Giants Insider notes: Nate the Great


Giants Insider notes: Nate the Great

May 6, 2011
Our MLB Insider takes a look at the Giants' 4-3 win over the visiting Rockies on Friday in the opener of a three-game series at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Nate at night: Hoping a return to the shores of McCovey Cove might somehow provide the impetus for an offensive renaissance, the Giants for the first seven innings looked very much like the same tired bunch that scored four runs during a four-game series in Washington, D.C., last weekend. In the eighth, however, a broken-bat blooper by Buster Posey and a clutch two-out double by Pat Burrell set the stage for Nate Schierholtz, who was batting .368 over his previous eight games. Hitless on the evening, Schierholtz put together a gutsy at-bat against Rockies reliever Rafael Betancourt, fouling off a nasty 2-2 pitch before slashing a game-tying double down the left-field line.

Freshening up: Cody Ross, who had scuffled -- 9-for-45 without an extra-base hit -- in his first 14 games off the disabled list, opted for a new look Friday and showed up at AT&T without his signature beard. Perhaps it makes him more aerodynamic, because he came off the bench to pick up that elusive first double of the season to open the bottom of the ninth inning and scored easily when Freddy Sanchez bounced a single up the middle with one out. Like old times: Matt Cain used to be known as much for being a tough-luck pitcher as for having no-hit stuff, but last year the worm turned and he started to get the kind of support from his teammates that turned his gems into wins instead of no-decisions or losses. It's starting to look like the buzzard is back. Cain wasn't exactly lights-out, but he allowed only seven Rockies to reach base during seven sturdy innings on the way to his third consecutive quality start -- only to head home for the night with his second no-decision (to go with a loss) during that stretch. Jump around: Spring training is over for closer Brian Wilson, who spent most of his time at camp in Scottsdale, Ariz., nursing back and oblique issues instead of honing his mechanics and menacing mound presence. So he's essentially been training on the fly, in big-league games, since coming off the DL. As evidenced by his two most recent outings, including Friday's perfect ninth inning, he finally locked into the form that makes the beard so fearsome. Nice tribute: Not long after the 80th birthday celebration for Willie Mays came to a close, the Giants' current center fielder, Aaron Rowand, made a diving catch to end the bottom of the first inning that brought a wide smile to the face of the Say Hey Kid.

Steve Kerr updates Jordan Bell's status

Steve Kerr updates Jordan Bell's status

Jordan Bell likely envisioned a longer debut at the United Center. 

The Chicago Bulls traded the pick used to select Bell to the Golden State Warriors for cash considerations, and Bell's taken plenty of chances to remind the Bulls to remind them of that fact. 

Instead of getting another chance to rub it in, Bell injured his left ankle 24 seconds in to Golden State's 119-112 win over Chicago on Wednesday. On Thursday, Bell and the Warriors learned the results of his MRI, and it's not as bad as the team first feared, according to head coach Steve Kerr.

"Well, it seemed a lot worse at the time when it happened. Everyone kind of thought he had a broken a bone just based on his reaction [and] what he was telling us," Steve Kerr told Damon Bruce on 95.7 The Game.  "But the MRI was pretty good this morning. Nothing glaring. 

"The X-ray was fine yesterday. So it doesn't appear to be more than a bone bruise but bone bruises can be tricky to heal, so we'll see what happens. But so far, the news has all been good."

Bell has emerged as a bench contributor in his first NBA season. In 38 games, he's averaging 5.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 14.4 minutes.

Two Warriors named All-Star Game starters


Two Warriors named All-Star Game starters

After sending four players to the NBA All-Star Game last season in New Orleans, the Warriors are halfway to repeating the feat this season.

Point guard Stephen Curry and small forward Kevin Durant were voted in as Western Conference starters for the game scheduled for Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the NBA announced on Thursday.

Though Curry has missed 15 games -- nearly one-third of the season -- it has not hurt his popularity; His No. 30 is the NBA’s best-selling jersey for the third straight season. He is averaging team-leading 27.7 points, 6.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds, and 1.65 steals per game.

Curry is the first member of the Warriors to be named a starter for five consecutive All-Star games. As the player with the most fan votes, Curry becomes a captain and is in position to select the members of his team.

Durant, who has missed eight games this season, was named as a starter for the sixth time, the first four coming when he was a member of the Thunder.

Durant is averaging 26.2 points (fifth in the league) 6.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.05 blocks (fourth in the league) per game.