OAKLAND - There is no move the Giants can make to counter the Dodgers' acquisition of Manny Machado. The shortstop was the best player available, and he's now on the team the Giants are chasing.
Before Friday's game, Bruce Bochy didn't seem that worried about countermoves, anyway. His concern is in his own clubhouse.
"We can't control that," Bochy said of the Machado trade. "The only thing we can control is what we do here. Overall we've got to pick it up a little bit. I don't think playing a couple of games over .500 the rest of the way is going to work."
Bochy's players then went out and did exactly what he had hoped. The Giants beat the A's 5-1 in their second half opener, getting another strong performance from Dereck Rodriguez, strong outfield defense, and a bunch of quality at-bats with runners in scoring position. They kept pace with the Dodgers, who beat the Brewers 6-4, with Machado reaching base four times in his first game in blue.
Bochy said he thinks the NL West will be a battle down the stretch. More than anything, he's looking for consistency from his club, particularly the offense.
"It's up to us to probably pick up our level of play," he said.
--- Andrew McCutchen had eight putouts in the win, including a couple of sliding catches. The eight putouts were the most by a Giants right fielder since Randy Winn caught eight balls on April 7, 2006.
--- Evan Longoria had two hits, including an RBI double, in three at-bats for the Sacramento River Cats. The outing was the first of at least three Longoria will make as he comes back from a fractured finger. There's a chance he's in the lineup Tuesday night in Seattle.
--- Over the break, the Giants promoted right-hander Shaun Anderson from Double-A to Triple-A. Anderson gave up four hits and two runs, walked three, and struck out six in five innings in his River Cats debut. He had posted a 3.45 ERA in 99 Double-A innings, earning a trip to the Futures Game last Sunday.
Anderson came over in the Eduardo Nuñez trade last July and it appears the Giants did very well. Some scouts now consider him the organization's best pitching prospect, and he is generally viewed as a solid bet to at least be a back-end type in the rotation. Now that he's in Triple-A, it's possible Anderson could help the big league club out of the bullpen this season.