Giants

Baggs' Instant Replay: Giants 3, Dodgers 0

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Baggs' Instant Replay: Giants 3, Dodgers 0

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SAN FRANCISCO For 59 days in the desert, Tim Lincecum wandered and wondered.Could he be a dominant presence again? Could he perform the way his teammates, coaches and fans expected? Could he be Timmy?Under a clear blue sky in China Basin on Wednesday, the Seattle native made it rain again. He threw filth, attacked the zone, blocked the plate and kept a firm grip on the Los Angeles Dodgers, ending his 10-start winless streak with seven shutout innings in the Giants 3-0 victory that forged a tie atop the NL West.Lincecum didnt just end his personal misery. He made franchise history.Combined with starts from Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong, Lincecum capped a three-shutout sweep of their archrivals something thats never been done in all-time franchise history.In fact, the Giants hadnt shut out an opponent while sweeping a series of at least three games since April 24-25, 1954, when Marv Grissom, Sal Maglie and Johnny Antonelli pitched them to 1-0, 3-0 and 5-0 victories over the Philadelphia Phillies at the Polo Grounds.This was just the third time the Giants had thrown three consecutive shutouts in the clubs San Francisco era, and the first time since July 5-8, 1988. Terry Mulholland and Rick Reuschel started shutouts against the Cubs and Mike LaCoss blanked the Cardinals.The other streak of three consecutive shutouts in the San Francisco era came May 11-13, 1960, when Sam Jones and Jack Sanford pitched the Giants over the Phillies and Mike McCormick followed by outdueling the Dodgers Don Drysdale.In case youre wondering the Giants have never thrown four consecutive shutouts in franchise history.Starting pitching reportLincecum (3-8) showed fight and mettle while winning for the first time since April 28. He held the Dodgers to four hits in seven innings, walked two and struck out eight.He got the first-inning escape he needed following a one-out single and a walk when Juan Rivera hit a grounder to third base and Pablo Sandoval expertly fielded it to start a double play.Lincecum pumped his fist, showing plenty of emotion. He showed even more in the third inning, after pitcher Chad Billingsley doubled and took third on a wild pitch.Lincecum threw another bouncer in the dirt that got past catcher Hector Sanchez, but the little right-hander immediately sprinted home and didnt hesitate to throw his left knee in front of the plate while receiving the throw.In the rare pitcher-pitcher confrontation, Lincecum won. He let a shock of celebration run through his body after umpire Fieldin Culbreath called Billingsley out.Lincecum only appeared to grow in stature from there, and Sanchez matched his intensity with a body-sacrificing play in the fourth inning. The catcher, who was working for the second consecutive time with Lincecum, made a diving catch on Elian Herreras popped-up bunt in foul ground, landing hard on the dirt but getting up and firing to second base. Sanchez winced in pain and was checked by trainers but remained in the game.All of it seemed to fuel Lincecum, who retired nine of 10 batters beginning with Herreras foul pop. The lone exception was when Juan Uribe struck out but reached on a wild pitch in the fifth.Lincecum kept plugging the dreaded big inning before it could happen, but he had one more situation to escape after Juan Rivera led off the seventh with an infield hit and A.J. Ellis drew a one-out walk. Giants manager Bruce Bochy went out to check on Lincecum, and he mustve gotten the look and the answer that he wanted. Allowed to finish the inning, Lincecum got Tony Gwynn Jr. to fly out and then struck out Uribe, his former World Series teammate, to end his resounding afternoon.Linecum beat the Dodgers for the first time since July 30, 2010. Hed been 0-4 in six starts since then, mostly getting shaded by Clayton Kershaw despite pitching brilliantly.Bullpen reportJavier Lopez and Sergio Romo combined for the final two shutout innings, keeping a historic, shutout thumping of their rivals in order.At the plateLincecum did it all. He singled to start the two-run rally in the third inning against Billingsley (4-7). Ryan Theriot and Melky Cabrera collected one-out hits. Lincecum scored when left fielder Bobby Abreu trapped Cabreras sinking line drive, then pretended that he made a clean catch. The umpires werent fooled.Angel Pagan drew a bases-loaded walk in the third and contributed an RBI single in the fifth.Brandon Crawford broke out of his slump perhaps gaining some motivation from his new walk-up music courtesy of Kelly Clarkson and had three hits, including a triple.In fieldSanchezs play amazing.AttendanceThe Giants announced 42,245 paid. A Happy Lincecum Day was had by all.Up nextThe Giants take on another first place team, but this time they enter the series as one, too. Fresh off sweeping the Dodgers, the Giants welcome Dusty Baker and the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds for a four-game series. Theyll face the Reds best pitcher in Thursdays opener, as right-hander Johnny Cueto (9-3. 2.21) will tangle with left-hander Madison Bumgarner (9-4, 3.10). Right-handers Mike Leake, Mat Latos and Bronson Arroyo, who is coming off a near no-hitter, are scheduled to face Matt Cain, Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong.

Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to reach 2017 World Series

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Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to reach 2017 World Series

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CHICAGO -- Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

Fueled by Hernandez's home run trilogy, Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers are finally going to the World Series.

Hernandez homered three times and drove in seven runs, Kershaw breezed through six crisp innings and Los Angeles ended the Chicago Cubs' title defense with an 11-1 victory in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Thursday night.

"It feels good to hear World Series," Kershaw said. "It's been a long time coming for this team."

After years of playoff heartache, there was just no stopping this group of Dodgers. With Kershaw firing away at the top of a deep pitching staff and Justin Turner anchoring a tough lineup, one of baseball's most storied franchises captured its first pennant since Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda managed Los Angeles to its last championship in 1988.

The Dodgers will host the New York Yankees or Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night. The Yankees have a 3-2 lead in the ALCS heading into Game 6 at Houston on Friday night, so one more New York win would set up another chapter in an old October rivalry between the Yankees and Dodgers.

The Dodgers made the playoffs eight times in the previous 13 seasons and came up short each time, often with Kershaw shouldering much of the blame. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner took the loss when Los Angeles was eliminated by the Cubs in Game 6 of last year's NLCS at Wrigley Field.

He was just OK in his first two starts in this year's postseason, but Los Angeles' loaded lineup picked him up each time. Backed by Hernandez's powerful show in Chicago, Kershaw turned in an efficient three-hit performance with five strikeouts in his sixth career playoff win - matching Burt Hooton for the franchise record.

When Kenley Jansen retired Willson Contreras on a liner to shortstop for the final out, the party was on. The Dodgers poured out of the dugout and mobbed their dominant closer near the mound, and a small, but vocal group of Los Angeles fans gathered behind the visitor's dugout and chanted "Let's go Dodgers! Let's go Dodgers!"

Report: Giants interview Chili Davis about becoming new hitting coach

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Report: Giants interview Chili Davis about becoming new hitting coach

Chili Davis spent the first seven years of his big league career with the Giants where he made two All-Star teams and hit 101 home runs. 

Fast forward 37 years from his debut in 1981, and Davis may now be the one teaching Giants how to hit balls over the wall in 2018. The Giants met with Davis Thursday about becoming the team's new hitting coach, according to The Mercury News

The only problem is, there is no open vacancy on the Giants' coaching staff. 

Current hitting coach Hensley Meulens is a candidate for the Tigers' head coaching vacancy, but reports surfaced Thursday that former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire will take that role. Meulens could become a candidate to manage another team or take a different spot on the Giants' staff. 

The Giants' offense sputtered in 2017. Overall, the offense ranked 23rd in batting average (.249), 29th in runs scored (639) and last in home runs (128). By comparison, the Pirates were the next worst team at hitting home runs in 2017 and still launched 23 more long balls than the Giants. 

Over his 19-year career, Davis hit 350 home runs. He has spent the last three years as the Red Sox's hitting instructor.