Warriors Merely Hanging On

Warriors Merely Hanging On

Mar. 6, 2010


Were really not judging the Warriors on wins and lossesanymore. Were judging them on whether they hung in a game or not. Thats not good. But thats the way it is, and so lets throw some stuffaround about the Warriors 122-117 loss at Atlanta on Friday ... Thats now two games on this trip where Anthony Morrow had abig 3-pointer that he didnt make. Against Miami, he had a 3 that would havegiven Warriors lead with 12 seconds left, but it didnt go down. Friday night, Morrow missed a 3 with 40 seconds left thatwould have tied the game against the Hawks. -- Speaking of two games now on the trip Never going toquestion Ronny Turiafs effort, but hes played a big role in two of the threegames thus far. Turiaf couldnt come up with Stephen Currys super-crisppass on a pick-and-roll that likely would have been a dunk and tie game lateagainst Miami. Curry got the turnover, and deserved it, but Turiaf had a shotat catching the pass.Against Atlanta, Turiaf committed an inexplicable sixth foulwith 44 seconds left trying to deny Al Horford a little bit from the basket.The Warriors had just gotten a three-point play by Curry at the other end topull within one. Horford ended up making both free throws to put Atlanta upthree, setting the stage for Morrows miss.-- My man (thats the way I refer to him) Bruce Jenkins in theChronicle wrote that coach Don Nelson wasnt in on the proposed deal that wouldhave sent Monta Ellis to Memphis for O.J. Mayo and Hasheem Thabeet. Hes absolutely right. Nelson had no idea about that. AndNelson has no say-so when it comes to personnel decisions. Thats the way itsbeen most of the season. This was something I banged out from a mid-December postabout the subject: Time to clear up a little misconception about Nelson andhis role when it comes to personnel matters. Point is, he doesnt have much ofone. From what Im told, general manager Larry Riley certainlydoesnt clue in Nelson on the day-to-day of whats going on.In fact, Riley makes a point not to include Nelson oneverything because he knows how itchy Nelson can get when it comes down to thiskind of stuff. If the Warriors make a trade, Nelson isnt going to be the onedoing it. The Stephen Jackson trade was all Riley and the next trade will beall Riley, too. Bottom line is Nelson is out of the loop when it comes tomost of personnel, and thats the way the Warriors want it.--Matt Steinmetz

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A's use six-run ninth to beat Rangers, move back over .500


A's use six-run ninth to beat Rangers, move back over .500


ARLINGTON -- Marcus Semien hit a tiebreaking homer on the first pitch of the ninth inning and the surging Oakland Athletics went on to their third straight victory, 9-4 over the Texas Rangers on Monday night.

The Athletics (12-11) have won seven of eight, and have a winning record for the first time since they won their season opener before a three-game losing streak.

Semien's third homer of the season, off Kevin Jepsen (0-3), snapped a 3-all tie and ignited a six-run outburst. Matt Chapman had an RBI triple with two outs, then after a pitching change scored on a single by Mark Canha before Jake Smolinski hit a two-run triple.

Ryan Buchter (1-0), the fourth of five Oakland pitchers, retired the only two batters he faced - the last out of the eighth and the first out in the ninth.

The Rangers, who are 3-11 at home this season, tied the game in the fourth when Jurickson Profar drew a two-out walk from Trevor Cahill and Robinson Chirinos followed with his third homer of the season.

Khris Davis had a two-run double in the third to put Oakland up 2-0, giving him 21 RBIs this season. Chad Pinder's RBI single an inning later made it 3-1.

Rookie second baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the Rangers' No. 9 hitter, doubled in the third for their first hit and scored on a wild pitch.

Both starting pitchers allowed three runs over five innings. Rangers lefty Matt Moore, who was pulled after giving up a leadoff single in the sixth, struck out two and walked two. Cahill, who threw seven scoreless innings in his only other start this season for the A's, had six strikeouts, two walks and the wild pitch that allowed a run.

Rangers: RHP Doug Fister (right hip strain) felt good a day after throwing a bullpen and is set to come off the disabled list to start the series finale Wednesday.

Rangers lefty Cole Hamels (1-3), trying to avoid four losses by the end of April for the first time in his career, has lost four consecutive home starts - including both this season. Right-hander Andrew Triggs, with a 1.02 ERA in four career appearances against Texas, starts for the A's in the middle game of the three-game series.

Will Smith nearing return to big leagues: 'It's nice to be back under the lights again'


Will Smith nearing return to big leagues: 'It's nice to be back under the lights again'

SAN FRANCISCO -- Will Smith is generally in a good mood, but the smile was a bit bigger as reporters surrounded his locker on Monday afternoon. 

Smith has spent the last couple of weeks in the minor leagues but the long recovery from Tommy John surgery is nearly over. He will pitch in back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday, clearing the final hurdle in his rehab schedule. He will then pitch on Sunday. After that ...

"May 1. May 1, yeah," he said. "May 1."

That's the target date the Giants identified long ago and Smith is on track to be activated that day after missing all of last season and the first month of this one. In five rehab appearances, he has struck out nine over 4 2/3 innings. The reports on his velocity are good and he said his arm feels great.

"As long as these next outings go well we'll be back up here," he said. "It feels good. It feels really good. It's nice to be back under the lights again."

It's easy to forget now, but the Giants paid a steep price in prospects to acquire Smith at the 2016 deadline, hoping he would become a key part of the bullpen. He closed that season with 18 consecutive scoreless appearances before contributing to the troubles in Game 4 of the NLDS. 

If Smith is back to form, the Giants would have one of the better left-handed combinations in the game. Tony Watson has been the best pitcher in the bullpen, and Bochy said he'll appreciate having the flexibility to use Smith or Watson in different roles. It's possible that Smith's presence could allow Watson to enter in the seventh to face a tough lefty like Cody Bellinger or Bryce Harper. 

Having both also will allow Bochy to have a reliable lefty for the eighth every night of the week. There have been times this season where he has been worried about overusing Watson. 

--- Elsewhere in the bullpen, Mark Melancon will play catch on Thursday. Melancon has not thrown since being shut down at the end of spring training and he had an injection in his pronator nearly two weeks ago to try and eliminate persistent irritation. 

--- Brandon Belt said he did not watch the full 12-minute version of his epic at-bat Sunday. 

"I have too much stuff to do," he said. 

He did, however, watch the sped-up replay.