Giants Own Game 4, Claim Series Stranglehold


Giants Own Game 4, Claim Series Stranglehold

Mychael UrbanCSNBayArea.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- On the strength of 24 outs recorded by a 21-year-old rookie, the Giants on Sunday moved to within 27 outs of baseball heaven.Left-hander Madison Bumgarner simply dominated the high-octane hosts in Game 4 of the World Series at Rangers Ballpark, leading San Francisco to a 4-0 victory that left them needing but one more triumph to end a championship drought that dates back to 1954.He threw everything he had, he threw it for strikes, and he threw it all the way through the eighth inning. In doing so, he threw a serious wrench into the Rangers plan to irreversibly shift the momentum of the Fall Classic.He had it all going, Giants skipper Bruce Bochy said. I cant say enough about what he did tonight.What Bumgarner did was help quickly erase the memory of the Giants' Game 3 loss. His eight shutout innings all but ensured San Francisco avoided its first two-game losing streak since the final weekend of the regular season. Most important, he gave San Francisco a 3-1 series lead.Only a three-game losing streak -- Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain scheduled to pitch the next two -- can prevent the City by the Bay from celebrating its first World Series title since moving West from New York for the 1958 season, four years after the franchises most recent world title. The Giants havent lost three in a row since late August.Its a good spot to be in, no doubt, said Aubrey Huff, who gave Bumgarner all the offense hed need with a two-run homer in the third inning. But weve still got a lot of work tomorrow. Weve got to go out there and get back to work, act like were down 1-3.Huff hit the huge early homer, Buster Posey hit one late, Andres Torres and Edgar Renteria each had three hits and tag-teamed a big insurance run, and Bumgarner handled the rest of the heavy lifting.In truth, the only thing heavy about Bumgarner are his eyelids. He appears half-asleep much of the time. On Sunday, he made the powerful Rangers offense go nighty-night with eight shutout innings of three-hit work with two walks and six strikeouts.Its the World Series, the biggest game youre ever going to play in, Bumgarner said. I just try to go out there and tell myself its another game.While Bumgarner was busy living up to his reputation for refusing to play the role of overwhelmed and wide-eyed youngster, Texas starter Tommy Hunter essentially lived down to his reputation as a postseason disaster.Hunter, who has yet to see his way past the fifth inning in three postseason starts, was gone after four innings with a line of two runs on five hits and a walk with one strikeout over 83 laborious pitches.Were it not for a diving catch by Josh Hamilton to rob Nate Schierholtz and end the top of the second with runners at the corners, Hunter might not have made it that far.The Giants helped a little, too. Torres opened the game with an infield single and stole second, but Freddy Sanchez grounded out, Huff could do no more than move Torres to third with another groundout, and Posey ended the inning with yet another routine bouncer.Huff, however, more than made up for his part in the aborted rally. Torres opened the third with a double into the right-field corner, and after Sanchez again failed to advance him, grounding out to the left side to end a nine-pitch battle, Huff jumped all over a first-pitch cutter that cut no better than a plastic spork. Watching his drive head down the right-field line, Huff stood at the plate for a moment, banking on body English to keep it fair. And fair it stayed, his first postseason homer landing an announced 404 feet away from the plate for a 2-0 lead that seemed to take the fight right out of the sellout crowd of more than 51,000.Its certainly special, said Huff, a native Texan. In the back of your mind youd like to hit a big homer to put you ahead. Its pretty surreal right now.If Sanchez was a bit of a disappointment at the plate early on, he was anything but a bummer on defense. He ended the bottom of the second with a leaping, snow-cone catch of a liner by Jeff Francoeur, and he was a one-man show in the fourth.Michael Young led off with a shot into shallow right that Sanchez ranged way to his left to flag down with a slide, but a momentary bobble on the glove-to-hand exchange allowed Young to barely beat the throw and give the Rangers their first hit of the game.Hamilton followed with a bouncer the brought Sanchez into the base path, where he alertly tagged Young before twisting and contorting his frame -- Cirque de Soleil scouts would have drooled -- before firing to first. Hamilton beat the throw, but he didnt beat Poseys throw to second with two out; Sanchez was at the bag to field it on a short-hop before swiping a quick tag to Hamiltons forearm, thwarting the attempted base theft. Sanchez also started a 4-6-3 that ended the sixth inning, helping double up the fastest man on the field, Elvis Andrus.I just want to have a positive impact on the game in any way, Sanchez said. Play hard for nine innings like we always do, and something goods probably going to happen.Making the strong throw to get Andrus by a hair was shortstop Renteria, who picked up his third single of the game with one out in the top of the seventh. He raced home on a two-out drive to the wall in right-center by Torres, giving Bumgarner some extra padding for use in his cold-blooded construction of the Rangers deathbed.Its an amazing feeling to be a part of this group of guys, Torres said. Im so blessed to just be here. Everything else is extra.So coolly efficient through the first six innings that he entered the seventh with a pitch count of 73, Bumgarner encountered his only real jam in that seventh, when an error by third baseman Juan Uribe and a two-out single by Nelson Cruz gave the Rangers their first runner in scoring position.As hes done all year with whatever pressure has tried to come his way, Bumgarner shrugged it off and went back to work, calmly getting ahead of Ian Kinsler with an inside fastball before retiring him on a lazy fly ball to left.He didnt throw two pitches the same speed, and he moved the ball around, marveled Rangers manager Ron Washington, who also credited Bumgarner with having a role in the fine defense behind him.He kept the ball on the ground and kept his offense engaged, Washington explained. The kid did a great job tonight. Posey, who teamed with Bumgarner to become the first rookie battery to start a World Series game since Yankees righty Spec Shea and Yogi Berra in 1947, waited until to eighth inning to truly celebrate the occasion. He greeted reliever Darren ODay by belting a 2-2 offering onto the grassy bank beyond the wall in center for his first postseason home run.In Game 3, ODay had coaxed a weak ground ball out of Posey to end a potential rally in the same inning.I tried to treat it like the same situation, Posey said. He won last night, and I got a better pitch to hit tonight.Bumgarner bid an appropriate adieu with a perfect eighth inning that pushed his pitch count to 106, leaving the end-of-game glory to the bullpen hed kept quiet all night.Brian Wilson took the baton and was perfect himself, striking out the final two batters to end a very Happy Halloween for the orange-and-black.We have baseball left, Bochy reminded. We got a heck of a performance out of the kid tonight and some big hits, but theyve got a tough pitcher going tomorrow in lefty Cliff Lee. Right now we still have work ahead of us, and the number we have to get to is win No. 4.

Steph Curry golfs with Barack Obama, Jordan Spieth in Dallas


Steph Curry golfs with Barack Obama, Jordan Spieth in Dallas

Programming note: Warriors-Mavs coverage starts today at 4:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

After the Warriors lost to the Grizzlies on Saturday night in Memphis, they flew to Dallas.

And on Sunday in the Lone Star State, Steph Curry enjoyed some free time on the golf course:


A post shared by Jordan Spieth (@jordanspieth) on

From left to right -- Jonnie West, Seth Curry, Kevin Plank (Under Armour CEO), Jordan Spieth, Barack Obama, Curry.

This is not the first time Curry has enjoyed a round of golf with Obama, as the two hit the links back in August 2015.

Curry and the Warriors face the Mavs on Monday night.

Seth Curry unfortunately will not suit up because of a left leg injury.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

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