Warriors

Giants back home for series with struggling Rockies

Giants back home for series with struggling Rockies

June 3, 2011

COLORADO (26-29) vs.
GIANTS (31-25)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The San Francisco Giants are glad Aubrey Huff snapped out of his slump in emphatic fashion.

That may also be a source of comfort for Matt Cain.

Huff looks to continue his success against the Colorado Rockies and give Cain some rare support in the opener of a three-game series in San Francisco on Friday night.

Huff is hitting .233 with eight homers and 30 RBIs this season. However, four of those home runs and seven RBIs have come in the last two games - both victories. It's a reminder of his .290 average, 26 homers and 86 RBIs in 2010, when he played a pivotal role in the Giants' run to their first World Series title in 56 years.

The first baseman went 4 for 5 with a career-high three homers Thursday, also matching a career best with six RBIs as the Giants (31-25) beat NL Central-leading St. Louis 12-7 to take three of four from the Cardinals.

REWIND: Huff's big night gives Giants win over Cardinals

Huff is batting .326 with seven homers in his last 25 games against Colorado (26-29).

"When Huffie gets going, he can carry the team. He did it last year," said Freddy Sanchez, who added a homer and four RBIs Thursday. "He's getting that confidence back and his swing is back.

"I don't think it's any coincidence that he's getting it going and we're getting going."

Cain (3-4, 3.88) will hope Huff, Sanchez and the Giants have some hits left in their bats after getting no runs of support while losing his last two starts. That's nothing new for Cain, for whom San Francisco has scored two runs or fewer in 78 of his 143 outings since the start of 2007.

The right-hander has a 3.58 ERA in four home starts, but has gotten five total runs of support in those games and has a 1-1 record to show for it.

Cain is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in three career home starts against the Rockies.

The Giants are 5-3 in the season series, including sweeping a three-game series at AT&T Park from May 6-8.

The Rockies are looking to begin June with consecutive victories after winning 3-0 at Los Angeles on Wednesday following a woeful 8-21 record in May.

"It's a new month, a new start for us." left fielder Carlos Gonzalez told the team's official website.

Colorado has dropped 11 of 14 on the road and is 1-2 on its current nine-game trip against NL West rivals, which concludes with three games at San Diego.

Juan Nicasio (1-0, 0.00) gets a second turn in the rotation after a dazzling major league debut in Saturday's 15-4 rout of St. Louis. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed one unearned run and scattered six hits in seven innings to earn the win and show why he's considered one of the Rockies' top pitching prospects.

"I'm excited because it's my second start in the big leagues, but I'm going to just try to make my pitches," Nicasio told the team's official website through an interpreter. "I'm not worried about what team I'm pitching against, just what I need to do.

"I'm going to try to make my pitch down in the zone. I always try to do that, throw down in the zone."

Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez have struggled against the Giants this season, batting .207 and .185, respectively.

Tulowitzki is 17 for 51 with four homers, four doubles and a triple off Cain, but Gonzalez is 3 for 25 with seven strikeouts.

The two sluggers combined to go 3 for 20 in the Rockies' last series at San Francisco.

Steve Kerr: #FakeKlay 'perfect metaphor for our conditioning'

Steve Kerr: #FakeKlay 'perfect metaphor for our conditioning'

First, there was #ChinaKlay.

Now, there is #FakeKlay.

In case you missed it, a Klay Thompson lookalike was seated behind the Warriors bench during their season-opening loss to the Rockets on Tuesday. He had the full jersey, the facial hair and the cadence.

A day later, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was asked about #FakeKlay and he used it as an opportunity to state that he felt his players were out of shape.

"I thought it was a perfect metaphor for our conditioning as a team," Kerr told the media in Oakland. "I turned around and was like 'Klay, did you have a few extra burgers last night? What happened?' That was great. I love that guy."

So Kerr is definitely a fan of #FakeKlay. No word yet if the real Klay has met #FakeKlay. We'll let you know if they do cross paths.

Warriors spend day reviewing Rockets' horror show, focus on one area of concern

kerrscreaming-rockets-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Warriors spend day reviewing Rockets' horror show, focus on one area of concern

OAKLAND -- Sidelined with a back strain, Andre Iguodala spent Tuesday night “yelling at the TV more than I normally do” as the Warriors labored through an uneven performance before blowing a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter.

So there was Iguodala, this time with his teammates, sitting before a monitor Wednesday as coach Steve Kerr review the horror show that was a 122-121 loss to the Houston Rockets.

“We only did about a half-hour on the floor, mostly skill work,” Kerr said after the light practice. “Watched a lot of video.

“That game was a weird game because we were shooting the ball well and scoring enough to win. But we never had control of it the way we normally have control of a game, with defense and toughness.”

Though the Warriors were hampered by injuries -- Iguodala being out, while Draymond Green and Omri Casspi were hurt during the game -- beyond their control, there was at least one thing they believe they can fix immediately.

They can avoid some of the fouls, particularly those that are mindless.

That’s the trap Stephen Curry fell into, picking up three fouls in the first four minutes. That he was limited to 30 minutes, and only 18 through the first three quarters, had an impact on the playing rotation and was a factor in the loss.

“The only thing I’m worried about with him is just those little fouls,” Iguodala said. “Because when he’s on the court, no matter if he’s scoring or not, he’s making life easier for everyone else.”

Kerr after the game cited conditioning as an issue and elaborated on the subject Wednesday.

“Conditioning is not just physical. It’s mental, too,” he said. “We were not ready, mentally, to play that game, even when we weren’t tired early in the game.

“There were other lapses, too. After made baskets, transition threes for them we neglected to pick up. That’s not physical conditioning. That’s mental conditioning. That’s where we need to get better. And we will.”

The Warriors will be wounded in more ways than one when they board their flight to New Orleans Thursday morning. They’ll have some achy players, for sure, but they’ll also have a 0-1 record.

“I feel like losses have this huge effect on us that usually benefits us,” Iguodala said.