Giants

Nationals surging, slugging

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Nationals surging, slugging

Programming note: Giants-Nationals coverage starts at 3 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live, then live baseball from DC follows at 3:30 on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area!

Nats lineup producing at lastThe Giants may have caught a break dodging aces StephenStrasburg and and Gio Gonzalez. However, they are catching a Nationalsoffense that has hit its stride recently, Nationals Insider MarkZuckerman writes at CSNWashington.com.Over the final six games of this road trip through Colorado and Atlanta,the Nationals hit a collective .345, averaged 8.5 runs and 13.6 hits per game,mashing out 24 doubles and 13 homers in the process.Ryan Zimmerman received a cortisone shot in his ailingshoulder and Michael Morse has started getting his timing back after missingeight weeks with a torn lat muscle, and the rest of the Nationals has begunreaping the benefits that came with the resurgence of those two stalwarts.Is this more of a true reflection of the lineup theNationals envisioned all along?"No question," manager Davey Johnson said. "I've said all alongwe're going in the right direction. I know the talent here. I know what we're capableof, and to see us start doing it is more like us. Nine hits a ballgame, thatshould be our low with the talent on this ballclub."The Nationals have kept their offense going despite playingin oppressive heat. They recorded nine hits in triple-digit temperatures intheir series finale at Atlanta.Temperatures for Tuesdays series opener with the Giants are expected to be inthe high 90s.MORE: Nats lineup producing at last
Harper showing poise that defies his age
Bryce Harper may be just 19 years old, but he is displayinga maturity that goes beyond his age, Zuckerman writes. Even though Harper hasgone into a slump leading into the Nationals three-game series with theGiants, Harper continues to say the right things.When MLB's All-Star teams were announced yesterday andHarper learned he was among five players on the "Final Vote" ballot,he could have bragged about his own case for a ticket to Kansas City. Instead, he repeatedly insistedthe retiring Chipper Jones should win the vote."He should have already been in the All-Star Game, no matter what,"Harper said following yesterday's 8-4 win in Atlanta. "He's an All-Star and has beenan All-Star for 20 years. I think Chip should be there and ... if I had tovote, Chip's going."Harper could have made a major faux pas when the Yankeescame to town and said something that indicated his desire to someday play forhis favorite team growing up. Instead, he kept his focus on the Nationals,resisted the urge to hobnob around the batting cage with A-Rod and CC andDerek and eventually professed his desire to spend his entire career in Washington.MORE: Harper conducting himself like an All-Star

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

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USATSI

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

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AP

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”