From Comcast SportsNetSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy plans to start a pair of 16-game winners in the first two games of the National League division series. After that, he says he's not sure what he'll do.Matt Cain will pitch Game 1 against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday and left-hander Madison Bumgarner will go in Game 2 on Sunday. The two tied for the team lead in victories and were instrumental down the stretch when San Francisco won the NL West for the second time in three years.Two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum and 15-game winner Barry Zito have also been key for the Giants. But Bochy said Thursday he's unsure whether he'll use the two in starting roles or out of the bullpen. That goes for Ryan Vogelsong as well."More than anything it's really vital for us to have all hands on deck here the first two games," Bochy said in explaining his reluctance to name a Game 3 starter. "If we want to use some guys in the rotation early here, then we'll do that. We wanted to keep our options open."The uncertainty over the back end of the rotation might seem strange given that starting pitchers are creatures of habit and generally stay on a carefully mapped out throwing routine in between starts.Zito, who was left off the Giants postseason roster entirely two years ago when the franchise won its first World Series title since 1954, doesn't think that will be an issue.The 34-year-old left-hander has started 172 games and made six relief appearances since signing a 126 million, seven-year contract with San Francisco before the 2007 season."I've (come) out of the bullpen many times as a starter here," Zito said. "A lot of the other guys have done that, too. You change your routine going into it. You can't be stupid about it. Other than that, if you're on the mound you're on the mound."The Giants gathered for a voluntary workout at AT&T Park and players took batting practice while Bumgarner threw a bullpen session as stadium workers hurried to get the stadium ready for Saturday's Game 1. Truckloads of merchandise arrived throughout the afternoon and red, white and blue bunting was hung around the waterfront ballpark.Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker was a surprise visitor to the workout.Baker, the former Giants skipper who recently rejoined the Reds after missing 11 games while recovering from a mini-stroke and irregular heartbeat, stood behind the batting cage and joked with current San Francisco scout Felipe Alou -- who replaced Baker as manager.If Baker hoped to get an insight as to what the Giants plans are for their rotation, he was disappointed.Cain, the NL starter in the All-Star game who earlier this season pitched the first perfect game in franchise history, was an easy call for Game 1. Likewise with Bumgarner, the 23-year-old who was second on the team in ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched."You look at the years that Matt and Madison have had, that's why they're going Game 1 and Game 2," Bochy said. "We feel like these two have earned these starts and that's why they're out there."The rest of the rotation is unclear for various reasons.Zito was one of San Francisco's top pitchers down the stretch to finish with his best season yet since the 2002 AL Cy Young Award joined the Giants. He won his last five starts and seven decisions in the regular season, and hasn't lost since Aug. 2.More critically for San Francisco, the Giants went 11-0 after Aug. 6 with Zito on the mound. That's vastly different from 2010 when he won only one game over the final two months."I'm just happy to be here," Zito said. "Happy to be here, happy to be on the roster, happy to be having fun playing baseball right now. Everything else is gravy."Lincecum, the Giants former ace who lost 10 of his first 13 decisions this season, rebounded well but still finished with a career-high 15 losses.The question for Bochy is whether to keep Lincecum in the rotation or put him the bullpen two years after the right-hander pitched the Giants past the Rangers in the Game 5 World Series clincher at Texas.Vogelsong, 35, would seem the most likely of the three to go to the bullpen. He struggled over the final seven weeks of the season when he had a 6.75 ERA over his final 10 starts."We may use Timmy in the pen, we may use Vogelsong in the pen or Zito," Bochy said. "They'll know exactly what's going on. We'll make sure that they're ready. That's right now what we think is the best way to about it."
SANTA CLARA – The 49ers have made one big-money, first-day splash in free agency under embattled general manager Trent Baalke.
That came in March of 2015, when the team signed wide receiver Torrey Smith to a five-year, $40 million contract.
The 49ers brought Smith to the organization because of his character and production as a much-needed deep threat in the passing game. Smith has lived up to his promise off the field. This week he was named the 49ers’ nominee for the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
But the 49ers have gone 6-22 during that time. In the 27 games in which he has appeared, Smith has 53 receptions for 930 and seven touchdowns. He spoke on the 49ers Insider Podcast about the frustration and disappointment he has experienced since coming to the organization.
“There are times when I’ve handled it well and there are times I’ve been horrible,” Smith said. “As bad as things may have been, I just got to look at the light on the other side of the tunnel. I’m trying to be more positive. I was just talking to my wife about it. I feel like it’s a professional test for me.
“That’s why they signed me to come here. And I haven’t been doing that, for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it’s myself. Sometimes it’s opportunity. And sometimes we flat-out miss. The combination of those drives you crazy, but there’s only one thing I can control, and I haven’t been doing a good job of controlling that.”
Smith and safety Antoine Bethea are the only players on the 49ers who have won championships. Smith, whose Super Bowl win came as a member of the Baltimore Ravens against the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, said he trusts that coach Chip Kelly has the team heading in the right direction – despite the 1-11 record and the franchise-worst 11-game losing streak entering Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
“We played at a very high level for three of my four years there (with the Ravens), and you know what it looks like when it’s right,” Smith said. “It’s a feel you get. It’s the way things are operating. It’s the way leadership is. I can’t really describe it, but you know what it looks like. It’s like a well-oiled machine.
“I feel like we have that, but we’re just not performing. There are mistakes involved in that. There’s a youth issue, as well. We’re not getting it done. But I think in terms of the way you’re taught, the way you prepare – which is how you can judge a coach – I don’t feel like we ever go into anything where we weren’t prepared.”
With Baalke’s future with the organization in a tenuous position, the 49ers will have a lot of offseason decisions. One is whether to bring back Smith at his $8 million annual price tag. Smith said he realizes his future is uncertain, but he said he believes the 49ers will eventually turn things around.
“People think Jed (York) and these guys just don’t care or whatever, like they’re trying to tank or blow this thing up,” Smith said. “That’s not the case. Guys are trying to prepare from the top to the bottom to win. Everyone here is working their tails off. We’re just aren’t performing well. When that happens, there’s a lot of criticism that comes from a lot of different directions – as it should. Everyone gets paid to do a job.
“But I feel like when we get it right -- and I can say we, and I’m not even guaranteed to be here next year. You know how the business works. Anything can happen. But I feel like it’s going to be right. I don’t know how long that’s going to take. But it’s not that far away. I’m just going keep saying that. It’s just a few pieces there that we got to get together and be more consistent.”
The Warriors left Utah with a 106-99 victory over the Jazz.
With 9.3 seconds remaining and the Warriors up by eight points, Kevin Durant was hit with a technical foul.
Draymond Green walked over to Durant and started laughing. Why?
Warriors up 8 with 9.3 seconds remaining, and Draymond is enjoying a laugh with Durant pic.twitter.com/wk5ZYja1BM— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) December 9, 2016
"We were laughing at Quinn Snyder who kept calling timeouts," Draymond told reporters after the game. "Like bro, you're down 10 with six seconds left, it's kinda over my man."
After Zaza Pachulia missed two free throws with the Warriors ahead by 11 and 1:05 remaining, the Jazz got the rebound and immediately called timeout.
After Draymond made one of two free throws with 49.4 seconds left to make it 104-94, Utah called another timeout.
After Steph Curry made a free throw to give the Warriors an eight-point lead with 9.3 seconds left, Quin Snyder used his final timeout.
Warriors play-by-play broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald said: "Utah is gonna use another time out. Quin Snyder is just practicing game-ending situations."
Analyst Jim Barnett responded with: "Absolutely, that's what he's doing."
"Just let us go to the restaurant and have a good dinner; just chill," Draymond added. "That's what we were laughing at. Nothing about the tech ... that was funny. But that's all it was."