Burrell will DH for Giants in Game 5 of Series

Burrell will DH for Giants in Game 5 of Series


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy tweaked his lineup again for Game 5 of the World Series.So far this postseason, most of Bochy's moves have been right on.Struggling Pat Burrell returned tothe lineup for Monday night's game against the Texas Rangers, but asthe designated hitter instead of in left field. Aaron Rowand got hisfirst start of the Series in center, with Andres Torres moving fromcenter to right. Cody Ross was in left for the second straight day, andAubrey Huff was back at first base following a one-day stint as DHduring which he hit a two-run drive for his first career postseasonhomer.The Giants are trying to win their first World Series in 56 years and first since moving West in 1958.Torres, who replaced Rowand as the regular center fielder at midseason, has moved to right previously."Torry's comfortable wherever we puthim," Bochy said. "Having Row out there with Torry and Ross is our bestdefensive outfield tonight."Burrell was benched for Sundaynight's 4-0 victory in Game 4. He has eight strikeouts in nine at-batsin the Series, is 0 for 9 overall and has 19 strikeouts in 38 at-batsthis postseason.Bochy said he had told Burrell hewould be back in the lineup Monday and Burrell spent Sunday takingextra swings to try to get on track."He worked on some things yesterday," Bochy said.Burrell entered with a .209 careeraverage in 160 games as a designated hitter, leading to his release bythe Tampa Bay Rays earlier this season. Burrell signed a minor leaguedeal with the Giants in late May and was called up June 4 following ashort stint with Triple-A Fresno.Rowand, who won a World Series ringwith the 2005 White Sox, is 7 for 25 with a homer and four RBIs againstRangers ace and Game 5 starter Cliff Lee. That factored into himgetting the call Monday."More so, we need him," Bochy saidof the decision. "He's faced Lee and we need another right-handed batout there, experience. It's nice to put a good center fielder out therewho has been through this and faced Lee."

Sharks to get another speed test against Preds


Sharks to get another speed test against Preds

SAN JOSE – There’s a common trait among the three teams that the Sharks have lost to so far this season, and it’s the same thing that they struggled with in last June’s Stanley Cup Final against Pittsburgh.

Speed. The Rangers have made more of a commitment to playing a fast game this season, and the result was a 7-4 win over San Jose on Oct. 17 in which several of their scores were a result of their fleetness afoot. Three days later, even without arguably their two fastest players in Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang, the Penguins defeated the Sharks again in a furious third period comeback. 

Finally, on Oct. 22, the Detroit Red Wings drastically outskated, outworked and out-chanced the Sharks in a 3-0 win, flying up and down the ice while scoring twice off the rush.

The Nashville Predators figure to be one of the faster teams in the Western Conference this season, after pushing the Sharks to seven games in the playoffs last season and swapping Shea Weber for P.K. Subban over the summer. Although they’re off to a difficult start at 2-4-1, they have perhaps the quickest, most skilled back end in the NHL featuring Subban and Roman Josi, while forwards like Filip Forsberg, Mike Fisher, Craig Smith and Ryan Johansen can also get up and down the ice.

They visit the Sharks on Saturday.

“They’re a fast, skilled team,” Marc-Edouard Vlasic said Friday. “Very dangerous up front with versatile d-men, and a good goalie. … We’re playing a very good team tomorrow.”

Sharks coach Pete DeBoer pointed out that “every team has speed,” although “some teams are four lines deep with speed, [and] some teams are two lines deep with speed.”

When playing against those types of teams, though, being careful with the puck becomes even more important. Feeding into a fast team’s transition game, like the Sharks did against the Red Wings and Rangers, in particular, is suicide.

“It’s attention to detail. Make sure you’re working above, away from the puck, and keeping a good gap,” DeBoer said. “All those things.”

Vlasic said: “When you turn the puck over and feed their transition, fast teams make you pay the price. We did that constantly against Detroit, and against the Rangers [it was] a couple missed assignments [and] battle level. That’s not necessarily struggling against a fast team, it’s struggling against a good team.”

The Sharks are generally pleased with where their game is now, though, after back-to-back home wins against the Ducks and Blue Jackets. Although they are struggling to score five-on-five goals, with none in their last three games, the scoring chances have been there. They deserved better than a 1-1 tie against the Ducks on Tuesday before prevailing in overtime, and had an apparent even strength goal by Brenden Dillon on Thursday get called back due to an extremely close offside challenge.

Eventually, the floodgates should open if they keep their game at the level it’s at currently.

“Our five-on-five offense, I think we’re creating enough chances,” DeBoer said. “If they’re not getting chances it’s one thing, but we’re creating enough to score, so it is just a matter of time before we do.”

Dillon said: “For whatever reason we’ve been putting good shots towards the net, we’ve been getting good opportunities, but whether it’s a post or a big save or an overturned call like [Thursday] night, we’re not able to put up six or seven goals right now. But, I think our team defense has been fantastic.”

That defense is set for another test against speedy Nashville, which is 0-1-1 on a three-game trip through California.

“They lost their last two games, so we have to expect their best,” Vlasic said.

Bill Murray to conduct seventh-inning stretch in Game 3 of World Series


Bill Murray to conduct seventh-inning stretch in Game 3 of World Series

For the first time since 1945, Wrigley Field will play host to a World Series game.

As the Cubs welcome the Cleveland Indians into town this weekend for Games' 3, 4 and 5 of the Fall Classic, several celebrities and Cubs legends will be in attendance.

The Cubs announced on Friday that actor and comedian Bill Murray, who has been a staple at Cubs games this postseason, will conduct the 7th inning stretch during Game 3.

This won't be Murray's first rodeo singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" at Wrigley Field.