Following Fresno -- Giants' Zito and Ford rehab


Following Fresno -- Giants' Zito and Ford rehab

June 16, 2011


Mychael Urban

Giants pitcher Barry Zito and outfielder Darren Ford both made rehab starts Thursday night in Fresno.

Zito pitched six innings, giving up four runs on five hits, while striking out six. It was Zito's third rehab start, his first two coming with the Single-A San Joe Giants.

Ford went 0-for-3 in his first rehab start since being placed on the 15-day DL May 23. He led off and played center field.

Our Giants Insider Mychael Urban was on hand in Fresno, and tweeted throughout the game. Check out his running play-by-play!

9:02 p.m.: No seventh inning for Zito in Fresno. He's done after 91 pitches. And so am I.

8:58 p.m.: Ford is out of the game. Plan was to only play five innings all along, I'm told.

8:52 p.m.: Updated totals: 6IP, 91P, 5H, 2BB, 6K, 4R. If you were here, you know he's pitched well, but four runs in six innings is four runs in six innings. A solid seventh needed.

8:46 p.m.: 3-1 F8 ends inning. Fresno fans gave Zito big ovation as he walked off after only rough inning so far, 24 pitches.

8:44 p.m.: And there goes his quality start. First real mistake, FB hit by Mike Wilson for no-doubter of a two-run homer. 8-4 Grizzlies.

8:37 p.m.: Top of sixth in Fresno for Zito. FB command has been . 0-2, then full count, then swinging K.
2-2, FB just hit 88 but a ball, then ball four.
1-2, foul tip, ball in dirt, double to left, runner holds at third base.
1-1, 4-3, run scores. Two out.

8:24 p.m.: Zito averaging 13.4 pitches an inning. I'd say he's gone 50 FBs, 30 hooks, 20 changecutter. Wonder what he'll say.

8:23 p.m.: FYI, I'm sitting in front row, right behind the plate, so when I say the ump missed a pitch, trust me. He's been good, though.

8:16: p.m.: Scout tells me he's hit 87 but sitting 85.

8:14 p.m.: Top of fifth in Fresno for Zito. 1-1, good life, movement on FB. 2-2, swinging K.
First-pitch F9.
Ump squeezes what should've been strike 1, next pitch gets F8. Eight-pitch inning.
8:02 p.m.: 14-pitch fourth. Totals: 4IP, 59P, 2H, BB, 4K, 1R. For those unaware, standard goal for starters is an average of 15 pitches per inning.

7:55 p.m.: 1-2 with two great curves. Squeezed hard on FB. Wow. Paint. Gets K with swing instead.
1-2 count, gorgeous bender for called third for the K.
3-0, FB strike called, curve strike called, humpback lineout to LF ends inning.

7:49 p.m.: Totals so far: 3IP, 45P, 2H, BB, 2K, 1R.

7:40 p.m.: First-pitch double to LCF.
2-1 single to right. First and third, nobody out.
1-0 popout behind first.
0-2, tip foul, ball, ball, looking K.
1-1 RBI single up the middle.
First-pitch F8. Inning over. 17 pitches.

7:38 p.m.: Ford up againn ... 5-3 ends inning.

7:37 p.m.: Two innings, 28 pitches, K, BB, faced minimum so far.

7:32 p.m.: First-pitch lineup to 3B, nice leaping snag by Gillaspie.
Stadium radar gun is off. I'd say fastball is 84-85. Five-pitch walk.
Gorgeous curve to run the count to 1-2.
Foul, ball, foul, 6-3 double play ends the inning, 13 pitches.

7:15 p.m.: Darren Ford leading off. Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger on the bump for Tacoma (Mariners affiliate) ... Swinging K on what would've been ball four.

7:08 p.m.: Tacoma leadoff man grounds out to first on 1-2 count.
Second batter, 6-3 on 2-1 count.
Curve looks sharp, everything is around plate. K swinging on diving change. 1-2-3 inning, 15 pitches.

6:40 p.m.: Zito's with Huff Daddy tribute in Fresno? He is wearing No. 17 and being caught again by Hector Sanchez, recently up from San Jose. Ford at leadoff and playing CF.

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

Cousins buys chocolate from kids for charity, donates bars to flight staff

DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA in technical fouls. He also leads the league in scowls and he’s even kicked over a few garbage cans following the Kings' loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. But that’s just a small portion of who he is.

According to a source that travels with the team, Cousins went out of his way Sunday morning to make an impact in the lives of a couple of local youth in Chicago.

Kids were selling chocolate bars outside the team’s hotel trying to earn money for charity. Plenty of people walked by, avoiding the youth, but Cousins stopped, reached into his pocket and purchased all of the boxes they had to sell.

Later on in the day, Cousins donated the candy to the flight service staff for use on the flight to Detroit.

Cousins gets plenty of negative press for his antics on the floor, but off the court, he is extremely generous. He plays Santa-Cuz during the holidays, buying gifts for underprivileged children in Sacramento and his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He has also purchased a new scoreboard for a local high school and even paid for the funeral of a local high school football player who lost his life in a drive-by shooting.

No one is perfect, Cousins included, but he also has a genuinely good side that he often doesn’t seek or receive press for.


Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. His uncertain status has led to speculation presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will be interested in acquiring him in the offseason.

On Sunday, Cousins got a first-hand look at his former coach’s offense.

Cousins posted a photo on Instagram from the stands at the Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons and their high-octane offense blasted the Green Bay Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship game.

Cousins wrote the caption, “Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!”

Washington finished third in the NFC East and out of the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.

Shanahan, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, coached Cousins for the first two seasons of his NFL career with Washington on the staff of his father, Mike Shanahan. Cousins appeared in just eight games with four starts in 2012 and ’13.

Cousins' career has taken off in the past two seasons while starting all 32 regular-season games. He completed 67 percent of his passes this season with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 97.2.

Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins this season at nearly $20 million. He franchise tag is expected to be approximately $24 million in 2017.

If Washington places the non-exclusive franchise tag on Cousins, a team could sign him to an offer sheet at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington for a lesser amount.