04/17/2013 7:56 PM ET
Machi replaces Affeldt in Giants' bullpen
By JR Radcliffe / Special to MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- After indicating Tuesday it would happen, the Giants officially added right-handed reliever Jean Machi to the active roster Wednesday, with Jeremy Affeldt landing on the 15-day disabled list with an oblique strain.
"He's got three quality pitches," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Machi. "He throws hard and I think more than anything is how he handles himself out there. He's a pretty good athlete and holds runners pretty good."
Machi's long Minor League baseball voyage, beginning in 2002, didn't lead to the Majors until last year, when he joined the Giants in September for eight appearances (allowing five earned runs on seven hits). Bochy said he could throw multiple innings if needed after the Giants were forced to use Chad Gaudin and George Kontos for multiple-inning stints Tuesday.
In the small sample of the early season, several relievers at Triple-A Fresno have fared well, including Dan Runzler (zero earned runs in six innings), Machi (zero in five), Jake Dunning (one in eight), Heath Hembree (one in six) and Steve Edlefsen (one in five).
Hembree stands out as perhaps the most intriguing, a potential future closer ranking as the Giants' No. 5 prospect on MLB.com's preseason list. Counting his four saves this year -- including Tuesday night in a 3-2 win over Tacoma -- Hembree has recorded 57 saves in the Minors since 2011, though injury slowed his 2012 output somewhat. However, unlike Machi, Runzler or Dunning, he would need to be added to the 40-man roster should the parent club elect to bring him aboard, though Bochy said Tuesday that wasn't a roadblock.
"We'd just like to give him a little more time," Bochy said. "That was a tough call because Runzler's throwing the ball well, too. [Sandy] Rosario had good innings last night."
Zito, Giants appreciate just-ended winning streak
MILWAUKEE -- Following his Tuesday performance, in which Barry Zito's run of 11 straight victories (counting the posteason) came to an unceremonious end, the left-hander had an immediate chance to reflect on the achievement.
The Giants had won 16 straight Zito starts prior to Tuesday's setback, with his last loss Aug. 2, 2012.
"I can definitely appreciate the fact that the team was really clicking on all cylinders when I was on the mound," Zito said. "I definitely had my share of tough games in that streak and then I had my share of games where I felt pretty good and held down the opposition to a few runs. What mattered most certainly was in the playoffs, and that's something I'll always take pride in."
Zito won two of his three starts in the posteason, including games in the World Series and National League Championship Series. The Giants ultimately won his start in the NL Division Series as well.
He recorded 10 quality starts in his 16 outings during the stretch, including eight of his last 10. The only two hiccups in that string included one start in which he came out one-third of an inning away from a quality start with two runs allowed and the NLDS appearance in which he was removed in the third inning of an elimination game -- though the Giants led at the time, 3-2.
On Tuesday, an eight-run third inning for the Brewers put the Giants in a six-run hole, one they couldn't quite claw out of in a 10-8 loss.
"It is tremendous what he did on this winning streak that he was on," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It took a big inning to stop it. He felt like he made some pretty good pitches, and I think he broke a couple bats in that inning, too, so that kind of compounded the damage. We've had a few [big innings allowed] in the early go here. That's not our norm."
To date, the Giants have permitted six innings of four runs or more this season, including a nine-run fourth by St. Louis on April 7 and the eight-run third by Milwaukee on Tuesday. The Giants' high for runs allowed in an inning in 2012 was seven. All told, the team allowed 25 innings of four runs or more in 2012, plus two more in the postseason.
• Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval both came into Wednesday's game riding nine-game hitting streaks. The duo has combined to hit 24-for-65 (.369) over the stretch, with three homers and 18 RBIs. For Crawford, it's a career best.
• Tony Abreu played six innings in extended spring training Tuesday, according to Bochy. The infielder was claimed off waivers in February from Kansas City and initially looked like a strong candidate to make the Giants as a utility player, but he was on the shelf for much of the spring with quadriceps and knee injuries.
• With Thursday's game slated to start at 10:10 a.m. PT, Bochy indicated he'd likely give some players a chance to rest in the series finale in Milwaukee. Nick Noonan, whose pinch-hit single Tuesday night ran his impressive April debut to 7-for-13, would likely play in Marco Scutaro's stead at second base.
JR Radcliffe is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.