8/1/2013 12:07 A.M. ET
Zito's road woes nearly reach historic worst
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- Barry Zito's road performance has gone almost unrivaled, but not in a positive sense.
In the Giants' 7-3 loss Tuesday to Philadelphia, Zito's record in nine road starts fell to 0-7 while his ERA rose to 9.97. The left-hander allowed four runs and five hits while working 3 1/3 innings.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one other pitcher in Major League history went 0-7 or worse with an ERA as high as Zito's in his first nine road starts of a season: Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton in 2010. The right-hander was 0-7 with a 10.38 ERA after nine road starts that year.
Pence, Lopez happy to remain with Giants
PHILADELPHIA -- Doing nothing meant everything to the Giants as Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline passed.
General manager Brian Sabean preferred to keep right fielder Hunter Pence and left-hander Javier Lopez, the pair of potential free agents mentioned most frequently among Giants players in trade speculation. Moreover, Pence and Lopez wanted to stay with San Francisco.
So maintaining the current roster was fine with Sabean, the Major Leagues' longest-tenured GM, who wouldn't have parted with Pence or Lopez unless the Giants received a top prospect whose relative lack of experience would leave him contractually obligated to the club for multiple years. Such performers are baseball's most valued commodities, so the Giants' inactivity wasn't overly surprising.
For example, the Giants were said to want right-hander Danny Salazar from the Cleveland Indians, who coveted Lopez. Salazar, 23, was ranked Cleveland's sixth-best prospect by MLB.com and has 121 strikeouts in 88 innings at Double-A and Triple-A this year. Predictably, Cleveland balked at the Giants' proposal.
"Ironically, we were in a position to have some leverage and we used the leverage," Sabean said in a conference call with reporters. "We set the bar high and we had a specific return in mind and people missed the mark. People didn't even approach or come close to the mark."
Despite the Giants' slide into last place in the National League West, Sabean demonstrated his tendency to avoid changing the roster for change's sake.
"We became more and more comfortable with ... if we stood pat, then we stood pat," he said. Referring to Pence, Lopez and right-hander Tim Lincecum, another potential free agent who was briefly a subject of trade talk, Sabean added, "We still have all our assets in the bank, still in the organization, and we've retained three guys that we want to re-sign. I'm actually pleased with the outcome."
So were Pence and Lopez.
"They know where I stand and I know where they stand," said Pence, who has expressed a desire to stay with the Giants -- or even re-sign with them in free agency if he were traded. "I know they heard what I had to say. It's nice to be wanted."
"The Giants were the only place where I want to play," said Lopez, who entered Wednesday having allowed one home run in 133 1/3 innings since joining the Giants at the 2010 Deadline. "Today's a good day."
Now that the non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.
Sandoval departs with right heel bruise
PHILADELPHIA -- Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval bruised his right heel while legging out an infield single in Wednesday night's sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Manager Bruce Bochy rated Sandoval's playing status as "day to day" after San Francisco's 9-2 victory, but added that the injury shouldn't sideline him.
"I think he's going to be fine to go [Thursday]," Bochy said.
Sandoval ran hard to first base after hitting a soft, broken-bat grounder to Philadelphia third baseman Cody Asche. Sandoval left the game immediately after pulling in at first base and was replaced by Joaquin Arias.
Sandoval, who turns 27 on Aug. 11, has endured several injuries this season, none worse than the strained left foot that forced him to miss 14 games from June 9-24.
Beset by injuries throughout much of his career, Sandoval has appeared in 88 of San Francisco's 106 games this season.
GM says Giants were very interested in Wilson
PHILADELPHIA -- Though Brian Wilson said the Giants "[didn't] want me back," general manager Brian Sabean insisted that the club maintained serious interest in re-signing its former closer until he accepted an offer Tuesday from the Dodgers.
Sabean pointed out Wednesday that Wilson, a three-time All-Star with the Giants, threw for them in a private workout and had representatives at two of his other throwing sessions. However, Sabean added, Wilson appeared eager to end his free agency and sign with a Major League club.
"He was wanting to move at lightning speed and obviously wanted to make a fast decision," Sabean said.
Asked if the Giants wanted to delay intensifying talks with Wilson until Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline passed, Sabean said that the club's attention to the right-hander never flagged.
"Nobody was in more contact than the San Francisco Giants, particularly [vice president and assistant general manager] Bobby Evans, with the Wilson situation during the whole process. We were involved right to the end, before he signed."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.