Baggs' Instant Replay: Dodgers 10, Giants 0


Baggs' Instant Replay: Dodgers 10, Giants 0


SAN FRANCISCO Just over a month ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers didnt score a run in three games at AT&T Park. And comically, their equipment truck broke down on the way to SFO.

That truck is up and running again, and the Giants zombie-walked into its path.

Matt Kemp, who has video-game numbers against Barry Zito, pinged him pretty good for a two-run home run in the first inning. But the Giants unplugged offense was the most disturbing part of Saturdays 10-0 hide-tanning at the hands of their archrivals at AT&T Park.

The Giants only had two hits in the first seven innings and they shouldve been gimmes: leadoff doubles in the second and fifth. They let both chances pass and the Dodgers kept accelerating, cutting the Giants lead to one game in the NL West and positioning themselves for a chance at a three-game sweep at China Basin.

The difference between this series and the last one? Simply put: injuries.

The Dodgers didnt have Kemp last time. The Giants are without Pablo Sandoval now. And although Marco Scutaro made his Giants debut Saturday, hes not intended to be a response to the Dodgers cash-absorbing addition of Hanley Ramirez.

Already, Ramirez is making an impact in this division race. He collected two RBI hits and scored another run. And of course, his two-run home run won Friday nights game.

Starting pitching report
Zito had been 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers this season, but Kemp was on the disabled list for one of those assignments and was 3 for 3 against him in the other.

A .449 career hitter in 49 at-bats, Kemp improved that average while doing damage with a two-run home run in the first inning.

Zito (8-7) didnt pay for another mistake until the fifth, when the Dodgers 7-8 hitters went single-double to start the inning and pitcher Chad Billingsley hit a sacrifice fly to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

The Giants tried to squeeze one more inning out of Zito, but Kemp led off with a single (he ended the day as a .462 hitter against the lefty). After Hanley Ramirez hit into a fielders choice, Jerry Hairston Jr. followed with a double to right field that wasnt easily corralled. The relay arrived at the plate ahead of Ramirez, but catcher Buster Posey was positioned so far in front of the dish that his swipe tag had no chance to prevent the run.

Zito ended up allowing four runs (all earned) on seven hits in 5 13 innings. For the third consecutive start, he issued just one walk. Overall, it was the kind of strike-throwing effort that the Giants hoped Zito could provide as the de facto No.5 starter.

The Giants are 10-10 in Zitos starts this season.

Bullpen report
The Giants found a more experienced upgrade to Emmanuel Burriss in Marco Scutaro. The club is seeking to do the same for right-hander George Kontos, who gave up a solo homer to A.J. Ellis along with consecutive doubles to Kemp and Ramirez in a three-run seventh inning.

Kemps fourth hit of the afternoon was a double off Brad Penny in a three-run ninth inning. Ramirez added another lo viste RBI single.

At the plate
Buster Posey doubled to start the second inning but the Giants couldnt even advance him with a productive out. The same thing happened when Angel Pagan took a risk with a three-run deficit and hustled a double to start the fifth. Brandon Belt took a called third strike and the next two batters grounded out.

The next inning, Aubrey Huff replaced Belt as part of a double-switch. In his first at-bats since June 10, he grounded out and struck out.

The Giants loaded the bases with three singles in the eighth, but Ryan Theriot grounded out.

They were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and are now hitting .188 with two outs and RISP for the season the second-worst mark in the major leagues, better than only the San Diego Padres.

Scutaro popped to short, grounded out to third and singled in his Giants debut.

In field
Shortstop Brandon Crawfords errorless streak ended at 30 games. He made his first miscue since June 17 at Seattle, dropping Ethiers spinning, one-hopper for what shouldve been the third out in the seventh inning. Kemp and Ramirez followed with doubles that put the game away.

Ethier made the highlight play of the game, racing back and crashing into the bricks while catching Melky Cabreras deep drive in the seventh inning.

Scutaro, playing third base for the first time since 2008, handled all his chances without incident.

The Giants announced 42,030 paid. Give em time to pick up the old Scutaro chant that used to echo through the Coliseum.

Up next
The Giants and Dodgers complete their three-game series in Sunday as Ryan Vogelsong (8-4, 2.26) tries to outpitch left-hander Clayton Kershaw (7-6, 3.14) for the third time this season. After Sunday, the two clubs still have nine more games remaining in their season series: Aug. 20-22 at LA, Sept. 7-9 at SF and Oct. 1-3 at LA in the final three games of the year.

Obama celebrates World Series champion Chicago Cubs at White House


Obama celebrates World Series champion Chicago Cubs at White House

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama welcomed the Chicago Cubs to the White House on Monday to celebrate their World Series win and speak to the power of sports to unite a divided nation.

"Throughout our history, sports has had this power to bring us together even when the country is divided," Obama said in honoring his hometown team.

The ceremony came four days before Obama hands the presidency over to Donald Trump following one of the most divisive elections in recent memory.

It also follows a weekend in which civil rights icon John Lewis said he didn't consider Trump a legitimate president because of Russian meddling in the election. Trump responded on Twitter by criticizing Lewis as "all talk" and suggesting the Democratic congressman take better care of his Georgia district.

The president has a home in Chicago, but he is a White Sox fan. He rooted for the Cubs after the Sox failed to reach the playoffs.

The Cubs gave Obama a baseball jersey with the number 44, a fitting gift for the nation's 44th president.

Obama invited the Cubs hours after they won the series in November, asking on Twitter if the team wanted to visit before his term ends on Friday.

The Cubs won their first World Series title since 1908 by defeating the Cleveland Indians.

Giants avoid arbitration with Nunez, Smith, Kontos

Giants avoid arbitration with Nunez, Smith, Kontos

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants avoided arbitration with three more veterans on Friday, agreeing to one-year deals with third baseman Eduardo Nuñez, left-hander Will Smith and right-hander George Kontos.

Financial details were not immediately available. MLB Trade Rumors' projections put Nuñez at about $4.4 million, Smith at about $2.3 million, and Kontos at about $1.7 million. The Giants reached deals with all six arbitration eligible players this offseason. 

Nunez, acquired last summer, will enter camp as the starter at third base. He posted a .269/.327/.418 slash line and 12 stolen bases after coming over from the Twins.

Smith was also acquired before the trade deadline, and he had a 2.95 ERA in 26 appearances for the Giants. He is expected to play a pivotal role in setting up for new closer Mark Melancon. 

Kontos has long been Bruce Bochy's most reliable reliever in the middle innings and he could move to a higher-leverage role in a revamped bullpen. He had a 2.53 ERA in 2016, his fifth season with the Giants.

The Giants had previously reached one-year deals with Cory Gearrin, Ehire Adrianza and Conor Gillaspie. They have not gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when a deal could not be reached with A.J. Pierzynski.