Giants Insider notes: Bumgarner's big inning


Giants Insider notes: Bumgarner's big inning

May 13, 2011
RECAP BOX SCOREMychael UrbanCSNBayArea.com

Our MLB Insider takes a look at the Giants' 11-4 loss to the host Cubs on Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Chicago's venerable Wrigley Field.Crooked number a killer: Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner entered the game coming off a three-start stretch in which he'd allowed two runs while striking out 19 over 19 innings, suggesting he had turned the corner after a series of disconcerting starts to open the season. His old nemesis, the big inning, came back to bit him again Friday, though, when he gave up three earned runs in the second inning alone.
RECAP: Giants halted -- Cubs send Bumgarner to 0-6 start
Thus endeth thy streak: San Francisco's brilliant bullpen, which hadn't allowed an earned run in more than 22 innings, came crashing back to earth when lefty Jeremy Affeldt struggled through his worst outing of the year in being charged with four earned runs on two hits and a walk while retiring just one batter. Righty Guillermo Mota took over for Affeldt and wasn't much better, giving up two hits and a walk -- he allowed two inherited runners to score in addition to one of his own -- before getting out of Chicago's five-run seventh, and lefty Dan Runzler brought the proverbial gas can to the mound with him in the eighth as the Cubs blew the game wide open and ended the Giants' six-game winning streak with a resounding thud.
Cody still clicking: Outfielder Cody Ross moved over to left field to make room for Nate Schierholtz, whose 3-for-4 showing Thursday earned him another start in right field, but it doesn't matter where Ross plays or bats in the lineup these days. His two-run homer in the top of the eighth provided a modicum of hope for another big Giants comeback and continued a streak of hot hitting that's made his slow start after coming off the disabled list seem like a distant memory.Buster's back: Two days after taking a couple of foul balls squarely off his mask, prompting a round of concussion testing and a day off Thursday, catcher Buster Posey was back in the lineup and showed his first signs of life at the plate in quite some time with a multi-hit game. He also struck out twice, though, so it's a bit too early to say he's anywhere close to out of the woods.Bright side, dark side: Bright: Giants center fielder Andres Torres collected a season-high three hits, including a triple, to boost his batting average to .357 on the season, and Aubrey Huff had yet another impactful game, picking up a double that cut the Cubs' lead to 3-2 in the fifth among his pair of hits. Dark: Cubs starter Ryan Dempster, whose ERA was 9.58 after his first six starts of the season, put together his third consecutive strong start for the North Siders and fanned 11 over six innings.Krukow's colors: A former Cub, Mike Krukow was asked to lead the crowd in the singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" from the home radio booth during the seventh-inning stretch. The Giants color man -- and former Giants ace - left no doubt as to where his true loyalties lay, however, by leaving it to the fans to fill in the blank in the lyric, "So it's root, root, root for the .," and he ditched entirely the tradition of yelling, "Let's get some runs!" after the end of the song, instead paying homage to the late, great Harry Caray.

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Kyle Shanahan is, self admittedly, not a patient person. As he watched quarterback C.J. Beathard run the scout team over the last couple of weeks -- how he visualized an unfamiliar play, went through his progressions and handled the defensive coverages -- the head coach saw rapid improvement every day. But he suppressed any urge to play the rookie before he was ready.

“I tried to wait for the right time for him and the right time for the team,” Shanahan explained.

Down 14-0 to Washington halfway through the second quarter with starter Brian Hoyer struggling, Shanahan knew Beathard’s time had come.

“I felt the team needed it right then,” Shanahan said. “It also made me more confident to do it because I thought he was ready for it, also.”

Moments after the game was over, Shanahan named Beathard the starter. Watching the game tape on the flight home only bolstered his decision.

“By no means was he perfect, missed a couple of things, but that always happens,” Shanahan said. “I thought he came in there, didn’t hesitate, competed. The moment was not too big for him. Made a few plays in rhythm, made a few off schedule plays and was a big reason we got back in that game.”

Beathard led the 49ers on two scoring drives and finished 19-of-36 with 245 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception, though it came on fourth-and-20 on his final pass attempt of the game. On his 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson, Beathard extended the play when the fifth year receiver wasn’t where he expected him to be.

“He was supposed to go to the post for a certain coverage, and they had a busted coverage, so he just hung out there which is why C.J. didn’t see it right away,” Shanahan explained. “We had enough protection where he could take a couple more hitches. He drove the pocket and saw where Aldrick was, and he didn’t hesitate. Made that throw with that arm strength.”

Shanahan smirked at his not-so-subtle dig at those who questioned Beathard’s arm strength during the draft process. He sees a quarterback who can make all the throws, and make them from the pocket, and scramble when he needs to. All he needs now, Shanahan contends, is experience.

“It’s about playing in the game and reacting to defenses, reacting to coverages, reacting to adjustments. He’s going to see a lot of things he hasn’t seen before, and that will change each week. It will probably change each quarter.”

Helping Beathard continue to grow through those experiences will require patience, but in this situation, it’s the kind the head coach can handle.

“You’re never going to get a quick answer. You see over time, but he’s got the ability to do it. He’s got the mental toughness to do it. I think he will get better the more he plays.”

Kings look to get healthy with opener just days away


Kings look to get healthy with opener just days away

SACRAMENTO - All hands on deck. The Sacramento Kings open the 2017-18 schedule Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets at Golden 1 Center and it looks like they might do so with a full arsenal of players at their disposal.

Point guard De’Aaron Fox returned to practice on Sunday and then participated in the team’s annual Fanfest. If his dance moves are any indication, the 19-year-old’s back is feeling just fine.

Veteran George Hill tweaked his groin Friday against the Golden State Warriors, leaving his availability for opening night in question. Hill, 31, who has a history of groin injuries, was on the court Monday practicing and said he is ready to play.

“Everything is feeling good right now,” Hill said Monday following practice.

The only player who didn’t practice on Monday is rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic, who sprained his right ankle against the Warriors. According to head coach Dave Joerger,  the team is hopeful that the Serbian sharpshooter will return in time for Game 1.

“We’re still shooting for Wednesday for both of them,” Joerger said of Hill and Bogdanovic.

New look Rockets

The Rockets went 55-27 last season under head coach Mike D’Antoni, but that didn’t stop them from going all in during the offseason. With MVP runner-up James Harden already manning the backcourt, Houston added nine-time All-Star Chris Paul as their new starting point guard.

“Leadership, he’s a floor general,” Hill said about Paul. “Anywhere he goes, he’ll make a team better. We know they were already a good team without him, coming in with him is going to be a bigger task.”

It’s a new look roster and the expectations are huge for the Rockets. Houston averaged 115.3 points per game last season and led the league in both 3-point attempts and makes. This season, they also added two strong perimeter defenders in P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute.

It’s a huge test coming out of the gate for Sacramento. Following the contest against the Rockets, the Kings hit the road for three straight before returning to Golden 1 next Thursday to face DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Camp notes

With the season just around the corner, the Sacramento Kings made their final roster cuts on Sunday afternoon. David Stockton, Matt Jones and Reggie Hearn were waived, leaving the Kings with 15 rostered players and two two-way players in Jack Cooley and JaKarr Sampson.

Stockton, Jones and Hearn are all expected to join the Reno Bighorns of the NBA’s G-League.