The Oakland A's and general manager Billy Beane would not waste any time starting their off-season merry-go-round of moves as they acquired outfielder Chris Young for second baseman/shortstop Cliff Pennington and minor leaguer Yordy Cabrera. The D-backs would then send Cabrera to the Miami Marlins for relief pitcher Heath Bell.
Chris Young played six years in Arizona posting three 20-homer, 20-steal seasons. He injured his right shoulder during a violent crash into a wall while making a catch earlier in the season. An injured Quadricep in early September sent Young to the bench in favor of Arizona's youngster Adam Eaton. The move and benching made Young expendable once the offseason hit. "It caught me off guard a little bit, I'm not going to lie" Young would say. "I got an opportunity to talk to Billy (Beane), and got to talk to BoMel (Bob Melvin). I'm excited to help. It's a new opportunity, a fresh start for me personally."
The A's acquired shortstop Stephen Drew from the Diamondbacks during the season and will most likely look to move Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick, or possibly even flip Young in what is now a crowded outfield. Five-tool outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will return and resume his role in left field.
The 28 year old infielder Pennington hit just .215 last season, including .168 against left-handers, he had just 28 RBI's. Yordy Cabrera was a 2nd round draft pick in 2010 and played Single-A ball in Stockton.
Los Angeles, CA. - Just hours after finding out they had lost Guard/Forward Brandon Rush for the season, the Warriors showed up to play and used Rush's injury as inspiration to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 114-110.
Rush who tore his ACL during Friday night's loss to Memphis, learned after an MRI that he would miss the rest of the season. This comes as quite a blow to the Warriors as Rush is not only a solid shooter but one of the Warriors best perimeter defenders.
"It was tough. Obviously we were a little shook yesterday when it happened, seeing one of your teammates and brothers go down like that -- and then hearing the bad news today that came from the MRI," Steph Curry said. "We were thinking about him all day today. Not seeing him in the locker room tonight was a little different. But you've got to play, and we were thankful that we came out with a win."
Curry would lead the Warriors with 23 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals, while Carl Landry chipped in his third great game in a row off the bench with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Center Andrew Bogut received the night off, something Coach Mark Jackson plans on doing when the Warriors play back to back games, giving Bogut the chance to rest his surgically repaired ankle. Rookie Center Festus Ezeli started in place of Bogut and scored 8 points while pulling down 5 rebounds.
"We don't quit," coach Mark Jackson said. "We had every reason to quit, but we gutted it out and we defended. It was just a great win for us. I am extremely proud of my guys."
The Warriors are back at it Monday as they travel just up the 80 freeway to battle it out with the 0-3 Sacramento Kings.
The 49ers beautiful new stadium will be in the bidding for the 2016, 2017 Super Bowls. The Santa Clara based stadium which seats over 68,500 fans and will be completed in 2014 will be a modern gem, not only utilizing some of Silicon Valley's technology giants but will also boast a green & sustainable design.
NFL owners will vote next May between Santa Clara and South Florida for Super Bowl 50 in 2016. The loser will then be in the running and compete with Houston for the 2017 game. "We are excited to bid for the first Super Bowl in the Bay Area since January of 1985," 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement. "Nothing brings a region together like a Super Bowl."
By Justin J. Crowder
Although Marco Scutaro would take a nasty blow from Cardinals Right Fielder Matt Holliday as he slid into second base during the 1st inning of game 2 of the NLCS, Scutaro would remain in the game and energize not only the Giants players but also the 42,679 fans on hand to watch the Giants route the Cards 7-1. Giants Right Fielder Hunter Pence would say "it just kinda pumps you up...when you see on of your guys go down, you always want to win the game, but it's like 'let's go! Let's put it on the scoreboard'". Scutaro would leave in the 5th inning to have X-Rays on his hip, which came back negative. Good thing for the Giants as Scutaro's tremendous postseason play has captured the hearts of Bay Area fans much like former Giants outfielder Cody Ross did during the 2010 World Series run.
Ryan Vogelsong (the 2011 Willie Mac Award winner) would pitch beautifully giving the Giants a much needed 7 strong innings scattering 4 hits to go along with 4 K's and allowing just 1 run. Giants closer Sergio Romo who is also the owner of the coolest beard this side of Brian Wilson would get some much needed work in the ninth during a non-save situation. Vogelsong would be the first Giants starter to get past the sixth inning during this years postseason play, and it couldn't have came at a better time.
Giants outfielder Angel Pagan would hit his second home run of the postseason in the bottom of the first. The stat line was stellar for the Giants lead-off man as he compiled 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI's, and a walk. The Giants look to become the 1st team in 25 years to have the fewest home runs of any team in the majors and make it to the World Series. What the Giants lack in pop they make up for with outstanding pitching, good solid defense, and a very smart veteran team and coaching staff. Filling in for Scutaro, 2nd baseman Ryan Theriot would also add a hit and 2 RBI's with National League MVP hopeful Buster Posey and a slimmed down always fun to watch 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval both contributing with a hit each.
The series will take a travel day tomorrow as the two teams get ready to battle it out in St. Louis at the beautiful Busch Stadium on Wednesday Oct. 17th at 1pm. The Giants will send ace Matt Cain who went 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 193 strikeouts to the mound. The Cards will counter with right hander Kyle Lohse who went an impressive 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA and 143 strikeouts. Cain and Lohse both in this years hunt for the National League Cy Young Award will look to capture the all important and pivotal game 3 match-up in the NLCS.
By Justin J. Crowder
The San Francisco Giants would once again raise the blood pressure of Bay Area and Central Valley fans as they would lose game 1 of the National League Championship Series 6-4 to the St. Louis Cardinals.For the first time since 1958 the two previous World Series Champions (Giants 10', Cards 11') would face each other in the playoffs. Starting Pitcher and 18 game winner Lance Lynn was poised to to take the mound against 23 year old 16 game winner and south paw Madison Bumgarner. The smell of celebratory Champagne lasted but a short time as the Giants washed away the euphoria of a 3-2 series victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Divisional Series and began focusing and delivering the team mantra "Never underestimate the heart of a Giant" on the St. Louis Cardinals who defeated the Washington Nationals 3-2 in their own 5 game series. The Cards would strike first as 3rd baseman David Freese launched a two run homer in the top of the second inning. Freese who was last years World Series MVP admitted that after going up 6-0 against the Giants that "i'm thinking of the D.C. game" Freese would also say "They were up 6-0. We were up 6-0.And that shows that you've got to keep playing...We were fortunate enough that our bullpen came in and closed the door the rest of the way." Two nights earlier the Cards had comer back from a 6-0 deficit against the Nationals. The cards would bombard Bumgarner again in the fourth as 2nd baseman Daniel Descalso would hit a one-out double and short stop Pete Kozma would continue his outstanding post season play driving inDescalso with a double of his own to left field. After swiping third base the bleeding would continue ascenter fielder Jon Jay singled in Kozma from third. Once former Giant Carlos Beltran grabbed ahold of aBumgarner pitch and crushed a 2 run shot to left field, Giants skipper Bruce Bochy had scene enough and quickly pulled the Giants 3rd year pitcher from the game. The bottom of the fourth provided the Giants and their fans some hometown cookin' of their own. After singles by the hot hitting 2nd baseman Marco Scutaro (who ended the regular season with a 20 game hit streak) and right fielder Hunter Pence (a huge mid-season acquisition by the Giants) 1st baseman Brandon Belt would deliver a single of his own driving in Scutaro and giving the Giants their first run of the NLCS. Left fielder Gregor Blanco would then triple to deep right scoring Pence and Belt. After short stopBrandon Crawford drove a deep ball to right field that scored Blanco and pushed the score to 6-4 the AT&T crowd truly came alive and the chant of "BELIEVE" echoed throughout the stadium. Lance Lynn wouldleave giving up 4 runs on 5 hits in just 3.2 innings. Entering the 5th both teams would need to rely on their bullpen and middle relief much earlier thenanticipated. The Giants would see a strong performance by a combination of G. Kantos, T. Lincecum,J. Affeldt, S. Casilla, and J. Mijares who combined to throw 5.1 magnificent innings allowing no hits, no runs, 5 strikeouts, and just 1 walk. Not to be outdone the Cardinals bullpen was incredibly stout as J. Kelly, M. Rzepczynski, T. Rosenthal, E. Mujica (who would get the win) and closer J. Motte would dominate Giants hitters over 5.1 innings allowing no runs and striking out 4. The aforementioned Motte who was tied for the National League lead with 42 saves could be a huge plus for the Cardinals as a dominate factor at the end of games. The Giants will rely on a closer bycommittee approach with Sergio Romo leading the way and trying to fill the shoes of the enigmaticGiants pitcher Brian Wilson. After going just 3 for 15 the Giants 2 through 5 hitters will truly need tostep up in game two and deliver if the Giants stand a chance against this talented St. Louis team. The Giants will try and even up the series on Monday Oct. 15th at AT&T Park as 14 game winner Ryan Vogelsong takes the mound against 2005 Cy Young award winner Chris Carpenter who spent much of the 2012 regular season on the disabled list. Game 2 will start at 5:00 PM and be televised on Fox.
Barry Zito could have quite possibly turned his entire Giants career around in one game as he delivered an absolute gem of a performance on Friday night versus the Cardinals. "This is it for me," the much maligned pitcher would say. "Coming here, especially doing it in a Giants uniform. A lot of people were saying stuff about A's days. And for me, the most important thing is doing everything for San Francisco right now." Zito would go 7.2 innings scattering six hits with 6 strikeouts. He kept the Cardinals batters guessing all night, mixing and matching pitches beautifully.
The game five win sets up a game 6 matchup Sunday night at which is sure to be an electric AT&T Park.
Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn would once again last just into the 4th inning as a bad toss to second base by the pitcher would lead to a Giants four-run 4th. "I don't mind him being aggressive if he's got the play," (shortstop Pete) Kozma was in the right place; he (Lynn) just made a low throw." Cards skipper Mike Matheny would say.
The Giants who are now 4-2 on the road this postseason have won each of Zito's past 13 starts, not bad for a guy who at the start of the year was the Giants 5th starter and even that spot was in question.
The Giants flashed multiple nice plays with their gloves in the field proving that defense and timely hitting is truly their best shot at winning versus this Cardinals team. Right fielder Hunter Pence made a circus like juggling catch, 2nd baseman Marco Scutaro would make a sliding stop to rob pinch-hitter Shane Robinson on back to back plays.
Zito would also contribute with a bunt single in the 4th that would score left fielder Gregor Blanco. Shortstop Brandon Crawford would pitch in with a 2 run single and Pablo Sandoval would add a 377 foot homer to right field giving him a homerun in each of the last two games.
Game 6 will match Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong against Cards' Chris Carpenter in a rematch of game 2. Vogelsong dominated that game hurling 7.0 strong innings as the Giants routed the Cardinals 7-1.
Bay Area and Central Valley fans will once again experience the "torture" which they have come to both love and hate over the past few years. The Giants will play their 5th elimination game of the postseason but with their backs against the wall, we seem to get the best of what this team has to offer.