Giants stuck in Cincy as they await NLCS opponent


Giants stuck in Cincy as they await NLCS opponent

CINCINNATI The Giants might have advanced to the NLCS bywithstanding the Reds on Thursday, but they arent going anywhere at themoment.

The club checked back into their downtown hotel inCincinnati after Thursday's clinching, 6-4 victory and might be there for two more nights. Thats because theWashington Nationals won Thursday to extend the other NL Division Series. Adecisive Game 5 will be played Friday night.

If the Nationals win, the Giants would play Sunday atWashington. If the Cardinals win, the Giants would open the NLCS at homeSunday.

Not wanting to criss-cross the country if they must go toWashington, club officials decided to park the charter and wait. Club officials said they might not fly until Saturday morning, although that remains undecided for now.

Much is yet to be determined about the pitching rotation inthat series, but you can start with this: Matt Cain wouldnt be fully resteduntil Game 3. The Giants would be lined up to open with Madison Bumgarner andRyan Vogelsong, although manager Bruce Bochy has said its a matter of when,not if, Tim Lincecum will be folded back into a prominent role after his 6 13 dynamicrelief innings in the NLDS victory over the Reds.

It seems likely the Giants will go with one of these threecombinations to start the series: Bumgarner-Vogelsong, Vogelsong-Bumgarner orVogelsong-Lincecum.

But they dont have an opponent yet, and they dont know iftheyll open at home or on the road. So the rotation map is still very muchunfolded.

For now, well ... we're pretty sure Cincinnati has a mall and a movie theater.

Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to reach 2017 World Series


Dodgers crush Cubs in Game 5 to reach 2017 World Series


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


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.