Baker flips script on Giants in Game 1 victory


Baker flips script on Giants in Game 1 victory


SAN FRANCISCO -- Eight pitches into Cincinnati's playoff run and it seemed, well, over.Reds ace Johnny Cueto had just delivered a pitch out of his Luis TiantEl Duque delivery and hopped off the mound to the left side, waving with the international signal that he was done. His back had spasmed and, with the pain showing on his face, indeed, he was finished for the night, if not the entire series.NEWS: Cueto exits game after eight pitches
No way the Reds, with just 10 other pitchers on their postseason roster, would be able to withstand the Giants' constant pressure Saturday night, right? Especially not with the Giants' horse on the mound in Matt Cain."I was like, Why? Why? Why?" said Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips. "It kind of sucked."ExceptThe Reds flipped the script on the Giants -- Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker used penciled-in Game 3 starter and Giants nemesis Mat Latos to throw four innings of one-run ball in relief as the Reds took a one-game lead in this best-of-five National League Division Series opener, 5-2."It wasn't planned like that," Baker said."We were just fortunate to win that game, like the way we did tonight. And you got to give big props to Latos.Here is a guy sitting back, relaxed, thinking he was going to pitch next week at home and now all of the sudden, boom, this is his first playoff game.It was a great feat by him."And Cueto's was the shortest postseason start by a pitcher since Atlanta's John Thomson also went 13 of an inning on Oct. 9, 2004.But suddenly, it does not really matter. Especially not if Cueto is able to start Game 3 in place of Latos now.Cueto, who said he initially felt discomfort in his right side before the game and used a heating balm to loosen it up, acknowledged that he felt fine after the game and could see himself making that start come Tuesday in Cincinnati. But he said he had to wait until Sunday morning to see exactly how it felt."Only God knows," Cueto said in Spanish.Saturday night, no one knew the Reds would be able to shut down an opportunistic Giants offense and end a seven-game postseason losing streak while winning their first playoff game since 1995.Consider: Sam LeCure, Latos, Sean Marshall, Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman combined to limit the Giants to two runs on seven hits, with six walks and five strikeouts."It was Latos' throw day," Baker said."This is his third day, so that's why we didn't want to go any further than we went with him, but we wanted to go with Sam LeCure first, give Latos time to get ready mentally, because as a starting pitcher you have a day or two to get yourself ready mentally, and also give him plenty of time to get ready in the bullpen."The only real blemishes on the Reds' "relievers" were the solo home run Buster Posey hit off Latos in the sixth inning and Chapman's wild ride in the ninth, when he walked two and uncorked a pair of wild pitches while loading the bases.

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the final month of his time with the Giants, it became clear that Santiago Casilla and the team would part ways. On Friday, Casilla confirmed that he never had the opportunity to return. 

On a conference call to announce a two-year deal with the Oakland A’s, Casilla said he “would have been happy to return to the Giants, but I never got an offer from them. I understood.”

Casilla said he had several opportunities to go elsewhere and close, mentioning the Milwaukee Brewers as one interested team. Casilla signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the A’s, who likely won’t need him to pitch in the ninth. The Brewers went on to bring in Neftali Feliz for one year and $5.35 million; he is expected to close. 

“I preferred to return to the Athletics because that’s where my career started,” Casilla said through interpreter Manolo Hernández Douen. “And I’m very excited.”

Casilla spent the first six years of his career with the A’s before crossing the bridge and becoming a key figure in three title runs. In seven seasons in San Francisco, he posted a 2.42 ERA and saved 123 games. Casilla had a 0.92 ERA in the postseason, but he was stripped of a prominent role in the weeks leading up to the 2016 playoffs. 

Casilla, 36, blew nine saves before being pulled from the ninth inning. He appeared just three times in the final 14 regular season games and just once in the playoffs. He did not take the mound in Game 4 of the NLDS, watching as five other relievers teamed up to give back a three-run lead. 

That moment stung Casilla, and it affected Bruce Bochy, too. The Giants struck quickly in December to bring Mark Melancon in as their new closer, but at the Winter Meetings, Bochy said he would welcome Casilla back in a setup role. 

“He’s a great team player (and) teammate,” Bochy said. “(I) certainly wouldn’t rule it out because he still has great stuff. And he had some hiccups there in that closing role, but I would take him anytime.”

As it turned out, that opportunity was never there for Casilla. The Giants didn’t make another move after the big deal with Melancon, and they’ll rely on younger arms to record most of the outs in the seventh and eighth. Casilla said he’s not bitter about the way it all ended. 

“I have left that in the past,” he said. “It’s a new year, it’s a new year. I have left this in the past.” 

Authorities: Two Dodgers security guards arrested, accused of theft


Authorities: Two Dodgers security guards arrested, accused of theft

LOS ANGELES -- Prosecutors say two security guards at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium have been arrested and are accused of stealing equipment, baseballs and jerseys from the major league team to sell online.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says Juan DeDios Prada and Fernando Sierra pleaded not guilty to burglary and other charges Thursday.

Prosecutors say the two security guards conspired with a third man, Jesse Luis Dagnesses, to steal baseball uniforms and other team merchandise to sell online.

They say Prada and Sierra stole more than $3,400 from a locked equipment room at the stadium between January 2013 and February 2016.

Authorities say Dagnesses is accused of receiving $950 in stolen baseballs and jerseys.

It wasn't immediately clear if the men had attorneys who could comment on the allegations.