Giants

Anderson brilliant, A's gain split with Angels

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Anderson brilliant, A's gain split with Angels

May 26, 2011

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ANAHEIM (AP) The Oakland Athletics, starved for runs most of the month, finally got some, with every player notching a hit against the Los Angeles Angels.Brett Anderson tossed three-hit ball over eight scoreless innings and Andy LaRoche drove in three runs to help the last-place A's win 4-3 on Thursday.The A's split their four-game series with the second-place Angels, who fell to 4-7 in their past 11 games."It's good to finish the series with two out of three wins," LaRoche said. "Hopefully, it will give us some momentum going home and it will carry over. We're starting to see signs of life from our offense. As long as our pitchers continue to do the same job they've been doing, hopefully our offense will start to liven up a little bit."
GUTIERREZ: Anderson breaks through
Anderson (3-4) struck out four and walked three to beat the Angels for the first time in six career starts."My stuff wasn't particularly better today than it was on other days, I just mixed and matched well," he said. "I can't give enough credit to my defense behind me, it was unbelievable. The defense was spectacular all day."The left-hander had been 0-3 in his previous five starts. Anderson finally got some run support from his teammates, who had supplied two runs or less in seven of his previous 10 starts this season."He's not overpowering, but he can sneak his fastball in there a little bit," said Mark Trumbo, who was 0 for 3 against Anderson. "In the sixth, I was just a rally-killer - chopping a ball to third base. I didn't really stick with my game plan, and that hurt us right there."But Trumbo helped the Angels avoid the shutout, hitting a three-run homer off Grant Balfour with two outs in the ninth.The Angels' Torii Hunter, who had a hit and an RBI in each of his previous six games, failed to extend the longest such stretch of his career, going 0 for 3 with a walk.The Angels' only hits off Anderson were a single by Erick Aybar in the second inning, a double by Maicer Izturis in the sixth and a single by Alberto Callaspo in the seventh."Anderson pitched a good game and kept us down all afternoon," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He just was ahead in the count all game. We had some opportunities to chip into their lead and we just couldn't get one or two runs across early."Joel Pineiro (2-1) gave up 11 hits and four runs in 6 1-3 innings - the same three totals he had in his previous start against Atlanta. The 11 hits are the most allowed by an Angels starter this season. The right-hander struck out three and walked none for the second straight game while falling short in a bid to notch his 100th career victory."After he had given up a couple of runs, his stuff picked up a little bit and he looked like he got his second wind," Scioscia said about Pineiro. "But I just don't know that he had the command that he's shown us, and he definitely missed some spots in that inning where they bunched those three runs."The A's extended their lead to 4-0 with three runs in the fourth. Josh Willingham led off with a single before Mark Ellis singled with two outs. LaRoche followed with a double to left field, scoring Willingham and Ellis. He scored on Cliff Pennington's single.Oakland led 1-0 in the second on LaRoche's groundout to third that scored former Angel Hideki Matsui, who singled to lead off the inning.Notes: The Angels placed INF Howie Kendrick on the 15-day DL with right hamstring tightness, and signed INF Russell Branyan to a contract for the season. Branyan pinch hit in the ninth. ... Angels INF Kendrys Morales underwent a second surgery in Vail, Colo., on his left ankle to clean out scar tissue, degenerative cysts and debris in the area. He won't return this season. ... The A's closed their seven-game trip with a 2-5 record. ... Oakland starters have allowed one earned run or less in seven of the past eight games and have a 1.61 ERA over that span.

As Arroyo is shut down, Sandoval's numbers nosedive

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USATSI

As Arroyo is shut down, Sandoval's numbers nosedive

SAN FRANCISCO — There is a Houston Astros prospect named Dean Deetz, and in a way, Pablo Sandoval can thank him for his second shot with the Giants. 

Deetz drilled Christian Arroyo on July 1, halting the young third baseman’s bid to return to the Giants for the final two months. With Eduardo Nuñez traded to Boston and Arroyo recovering from minor hand surgery, the Giants turned to Sandoval, who has been a fixture in the middle of their lineup the last couple of weeks. Arroyo hoped to get some time at the hot corner in September, but on Thursday the Giants conceded that won’t happen. 

Arroyo will miss the rest of the regular season, team officials said. The hope is that he can get healthy in time for the Arizona Fall League and then potentially make up lost at-bats in a winter league.

Arroyo is either the organization’s best or second-best hitting prospect, depending on which list you look at. He hit .396 in Triple-A this season and then provided a momentary jolt after he forced his way into the big league lineup. Then the slump came, and overall Arroyo hit just .192 in 34 big league games. He was sent back to the minors and promptly was hit by a couple of pitches. 

It was a season with plenty of highs but a disappointing ending, but Arroyo is still just 22 and looks to be a big part of the future. Has he done enough to go into next spring with a firm grip on a job? 

“I’ll have to answer that later on and see where we’re at,” manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday. “It’s all going to be competitive, that’s the way I look at it. You look at where we’ll finish, and not in the postseason, and you have to stay open-minded on everything.”

This could be setting up for a pretty intriguing spring battle. Arroyo and 23-year-old Ryder Jones were the internal candidates set for a competition, but Sandoval likely will be the everyday third baseman down the stretch. He has shown flashes of his old pre-Boston self and the Giants have been generally pleased with his play. Still, the results aren’t really there. 

Sandoval is hitting .200 since returning, with a .220 on-base percentage and .325 slugging percentage. That's good for a .545 OPS, which is nearly 100 points below his OPS in Boston this season. The Red Sox, at some point, had seen enough.  

Bochy said he has taken positives away from Sandoval's energy and some of his bigger moments, particularly the upper-deck homer he hit off Max Scherzer over the weekend. That’s his only homer with the Giants so far, but it made an impression. 

“He’s got the bat speed,” Bochy said. “That’s one of the longest homers we’ve seen this year. That shows (the bat speed) is there.”

Jones has been a fixture as well, playing first base in place of Brandon Belt. He has looked much better the second time around, but his average is still below .200 and his OPS of .559 is just about equal to Sandoval's. The Giants have not seen enough from anyone to have a favorite to play third base next season, and Bochy said the same holds true at other positions. 

"We've got to stay open-minded about who is going to be where next year (and) playing time," he said. "It's up to us to adjust and get better."

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

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AP

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.