49ers

Bumgarner, Huff lead Giants to 6-0 victory

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Bumgarner, Huff lead Giants to 6-0 victory

Aug. 9, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Chris Stewart pulled the souvenir out of his locker, moving it around in his hand for all to see: a marked-up ball that took 10 years to earn."It's the best looking baseball I've ever seen," he said.Stewart hit his first major league home run, Aubrey Huff had another solo shot and the San Francisco Giants showed some rare pop in a 6-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night.Stewart sent the fastball from James McDonald over the left-field wall in the fifth, sprinting around the bases and getting mobbed by teammates in the dugout after his first home run in 140 major league at-bats. He gave the fan who caught the ball in the bleachers an autographed bat, and he'll soon be placing his newest possession on his mantle.After so many almost-homers, the 29-year-old catcher finally had his long ball."I lifted weights this morning," he said, chuckling. "That extra curl got that ball out for me."Madison Bumgarner (7-11) struck out 10 and walked one in seven innings. The lefty was one strikeout short of his career high, which came against Cleveland on June 26.Huff also had an RBI double to help chase McDonald (7-6) after six innings. McDonald allowed three runs and four hits for the Pirates, who had snapped a 10-game losing streak a night earlier.Sergio Romo pitched a scoreless eighth and Santiago Casilla got out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to finish off Pittsburgh."I missed my spot in the major leagues, that's what I did, and they put a good swing on the ball," McDonald said. "I tip my hat to them. I've given up home runs my whole career."With Bumgarner having another superb outing, San Francisco finally gave him a rare source of power.Huff followed Stewart's blast with a home run over the brick wall in right in the sixth to go ahead 3-0. The homer was his 11th of the season and a big boost for a Giants team playing without injured slugger Carlos Beltran, nursing a strained right hand for the second straight night.San Francisco's 28 home runs at AT&T Park are the lowest for any team in the majors at home. And perhaps none this season is more special than Stewart's shot."Things like that do pull a club together," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.Nate Schierholtz, Cody Ross and Orlando Cabrera also drove in a run each to highlight a two-run eighth for the Giants, and they could've had far more. The Giants were 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position.The Pirates had few scoring chances and saw their best one snatched away.Ronny Cedeno had a one-out double in the fifth and moved to third with two outs on McDonald's ground out. Then Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval made a diving stop to rob Andrew McCutchen of extra bases and save a run.That's sort of how things have gone lately for Pittsburgh, which sat in first place in the NL Central a little more than two weeks ago. Suddenly, they can't string consecutive wins together."You ask me how we beat left-handers? We get hits with runners in scoring position," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We didn't do that tonight."NOTES: Giants OF Pat Burrell was scheduled to fly to North Carolina on Wednesday to seek a second opinion on his strained right foot. ... Giants 3B coach Tim Flannery sang the national anthem along with "Further" members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. ... Pirates RHP Jeff Karstens (8-6, 3.05 ERA) will try to rebound from his last start when he takes the mound Thursday opposite Giants LHP Jonathan Sanchez (4-6, 4.10). Karstens allowed nine runs in 3 1-3 innings last week against San Diego. It was the first time he allowed more than three earned runs in a start since April 17.

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

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AP

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

If there is such a thing as being “due” in sports (and there actually isn’t, so you can probably stop reading now), the San Francisco 49ers had Sunday coming to them.
 
After all, the anomaly of being the “best winless team in football” based on margin of defeat lasts only so long until the “winless” part trumps the “best” part, because even the Los Angeles Chargers – the previous “best bad team in football” – aren’t the Chargers all the time.
 
So it was that the Dallas Cowboys exposed every weakness the 49ers have with the simplest thing there is.
 
Talent.
 
The Cowboys did everything they wanted, but only whenever they wanted it, in a 40-10 dope-slapping that could actually have been worse than it was. The 49er offense was properly stymied (again), gaining only 290 yards (4.5 yards per play) and the defense was thoroughly Elliotted (as in Ezekiel-ed, who averaged 8.1 yards in his 27 touches). San Francisco’s warts were rubbed until they glowed, and if not for the fact that head coach Kyle Shanahan already knew where they were, he’d have been shocked to see how visible they were.
 
And therein lies the takeaway from another day at Not-So-Great-America. It turns out that the 49ers weren’t very good at much of anything before Sunday except just how far away they are from what Shanahan and general manager John Lynch believe is their destiny. C.J.  Beathard remained the rookie quarterback he is, and Carlos Hyde's hard-won 68 rushing yards led to no scores. Indeed, San Francisco's only touchdown came on a four-yard improv sprint from Beathard, who is by no means a running quarterback except in abject flight.

Next week in Philadelphia figures to be no less grisly, if you’re waiting for that magic moment when “0” becomes “1.” That is, of course, unless Washington exposes the Eagles as less than what they seem, which is very often the case in the new parity-gripped NFL.

But there are subsequent get-well games at home against Arizona and then at New York against the Giants the week after, so whatever dreams you might have about them running the table backwards and getting the first overall pick in the draft are still light years from realization.
 
This is, however, another healthy reminder that the job to be done is at least two more years in the undoing before the doing can actually begin. Not that the players or coaches needed another lesson, mind you – they know.
 
But maybe you needed it, just to keep your delusions in check. Maybe the people who were “due” were all of you.
 
But that’s unfair, too. You didn’t undo this franchise. All you did was believe, and there’s nothing wrong with that – as long you know there will be more days like this before your team starts handing out the 40-10’s.
 
In the meantime, there is beer.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

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AP

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 40-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7 on Sunday:

1. A major step backward
So much for the 49ers’ somewhat-impressive streak of close losses.

There was nothing encouraging about what transpired in the 49ers' worst loss at Levi’s Stadium. It was also the franchise's worst home loss since Mike Singletary's team absorbed a 45-10 thumping against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 11, 2009.

Was there anything positive to take from this game?

“No, not right now,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It was disappointing. I think all three phases, players and coaches, we’ve got to play better than that, a lot better to give ourselves a chance to win.”

The competitive nature of the 49ers’ past five games was one thing. But with a big home loss on such an emotional day, it is fair to say that the honeymoon is over for Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. The 49ers looked like a team devoid of any leadership, and brings more scrutiny onto the organization’s decision last week to release linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

Now, the 49ers face a crossroads. With another cross-country trip ahead, the 49ers have to regroup in a hurry in order to avoid another embarrassing blowout against the Philadelphia Eagles.

2. Beathard’s first start
Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard certainly was not the reason the 49ers got blown out. In his first NFL start, he showed a lot of toughness, which was to be expected. He was sacked five times. But most of those sacks could have been avoided. He has to get rid of the ball quicker, especially on three-step drops.

Beathard also showed some promise, too. He let the ball fly deep for Marquise Goodwin, who caught four passes for 80 yards. Beathard completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards.

Beathard accounted for the 49ers’ only touchdown with a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. There seems to be little doubt it was in the best interest of the organization to begin evaluating what it has for the future with the permanent switch from Brian Hoyer to Beathard.

3. Dwight Clark’s Day
The 49ers, of course, did nothing to evoke any memories of the great teams on which Dwight Clark played. Well, they did look a lot like Clark’s first team with the 49ers.

The 49ers of 1979 lost their first seven games of the season. This year’s team matched that start for the worst beginning to a season in franchise history.

More than 35 of Clark’s teammates off the 1981 Super Bowl team were in attendance to honor a pay tribute to Clark, who is battling ALS. Now in a wheelchair and considerably lighter, Clark delivered some poignant remarks at halftime.

Clark, 60, told his old teammate, Keena Turner, who works as vice president of football affairs, that all he wanted was to see some of his old teammates.

“And the 49ers heard that and flew all these players in, so I could see them one more time,” Clark said.