Giants Insider notes: Boss is back


Giants Insider notes: Boss is back

May 10, 2011

Our MLB Insider takes a look at the 1-0 victory over the visiting Diamondbacks in the opener of a three-game series at AT&T Park in San Francisco.The Boss is back: Monday's day off didn't do anything to cool off Cody Ross, who has shrugged off an ugly start to his season by coming up big time and again during the Giants' recent hot streak; he was 4-for-9 in his past four games entering Tuesday's content, including a 2-for-3 performance that featured his first homer of the year and three RBIs on Sunday. Erasing an evening of offensive frustration with one swing of the bat, Ross laced a line drive down the left-field line with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to score pinch runner Darren Ford from second base for yet another heart-stopping, walkoff win -- San Francisco's fourth consecutive victory and sixth in seven games -- at China Basin.Awesome unrewarded: Tim Lincecum, coming off a brilliant 12-strikeout performance against the Mets, picked up where he left off by holding the Diamondbacks hitless into the sixth inning, when Arizona starter Ian Kennedy broke up the bid for history with a one-out single. Lincecum's eight shutout innings of four-hit work with two walks and nine strikeouts represented his sixth quality start in eight assignments this season, but the Giants' inability to solve Kennedy -- eight shutout, four hits, three walks, eight strikeouts -- represented the fifth time that Lincecum, who was lifted for pinch hitter Pat Burrell (groundout to second base) in the bottom of the eighth, has received two or fewer runs of support.
RECAP: More magic -- Ross gives Giants fifth walk-off win
More failing The Freak: Tuesday also marked the third time this year the Giants haven't scored for Lincecum at all, and it was the fourth time in his career that he's pitched at least seven shutout innings only to be stuck with a no-decision. Since 2007, only Seattle's Felix Hernandez and St. Louis' Chris Carpenter have been ND's more often despite spinning such gems, each with five.Second-guesser's delight: With Lincecum clearly on his game from the outset, any proponent of small ball likely saw Giants manager Bruce Bochy's decision not to call for a sacrifice bunt from Cody Ross with runners at first and second and nobody out in the fourth inning as a mistake. It's worth noting, however, that Ross has all of two sacrifice bunts in eight seasons as a big leaguer. Bochy had another chance to play for one run with small ball when the Giants loaded the bases with one out later in the frame, but if you were expecting the skipper to call for a squeeze in that situation, you might want to brush up on the man's approach to offensive baseball. That's just not how he rolls.Welcome back: Fresh off the disabled list, Andres Torres returned to his customary spots in center field and atop the Giants' lineup, and he wasted little time in reminding the home crowd what it's been missing as he worked his way back from an injured Achilles tendon. In the top of the first, Torres made a nice running, over-the-shoulder grape of a drive off the bat of Mora, and he opened the bottom of the frame with a single to center.Rusty DeRosa: Also fresh off the DL, Mark DeRosa, who was given the start over struggling Miguel Tejada at third base, struck out with two runners on to end the second inning and grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the fourth on the way to going 0-for-3.
NEWS: DeRosa, Torres return; Rohlinger, Burriss sent down
Little League lapse: When you get a break against a pitcher of Lincecum's caliber, don't get greedy. That's the lesson that Diamondbacks first baseman Miranda learned the hard way Tuesday, when he reached on a throwing error by second baseman Freddy Sanchez. As soon as the throw got past first baseman Aubrey Huff, Juan Miranda broke for second, but the ball caromed directly back to Huff's whose throw beat Miranda to second base by a good 10 feet. It was the kind of play you see every weekend -- in games played by 11- and 12-year-olds. DL downlow: Righty reliever Santiago Casilla (inflamed elbow) threw 35 pitches in a simulated game and is expected to soon be sent out on a minor-league rehab assignment that could include stints at Single-A San Jose and Triple-A Fresno. Lefty Barry Zito (sprained ligament in right foot) played catch at 90 feet before batting practice and will throw off a mound Wednesday for the first time since suffering the injury April 17. Disabled for the first time in his career, Zito said he has no idea when he might be back but expects to throw off the mound a few times before heading out on a rehab assignment. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval (right hand) was allowed to take ground balls for the first time since his May 3 surgery and said everything felt "perfect." He's expected to be out another 3-5 weeks.

Walton wins debut as Lakers finish off Rockets


Walton wins debut as Lakers finish off Rockets


LOS ANGELES -- Jordan Clarkson scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Lakers won coach Luke Walton's debut, holding off the Houston Rockets 120-114 on Wednesday night.

D'Angelo Russell scored 20 points and Julius Randle added 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the young Lakers, who got off to an exciting start in the franchise's first season without Kobe Bryant since 1995.

With a revamped roster coming off the worst season in the 16-time champion team's history, Los Angeles surged in the fourth quarter of an auspicious opener under Walton, the 36-year-old former Lakers forward.

James Harden had 34 points, a career-high 17 assists and eight rebounds for the Rockets, who lost in former Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni's debut on the Houston bench.

The Lakers played an up-tempo, aggressive offensive game under Walton, and nobody seized the moment better than Clarkson, who came off the bench in his first game since signing a $50 million contract. His 3-pointer put the Lakers up 116-112 with 1:48 left, and the Lakers hung on while the Rockets missed a long series of open shots in the final minute.

Brandon Ingram scored nine points in the No. 2 pick's NBA debut for the Lakers. Timofey Mozgov had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Luol Deng had seven points in their Lakers debuts.

After matching the franchise record with 14 first-half assists, Harden tied his career high with his 16th early in the third quarter. The Los Angeles native managed only six points in the fourth quarter, going 1 for 5, and his teammates were a combined 5 for 16.


Hall of Famer Bill Walton proudly wore a purple Lakers T-shirt to his son's official coaching debut. Walton's mother and three brothers also attended the game. "The Walton force will be strong tonight," Luke said with a grin. "There's definitely nerves and excitement right now, but mostly there's no time to think about how incredible this is, and the opportunity. It's more focused on watching film and getting the prep work in for tonight's game."


The Lakers fired D'Antoni after he went 27-55 in 2013-14, the first of a franchise-record three straight non-playoff seasons. When D'Antoni was asked before the game about reflecting on his time in LA, the coach quickly quipped: "I try not to. ... No, I loved it. I actually did. Manhattan Beach is probably the greatest place to stay. Great friends. They treated me nice, (Lakers owner) Jim (Buss) and (general manager) Mitch (Kupchak). It just didn't fit. It just didn't work."


Rockets: Clint Capela, the 6-foot-9 Swiss forward, replaced Dwight Howard in the middle of the lineup.

Lakers: Metta World Peace began his 17th NBA season, picking up three fouls in his first two minutes while guarding Harden. ... Before the game, they solidified their young core by picking up their 2017-18 contract options on Russell, Randle and Larry Nance Jr. ... Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, director Peter Berg, YG, Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attended the game.


Rockets: At Dallas on Friday in the opener of a home-and-home series.

Lakers: Open a four-game road trip at Utah on Friday.

Instant Replay: Cousins, Kings cruise in opener vs Suns

Instant Replay: Cousins, Kings cruise in opener vs Suns


The Sacramento Kings rolled into Phoenix’s Talking Stick Resort Arena and blew away the Suns on Wednesday night by a final of 113-94. The young upstart Suns tried to make a game out of it in the early fourth quarter, but Sacramento turned to their veterans who delivered down the stretch.

DeMarcus Cousins got into foul trouble early, but still found a way to drop in 24 points and grab six rebounds in 24 minutes manning the middle. Once he was in the flow of the defense, Cousins came to the aid of his teammates, stepping in and cutting off the baseline on multiple possessions.

Like Cousins, Rudy Gay didn’t look great early, but he still managed to score 22 points in the win. There was a sequence in the third quarter when Gay came alive on the defensive end, blocking back-to-back shots on the same defensive possession..

Starting for Darren Collison, Ty Lawson ran the offense better than expected, posting nine points, six rebounds and seven assists in 35 minutes of action.

Garrett Temple filled in as the reserve point guard spot and added 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting.

Matt Barnes provided a spark off the bench, tossing in 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

Eleven of 12 players that stepped on the floor for Sacramento scored and nine players players dropped in six points or more in the win.  

Eric Bledsoe had a nice night for the Suns, scoring 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting with five assists. T.J. Warren chipped in 14 points and five rebounds while playing solid defense on Gay early. Devin Booker added 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting, but he missed all three of his long range shots.  

STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Cousins couldn’t set the tempo early, but when he got it rolling in the third quarter, it was lights out for the Suns. There are plenty of nights that Cousins will be asked to do more, but with a big lead, the Kings didn’t need a typical showing from their All-Star center.

TURNING POINT -- Sacramento finished the first half on a 16-1 run and took a 57-38 lead into the intermission. The Suns kept it within 20 for most of the night and even made a run at the end of third, but the game was decided in the few minutes leading to the intermission.

INJURY UPDATE -- Sacramento enters the season with a full roster of healthy bodies. Matt Barnes struggled with a rib injury during camp, but played a big 27 minutes for the Kings  in the opener.

WHAT'S NEXT -- The Kings return home from Phoenix following the game where the the San Antonio Spurs are waiting for them. Thursday night’s home opener marks the first official game in the new Golden 1 Center as the Kings look to improve to 2-0 on the season.