Theriot takes fly balls in left field, etc.


Theriot takes fly balls in left field, etc.

LOS ANGELES Giants manager Bruce Bochy asked Ryan Theriothow he felt after getting practice in left field for the second consecutiveday.

He said, Im fine. The only thing Im having trouble withis fly balls, Bochy said.

He'll hit the Catskills circuit this winter, folks. But all jokesaside, left field is a serious issue for the Giants these days following MelkyCabreras 50-game suspension for a positive PED test.

Bochy said he could put Theriot in left field as a way tokeep both he and Marco Scutaro in the lineup. Scutaro, who hasnt played leftfield since 2008, could be an option, too. (But not Brandon Belt, who hasnttaken a fly ball in the outfield since spring training. Bochy continued to keepthe door cracked on that possibility, but isnt likely to grab the doorknob.)

The main option, as it has been, is Gregor Blanco.

Well keep all of em, all our options, Bochy said. Wehave to.

That includes options from outside the organization. Whichname appeals to you: Jeff Francoeur, Cody Ross, Scott Hairston, Rick Ankiel,Pat Burrell?

(Just seeing if you were paying attention for that last one)

Bochy said GM Brian Sabean remains active on the waiverfront, looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder. The Giants will have toconsider Xavier Nady at Triple-A Fresno, too.

But for now, its Blanco.

Bochy received a good report on Guillermo Mota after theright-hander threw two innings for Fresno on Monday. Bochy said Motas fastballwas in the 92-94 mph range while he held Tucson to one hit, a solo home run.

The Giants must make a decision on Mota Aug. 28, when his100-game suspension is up and he must be transferred from the restricted list.

Some have asked if Bochys son, Brett, might be an option asa September call-up after having a very impressive season for Double-ARichmond. The papa is proud, but he said no, it wasnt a consideration.

And now Brett Bochy is shut down with shoulder fatigue. Atleast tests did not reveal any structural damage.

Hell play catch and theyll reevaluate him, Bochy said ofhis son, who has been shut down for five days and landed on the DL Tuesday. Hesdone a great job, but no, we havent talked about him being here. Hesunraveled the last week and he didnt say anything. Basically its just a caseof really, really dead arm.

Brian Wilson made a visit to the Giants clubhouse, stillbearded as if he just emerged from a cardboard hovel. Wilson appeared to be ingood condition as he greeted coaches and teammates. He met with trainers asboth sides discussed his rehab progress following Tommy John surgery in Aprilto reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

He wore silver moon boots. Yep, same Wilson.

Apparently, Sasquatch was not credentialed to accompany himinto the clubhouse.

Cubs rock Kershaw, reach first World Series since 1945


Cubs rock Kershaw, reach first World Series since 1945


CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton Kershaw, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.

If Cubs get to World Series, injured slugger could make surprise return


If Cubs get to World Series, injured slugger could make surprise return

As if the possibility of clinching their first National League pennant in 71 years didn’t create enough drama and excitement in Wrigleyville, the Cubs have sent Kyle Schwarber to the Arizona Fall League, hoping he can add another chapter to his October legend.
Schwarber earned this chance after beating every expectation in his recovery from major surgery on his left knee in April. The Cubs haven’t ruled anything in or out – and still need to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers one more time this weekend – but they want to see how he responds on Saturday with the Mesa Solar Sox and ultimately decide if he would be a viable designated-hitter option for the World Series.
Schwarber gained clearance on Monday from Dr. Daniel Cooper, the head team physician for the Dallas Cowboys who reconstructed his ACL and repaired his LCL after a devastating outfield collision during the first week of the regular season. Schwarber immediately phoned president of baseball operations Theo Epstein after the six-month checkup.   
“I wasn’t expecting the call,” Epstein said. “We got news that was beyond better than we could have expected by any reasonable standard. 
“He asked for a chance to do this. And with as hard as Kyle has worked and as much as this means to him – and potentially to us – we wanted to give him that opportunity.”