Athletics

Giants look to keep up winning ways vs. Reds

443038.jpg

Giants look to keep up winning ways vs. Reds

June 9, 2011

GIANTS (35-27) vs.
CINCINNATI (32-31)

Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Cincinnati Reds are eagerly trying to string some wins together. A weekend in San Francisco might not provide the best opportunity to make that happen.

Looking to build on a winning homestand, the Reds open a four-game set against the NL West-leading Giants on Thursday night.

Though Cincinnati (32-31) lost 4-1 to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, it finished with a 5-4 homestand. The Reds, however, have dropped 14 of 21 since winning five in a row May 13-17.

"We're just fighting to get every win we can, and we just can't seem to be able to catch a nice streak where they seem to come easy," Wednesday's loser Bronson Arroyo told the Reds' official website. "Everything has been difficult. It's not going to get any easier in the next couple of weeks."

After San Francisco, the Reds head to Los Angeles for three games. Cincinnati is 12-16 away from home and lost eight of 10 on its most recent trip against Cleveland, Philadelphia and Atlanta.

"We're real close," manager Dusty Baker said. "Perhaps we'll turn it around on this road trip. The last road trip, we had a bad one, so we're due for an excellent one."

The Reds did not fare well last season in San Francisco, getting outscored 38-19 while losing two of three Aug. 23-25, and they now face a Giants team that beat Washington 3-1 on Wednesday for its seventh win in 10 games.

Matt Cain struck out 11 for his first complete game of the season, and Brandon Crawford hit a tiebreaking triple in the seventh inning.

San Francisco (35-27) has scored 15 runs but allowed 11 while taking two of three in consecutive series against Colorado and the Nationals.

Trying to follow up Cain's stellar effort with another strong outing of his own, Madison Bumgarner (2-7, 3.42 ERA) takes the mound for the Giants.

The left-hander has a 2.01 ERA over his last eight starts but went 2-4 and received an average of 2.85 runs of support. Bumgarner allowed an earned run in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to the Rockies on Saturday.

"I've got in a pretty good rhythm the last few starts and it feels good," he said. "I'm getting to where I want to be. I'm making pitches and I feel good."

Bumgarner allowed eight runs and three homers in 2 2-3 innings of his only previous start versus Cincinnati, a 12-11, 12-inning loss Aug. 25.

Joey Votto hit one of his two homers in that contest off Bumgarner and batted .400 (8 for 20) with six RBIs over his last five games versus San Francisco. He's hit .370 with two homers and eight RBIs in seven games this month.

Scheduled Reds starter Johnny Cueto (2-2, 2.27) has not allowed more than three runs in any of his six starts but is 0-2 with a 3.46 ERA over his last four. He surrendered two runs in seven innings of an 11-8, 11-inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.

The right-hander did not receive a decision after allowing four runs and 10 hits in six innings of a 6-5 loss to the Giants on June 7, 2010.

San Francisco's Freddy Sanchez, 0 for 8 over the last two games, is a .357 hitter (5 for 14) versus Cueto.

Mailbag: Will A's go after Bay Area native CC Sabathia?

sabathia-cc-raiders-hat-warriors.jpg
AP

Mailbag: Will A's go after Bay Area native CC Sabathia?

As the postseason continues to unfold, it’s fair game to speculate on what might be in store for the A’s looking ahead to next year. Here’s some questions that came in via Twitter, with my thoughts attached …

@usernamaxwell -- What do you think the 2018 rotation will look like?

Talk about wide open. You can safely write in Kendall Graveman and Sean Manaea. I’ll put Paul Blackburn in there based on his impressive showing before suffering a season-ending hand injury. Daniel Mengden has an inside track based on his strong September. But for both Blackburn and Mengden, the sample size of success is so small. For others, like Jharel Cotton and Daniel Gossett, they struggled during an extended opportunity in this season’s rotation. That’s why I expect the A’s to sign a free agent starter. It likely won’t be a front-of-the-rotation guy. But something tells me one of those five spots will be filled by someone not currently in the organization. As for in-house guys, everything is written in pencil for me beyond Graveman and Manaea.

@sanomafang -- Who do you see starting at CF next season?

Unfortunately there’s no crystal ball that tells us whether Dustin Fowler’s right knee will be full strength by the start of spring training. If he’s fully recovered from surgery for a ruptured patella tendon, it appears his job to lose. That’s saying a lot for a guy that’s played just one big league game. But the 22-year-old Fowler, acquired from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray deal, is a very highly regarded prospect. A’s officials have made it clear they see him as the likely starter in center if he’s 100 percent. But there’s bound to be rust to knock off. Boog Powell remains very much in the equation here. Bottom line, I see the A’s choosing their center fielder from in-house as opposed to acquiring someone.

@jackconboy -- Who do you think will get a long-term contract and would they give one to pre-arb players?

Although the A’s could target a veteran – reportedly they’ve held past talks with Khris Davis and Marcus Semien about extensions – I tend to think it’s the younger guys they would focus on locking up. Yes, I do think they would consider multi-year deals for pre-arbitration players. The question is when. I think they want to give it a little time to evaluate just who they should sink their money into. Any number of players could be targets. Trying to forecast right now, I think Matt Chapman and Matt Olson would make sense to sign as power hitters who play impact defense at the corner infield spots. These look like anchor-type guys to me. But Ryon Healy, Chad Pinder, Bruce Maxwell, Sean Manaea and others could warrant consideration too.

@OaklandABooster -- Any chance the A’s might bid on CC Sabathia in the offseason?

I’ve heard people speculating on this one. The A’s could use a seasoned veteran in their rotation. And given Sabathia is a Vallejo native, finishing his career in the Bay Area could be the perfect ending for the 37-year-old. So it makes some sense on the surface. But being that he pitched to a 3.69 ERA and 14 wins over 148 2/3 innings with the Yankees this season, expect there to be plenty of competition for his services on the open market. As usual, it will come down to dollars. But I could see the A’s making a play for him.

@dongodile -- What's gonna happen to Chris bassitt -- bullpen or rotation?

I’m pretty curious about this myself because there’s a fit for him somewhere on this staff if healthy. Bob Melvin said, in his season-ending media chat, that Bassitt could pitch in relief next season simply because he logged just 50 2/3 innings in 2017 after returning from Tommy John surgery. He feels comfortable relieving, and let’s face it, this bullpen needs reinforcements. He’s a wild card worth watching in spring training.

@mrjoesiler -- What do you see for the DH position in 2018?

I think this one’s on a lot of people’s minds. Things could very well remain status quo. Matt Chapman and Matt Olson appear locked in at the corner infield spots, and with Khris Davis manning left field, Healy would remain the DH. There’s been speculation that perhaps Healy could be dangled in a trade. I see the logic … moving him means Davis could slide to DH and the A’s could field a stronger defensive outfield that potentially has Matt Joyce in left, whoever wins out in center and Chad Pinder in right. But boy, you have to like the chemistry that’s developing with this young nucleus, and Healy is a part of that. Do you want to subtract a piece from that at this early juncture? Being that the A’s have stuck with Davis in left field for two seasons now despite his subpar throwing arm, I could see them staying the course in 2018 and Healy remaining the DH.

@J_M_C_74 -- With the recent trade acquisitions of SSs Jorge Mateo and Sheldon Neuse, does Marcus Semien become a trade candidate in the next 1 -2 years?

First thing’s first – the A’s have to be convinced they’ve got a better shortstop who’s ready before they would even consider dealing Semien. Both prospects you mention made a nice early impression, but it’s too early to tell if either will be playing shortstop in the bigs. Mateo is a terrific athlete but he could also be a center field option. From what I’m told, Neuse has adequate tools for short but is probably best suited for third base. I’ve long thought Richie Martin, the A’s first-round pick in 2015, would have the glove to eventually take over as the big league shortstop. But Martin’s bat is the concern right now, and he finished the season at Single-A after Mateo was acquired and took over shortstop at Double-A.

Draymond, Iguodala upgraded for game against Pelicans

green-draymond-iguodala-andre-high-five.jpg
AP

Draymond, Iguodala upgraded for game against Pelicans

Programming note: Warriors-Pelicans coverage starts tonight at 5:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

The Draymond Green injury scare appears to be nothing more than that.

One day after undergoing an MRI test on his left knee and finding no structural damage, the power forward practiced with the Warriors upon arrival in New Orleans Thursday afternoon.

Green was immediately upgraded from doubtful to probable for the game against the Pelicans on Friday night at Smoothie King Center.

Forward Andre Iguodala, who missed the season opener Tuesday, also is on track to be available. He participated in practice Wednesday and agains Thursday in New Orleans and was upgraded from questionable to probable.

Meanwhile, forward Omri Casspi, was downgraded from questionable to out. After spraining his right ankle in the preseason finale last Friday, he sprained his left ankle in the season opener.