McCarthy leads split A's to 6-4 win over split Giants


McCarthy leads split A's to 6-4 win over split Giants

March 20, 2011
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Brandon McCarthy's goal is to earn the No. 5 spot in Oakland's rotation.At this rate, that shouldn't be a problem because he is pitching like a No. 1.The lanky right-hander threw seven innings of shutout ball before tiring in the bottom of the eighth and the Athletics went on to beat the San Francisco Giants 6-4 in a matchup of split-squads Sunday. URBAN: Giants vs. A's, blow by blow
"He was very efficient. You look at any inning and he rarely had to fight to get through it. He has been pitching with consistency for us all spring," said Oakland bench coach Joel Skinner, serving as manager while manager Bob Geren was with the other squad in Phoenix.Chris Carter's two-run triple past diving Giants center fielder Andres Torres in the eighth inning proved to be the difference for Oakland.The McCarthy gave up two runs on five hits, struck out five and didn't walk a batter. He had a goal of 90 pitches, and threw 85. He gave up hits to the first two hitters of the eighth before departing.Reliever Fernando Cabrera entered and gave up a walk and an RBI groundout to Freddy Sanchez before Aubrey Huff hit a three-run homer, his fifth of the spring.McCarthy is trying to bounce back from an injury-plagued season. In 2010, he was on the disabled list three times with shoulder problems. He was 4-2 in 11 games (nine starts) for the Texas Rangers' Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City."You could kind of see the handwriting on the wall, that I wasn't going to figure in (the Rangers') plans, that my time with them was over," said McCarthy, who had gone from the Chicago White Sox to Texas in a 2006 trade. "They (Rangers) were classy in the way they handled it, and I became a free agent."He signed with Oakland on Dec. 13 and started four games for the Toros del Este of the Domincan Winter League.Why Oakland, which already had a strong young rotation?"They have a history of developing good pitchers, so I figured I really had nothing to lose," said the 27-year-old McCarthy.His shoulder did not require surgery, and he changed his delivery slightly to reduce the strain."It was mentally defeating, but you can't allow it to linger. You have to keep throwing, doing what you need to do to make it," McCarthy said.McCarthy has a 3.09 ERA in five games (two starts)."I just have to keep attacking the hitter, be consistent, allow the contact and let the ball work for me," he said.Oakland scored four runs in the second inning, two as the result of a throwing error by Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner.In two innings, Bumgarner gave up four runs on four hits, walked two and struck out two.NOTES: Giants INF Mark DeRosa, experiencing a bit of tendinitis in his surgically repaired (twice) left wrist, will rest another day or two before returning to action. ... closer Brian Wilson is due to be re-evaluated Monday after straining his left oblique (rib cage) muscle. ... CF Andres Torres is 1 for 14 in his last four games after getting a hit in his previous eight games. ... Oakland is 2-9 on the road and plays its next four games away from home, starting with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Glendale on Monday.

Dusty Baker won't be remembered the way he should be remembered


Dusty Baker won't be remembered the way he should be remembered

Firing a manager is easy, and there are lots of ways to do it.

Dusty Baker, for example. He worked this year on the last year of a contract, which usually means there won’t be another one, and he relied on his players to deliver the goods.

Which, as we remember from our reading, they didn’t do. Again.

But Baker was marked for the chop unless those players did deliver, and when they didn’t, general manager Mike Rizzo did the expedient thing.

He fired one person rather than several. And changed exactly nothing.

Baker’s managerial career is probably over now, as most teams don’t look at 68-year-olds to fix their teams. He will never manage a  World Series champion, something he ached for, and he was always be caricatured in part as the guy who didn’t speak metric, and who believed in players as men whenever in doubt.

And the Nats didn’t betray him, either. They were always not as good in the big moments because someone else was, and they became part of Washington’s new fetish – Why Can’t We Win One? It’s as if having a cringeworthy President isn’t good enough for them.

So the time came, and he will be replaced by someone who will either win and get credit for work that was largely his, or he won’t win and the town can continue to wallow in its tedious We’re-The-New-Cubs pity. It is the circle of life.

At least it is for groups of people. For individuals, the circle of life is actually nothing more than a straight line that ends abruptly. For Dusty Baker, as it did for Tony La Russa in Phoenix two days earlier, that day came today. He deserves to be remembered as a very good manager who won a lot more than he lost, made more friends than enemies, and was honest from Day One until the end.

Which, as we also know, doesn’t matter a whole lot on days like this.


Draymond originally concerned his knee injury was more serious


Draymond originally concerned his knee injury was more serious

Programming note: Warriors-Pelicans coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

On Friday morning, the Warriors announced that Draymond Green is going to play on Friday night against the Pelicans.

After shootaround, Draymond talked about the left knee strain he sustained on Tuesday.

"It didn't lock up. I tweaked it. I was concerned. I honestly thought it was my meniscus. It was a big relief," Draymond told reporters in New Orleans. "The next day when I woke up, the pain was a little better.

"As that day went on -- once I got the MRI, I got it early - -and then I went and got treatment and it felt a lot better.

"I hadn't even got the results but I was pretty confident at that point."

Draymond sustained the injury late in the third quarter against Houston and did not play in the fourth quarter.

He registered nine points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists before exiting.