World Series MVP award renamed to honor Willie Mays


World Series MVP award renamed to honor Willie Mays

SAN FRANCISCO -- Major League Baseball announced on Friday that the World Series MVP award will now be renamed to honor Giants great Willie Mays. Beginning this October, the award will be known as the "Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player" award. 

MLB started handing out an MVP award in the World Series in 1955, one year after Mays' iconic running catch in Game One against the Cleveland Indians. Mays would play in the World Series four times in a Hall of Fame career.

"I'd like to thank Commissioner Rob Manfred and his team at Major League Baseball for honoring me with this recognition," Mays said in a statement via the Giants. "Baseball has always taken care of me, and for that I am grateful. I think it's just a wonderful thing to know that at 86 years of age, I can still give something back to the game. I am proud to lend my name to this important award. What a day this has been!!" 

“Major League Baseball is thrilled to honor Willie Mays on our game’s biggest stage and in a manner that befits his many contributions to the sport," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "Since making ‘The Catch’ on September 29, 1954, Willie has been a part of World Series history. This annual recognition will forever celebrate the life and career of a legend of the National Pastime.”

The Giants have two current players who would have won the Willie Mays award. Pablo Sandoval was the World Series MVP in 2012 and Madison Bumgarner won it in 2014. Edgar Renteria was the MVP during the club's run to a title in 2010. 

Marlins pitcher Straily, manager Mattingly suspended for throwing at Buster Posey

Marlins pitcher Straily, manager Mattingly suspended for throwing at Buster Posey

NEW YORK — Miami pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended for five games for intentionally throwing a pitch at San Francisco’s Buster Posey while warnings were in place for both teams.

Major League Baseball also suspended Marlins manager Don Mattingly for one game Thursday and fined Straily and Mattingly undisclosed amounts.

On Tuesday night in the Marlins’ 6-3 loss in San Francisco, Straily and Mattingly were automatically ejected in the second inning after Straily hit Posey on the left arm with a pitch. Both sides had been warned by plate umpire Andy Fletcher the previous inning after Giants rookie starter Dereck Rodriguez beaned Lewis Brinson as tempers flared for the second straight game. Posey had homered in the first inning.

POLL: Giants Memorable Moments -- Belt's 18th inning HR against Nats vs Lincecum's first no-hitter against Padres


POLL: Giants Memorable Moments -- Belt's 18th inning HR against Nats vs Lincecum's first no-hitter against Padres

PROGRAMMING NOTE: NBC Sports Bay Area is looking back at the Giants' 60 Memorable Moments since the franchise moved from New York to San Francisco. Tune into  at 6pm to see the next two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Giants and Marlins conclude, tune into Postgame Live to see which moment will move on to the next round! Make your vote count!

1. Brandon Belt's 18th inning homer against the Nationals in 2014 NLDS (14-time winner -- Defeated Giants overcome 7 1/2 game deficit, stun Padres on final day of 2010 season to win NL West)

(From Alex Pavlovic)
By the end of an 18-inning win over the Nationals in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS, the Giants were drained in every way. It would be understandable if some of them have few solid memories of the six-hour, 23-minute marathon game, but Brandon Belt will never forget the details. His solo shot off Tanner Roark in the top of the 18th was the difference in a 2-1 win. Four years later, the moment is still fresh in his mind, from his preparation for the at-bat to the emphatic bat drop: 

(From Brandon Belt)
"I remember chugging a Red Bull. It was late into the night and that's tough, it's mentally draining and physically draining to be in a game like that, where you're giving everything you've got to win a baseball game. I was drained at that moment to say the least. I remember chugging a Red Bull and going out there and thinking, 'I'm just going to try and get on base and see what happens.' I remember just not trying to do too much and he gave me a pitch that I could handle, that was kind of in my happy zone. It felt like one of the first home runs I ever hit. It's like you're in Little League and you hit a home run and it's like you're in a dream and it's not real life -- it was kind of the same way. 

"We had just played so long and it was such a big moment in the game, and the fact that I was able to come through and help us win with such a big hit, it was surreal to me. I felt like I was floating around the bases. I think (the bat drop) was relief, more than anything. When I do that I don't really know I do it. It was really just relief. The way the game was going, we had to assume it was over after that. The bullpen had done so well and everyone was so tired. It was going to be tough for (the Nationals) to come back after that.

"We were just ready to go home. We had a long flight after that. We just put so much effort into it and all the guys did so great. Pablo came up with a big hit in the ninth inning and Petit throwing (six shutout) innings. For me, that was the pivotal game of that entire playoffs. We were playing the best team in the NL and to be able to come home up 2-0 was huge."


2. Tim Lincecum's 13-strikeout, 148-pitch no-hitter against the Padres in 2013

(From Alex Pavlovic)

About once a season, Bruce Bochy is put in a tough spot as a pitcher chases history. It happened this March, when Johnny Cueto retired the first 18 batters he faced in his season debut. Asked later about Cueto's pitch count, Bochy smiled and gave the same answer he has for five years. 

"You're talking to someone who let Timmy throw 140-plus pitches," he said. 

It was 148, to be exact. 

Tim Lincecum, who for so long defied the game's conventions, did it once more while throwing a no-hitter in the middle of his downturn. On July 13, 2013, he struck out 13 Padres at Petco Park to get the first of his two no-hitters. He said later that he spent the final innings in a bit of a daze, which didn't break until Buster Posey hit him with a memorable Buster Hug after the 148th and final pitch.  

"I felt it then," Lincecum said. "I had been running on adrenaline the last couple of innings."

In an era where starters are usually pulled short of 100 pitches, Lincecum was at 114 through seven innings. Pitch No. 131 was lined to right with two outs in the eighth, but Hunter Pence made a diving catch. Lincecum met with pitching coach Dave Righetti after the inning and insisted he was fine physically. He clinched his historic moment with a strikeout and two flyouts in the ninth. 

"He's had to deal with a lot, so I couldn't be happier for him," Bochy said that night. "The pitch count put me in a tough spot, but you don't get these opportunities often. I let him go."