Category Archives: Crutch’s Corner

Giants Look To Even Up Series In Game 2

By Chandler Guadagnin

After a gut wrenching Game 1 loss to the Chicago Cubs, the Giants look to bounce back and even up the series at a game a piece. San Francisco will send, former Cub, Jeff Samardzija to the mound. He will be opposed by Cub right hander, Kyle Hendricks.

Samardzija, who broke into the Major Leagues with the Cubs, spent 7 years (2008-2014) with Chicago. Asked why he came to San Francisco, Samardzija responded in essence that he wanted to be a part of the even year magic. Now is his chance to put his mark on the postseason. This season, Samardzija posted a 12-11 record, 3.81 ERA, 167 strikeouts, and 54 walks in 203.1 innings pitched over 32 games.

Kyle Hendricks, in just his third season in the Major Leagues, filed a 16-8 record, 2.13 ERA, 170 strikeouts, to go along with 44 free passes in 190 innings pitched over 31 contests.

It is not often that a player with only two years in the big leagues,  has more postseason experience than a 9 year veteran, but that is the case. Samardzija’s only postseason experience came in his rookie year with the Chicago Cubs. On the other hand, Kyle Hendricks has been in the last two postseasons with the Cubs.

Below are how these two pitchers matchup in the postseason:


The action comes your way at 5:00 PM PT on MLB Network or listen to it on KNBR 680. Log on to for the postgame analysis after the game.

Statistics courtesy of

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Giants Fall to Cubs In Game 1

By Chandler Guadagnin


As they did so often in the regular season, tonight’s game between the Giants and Cubs was decided by one run. In Game 1 of the NLDS, the Giants fell to the Chicago Cubs by a final of 1-0. The difference in the game was a Javier Baez solo homerun.

With the game scoreless through seven and a half innings, Johnny Cueto, who was spectacular on the road in one of the most hitter friendly ballparks in Major League Baseball. However, one pitch did him in; a 3-2 pitch, which Baez promptly mashed over the left field wall.  That was all that Jon Lester needed as he blanked San Francisco through eight innings; turning it over to flame throwing closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. Chapman, who gave up a two out double to Buster Posey, slammed the door by striking out Hunter Pence to end it.

The story of the game for San Francisco may be missed opportunities. The Giants put their leadoff man on in each of the first three innings. Two of the three leadoff runners were soon erased by way of a caught stealing and a pickoff.

The Giants best chance to score came in fourth inning, when, with one out, Buster Posey singled to left. One hitter later, Pagan would shoot a two out double over the head of the left fielder. Had Buster Posey not been the runner at first, the Giants surely would have scored. As it was, with runners on second and third, Brandon Crawford grounded out on an 0-2 pitch to end the threat.

Tune into FS1 or KNBR 680 for Game 2 action at 5:00 PM PT to catch all of the action from Wrigley Field. As always, log on to for pre and post game analysis.

Giants Announce NLDS Roster

By Chandler Guadagnin

The Giants have announced their 25-man roster for their NLDS matchup with the Chicago Cubs. New additions include starting pitchers Ty Blach, Matt Moore; as well as previously injured third baseman Eduardo Nunez. Here is how San Francisco’s roster shakes out:


  • Madison Bumgarner
  • Johnny Cueto
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Matt Moore
  • Ty Blach
  • Sergio Romo
  • Santiago Casilla
  • Will Smith
  • George Kontos
  • Javier Lopez
  • Hunter Strickland
  • Derek Law


  • Buster Posey
  • Trevor Brown


  • Eduardo Nunez
  • Joe Panik
  • Connor Gillaspie
  • Brandon Crawford
  • Brandon Belt
  • Kelby Tomlinson


  • Angel Pagan
  • Hunter Pence
  • Gregor Blanco
  • Denard Span
  • Gorkys Hernandez

The Giants have also announced that they will start Jeff Samardzija in Game 2 and Madison Bumgarner in Game 3.

Catch all the action of NLDS Game 1 on FS1 or listen to the play-by-play via KNBR 680 tonight at 6:00 PM PT from Wrigley Field in Chicago. Log on to following the game, for postgame analysis.

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Roster courtesy of

Breaking Down Giants-Cubs NLDS Game 1

By Chandler Guadagnin

The San Francisco Giants are set to take on the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the NLDS on Friday. With a win already under their belts, San Francisco looks to continue their winning ways as they send Johnny Cueto to the hill to face off against the Cubs’ Jon Lester.

This season, Jon Lester pitched to the tune of a 19-5 record with a 2.44 ERA, 197 strikeouts and 52 walks in 202.2 innings pitched over 32 games. The Giants’ Johnny Cueto amassed an 18-5 record with a 2.79 ERA, 198 strikeouts, and 45 walks in 219.2 innings over 32 games. Of those 18 wins, five were complete games.

Each game that the Giants and Cubs played this regular season was tight. In seven games against Chicago, San Francisco posted a 3-4 record. In the season series, six of the seven games were decided by two runs or fewer. The Cubs outscored the Giants by a total of 23 to 17. Throughout the seven games, there was only one shutout recorded, a Madison Bumgarner shutout on May 22, 2016.

Important to note, is the fact that, the Cubs won 103 games during the regular season. As a result, the Cubs did not play a necessarily meaningful game for about a month. Also important is the fact that, last year, the Kansas City Royals, after a few poor starts, did not allow Cueto to pitch on the road during the postseason. However, it is October and as any baseball fan knows, anything can happen. Below are the side by side comparisons of the postseason careers of Johnny Cueto and Jon Lester:


You can watch all of NLDS Game 1 action, tomorrow, on FS1 beginning at 6:00 PM PT or you can listen to the play-by-play on KNBR 680. Following the game, log on to to see the postgame analysis.

Statistics courtesy of

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Giants Win Wild Card Game, Going To Chicago

By Chandler Guadagninwc-box-score

One ticket for Chicago please. The Giants have defeated the Mets 3-0 in the 2016 National League Wild Card Game and are moving on to the NLDS to face the Chicago Cubs.

The game did not disappoint, Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard matched each other pitch for pitch. Bumgarner was his usual self, and the 24 year old Mets phenom, Noah Syndergaard, blew the Giants away over seven innings of shutout baseball. In fact, Syndergaard struck out five of the first eight batters he faced. The difference in the game was that Noah Syndergaard was removed after seven innings and 108 pitches and Bumgarner was able to complete the game on 119 pitches.

The Giants, who did not get a hit until a Denard Span 2 out, sixth inning single, did not panic. They played their version of baseball; yes it was torture and their were close calls, but as they always do, the Giants got the job done when it counted. San Francisco, who was shutout over eight innings by Mets’ pitching. However, in the ninth inning with two men on and two men out, the man of the hour, Conor Gillaspie, stepped to the plate. On one swing of the bat, Gillaspie announced with a bang, that he had arrived in October. On a one-one pitch, Gillaspie sent one over the right field wall. That proved to be the difference in the game. Bochy then sent out Bumgarner to wrap it up, and that he did, in 1-2-3 fashion.

After throats are sore and the bubbly is gone, the Giants will turn their attention to the 103 win Chicago Cubs, against whom they have had tight games. For now, however, it is time to celebrate.

NLDS Game 1 is scheduled for Friday, October 7, at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. You can catch all of NLDS Game 1 action on FS1 or listen to the play-by-play action on KNBR 680 at 6:15 PM PT. You can also log onto for analysis of Game 1 tomorrow.

Moments That Mattered:

  • Following a double from Crawford and a strikeout of Pagan, Mets closer Jeurys Familia, walked Joe Panik on a 3-2 pitch. This forced the Mets to pitch to Conor Gillaspie,
  • Conor Gillaspie’s home run came off of Juerys Familia. In 77.2 innings of work with 51 saves, Familia had given up just one homerun all season.
  • Due to the Mets aggressive nature, Bumgarner was able to keep his pitch count low in the early innings, allowing him to have a chance at the complete game shutout.
  • With the complete game shutout tonight, Madison Bumgarner has become the first player to throw two complete game shutouts in winner take-all games.

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Breaking Down The 2016 NL Wild Card Game

By Chandler Guadagnin

With the Giants 7-1 victory over the Dodgers on Sunday Afternoon, they clinched the second spot in the NL Wild Card race and will travel to New York  to battle the Mets for the right to take on the Cubs in the NLDS.

The game will feature two of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball, Madison Bumgarner will face up against Noah Syndergaard in a one game playoff under the lights of Queens, New York.

In 2016, Madison Bumgarner posted a 15-9 record with a 2.74 ERA and 251 strikeouts in 226.2 innings pitched and 34 games. The Mets’ Noah Syndergaard recorded a 14-9 mark with a 2.60 ERA and 218 strikeouts in 183.2 innings pitched and 31 games.

As baseball has continually shown, the postseason is an entirely other monster. Statistically, Madison Bumgarner may have the edge because they have already experienced a Wild Card Game on the road.  Take a look at how these two aces’ records matchup against each other:



Despite how much the game is broken down and analyzed, one can never know how the game will truly turn out.

You can catch all of the NL Wild Card Game on ESPN at 5:00 PM PT or, listen via KNBR 680.

Statistics courtesy of

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Vin Scully: The Man Behind The Mic

By Chandler Guadagnin

All my cards on the table I am about the biggest Giants fan you will ever meet. That said, I am a huge Vin Scully fan. I have so much respect for the man.

Edward Vincent ‘Vin’ Scully has been the voice of the Dodgers for 67 seasons. Scully began broadcasting for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950. In that same year. the Dodgers roster featured the likes of Duke Snider, Lou Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Don Newcombe, and Jackie Robinson. Scully, now 89 years old, is putting the finishing touches on a broadcasting career that has spanned from the managing days of Connie Mac to the launch of the Google search engine and beyond. Even more amazing is the fact the Connie Mac was born during the Civil War. Over his almost seven decades of broadcasting, Vin has called 20 no hitters and three perfect games.

Furthermore, Scully has attributes which can not be quantified. Scully’s knowledge of the game is one that cannot be matched. A voice so eloquent that it would even make math homework seem interesting. Not to mention, the humility with which he carries himself, never putting himself above anything else; that is the Vin that the baseball world has come to know and love. Vin’s final broadcast will come from within the confines of AT&T Park in San Francisco on Sunday, October 2, 2016, the 80th anniversary of the first baseball game that Vin Scully was present for. Though, Scully’s storied career may be drawing to a close, the flame of his legacy will never be extinguished.

Giants Finish Season With Crucial Series VS Dodgers

By Chandler Guadagnin

With three games left in the regular season, the Giants take on the Dodgers in possibly the most crucial series of the year. The Giants currently sit one game behind the New York Mets for the top Wild Card spot and one game clear of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second Wild Card slot with a magic number of two. Any number of Giants wins and/or Cardinals losses amounting to two will punch the Giants ticket to the Wild Card Game.

In game one of this final trio of games, San Francisco will send Madison Bumgarner to the mound to face off against the Dodgers’ Rich Hill. Game two will feature Clayton Kershaw and a pitcher yet to be named. The final game of the year will matchup Dodger hurler Kenta Maeda with a not yet specified Giants pitcher.

The New York Mets will conclude their season on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies. St. Louis finishes their season at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates.


Breaking Down A Possible Three Way NL Wild Card Tie

By Chandler Guadagnin

With the NL Wild Card Game scheduled for October 5, the San Francisco Giants are currently in a three way tie, with the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets, for two Wild Card spots.

To resolve this issue, the Mets and Cardinals would play on October 3 to determine the first Wild Card team. The loser of the Mets-Cardinals game would head to San Francisco to play the Giants on October 4 to determine the second Wild Card slot.

The winner of the Mets-Cardinals game would host the winner of the October 4 game in the NL Wild Card game.

A tie for the Wild Card game has never occurred since its inception in 2012.

Giants Look Ahead To Big Cardinals Series

By Chandler Guadagnin

After being swept at home in a three game series at the hands of the San Diego Padres, the Giants turn their attention to their next opponent, the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals, who trail the Giants by a half game in the National League Wild Card race, come to San Francisco for a four game series against the Giants.

San Francisco, who is now 5 and 9 in the month of September and 21 and 36 since the All-Star Break, look to turn around their dismal second-half of the season. The Giants have an abhorrent post-All Star batting average of .250. Some keys to the series are:

  • Wake up the bats
  • Work the count
  • Bullpen must stand strong

In a series that is so key for both teams, here are the probable pitching matchups for the series:

Cueto (15-5) 2.90 ERA vs Wainwright (11-8) 4.45 ERA

Moore (10-11) 4.08 ERA vs Weaver (1-2) 3.48 ERA

Samardzija (11-10) 4.07 ERA vs Leake (9-10) 4.60 ERA

Suarez (3-3) 4.20 ERA vs Garcia (10-12) 4.65 ERA

Following the loss to the Padres, the Giants stand 5 games out of first place in the NL West and are in first place in the NL Wild Card, with a 0.5 game lead over the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals for the first spot.