The days leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline always feature a handful of twists and turns. Even for those involved in the day-to-day operations of clubs, the Deadline can be hard to predict.
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The Giants are two games above .500, yet that's good enough for contention in the balanced National League West.
At Nationals Park, where the Giants played the first two games of the 2014 National League Division Series en route to their most recent World Series title, Brandon Crawford started at shortstop for the NL in Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. He went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts in the NL's 8-6, 10-inning loss.
The ball wasn't flying out of Nationals Park quite as frequently as it did during Bryce Harper's heroic hometown homer binge a night earlier, but it was flying all the same in a dinger-driven, record-breaking 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night.
After the All-Star break, the Giants will head across the Bay Bridge to the Coliseum on Friday for another three-game set against the A's. Dereck Rodriguez will get the start for San Francisco. First pitch for Friday's game is at 6:35 p.m. PT in Oakland.
For Willie McCovey, the 1969 All-Star Game wasn't an exhibition. It was part of an affirmation. Though the rosters featured 19 future Hall of Famers, McCovey towered over every participant like the Washington Monument.
Brandon Crawford doesn't simply perpetuate the significance of wearing No. 35 for the San Francisco Giants. He deepens it, as he'll try to prove when he starts at shortstop for the National League in the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, which airs on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. PT on FOX.
Who do the Giants have in the pipeline? Get scouting reports, video, stats, projected ETAs and more for San Francisco's Top 30 Prospects on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Watch.
Andrew Suarez has been rolling in the past month, with the rookie southpaw becoming a key cog in the Giants' rotation. But he ran into a hot A's club on the day before the All-Star break, as the A's handed Suarez and the Giants a 6-2 loss on Sunday at AT&T Park.
Still unable to heal the troublesome right shoulder that has alternately teased and nagged him this season, Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija went on the 10-day disabled list for the third time this season Sunday.
Each team slugged four home runs, but it was Team USA who came out on top in a 10-6 victory at Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park.
It was only one defeat, and a respectable one at that. But the Giants' 4-3 loss Saturday night to the Athletics was the kind of setback that will tax their pitching staff, and thus spoil their season, if they repeat it too often.
Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Sunday.
If anyone is ever to play all nine positions in a game for the Giants, it would be Pablo Sandoval. He's already pitched and caught, and manager Bruce Bochy is sure he wouldn't mind playing the other positions. In fact, he has talked to Sandoval about it.
The Giants beat the A's, 7-1, on Friday to capture the first installment of the Bay Bridge Series. Center fielder Steven Duggar had a hand in five of those runs. In just his fourth career game, the 24-year-old went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Madison Bumgarner threw six-plus innings of one-run ball to earn the win, while Edwin Jackson was left with the loss after allowing a pair of runs in six innings.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to set the order of his starting rotation post-All-Star break, but 25-year old Andrew Suarez and 26-year old Dereck Rodriguez will be pitching with little restriction.
With the non-waiver Trade Deadline fast approaching, MLB.com went back to the future to look at recent deals made by all five NL West clubs -- and how those moves might impact decision making between now and July 31.
Buster Posey cracked a walk-off single in the 13th inning to send the Giants to a series victory -- and their MLB-leading eighth walk-off win -- over the Cubs. It was San Francisco's first run since the four-run first inning, which included Chase d'Arnaud's leadoff homer, Gorkys Hernandez's two-run double and Steven Duggar's RBI single. Starter Johnny Cueto struck out seven over five innings, but Dereck Rodriguez got the win in relief after pitching three scoreless to finish the game. Cubs starter Mike Montgomery also went five innings, while Jason Heyward, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez each homered. Reliever James Norwood took the loss in his MLB debut.
Derek Holland excelled in a 2-0 loss to the Cubs, yielding one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings in his first start since July 1. He walked none and struck out eight, reflecting his uncanny command.
Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Thursday.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that Derek Holland always had been intended to start Tuesday night against the Chicago Cubs. Bochy explained that a simple misunderstanding between him and the Giants' media relations staff created the impression that Holland might have been a late substitute for Johnny Cueto, who has made only one start since returning from an elbow ailment that sidelined him for two months.
Very little fazes Pablo Sandoval when he's hitting, which he proved again Monday night by slicing a tiebreaking single to left field in the 11th inning to give the Giants a 2-1 victory over the Cubs. With Sandoval facing Pedro Strop with the bases loaded and one out, the Cubs employed a five-man infield, defying Sandoval to drive a pitch to the outfield. As it turned out, the Cubs could have stationed their entire 40-man roster in the field and it wouldn't have mattered.
Taking matters into his own hands, or more accurately, his legs, Alen Hanson ended the Giants' offensive futility Monday night by scoring from first base on a pickoff play gone bad.
Backed by Pablo Sandoval's five-RBI day, including a three-run, go-ahead homer in the fifth inning, the Giants took the fourth game of the series against the Cardinals, 13-8, on Sunday.
After the Giants traded right-hander Cory Gearrin, outfielder Austin Jackson and Minor League righty Jason Bahr to the Rangers on Sunday, the team purchased the contracts of outfielder Steven Duggar and right-hander Ray Black from Triple-A Sacramento.
The Giants got mostly what they wanted Saturday from right-hander Jeff Samardzija: hope. Results, they realized, must wait for another time. Samardzija performed about as well as could be expected after returning from right shoulder tightness, which had sidelined him since May 29. He showed hints of the velocity and command that distinguish him when he's at his best, though he absorbed the loss in the Giants' 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Cardinals.
A Giants pitching rotation that has been in flux much of this season might finally be set. With veteran right-hander Jeff Samardzija activated from the disabled list Saturday, righty Chris Stratton was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.
The Giants placed Joe Panik on the 10-day disabled list prior to Saturday's game vs. the Cardinals with a strained left groin and purchased the contract of infielder Chase d'Arnaud from Triple-A Sacramento.
In his first start off the disabled list Thursday, Johnny Cueto may have not looked like the ace who dazzled across five starts earlier this season, in which he posted a miniscule 0.84 ERA. But one laborious outing doesn't undermine Cueto's importance to the Giants the rest of the season.
The first quarter of the season brought chaos to the National League West. The second quarter brought a small bit of clarity to that chaos. But make no mistake: the division remains entirely up for grabs. Here's a quick look at what we learned from each NL West team in the season's second quarter and how that might affect their plans for the upcoming Trade Deadline.