Rangers' Best Pitcher, Bats Fizzle Against Giants

302619.jpg

Rangers' Best Pitcher, Bats Fizzle Against Giants

Nov. 1, 2010GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEORANGERS PAGE

BOX SCORE

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Everything that carried the Texas Rangers into the World Series fizzled against the San Francisco Giants.The best pitcher. The big bats.Nothing seemed to work when it mattered most.Ace left-hander Cliff Lee lost again and the Rangers' bats remained silent in a 3-1 loss in Game 5 on Monday night that gave the title to the Giants."The guys are a little down," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "They beat us soundly. They played better baseball than we did."Lee, the prized midseason acquisition Texas got to win games like this, was definitely better than in the Series opener, when he had his worst postseason outing ever. Still, it wasn't good enough to beat Tim Lincecum.But no matter how well the free agent-to-be might have pitched in maybe his last start for Texas, Lee got no help from a potent lineup that went from slugging to slumping in the Rangers' first World Series."You've got to tip your cap to Lincecum. He pitched an unbelievable game. They outpitched us the whole series," Lee said. "Against this lineup, that's highly impressive what they did with the ball. A lot of credit goes to their pitching and defense. It was outstanding, and they flat-out beat us."Texas had gone 18 innings -- the equivalent of two full games -- without scoring until Nelson Cruz homered in the seventh against Lincecum. That was after Lee, who struck out six and walked none in seven innings, had thrown his last pitch.Edgar Renteria, the Giants' No. 8 hitter and World Series MVP, hit a three-run homer in the seventh.The Rangers were shut out twice by San Francisco. The last team held scoreless twice in a World Series was the 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers, who failed to score in the last three games while being swept by Baltimore.Texas, which led the majors with a .276 batting average in the regular season, hit a meager .190 with only 12 runs in the World Series."Obviously, we have a great offense, so we feel like we should score no matter what," said Michael Young, the team's career hits leader and longest-tenured player in his 10th season. "They threw really well, they deserve credit for that, they won the World Series - but as a competitor you always want to put it on yourself. You always want to say it doesn't matter who's out there, you've got to find a way to score runs. We just didn't get it done."Josh Hamilton, who led the majors with a .359 average in the regular season, went 2 for 20 in the World Series. The big bats of Young, Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz were a combined 12 for 74 (.162)."Sometimes you feel good and you just don't get hits," Hamilton said. "You hate for it to happen in the World Series, but it did."Bengie Molina spent 3 12 seasons in San Francisco, helping to mentor Lincecum and the other Giants pitchers before being traded July 1 to the Rangers. As good as the Giants' pitchers are, even he was caught off guard by how much they dominated the Texas hitters."Very surprised, very amazed," said Molina, who can still take home a championship ring. "It's very simple. They hit, they pitched, they won."Put it this way: The Rangers had 29 hits in the series. San Francisco scored 29 runs."I didn't know they can pitch that well," Washington said. "It was as good as advertised."Lee was 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in eight career postseason starts going into this World Series. He had won Games 1 and 5 last year for Philadelphia against the New York Yankees, who won the other four games for their 27th championship.This time, he lost Games 1 and 5 of the first World Series in the 50-season history of the Rangers franchise.Now, Texas is unsure if Lee will be back for No. 51.The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner will be one of the most sought-after free agents this winter, and the Rangers obviously want to keep him. They beat the Yankees in the playoffs, but it could be costly to top them again in free agency."I like this team. This is a very fun team to play on. It was a very talented group of guys. I expect this team to do some really good things next year," Lee said. "I don't know if I'm going to be a part of it or not. I would love to be. But there are so many things that can happen."Before his disappointing World Series, Lee pitched a complete game in the AL division series clincher against Tampa Bay after winning the opener of that series for Texas. In his only start against the Yankees in the AL championship series, he struck out 13 and allowed only two hits over eight innings.The Rangers' best hitter in the Series was Mitch Moreland, the rookie first baseman who batted ninth and didn't even join the team until July 27. He went 6 for 13 (.462) and his three-run homer was the big hit for Texas in its only victory, 4-2 in Game 3.Before Lincecum struck out 10 while allowing three hits in eight innings Monday night, the Rangers managed only three singles in eight innings the night before against rookie left-hander Madison Bumgarner."There were three games that they just dominated. The pitcher came out and did their job and kept us off balance pretty much the whole game," Moreland said. "We just couldn't get anything going. That's kind of the story for us."

Instant Replay: Sharks' comeback thwarted by Lindholm goal

if-sharks-lose.jpg
USATSI

Instant Replay: Sharks' comeback thwarted by Lindholm goal

BOX SCORE

ANAHEIM – For the second straight game, the Sharks fell into an early 2-0 hole.

And for the second straight game they erased that deficit, only to lose on a late third period marker. Hampus Lindholm scored with 5:38 to go in regulation, pushing the Ducks to a 3-2 win over the Sharks at Honda Center on Friday night.

Lindholm snapped a 2-2 tie when he found open ice at the top of the circle and buzzed a wrist shot past Martin Jones, for the defenseman’s first of the season.

Anaheim improved to 5-0-1 in the last six head-to-head matchups between the Pacific Division rivals, and moved ahead of the Sharks by two points in the standings.

The Sharks lost their second straight game, including a 4-2 defeat to Ottawa on Wednesday night at SAP Center. They have scored two or fewer goals in nine of their last 12 games, going 6-5-1 over that span.

Rickard Rakell opened the scoring at 4:44. The forward found the rebound of a Shea Theodore shot after Marc-Edouard Vlasic failed to clear the zone for his 11th goal.

Antonie Vermette increased the lead to 2-0, finishing off a rush at 15:06 when he slid the puck past Jones’ far side.

San Jose got one back just before the intermission, though. One second after a power play had expired, Brent Burns hammered home a one-timer from the circle on a pass from Patrick Marleau with just six seconds left in the period, after Vlasic nicely kept the puck in at the offensive blue line.

Burns has now scored one goal in each of the past three games, and has six in the last nine games overall.

The Sharks pushed the pace early in the second period, but Jonathan Bernier made stops on Mikkel Boedker, Joonas Donskoi, Joe Pavelski and Melker Karlsson to keep the Ducks lead intact. That is, until Kevin Labanc knotted it at 2-2, finishing off a cross-ice pass by Logan Couture at 8:40 for the rookie’s third of the season.

The Sharks had a great chance to take their first lead of the night early in the third period, but Joe Pavelski missed a wide open net less than three minutes into the final frame.

The Sharks and Ducks split the first two meetings of the season series. San Jose returns to Honda Center later this month on Dec. 27.

Special teams

The Sharks were officially 0-for-1 on the power play. They killed off all three Anaheim advantages, ending a three-game streak of one power play goal against.

In goal

Starting for the 10th time in the last 11 games, Jones allowed three goals on 32 shots. He fell to 3-7-0 in his career against Anaheim.

Bernier was playing for the first time since giving up eight goals to Calgary on Dec. 4. He made 22 saves to pick up the win.

Lineup

Defenseman David Schlemko missed his second straight game with a right ankle injury. Mirco Mueller was recalled on Friday morning, but did not play.

Rakell returned from being out for the last two games with an upper body injury.

Up next

The Sharks return home for the second of a back-to-back on Saturday against the Hurricanes, who claimed a 1-0 win in Carolina on Nov. 15.

A four-game road trip begins in Toronto on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

The 49ers signed tight end Vance McDonald to a five-year contract extension through the 2021 season, the team announced late Friday.

The deal is worth $35 million, including $16 million in guaranteed money, ESPN reported. The actual contract terms and amount of fully guaranteed money is expected to be less than the reported figures.

McDonald ranks third on the 49ers with 24 catches for 391 yards and four touchdowns. He has touchdown receptions this season of 75 and 65 yards.

"Vance has shown consistent growth throughout his four-year career and his production this season is the result of his dedication and hard work,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “We believe he has only scratched the surface of what he will be able to accomplish in his career. Vance is a tremendous ambassador for the 49ers, and his passion for helping others provides a wonderful example for this organization. We look forward to his continued contributions to this organization, both on and off the field.”

McDonald is in the final season of his original four-year, $3.99 million contract he signed as a second-round draft pick in 2013.

In McDonald’s three previous seasons, he caught just 40 passes for 475 yards and three touchdowns.

McDonald spoke last week about the greater chances he's gotten to prove himself since the 49ers traded Vernon Davis last season.

“I just always look back at the opportunity when Vernon went to (Denver),” McDonald said. “Just being able to have the trust and the opportunity to start games and play every down.”

Said 49ers coach Chip Kelly, "He’s one of our weapons on the offensive side of the ball and he runs better than most tight ends in this league. So really depends on week to week what people have available at the safety spot to kind of match up with him. But he’s certainly someone that I think people defensively have to game plan for.”