SAN FRANCISCO -- The ball shot into the misty air and Matt Moore immediately looked far down the line. He thought Chase Utley had hit a pop-up closer to left field, but then he saw Conor Gillaspie approaching a camera well. Then, he watched as Gillaspie tumbled into the equipment and onto the ground, the ball tucked into his glove.
"What an effort, man," Moore said, shaking his head. "That's what this group of guys is about right there. The effort is always there. The calmness about them."
Moore smiled. "I was a little more concerned about his overall health," he said.
Gillaspie said all is good after the spectacular diving catch. No serious bumps or bruises, which is a big deal given the current state of third base. The Giants are not very confident that Eduardo Nuñez will be ready to go Wednesday, so Gillaspie is almost certainly in for a night with Noah Syndergaard. He looks ready for it.
Gillaspie was a quiet star of the final homestand, a 5-1 run through the Rockies and Dodgers. He went 7-for-14 with five runs driven in. The defense at third far exceeded the expectations the Giants had for Gillspie when he first returned. That side of the ball has never been his calling card, but Gillaspie repeatedly came through over the weekend.
"You talk about his hitting, but what a great job he did at third base," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He did a great job down there and that's not what he's known for."
Gillaspie has had an up-and-down career in the big leagues, but he has blossomed in his second chance with the Giants. He has turned into Bochy's most reliable bench bat, but he said he hasn't given much thought to what this year has meant, or what the last week could mean for his future.
"The reality is we had to win every game," he said. "That's the only thing on my mind: How can I contribute."
--- About that roster and Nuñez: The Giants have until 10 a.m. on Wednesday to make final decisions. Bobby Evans said the next two days will be "telling" for Nuñez, but he added that he "has a lot of things he needs to do." Nuñez has progressed to light jogging and throwing. Behind the scenes, the Giants have been trying to pull back a little bit and make sure he's available for the entire month, not just one game.
--- Brandon Belt finished as the team leader in homers (17) and Brandon Crawford led in RBI (84). Belt also led in on-base percentage (.394) and slugging (4.74). Of note: Crawford stole his seventh base Sunday, finishing one ahead of his friend Buster Posey. That will surely be mentioned a time or two hundred. Madison Bumgarner edged Johnny Cueto for the team lead in innings (226 2/3 to 219 2/3) and ERA (2.74 to 2.79) and he finished with a career-high 251 strikeouts. Derek Law paced the bullpen with a 2.13 ERA and Hunter Strickland made a team-high 72 appearances.
--- There is plenty more coming tomorrow and over the next couple days. More stats, quotes and highlights from today can be found on my Twitter feed @AlexPavlovic. And if you need something to get you through the travel day, all my podcasts are archived here.