Giants look to Sanchez to earn series split


Giants look to Sanchez to earn series split

June 12, 2011CINCINNATI (34-32) vs.GIANTS (36-29)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tune in to SportsNet Central on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area at 4:30 p.m. and immediately after the Giants game. Also, you can watch the live stream of the All-Star Teacher Award Ceremony here.

(AP) -- The loss of one of the San Francisco Giants' best hitters doesn't bode well for a depleted lineup already struggling to produce.

After another lackluster performance at the plate, the NL West-leading Giants close a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday night.

The Giants (36-29) suffered a 10-2 loss to the Reds (34-32) on Saturday, a day after Freddy Sanchez dislocated his right shoulder while diving for a grounder. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list and was scheduled to have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.

Sanchez was one of the few hitters producing for San Francisco. He was batting .289 with 24 RBIs - second-most on the team - and had a club-high 15 doubles.

After placing Sanchez on the DL, things didn't improve much later in the day for the Giants as Tim Lincecum gave up seven runs in four innings in one of the worst starts of his career while the offense sputtered against Mike Leake, who pitched eight scoreless innings.

"That's a good hitting ballclub and you're going to pay for it if you're off. There's not much else to it, really," manager Bruce Bochy said of Lincecum's struggles.

San Francisco, which has scored nine runs the last five games, ranks near the bottom of the league in runs per game (3.5) and batting average (.240). Before Sanchez's injury, the team was already without catcher Buster Posey, who is out for the season with a broken bone in his lower left leg and three torn ligaments in his ankle, and third baseman Pablo Sandoval, sidelined with an injured right wrist.

To fill Sanchez's spot, the Giants signed Bill Hall, who batted .224 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 46 games with Houston.

"We need some depth right now and he gives us that at every position in the infield and outfield," Bochy said. "He has some power, speed, so we're glad to have him."

After failing to do much off Leake, San Francisco might not find it any easier against Edinson Volquez (4-2, 5.74 ERA), who was sharp in his return to Cincinnati's rotation this week, allowing one run in seven innings of an 8-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

Volquez was the Reds' opening day starter before being demoted to Triple-A Louisville after his ERA rose to 6.35 following a start against Cleveland on May 22.

"He was locating his fastball a lot better. That's the Volquez we knew from before," manager Dusty Baker told the Reds' official website.

The right-hander is 2-1 with an 8.31 ERA against the Giants, and his most recent matchup is surely one he'd prefer to forget. Volquez recorded only two outs in an 11-2 loss Aug. 23, allowing five runs, five hits and three walks.

He'll try to help the Reds win back-to-back games for the third time this month after they dropped 11 of 14 to close out May.

Joey Votto had three hits Saturday, and is batting .385 this month with nine RBIs.

San Francisco will hand the ball to Jonathan Sanchez (4-4, 3.51), who has struggled with his control the last two starts, walking 11 in 10 1-3 innings. He gave up two runs and four hits in five innings of a 2-1 loss to Washington on Tuesday, striking out six.

The left-hander is 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA in four starts against the Reds.

Brandon Phillips is 3 for 8 against Sanchez with each hit leaving the park.

49ers snap count: Reid no longer starter; rookies see more time on offense


49ers snap count: Reid no longer starter; rookies see more time on offense

Veteran safety Eric Reid returned from a knee injury that kept him out three games to discover he lost his starting job.

Strong safety Jaquiski Tartt has continued to serve as an every-down player for the 49ers’ defense. On Sunday, Reid played 48 snaps (64 percent) as the 49ers employed six defensive backs against the Dallas Cowboys three-receiver sets.

The 49ers had to adjust their sub package after nickel back K’Waun Williams sustained a hip injury. Rookie Adrian Colbert entered the game at safety with Jimmie Ward taking over Williams’ role. Colbert played 29 snaps.

Newly signed defensive linemen Leger Douzable and Tony McDaniel saw a lot of action in their 49ers debuts. Douzable played the third-most of any defensive lineman (behind Solomon Thomas and DeForest Buckner), seeing action on 47 of the team’s 75 snaps. McDaniel played 25 snaps.

On offense, the 49ers appear to be making a point to go with younger players. Rookie Cole Hikutini played 21 snaps, taking over as the No. 2 tight end over Garrett Celek and Logan Paulsen.

Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, another undrafted rookie, played a season-high 23 snaps. On fourth-and-4 from the Dallas 28 early in the third quarter, coach Kyle Shanahan decided to go for it instead of kicking a 46-yard field goal. Bourne was the intended target. But he stumbled after a spin move from the slot, and C.J. Beathard’s pass was incomplete.

“As I was throwing the ball he tripped,” Beathard said. “If he hadn’t tripped on a DB’s feet or whatever happened there, it would’ve been a big play.”

Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams:

(66 plays)
Quarterback – C.J. Beathard 66
Running back – Carlos Hyde 51, Matt Breida 15
Wide receiver – Pierre Garçon 46, Trent Taylor 46, Marquise Goodwin 39, Aldrick Robinson 30, Kendrick Bourne 23
Tight end – George Kittle 31, Cole Hikutini 21, Garrett Celek 18, Logan Paulsen 11
Offensive line – Joe Staley 66, Daniel Kilgore 66, Laken Tomlinson 66, Brandon Fusco 52, Trent Brown 45, Garry Gilliam 20, Zane Beadles 14

(75 plays)
Defensive line – Solomon Thomas 61, DeForest Buckner 50, Leger Douzable 47, Earl Mitchell 38, Xavier Cooper 26, D.J. Jones 25, Tony McDaniel 25, Elvis Dumervil 15
Linebacker – Reuben Foster 53, Eli Harold 31, Ray-Ray Armstrong 27, Brock Coyle 22, Dekoda Watson 9
Cornerback – Dontae Johnson 63, Rashard Robinson 51, Ahkello Witherspoon 35, K’Waun Williams 20
Safety – Jaquiski Tartt 75, Jimmie Ward 75, Eric Reid 48, Adrian Colbert 29

(24 plays)
Elijah Lee 21, Coyle 21, Raheem Mostert 16, Celek 15, Colbert 16, Witherspoon 15, Breida 14, Harold 12, Hikutini 12, Armstrong 10, Tartt 10, Bradley Pinion 9, Jones 8, R.Robinson 8, Ward 8, Johnson 7, Kyle Nelson 6, Buckner 6, Thomas 6, Paulsen 6, Reid 5, Mitchell 5, Douzable 4, A.Robinson 3, Taylor 3, Robbie Gould 2, Foster 2, Staley 2, Kilgore 2, Gilliam 2, Beadles 2, Tomlinson 1, Fusco 1, Brown 1, Dumervil 1, Watson 1, Williams 1

QB Brian Hoyer

WR Victor Bolden
DB Dexter McCoil
FB Kyle Juszczyk (back)
LB Mark Nzeocha
LB Pita Taumoepenu
DL Aaron Lynch (calf)
OL Erik Magnuson

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent


Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

If there is such a thing as being “due” in sports (and there actually isn’t, so you can probably stop reading now), the San Francisco 49ers had Sunday coming to them.
After all, the anomaly of being the “best winless team in football” based on margin of defeat lasts only so long until the “winless” part trumps the “best” part, because even the Los Angeles Chargers – the previous “best bad team in football” – aren’t the Chargers all the time.
So it was that the Dallas Cowboys exposed every weakness the 49ers have with the simplest thing there is.
The Cowboys did everything they wanted, but only whenever they wanted it, in a 40-10 dope-slapping that could actually have been worse than it was. The 49er offense was properly stymied (again), gaining only 290 yards (4.5 yards per play) and the defense was thoroughly Elliotted (as in Ezekiel-ed, who averaged 8.1 yards in his 27 touches). San Francisco’s warts were rubbed until they glowed, and if not for the fact that head coach Kyle Shanahan already knew where they were, he’d have been shocked to see how visible they were.
And therein lies the takeaway from another day at Not-So-Great-America. It turns out that the 49ers weren’t very good at much of anything before Sunday except just how far away they are from what Shanahan and general manager John Lynch believe is their destiny. C.J.  Beathard remained the rookie quarterback he is, and Carlos Hyde's hard-won 68 rushing yards led to no scores. Indeed, San Francisco's only touchdown came on a four-yard improv sprint from Beathard, who is by no means a running quarterback except in abject flight.

Next week in Philadelphia figures to be no less grisly, if you’re waiting for that magic moment when “0” becomes “1.” That is, of course, unless Washington exposes the Eagles as less than what they seem, which is very often the case in the new parity-gripped NFL.

But there are subsequent get-well games at home against Arizona and then at New York against the Giants the week after, so whatever dreams you might have about them running the table backwards and getting the first overall pick in the draft are still light years from realization.
This is, however, another healthy reminder that the job to be done is at least two more years in the undoing before the doing can actually begin. Not that the players or coaches needed another lesson, mind you – they know.
But maybe you needed it, just to keep your delusions in check. Maybe the people who were “due” were all of you.
But that’s unfair, too. You didn’t undo this franchise. All you did was believe, and there’s nothing wrong with that – as long you know there will be more days like this before your team starts handing out the 40-10’s.
In the meantime, there is beer.