EXTRA BAGGS: Bochy says Sandoval must focus on baseball, etc.


EXTRA BAGGS: Bochy says Sandoval must focus on baseball, etc.


SAN FRANCISCO It should have been a day of progress for PabloSandoval, who batted third as the designated hitter for Single-A San Jose whilebeginning his minor league rehab assignment on Saturday.

Instead, as CSN Bay Area first reported, Sandoval and theGiants face the serious matter of a sexual assault investigation.

Giants officials and coaches already were not pleased withSandovals weight, which has become an issue again. Now their All-Star thirdbaseman faces another major impediment. And while there are plenty of missingfacts, club officials are not happy that Sandoval would even put himself inthis kind of position to have his actions questioned.

Manager Bruce Bochy said Sandoval has to focus on baseball.

Well, he needs to, said Bochy, asked about the Santa CruzSheriffs Department investigation after the Giants 2-1 victory over the Cubson Saturday. Hes down there (at Stockton) tonight. Hell DH and he needs toget ready to help us out. Thats what he has to do. We need him here.

As far as that other stuff, you heard our statement. For us, he needs to get ready. Thatswhy hes down there right now.

Were focused on baseball. Those questions will go to hisattorney. We wont have any distractions, I dont care what it may be.

Bochy made it as clear as he could: Ryan Theriot has becomehis everyday second baseman and No. 2 hitter.

Theriot has solidified the No. 2 hole, Bochy said. Youhave to like all the little things hes done since hes been back. Hes got alot of experience and at-bats there, and he will remain there.

Theriot said he used the time on the DL (with an inflamedright elbow) to study his swing and make adjustments.

Its paid off tremendously, he said.

Theriot is definitely beginning to feel more comfortable inevery aspect. He was pretty reserved in the spring and not too outgoing. Now hesletting his personality show, and hes definitely someone who wouldve fit inon the World Series roster of goofballs.

He wears white calf-length muckboots as shower shoes. Whatmore do you need to know?

Its hard to believe Matt Cain is 75-75 for his career, aswell as hes pitched. In a recent player poll published in Sports Illustrated,he was voted the most underrated pitcher in baseball.

The players know you shouldnt judge Cain by his record.

You know what youre going to get, Theriot said. Comingin here as an opponent, you know youre going to get his best every time.

Theriot is a .150 hitter (3-for-20, one walk, threestrikeouts) against Cain in his career. So he knows of what he speaks.

Ill tell you this, Theriot said. Theres going to be alot more wins than losses when its all said and done.

Buster Posey will start at first base on Sunday, Bochy said.Thats something the Giants had gotten away from in recent weeks while playing20 games in 20 days. It became more valuable for Bochy to give Posey full daysoff to keep from wearing out his cleanup hitter.

Now the Giants will have some breaks in the schedule,though. And they are still just as flummoxed to find production at first base especially against left-handers like Travis Wood, who will take the mound forthe Cubs. Brett Pill is batting .189 against lefties. Neither Aubrey Huff norBrandon Belt has emerged, either.

So expect Posey to pick up a first basemans glove moreoften.

Its hard to imagine the Giants improving defensively atthird base when Sandoval returns. Thats how good Joaquin Arias has become,despite very little career experience at the position.

The play he made in the ninth inning to start a twinkilling, when he was in on the grass to defend against a possible bunt and thenfielded a slap-shot grounder, was a game saver.

Id say hes gotten better, Bochy said. Hes gottencomfortable right away, and thats whats impressive about him. Now, hes alsobeen playing a lot. Hes probably a little tired. But hes done a nice job overthere.

Arias is taking grounders at shortstop and hell probablytake some starts for Brandon Crawford against lefties after Sandoval returns.Hell also mix in at second base, and perhaps hell start hitting a little morewhen the Giants can afford to pace him better.

At least Arias was able to put the ball in play to drive inthe tiebreaking run on a ground out. That goes right along with Bochys theoryto put the ball in play and make something happen.

For a time, the Giants were striking out way too much. Bochysees a better approach and better at-bats now.

Oh, our at-bats have improved over the last three weeks,Bochy said. Its competing out there. Its finding ways to put the ball inplay. Guys are definitely doing a better job seeing pitches.

How Cubs beat Kershaw to move on to World Series

How Cubs beat Kershaw to move on to World Series

Two quick runs off the best pitcher on the planet on Saturday night afforded the Cubs exactly what they needed to snap a 71-year-old drought.

Already confident after consecutive offensive outbursts in the previous two games, a two-run first inning against Clayton Kershaw had Cubs hitters in a positive frame of mind.

They rode the surprising rally and a dominant performance by Kyle Hendricks to a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. The win earned the Cubs their first NL pennant since 1945 and on Tuesday night they’ll seek their first World Series title since 1908 when they face the Cleveland Indians in Game 1.

“It’s huge for the confidence, the positive momentum from LA, to carry over back home,” left fielder Ben Zobrist said. “Those were the biggest moments in the game early on to help everybody keep pushing and that we got this thing -- that we’re in charge of the game early. That’s a huge momentum builder.”

The Cubs did a little bit of everything in the first inning against Kershaw, who dominated them for seven scoreless frames in a 1-0 Dodgers victory in Game 2 on Sunday night. Some hitters took a more aggressive approach against the three-time NL Cy Young winner while others remained patient. The one constant throughout the 30-pitch frame was that Cubs hitters took advantage whenever Kershaw made a mistake.


MLB becomes whole new ballgame since Cubs last World Series trip


MLB becomes whole new ballgame since Cubs last World Series trip

One way to realize just how long it's been since the Chicago Cubs last reached the World Series is to look at how much the game has changed since then, on and off the field.

The Cubs are making their first appearance since 1945 and chasing their first title since 1908.

Some of the ways the game has changed since the Cubs lost Game 7 to the Detroit Tigers some 71 years ago:

INTEGRATION: Jackie Robinson became the first black player to reach the major leagues in 1947, two years after the Cubs' last World Series appearance. Baseball has turned into a virtual melting pot in the seven decades since. The Cubs' roster includes players from Cuba (reliever Aroldis Chapman and outfielder Jorge Soler), along with Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, as well as the United States.

EXPANSION: There were 16 teams in the majors in 1945, including two in St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago, and three in New York. The total is up to 30 now.

GO WEST: There were no major league franchises west of St. Louis in 1945. The Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and the New York Giants headed to San Francisco in 1958. In 1969, the Seattle Pilots showed up - they went 64-98 in their first year, then became the Milwaukee Brewers.

DIVISIONAL PLAY: There were no divisions in 1945, just eight teams in both the American League and National League. They split into East and West divisions in 1969. Then a Central was created in 1994, with the Cubs shifting from the NL East to the NL Central.

PLAYOFFS PLUS: Extra teams and divisions resulted in expanded playoffs. The League Championship Series began in 1969, the Division Series started in 1995 and a one-game wild-card playoff came in 2012. A longer postseason pushed the World Series deep into October and beyond. If the Cubs and Cleveland go the distance this year, Game 7 would be on Nov. 2.

FREE AGENCY: When Phil Cavarretta and Peanuts Lowrey helped lead the Cubs to the 1945 Series, they were bound to the team until they were traded or released. Curt Flood tested baseball's reserve clause in the early 1970s and took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, helping pave the way for players to move around as free agents. Jon Lester, John Lackey and Ben Zobrist are among the players the Cubs acquired this way.

DESIGNATED HITTER: The designated hitter joined the American League lineup in 1973. The DH debate is still hot, with the leagues playing by different rules. When this year's World Series opens at the AL park, both teams will use the DH; when the Cubs host, the pitchers will hit.

LIGHTS AT WRIGLEY: The Cubs were the last team in the majors to play only day games. That changed when lights were installed at Wrigley Field in 1988. The games there have always been played outdoors on green grass, never under a dome or on artificial turf, trends that became popular starting with the Astrodome in the mid-1960s.