitch is at 12:45 pm PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM. 

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Giants vs. Cubs, MLB Scores: Giants Fall Again, Lose More Ground in NL West

With a month’s worth of NL West competition ahead of them the San Francisco Giants were in dire need of some wins against the Chicago Cubs. Instead they got taken out by the second worst team in baseball for the second straight night, falling by a score of 5-2 at AT&T Park.

The Giants offense failed to pick up their starter again as Ryan Vogelsong (L 10-5) earned his third straight loss in a row after pitching five innings of three run ball on seven hits with three strikeouts. Guillermo Mota fared no better in relief, giving up another two Cubs runs in his inning of work, giving Chicago the insurmountable lead.

Jeff Keppinger plated both of the Giants runs with an RBI double in the fifth and an RBI single in the seventh. As a team San Francisco had one less hit than the Cubs but stranded 9 men on base.

With the loss the Giants move to 71-65 on the year, and may be starting to make vacation plans in October already. Full box score can be found here.

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Giants vs. Cubs: Carlos Beltran Hears "Boos" From Crowd

The transition to San Francisco has not been an easy one for Carlos Beltran since coming over in July. He drew the ire from the Giants faithful for hitting the disabled list with an injured wrist just a few days after joining the team and he has struggled to consistently play well since returning to the field.

It hit an all-time high on Wednesday night. After his fourth hitless at-bat of the night, the boo birds came out in pretty strong force at AT&T Park. 

Carlos Beltran stranded two runners in the third, the fifth and now the seventh. The boos are getting pretty loud here.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

 

Going 0-for-4 with six runners left on base is never good for any player, but Beltran has been held to a higher level of scrutiny over the last few weeks. The man who was dubbed the savior of a struggling offense has been anything but that and is now hearing it from the fans.

The Giants currently trail the Cubs 5-2 in the eighth inning. A loss would be the team's third straight and would move them to six games back in the NL West.

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Giants vs. Cubs Preview: Ryan Vogelsong Out To Get Giants Back In The Saddle

With the San Francisco Giants hopefully hitting proverbial rock bottom in Monday night's loss to the Chicago Cubs, they can regroup and get back on track Tuesday behind All-Star Ryan Vogelsong. Now five games behind Arizona in the NL West and the D'backs not looking like a slow down is in the near future San Francisco must buckle down and figure out a way to start winning some ballgames. 

Vogelsong (10-4 2.54 ERA) has been struggling in his last few outings, unfortunately taking two straight losses to the Astros. Vogey gave up no more than three runs in either outing in seven plus innings of work, although he received a total of one run of support in both of those starts. Hopefully the Giants bats can get going for once. 

The Cubs will counter with Matt Garza (6-10 3.68 ERA), making his first career start against the Black and Orange.  He took the loss against the Braves his last time out, allowing six runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks, fanning six along the way in his five innings of work. It was the first time ever in his career that he surrendered six or more runs with three or fewer of them earned.

Speaking of the Giants bats, I should really just say bat; because the only one that seems to be working right now is that of Carlos Beltran. He's the only Giant with at least two extra-base hits (a double and a homer) during this homestand, and is hitting .360 (9-for-25) with a double, home run and two RBIs over the seven games he's played. 

Fitst pitch is scheduled for 7:15 pm PT this evening with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM. 

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Giants vs. Cubs, MLB Scores: Stagnent Offense Can't Cover Timmy's Mistakes, Giants Fall 7-0

Tonight was the night the San Francisco Giants were to turn around their month long slide, get hot at the plate and start the charge heading to a possible playoff berth. Instead they were blanked by the Chicago Cubs' Randy Wells while Tim Lincecum got the boot after some mistakes, eventually falling by the score of 7-0 at AT&T Park.  

Lincecum (L 12-11) was cruising along until the fifth when he hung a slider that Alfonso Soriano sent soaring into the night sky for his 23rd bomb of the season, followed by a lead off homer to Giovanni Soto in the top of the seventh. Timmy would then walk the pitcher Randy Wells while Starlin Castro reached on a Orlando Cabrera error, setting the stage for Blake DeWitt's three run bomb that would knock Lincecum out of the game. He left after six innings of work, with six hits, four walks, and four strikeouts to his name. It was the first time in Lincecum's career he had given up three home runs in a game.

As for the Cubs' Randy Wells (W 6-4), he was brilliant in his two hit, complete game shutout, giving up only an Andres Torres double and a Mike Fontenot pinch-hit single along the way. He walked only one while fanning seven, throwing 113 pitches, 76 of which for strikes. 

With the loss the Giants move to 71-64 on the year, now 5 full games behind Arizona in the NL West. Full box score can be found here

San Francisco will send out Ryan Vogelsong (10-4 2.54 ERA) on Tuesday to take on Matt Garza (6-10 3.68 ERA) for the Cubs. First pitch is set for 7:15 pm PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM. 

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Giants vs. Cubs, Starting Lineups: Giants Getting Healthier, Looking to Make a Charge

The time is now.

This pivotal series for the San Francisco Giants may play a significant role in their push towards the playoffs, lingering four games out of first place in the NL West and a month straight of sub .500 teams ahead of them. This will be their last regular season series outside of the NL West with the division leading D’backs up next, needless to say the G-Men need to make up some room.

One of their biggest hurdles has been injuries this season, though they are starting to get healthier. Carlos Beltran has been effective since returning form the DL, and with Sergio Romo back in the bullpen they regain one of their domineering personalities on the mound. Hopefully they can get some runs and some W’s over the next few days.

Your San Francisco Giants:

1. Andres Torres CF
2. Jeff Keppinger 2B
3. Carlos Beltran RF
4. Pablo Sandoval 3B
5. Aubrey Huff 1B
6. Orlando Cabrera SS
7. Brandon Belt LF
8. Chris Stewart C
9. Tim Lincecum P

Chicago Cubs Lineup:

1. Starlin Castro SS
2. Blake DeWitt 2B
3. Aramis Ramirez 3B
4. Carlos Pena 1B
5. Marlon Byrd CF
6. Tyler Colvin RF
7. Alfonso Soriano LF
8. Geovany Soto C
9. Randy Wells P

First pitch is set for 7:15 pm PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

For more discussion on the Black and Orange, check out McCovey Chronicles and get your voice heard!

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Giants vs. Cubs Preview: Lincecum, Wells Set to Duel In Game One

As the San Francisco Giants continue their elongated homestand they know that with every passing day comes one less opportunity to march up the NL West standings. Luckily they'll be sending out their red hot ace Tim Lincecum Monday to face the Cubbies Randy Wells as both men look to get their respective teams started on a winning streak. 

Lincecum (12-10 2.46 ERA) has gone seven innings or more in his last five outings while never giving up more than 2 runs in those starts. The Giants still managed to churn out two losses during that span, with one run of combined support in both games. And despite a 27-pitch first inning in his last start against the Padres, Lincecum settled in to allow only one run on four hits in eight innings of work,  lowering his ERA to 091 over his last four starts. Timmy is 5-5 with a 2.95 ERA in 13 home starts this season, and 3-3 with a 3.21 ERA lifetime against the Cubs. One thing to watch for tonight is Timmy's delivery as he's ditched his wind up during his last few starts, throwing solely out of the stretch. You won't hear anyone complaining though, so let's see if that trend continues tonight. 

Chicago's Randy Wells (5-4 5.53) is coming off a great start against the Braves, throwing six and 2/3 innings of one run ball, holding the potent Atlanta office two only two hits in an eventual 3-2 Cubbies win, one of only three wins they've had in their last 12 games. 

Food for Thought: 11 of the Giants last 13 games have been decided by two runs or fewer, while the two games they scored more than 4 runs they lost, both 7-5 to the Astros

First pitch is set for 7:15 pm PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM. 

For more discussion and analysis of the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles

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MLB Standings Update: D'backs Grip on NL West Starting to Grow Stronger

As the defending champion San Francisco Giants continue to struggle against sub .500 teams the Arizona Diamondbacks are starting to take off with the NL West. After losing seven straight Arizona has turned it around in a big way, winners of their last six while pushing their lead on the NL West to four games over the Black and Orange. 

Luckily it will be a two team race in the NL West as Colorado, Los Angeles and San Diego will be unable to rebound from their poor starts of the season, even as they all are playing much better since the All-Star break (and all just about better than the Giants). The Rox are the closest challengers at 11 games out of first place and may be able to put a good run together to finish above .500, but that would be about it unless both Arizona and San Francisco free-fell through their NL West schedules in September.

As for the Wild Card standings, Atlanta has a stranglehold on the National League, posting a 8.5 game lead over the Giants and 9.5 games over St. Louis. 


NL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Arizona 75 59 .559 0 Won 6
San Francisco 71 63 .529 4 Lost 1
Colorado 64 70 .477 11 Won 1
Los Angeles 62 70 .469 12 Lost 1
San Diego 60 74 .447 15 Lost 4

(updated 8.29.2011 at 11:07 AM PDT)



National League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Atlanta 79 54 .593 0 Lost 2
San Francisco 71 63 .529 8.5 Lost 1
St. Louis 70 64 .522 9.5 Won 1
Cincinnati 67 66 .503 12 Won 4
Colorado 64 70 .477 15.5 Won 1
New York 62 68 .476 15.5 Lost 2
Washington 62 70 .469 16.5 Lost 6
Los Angeles 62 70 .469 16.5 Lost 1
Pittsburgh 62 71 .466 17 Lost 1
Florida 59 72 .450 19 Lost 1
San Diego 60 74 .447 19.5 Lost 4
Chicago 57 77 .425 22.5 Lost 4
Houston 44 90 .328 35.5 Won 1

(updated 8.29.2011 at 11:07 AM PDT)



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Giants vs. Cubs Series Preview: Someone's Got To Stop Losing

After falling short of a series win against the lowly Houston Astros, the San Francisco Giants turn their focus to the Chicago Cubs as they head to the City for a three game set at AT&T Park. The Black and Orange are running out of games to make up ground in the division, so some wins against the Cubbies would be crucial. For more on the Giants head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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