Giants

Offensive coordinator Ludwig leaves Cal staff

Offensive coordinator Ludwig leaves Cal staff

Jan. 24, 2011CAL PAGE COLLEGE PAGE

BERKELEY Andy Ludwig has left the Cal coaching staff for another coaching position the school announced Monday. Ludwig spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Cal.

I appreciate all the effort and hard work Andy put in during his time at Cal, said head coach Jeff Tedford. I wish him all the best as he continues his coaching career.

Courtesy Cal Athletics media services.

Giants Notes: On hot night, McCutchen has enough carry to tie the game

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AP

Giants Notes: On hot night, McCutchen has enough carry to tie the game

LOS ANGELES -- Andrew McCutchen claims he's never really up at the plate looking for a home run. Even in the situation Wednesday, with the Giants trailing by three and two on ahead of him, he was just thinking about having a good at-bat. This one turned into a great one. 

The Giants fell 4-3 in extra innings, but McCutchen was the one who made sure this night got extended. He had one of his best moments as a Giant, smoking a three-run shot to center off Caleb Ferguson to tie the game in the eighth. The homer was McCutchen's 14th. He said he briefly thought it might be just a long fly ball. 

"I've played in San Francisco all year," he said. "You hit the ball pretty good sometimes and it doesn't go out. I was hoping it would carry out."

On a hot night at Dodger Stadium, this ball did, providing one of two big highlights on an otherwise sour night. The other came from Gorkys Hernandez, who threw Brian Dozier out at the plate with a 94.9 mph strike from center field. Dozier was initially ruled safe. 

"I saw Buster point to the dugout to try to review the play," Hernandez said. "When I saw the umpires go right to the side to see the replay, I said, we're going to have a good chance."

The Giants usually have it right in those situations. They're now 17-for-22 on replays, the best mark in the league. 

--- Here, in the game story, I wrote on a missed opportunity. 

--- If you're keeping track at home, the Giants are at .500 for the 23rd time. They have spent 72 days this season either .500, or one game above or below. 

--- In five second-half starts, Derek Holland has a 2.96 ERA, with 27 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings. At some point, the focus will turn to bringing him back next season. 

With a clean look at a sweep of Dodgers, Giants lineup comes up short

With a clean look at a sweep of Dodgers, Giants lineup comes up short

LOS ANGELES — About three hours before Wednesday’s game, Kenley Jansen jogged in from the visiting bullpen at a silent Dodger Stadium. He threw a simulated inning, the first step in his attempt to return from a heart scare. In the late innings, Jansen, for some reason, showed up on the steps of the press box, joking with team officials and local beat writers. 

Both times, his presence was a reminder of what the Dodgers were missing. Their closer, perhaps the best in the game, is on the sidelines, and their bullpen had no answers for three fascinating games with the Giants. The visitors took advantage twice, but on Wednesday, they fell short. 

The Dodgers once again tried to blow it, giving up three runs in the eighth, but in the 12th they prevailed on a sacrifice fly. After a 4-3 loss, Bruce Bochy turned to one of his favorite truisms. 

“Sure, you like to get greedy,” Bochy said.

The Giants very nearly finished off what would have been a standings-rattling sweep. On a night when the first-place Diamondbacks were idle and the second-place Rockies lost, they failed to pick up ground on all three teams ahead of them. Instead, for the 23rd time this season, they found the .500 mark. At 61-61, they are 5 1/2 games behind the Diamondbacks and four behind the Rockies and Dodgers. 

Bochy spun the 72 hours here as a positive, not so much because the Giants took two of three, but because of how they did it.

“The comebacks we had, the way we played, I’m good with it,” he said. 

The latest comeback came courtesy of Andrew McCutchen. He got a hanging curveball in the eighth and hit a high homer to dead center, erasing a three-run deficit with one swing. But on this night, McCutchen was just about alone in the production department. 

The Giants keep playing tense games in part because they have an inability to put opponents away early. Even a would-be blowout on Friday night ended with Will Smith in the game. Against Hyun-jin Ryu and a parade of Dodgers relievers, the lineup had just six hits in 41 at-bats. The 3-4-5 hitters — Evan Longoria, Buster Posey and Gorkys Hernandez — went a combined 0-for-15. The Brandons, together in the lineup for the first time in three weeks, had two hits in 10 at-bats. Hunter Pence had three hits, McCutchen the bomb. Otherwise, it was silent. 

Perhaps that will change in Cincinnati. McCutchen, the longtime Pirate, smiled as he talked of his many games at “the Great American SmallPark.” It’s a soft landing spot for hitters, and the Giants will need to take advantage. This was a road trip where they needed to make up ground, and while there was progress in Los Angeles, there’s still a long way to go. 

“We did what we were trying to do,” starter Derek Holland said. “We’re trying to gain some ground and being able to take two out of three is good. We’ve got momentum and we’ll try to take that to Cincinnati … this road trip can be big for us, so we’ll try to win as many games as we can and hope that these (other) guys beat up on each other.”

The Giants had a chance to strike one final blow on their way out of town, but other than one swing, they came up short.