Raiders

Lincecum flirts with no-no, Giants top Rockies 8-1

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Lincecum flirts with no-no, Giants top Rockies 8-1

April 18, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
DENVER (AP) Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants sure weren't complaining about the humidor Monday night."Not at all," said Lincecum, the two-time Cy Young Award winner who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning at Coors Field in San Francisco's 8-1 rout of the Colorado Rockies.Spotted an early eight-run cushion thanks to homers by Pat Burrell, Nate Schierholtz and Freddy Sanchez, Lincecum (2-1) cruised through Colorado's lineup, dominating baseball's best team over the season's first 2 12 weeks until Carlos Gonzalez broke up his no-hit bid with a clean single in the seventh. URBAN: Giants roll behind altitude at altitude
"I wasn't really thinking about it," Lincecum said of his no-hit bid.His teammates certainly were.Burrell said he went to manager Bruce Bochy and asked to be taken out, figuring he was a defensive liability in left field late in the game."I went in and talked to Bochy and said, 'Listen, I'd hate to be the guy that doesn't get to a ball that somebody else might catch," said Burrell, who was replaced by Darren Ford in the middle of the seventh.Lincecum didn't allow a ball to the outfield until Jonathan Herrera led off the seventh with a fly to deep right. By then, the ball wasn't carrying and it settled into Schierholtz's glove.Gonzalez followed with the first hit of the night off Lincecum, and he scored on Todd Helton's two-out double.Lincecum was shooting for the 14th no-hitter in franchise history and the first since Jonathan Sanchez handcuffed the San Diego Padres on July 10, 2009, which snapped a 32-year Giants drought.The only no-hitter at Coors Field was thrown by Hideo Nomo of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 17, 1996.Lincecum benefited from some nice defensive plays by second baseman Freddy Sanchez, including a diving stop of Gonzalez's hard grounder in the first on a 2-0 changeup - the exact pitch Gonzalez would be sitting on six innings later.Lincecum said he had no regrets about the 3-1 changeup that Gonzalez raked to right, however."No, that's what I wanted to throw right there," he said. "I felt like I threw the pitch that I wanted and you tip your cap to him. He hit it well."Gonzalez was the one complimenting his opponent."Well, the guy was dealing today," Gonzalez said. "That's why the guy has two Cy Young Awards. Whenever you have to face a guy like that you want to count on your starting pitcher" because runs are going to be hard to come by.The Rockies entered the night with a 12-3 mark and a four-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West, but right-hander Esmil Rogers (2-1) didn't have it, allowing eight runs and six hits over three innings in just the second loss by a Rockies starter this season.Lincecum allowed one run and three hits over 7 2-3 spectacular innings. He walked three, struck out 10 and allowed just four balls out of the infield, none in the first six innings."He's always good, but tonight was some of his best stuff that I've seen," Troy Tulowitzki said. "And then he was getting up there 95 (mph) after CarGo got that hit. It seemed like he amped it up a little bit. He's special."Ryan Vogelsong got the final four outs for San Francisco.This was the first visit to Coors Field by the Giants since they made a stink about the humidor protocol prior to a key series last September - before the Rockies faded from the playoff race and the Giants went on to win their first championship since moving West in 1958.Last fall, MLB changed the humidor protocol one day after Lincecum was caught on camera uttering expletives after being given a new ball, suggesting it was a "juiced ball."The Rockies insist they hold no grudges. The rivalry is spicy enough without any humidor hyperbole."I know a couple of their guys pretty good, including Lincecum," Tulowitzki said. "We think it's pretty comical."The Rockies found nothing to laugh about Monday night, when the Giants spotted Lincecum a five-run lead in the first inning as Burrell (his fifth) and Schierholtz (his first) hit back-to-back homers.Schierholtz followed Burrell's three-run homer with a shot to the upper deck in right."After that, it's real tough to respond," Tulowitzki said.Clayton Mortensen, recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs before the game, replaced Rogers to start the fourth and allowed two hits with two walks and a strikeout, saving the Rockies' bullpen.NOTES: Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez (cut thumb cuticle) comes off the 15-day disabled list to start the second game of the series Tuesday night against Sanchez. ... OF Cody Ross (right calf) might rejoin the Giants on Tuesday from a rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno.

Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots

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Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots

MEXICO CITY – Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City:

1. So you’re saying there’s a chance

The Raiders aren’t stacking wins as they’d like. Nobody in the AFC West is, either. The Chiefs lost another one, meaning the AFC West crown remains within reach. They’re two games back in the division and one back in the wild card race.

That, above all else, will keep the Raiders motivated after a disastrous loss to New England.

“We're professionals and to me, so long as you have hope, you keep your hope, you keep hope alive,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “So, we'll continue to scratch and claw and fight for everything we can.”

The Raiders can harken Lloyd Christmas from “Dumb and Dumber.” So you’re saying there’s a chance.

The Raiders will only stay in it if they start a prolonged winning streak. There’s a chance do that on an upcoming two-game home stand. They play Denver and the New York Giants, respectively, in Oakland over the next fortnight. Those teams have five wins between them.

Wins can’t be assumed with the Raiders team, with the inconsistency and mistake-prone play to lose to anyone.

Fight remains in this group. They’ll continue to push, especially with a 9-7 record being a legitimate playoff contender. They haven’t played worthy of such consideration, but remain hopeful a switch gets flipped.

“We are who we are, we're not going to turn on each other, we're not going to turn on anything about what we do,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “Obviously, we know that our culture and everything that we do works, because we have seen it work.”

2. Receiver corps becoming a weak spot

The Raiders have a talented group of receivers lacking consistency and production. That was the case on Sunday, when pass catchers hindered offensive flow and scoring opportunities.

Seth Roberts was the biggest offender. He had a drop, a false start and lost a fumble near the goal line with the Patriots up 14-0 late in the first half. Roberts had 12 yards in his pocket but held the ball one-handed, away from his body fighting for more. Marquis Flowers knocked it free and Patrick Chung recovered.

That was the turning point, a true 10-point swing. The Raiders lost a chance to reach the end zone, and allowed New England to get a field goal as the half expired.

“That was a major turn of events,” Del Rio said.

The slot receiver wasn’t the only receiver who stalled the Raiders offense. That group had five drops, according to Pro Football Focus, including two from Michael Crabtree. Johnny Holton wasn’t credited with a drop, but he had a perfectly thrown deep ball clang off his helmet and shoulder pads.

It’s a bad night in a bad year for the Raiders receivers, who haven’t been producing.

3. Lopsided score keeps Marshawn from going BeastMode

Running back Marshawn Lynch was the only player who had a good Sunday. The bruising back ran roughshod over New England’s front seven, right from the start. He totaled 67 yards on 11 carries, and seemed primed for a big day and a higher-than-usual carry volume.

He and the Raiders run blocking was consistent, allowing him to reach the second level on several occasions.

The lopsided score, however, meant the Raiders had to abandon the ground game.

“I thought we ran the ball well early,” Del Rio said. “I would like to have ended up with 30-plus rush attempts in the ball game, but you got to stay within reasonable amount of the score in order to stick with the run.”

The Raiders were down two touchdowns in a flash, and were three scores behind at the half. That forced Derek Carr to chuck it towards an unreliable receiver corps. That method proved inefficient and never created the big moments.

Lynch has run well since returning from a one-game suspension. He has 25 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games. If there’s a positive to take from Sunday’s beat down, Lynch’s efficiency might be it.

Del Rio calls out NFL for Raiders losing home games to go abroad

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AP

Del Rio calls out NFL for Raiders losing home games to go abroad

MEXICO CITY – The Raiders have played in Mexico City the last two years, and have given up a home game to do it.

You already know head coach Jack Del Rio’s stance on the matter. He doesn’t like it. Not one bit.

The NFL announced Sunday morning that Mexico City will host games annually through 2021. The Raiders will be on the short list to return during that span.

“They’ve done a nice job for us over the last two years,” Del Rio said. “If it was a road game, I’d enjoy it. If they stop making (international contests) our home games, we’ll be fine.”

Hate to be the bearer of bad news Jack, but the Raiders will keep giving home games away. That’s expected each year until the Raiders formally move to Las Vegas.

The Raiders might not come back to Mexico for a third straight season, but could host a game in London next year. The NFL sent four games to the United Kingdom this year.

The Raiders have a massive fan base in England and Mexico, which makes them an attractive option to play abroad.

It might make financial sense for the team and the league to expand its base beyond borders, but the football people don’t find it fun.

The Raiders had more fans watching Sunday’s 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca, but it’s no substitute for playing in Oakland.

“I think the crowd down here is pretty excited for the Raiders, so we appreciate that,” Del Rio said. “When you travel four-and-a-half hours, you’re not at home. We appreciate the hospitality and the good people who came out and supported us, but it’s hard to call it a home game.”

This one, especially. The Raiders had overwhelming support last year’s game against Houston, but Patriots fans were a large and vocal minority. They had plenty to cheer, as the Patriots waxed the Silver and Black over four quarters.

It’s hard to say the Raiders had a home crowd this time around, with plenty of noise when they were on offense.

“You know what, traveling down here, I think it was like four hours or something like that, and getting here, I think that hospitality was great, but it really wasn't, it wasn't the Coliseum,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “It didn’t have that feel. Now, we loved playing here, we loved coming down here and playing, but it felt more neutral.”