Giants Insider notes: Walks haunt


Giants Insider notes: Walks haunt

May 5, 2011

Our MLB Insider takes a look at the Giants' 5-2 loss to the host Mets on Thursday at Citi Field in New York.Wild thing: In his first start since walking four batters in the first inning and issuing a total of eight free passes -- six walks, two hit batters -- over five innings last Friday in Washington, D.C., Giants lefty Jonathan Sanchez looked like the exact same pitcher who struggled against the Nationals. He was again his own worst enemy, walking six and allowing five hits on the way to surrendering five earned runs over five innings -- he was lifted with a pitch count of 93 -- in the final game of San Francisco's 10-game road trip. Cliche, it's not: "Walks will come back to haunt you." You hear it all the time, and it's not hollow chatter. Sanchez issues consecutive walks to New York's eighth- and ninth-place hitters with two out in the second inning, and Jose Reyes promptly cashed them in with a triple to center field that capped a three-run rally.RECAP: Sanchez loses control; Giants fail to sweep Mets
Small man, big fly: Diminutive Mike Fontenot, who served as the Giants' No. 3 hitter in all three games of the Mets series, doesn't look like much of a power hitter, but looks are deceiving. Make a point to get out to AT&T Park a little early next time you take in a game and watch him take batting practice. More than likely, you'll see him launch a few bombs similar to the upper-tank shot he slammed off Mets starter Mike Pelfrey on Thursday to get the visitors on the board for the first time.Regulars resting: Buster Posey, Freddy Sanchez and Pat Burrell all were left out of the starting lineup for the day game after a night game, but two of the regulars who look like they need a blow as much as anybody -- Cody Ross and Miguel Tejada -- were run back out there and continued to struggle. Combined they went 1-for-8 and are still stuck with batting averages below .200.Mota mows: Veteran righty reliever Guillermo Mota, a non-roster invitee to spring training who had to battle for a spot on the opening day roster, has been extremely consistent for the Giants all season, and he put together one of his best outings of the season in working two perfect innings to give the Giants a chance at mounting a late comeback. Mota's ERA fell to 2.08 for the year.Mission accomplished: The goal for every team at the start of every season and every road trip is to do no worse than play .500 ball away from home. This was an ugly trip for the Giants in many respects, but the bottom line is that they won two of three series and packed up for their return to the Bay Area with a 5-5 roadie record.

Sharks dominate Ducks for two wins in two nights

Sharks dominate Ducks for two wins in two nights


ANAHEIM -- Mikkel Boedker had two goals and an assist, Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 on Sunday night.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Kevin Labanc and Melker Karlsson also scored for the Sharks, who have won five of six. Aaron Dell stopped 33 shots.

Rickard Rakell and Ryan Getzlaf scored for Anaheim. John Gibson stopped only 17 of 22 shots and was replaced after giving up his fifth goal. Anaheim had a four-game home winning streak snapped.

Four goals came in the third period. First, Anaheim pulled within one when Ondrej Kase stole the puck from behind the net and quickly fed Getzlaf, who fired it past Dell.

One minute later, the Sharks answered when Thornton's slap shot went in.

Boedker's second goal gave San Joe a 5-2 lead, and Karlsson's goal on goalie Ryan Miller made it a runaway.

The Ducks first found the net in the final minute of the second period, but that took a two-man advantage and a bit of luck.

Rakell was camped a few feet below the crease when he snapped a shot. San Jose's Justin Braun stuck out a stick, but it deflected the puck off the back of Dell's arm and into the net.

It was Rakell's team-high 17th goal this season.

San Jose appeared to take a commanding 3-0 lead on a power play in the second period. Boedker fired a shot from the top of the right circle that whistled past Gibson.

The Sharks took a 2-0 lead early in the second period when Anaheim's No.1 line turned the puck over. Thornton snapped it out to Labanc, who popped free for a breakaway. He beat Gibson on his short side for his fifth goal.

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead late in the first period on a nifty give-and-go when Tomas Hertl skated down the far side and sent a pass through the legs of Anaheim's Brandon Montour and right to Vlasic in front of the net.

Vlasic snapped it past Gibson for his seventh goal of the season.


Sharks: Return to San Jose on Tuesday night to play the Jets.

Ducks: Remain at home to play the Rangers on Tuesday night.

49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles


49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles

Veteran 49ers left tackle Joe Staley is expected to benefit from the Philadelphia Eagles’ trip to the Super Bowl.

Staley, originally chosen as an alternate, is expected to be named to his sixth Pro Bowl to take the place of Eagles Pro Bowl tackle Lane Johnson.

The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Jan. 28, in Orlando, Florida. Members of the Super Bowl participant Eagles and New England Patriots will not play in the All-Star game. The Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The other Pro Bowl offensive tackles representing the NFC are Dallas’ Tyron Smith and Los Angeles’ Andrew Whitworth, who replaced Washington’s Trent Williams.

Staley got off to a rough start last season as the 49ers opened on a nine-game losing streak. The idea of his career coming to an end began to creep into his mind, he said recently on the 49ers Insider Podcast.

But Staley said he had a talk with coach Kyle Shanahan that got him refocused for the remainder of the season. The 49ers finished with a five-game win streak to finish with a 6-10 record, and Staley played well down the stretch.

“I’m so far gone from where I was in that moment early in the year that I’m just focused on next year and, hopefully, years after that,” said Staley, 33, an 11-year NFL veteran. “I feel like I can still play.

“I think this last half of the season I played some of the best football of my career. I feel very confident in what we’re doing schematically with the people surrounding us, and it shows in my own play.”

Staley would join fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who was the only 49ers player named to the Pro Bowl when the teams were announced in last month.