49ers

A's try to find answers for shutout-prone offense

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A's try to find answers for shutout-prone offense

April 26, 2011

A's (11-12) vs.
LA ANGELS (13-10)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

ANAHEIM (AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels scored early and often in the opener of their series against Oakland, allowing their starting pitcher to work with a nice cushion. Manager Mike Scioscia would surely like to see that continue with rookie right-hander Tyler Chatwood on the hill.

Chatwood goes for his first career home win Tuesday night when the Angels look for their sixth straight victory over the Athletics, and eighth in a row at home versus Oakland.

Los Angeles (13-10), which got swept in a four-game home series for the first time since 2005, losing to Boston over the weekend, broke into the win column on its seven-game homestand Monday with a 5-0 victory over the A's (11-12).

After getting shut out in their previous two games, the Angels broke through and scored all five of their runs in the first four innings. That was more than enough support for ace Jered Weaver, who struck out 10 in a seven-hitter to become the first pitcher since Arizona's Randy Johnson in 2002 to win six of his team's first 23 games.
REWIND: Angels ace Weaver blanks A's

"When we get (runs) early in the game it sets the tone for our starting pitcher," Scioscia said. "I thought our bats were much more focused all game."

Howie Kendrick went 2 for 4 with two RBIs Monday after getting one hit in 14 at-bats in the Red Sox series. His two-run single in the second inning snapped Los Angeles' 24-inning scoreless streak against opposing starting pitchers.

Chatwood (1-1, 3.50 ERA) makes his fourth career start, and third in Anaheim.

The 21-year-old right-hander gave up two runs over six innings of Thursday's 4-2, 11-inning loss to the Red Sox, but walked a career-high five and threw 103 pitches.

REWIND: Red Sox extend run with extra-innings win over Angels

"He was right around the zone and threw some good low bullets," Scioscia told the Angels' official website. "I thought he handled himself very well out there pitching out of trouble for a while."

While Chatwood will face an A's team that has been shut out in three of its last five games, he could be tested right away against leadoff hitter Coco Crisp, who is 9 for 14 with four runs in his last three contests and had his third straight three-hit effort Monday.

Crisp is batting .341 in 24 career games at Anaheim.

A's right-hander Brandon McCarthy (1-1, 2.10), a native of Glendale, Calif., will get the ball Tuesday in his first start in Anaheim since Aug. 28, 2008, while with Texas.

McCarthy pitched his second career complete game Thursday, giving up one run and four hits over eight innings while striking out six, but his teammates had just five hits in a 1-0 loss at Seattle.

REWIND: King Felix blanks A's 1-0

Angels right fielder Torii Hunter is 3 for 5 with a homer off McCarthy, but is hitless in his last nine at-bats overall and 2 for 15 in his last five games.

Teammate Vernon Wells, 2 for 18 during that same stretch, is 1 for 10 versus the A's right-hander.

Oakland left fielder Josh Willingham is questionable for Tuesday's game after leaving the series opener with tightness in his left upper back.

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

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AP

Cowboys expose 49ers' biggest weakness in bashing: Talent

If there is such a thing as being “due” in sports (and there actually isn’t, so you can probably stop reading now), the San Francisco 49ers had Sunday coming to them.
 
After all, the anomaly of being the “best winless team in football” based on margin of defeat lasts only so long until the “winless” part trumps the “best” part, because even the Los Angeles Chargers – the previous “best bad team in football” – aren’t the Chargers all the time.
 
So it was that the Dallas Cowboys exposed every weakness the 49ers have with the simplest thing there is.
 
Talent.
 
The Cowboys did everything they wanted, but only whenever they wanted it, in a 40-10 dope-slapping that could actually have been worse than it was. The 49er offense was properly stymied (again), gaining only 290 yards (4.5 yards per play) and the defense was thoroughly Elliotted (as in Ezekiel-ed, who averaged 8.1 yards in his 27 touches). San Francisco’s warts were rubbed until they glowed, and if not for the fact that head coach Kyle Shanahan already knew where they were, he’d have been shocked to see how visible they were.
 
And therein lies the takeaway from another day at Not-So-Great-America. It turns out that the 49ers weren’t very good at much of anything before Sunday except just how far away they are from what Shanahan and general manager John Lynch believe is their destiny. C.J.  Beathard remained the rookie quarterback he is, and Carlos Hyde's hard-won 68 rushing yards led to no scores. Indeed, San Francisco's only touchdown came on a four-yard improv sprint from Beathard, who is by no means a running quarterback except in abject flight.

Next week in Philadelphia figures to be no less grisly, if you’re waiting for that magic moment when “0” becomes “1.” That is, of course, unless Washington exposes the Eagles as less than what they seem, which is very often the case in the new parity-gripped NFL.

But there are subsequent get-well games at home against Arizona and then at New York against the Giants the week after, so whatever dreams you might have about them running the table backwards and getting the first overall pick in the draft are still light years from realization.
 
This is, however, another healthy reminder that the job to be done is at least two more years in the undoing before the doing can actually begin. Not that the players or coaches needed another lesson, mind you – they know.
 
But maybe you needed it, just to keep your delusions in check. Maybe the people who were “due” were all of you.
 
But that’s unfair, too. You didn’t undo this franchise. All you did was believe, and there’s nothing wrong with that – as long you know there will be more days like this before your team starts handing out the 40-10’s.
 
In the meantime, there is beer.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

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AP

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 40-10 loss vs Cowboys

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 40-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7 on Sunday:

1. A major step backward
So much for the 49ers’ somewhat-impressive streak of close losses.

There was nothing encouraging about what transpired in the 49ers' worst loss at Levi’s Stadium. It was also the franchise's worst home loss since Mike Singletary's team absorbed a 45-10 thumping against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 11, 2009.

Was there anything positive to take from this game?

“No, not right now,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It was disappointing. I think all three phases, players and coaches, we’ve got to play better than that, a lot better to give ourselves a chance to win.”

The competitive nature of the 49ers’ past five games was one thing. But with a big home loss on such an emotional day, it is fair to say that the honeymoon is over for Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. The 49ers looked like a team devoid of any leadership, and brings more scrutiny onto the organization’s decision last week to release linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

Now, the 49ers face a crossroads. With another cross-country trip ahead, the 49ers have to regroup in a hurry in order to avoid another embarrassing blowout against the Philadelphia Eagles.

2. Beathard’s first start
Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard certainly was not the reason the 49ers got blown out. In his first NFL start, he showed a lot of toughness, which was to be expected. He was sacked five times. But most of those sacks could have been avoided. He has to get rid of the ball quicker, especially on three-step drops.

Beathard also showed some promise, too. He let the ball fly deep for Marquise Goodwin, who caught four passes for 80 yards. Beathard completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards.

Beathard accounted for the 49ers’ only touchdown with a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. There seems to be little doubt it was in the best interest of the organization to begin evaluating what it has for the future with the permanent switch from Brian Hoyer to Beathard.

3. Dwight Clark’s Day
The 49ers, of course, did nothing to evoke any memories of the great teams on which Dwight Clark played. Well, they did look a lot like Clark’s first team with the 49ers.

The 49ers of 1979 lost their first seven games of the season. This year’s team matched that start for the worst beginning to a season in franchise history.

More than 35 of Clark’s teammates off the 1981 Super Bowl team were in attendance to honor a pay tribute to Clark, who is battling ALS. Now in a wheelchair and considerably lighter, Clark delivered some poignant remarks at halftime.

Clark, 60, told his old teammate, Keena Turner, who works as vice president of football affairs, that all he wanted was to see some of his old teammates.

“And the 49ers heard that and flew all these players in, so I could see them one more time,” Clark said.