Bumgarner dynamite, Giants beat Brewers 2-1

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Bumgarner dynamite, Giants beat Brewers 2-1

July 24, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Madison Bumgarner was more animated about a day at the White House than he was about his third straight decision.Bumgarner will certainly enjoy his day in Washington after pitching into the eighth inning, helping the San Francisco Giants survive another one-run game, a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday."I just go out and pitch," said the 21-year-old, who owns a World Series ring. "I just felt like I did a good job of just making pitches."Bumgarner and the Giants will be guests of President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday before beginning a series in Philadelphia the next day."It will be fun to see that place," Bumgarner said.Giants manager Bruce Bochy was slightly more effusive about the side trip."It is going to be an honor," Bochy said. "When we're there, we'll think about why we're there. We get the chance to meet the President. It's going to be a fun trip. After we see the President we'll jump on a train, like the old days, and go on to Philly."Mike Fontenot and Jeff Keppinger each drove in runs for the Giants, who have won seven of 10 games since the All-Star break. Aubrey Huff had three hits and Brandon Belt added two hits.Ryan Braun homered for the Brewers, who lost for the third time in four games. Prince Fielder and Corey Hart each had two hits."They're a scrappy bunch of guys; they battle really well," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Like their record shows, they get in tight ballgames and they seem to come out ahead."Bumgarner (6-9) won his third straight decision after allowing a run on eight hits over 7 2-3 innings. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter. Sergio Romo got one out and Brian Wilson pitched the ninth for his 31st save."He gives up the home run and then regroups," Bochy said. "It's a great sign that he didn't get flustered. That was an impressive outing."Yovani Gallardo (11-7) lasted seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out five."He threw the ball great," Roenicke said. "When you score one, you're not going to beat them. We had some guys on base, we had chances. We just need to get a couple big hits when we get those guys out there."The Giants improved to 27-13 in one-run games and recorded their major-league leading 29th comeback victory.Braun hit his fourth home run over his last five games to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead with two outs in the first. Bumgarner allowed his first home run in eight starts, and his fifth overall.Bumgarner's one-out double, which ended his 0-for-15 streak, in the third set up the tying run. He scored on Keppinger's single.Josh Wilson, sans sunglasses, lost a pop up in the sun that allowed Huff to reach base leading off the fourth. Nate Schierholtz forced him at second but Belt followed with a hit-and-run single. Fontenot followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1."I usually don't like wearing them. It darkens the ball," Wilson said. "In hindsight, I probably should have had them on. It didn't get into the sun until late. I had it probably until it was less than 20 feet above my head and that's when it finally went in the sun."Bumgarner retired 12 of 14 batters at one point. He gave way to Sergio Romo with two outs and a runner on in the eighth.Gallardo, who threw eight shutout innings against the Giants on May 29 in Milwaukee, has not won two in a row since his six-game winning streak ended June 9. He's 3-5 over his last nine starts.NOTES: Bumgarner has walked two or fewer batters in each of his last 19 starts, the longest stretch since Juan Marichal went 21 straight over two seasons, 1970-71. ... The Brewers resigned LHP Chase Wright after releasing him 10 days ago. He's scheduled to start for the Nashville Sounds. ... Fielder was 2-for-28 before singling in his first two at bats. ... Huff recorded a three-hit game for the first time since June 12. ... The Giants' bullpen has allowed one hit over its last 13 2-3 innings.

Despite loss, Sharks 'in a good spot' headed into bye week

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USATSI

Despite loss, Sharks 'in a good spot' headed into bye week

SAN JOSE – Despite what was technically their sixth loss in the last eight games, the Sharks seemed to put more stock in the point they gained in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Bruins on Sunday night at SAP Center, rather than the one they left on the table.

They have that luxury. 

The Sharks will enter their bye week five points ahead of Edmonton and Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division, and figure they’re due for some time off after a short summer followed by a World Cup for some, and a brutal condensed NHL schedule for all.

“[We’ve] showed up and played hard,” Joe Pavelski said. “We’ve been in a lot of games. Games we’ve lost, we’ve battled. There hasn’t been any cheat in [our] game. Defensively, we’ve been strong. There’s a lot of good areas in our game that we like right now.”

Playing in the second of a back-to-back against a Bruins team had was coming off of its own bye week, the Sharks fell behind 1-0 on a first period goal by Ryan Spooner, but notched a Patrick Marleau equalizer in a second period in which they outshot the Bruins 16-9. An evenly played third period gave way to overtime, where Brad Marchand scored on a breakaway to give the Bruins their fourth straight win since changing head coaches.

The Sharks spoke before the weekend about finishing the final two games strong before the respite. They ended up gaining three of four points, including Saturday’s 4-1 win in Arizona, and were pleased with their effort against the Bruins as they capped off 10 games in 20 days since the All-Star break.

“It was an important push into this break,” Pete DeBoer said. “To go in up [five points] on the next closest team is a real testament to our group.”

Paul Martin said: “I thought we played pretty well, considering the back-to-back with some travel, and a team that was waiting for us.”

Perhaps the most encouraging performance came from Martin Jones, who was one of a number of Sharks players that was looking particularly fatigued lately. The goaltender entered the game with a 1-0-2 record, 4.46 goals-against average and .837 save percentage in his last four starts, including getting pulled after the first period in Boston just 10 days ago.

Jones was impressive, though, making a vital pad stop on the dangerous David Pastrnak in front of the net midway through the third period to keep it a 1-1 score.

“It was a good game. Two teams playing hard,” Jones said. “We can take a lot of positives from that one. It was a good hard game, just didn’t go our way tonight.”

Overtimes have been an issue lately, though. The Sharks have lost their last four games decided during the three-on-three, all coming within the last two weeks. As satisfied as they are with their cushion in the division, it could have been cushier.

Against the Bruins, Tuukka Rask denied Brent Burns on a two-on-one in overtime, and Marchand scored off of the ensuing faceoff, blowing the zone past Pavelski and Marc-Edouard Vlasic and corralling a long toss from Torey Krug before sliding it home.

“We get to overtime, shootouts – we expect to get that extra point,” Pavelski said. “We haven’t found it lately. We’ll just keep looking for it.”

DeBoer said: “The points are critical, they’re valuable. I don’t read a lot into [overtime decisions], we’ve won our share over the time I’ve been here. We had a chance to win tonight, too. … I concentrate on the effort, and I thought we got better as the game went on.”

Being focused and energized, as they have been most of the season to this point, shouldn’t be a problem when the season resumes next Saturday in Vancouver. The Sharks are in prime position to win their first division title since 2010-11, and a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final is a distinct possibility.

Losing six of eight won’t be nearly as acceptable coming out of the break as it apparently is going into it, but that’s not something to worry about now, even after another defeat. 

“There are some games you wish you could get back and get those points, but we’re still in a good spot,” Marleau said.

Trading Cousins is the ultimate Kingstastic move

Trading Cousins is the ultimate Kingstastic move

There was a lot of complaining about the lack of defense in this year’s All-Star Game, as though last year’s All-Star Game didn’t happen.

But the Most Valuable Player, which was putatively Anthony Davis for scoring a record 52 points in front of his home crowd, was actually the man with the fewest minutes of all.

Yes, the man, the god, The DeMarcus Cousins. The Very Definition Of A Sacramento King, By Becoming An Ex-Sacramento King.

Cousins, now the second-best player on the New Orleans Pelicans, played only two minutes Sunday, the lowest total by any All-Star since Connie Hawkins in 1971, ostensibly because he told head coach Steve Kerr he was a little ouchy, but more likely because the Kings were frantically trying to trade him and didn’t want him hurting himself in a game with even no contact whatsoever.

Not during the All-Star Break, mind you. DURING THE ALL-STAR GAME ITSELF! Adam Silver must have been vomiting hedgehogs into a bucket at the very thought.

As it turns out, the Kings, who have sworn up and down that they would never consider trading Cousins, did that very thing, closing a deal to send Cousins and forward Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans for a first and second-round pick in the upcoming draft, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway (who is likely to be waived in true Kings fashion) and 2016 first-rounder Buddy Hield.

You remember Buddy Hield. He’s the guy who clocked Cousins in the joy division going around a Cousins pick during the last Pelicans-Kings game, and got tossed for doing so.

In other words, the Kings prefer the guy who punched their best player in the goolies to their best player. This is so Kingsy.

But on the back end, Cousins’ agent, Jarinn Akana, said Cousins is disinclined to sign a long-term contract with his next team, making him a rental who could some day return to Sacramento in a Groundhog's Day remake that would cause the Oroville Dam to get up and walk off the job.

This too is so Kingsy.

This is the greatness of the Kings. They blew up the All-Star weekend during the game itself. They blew it up trying to get rid of their best player when they are within fighting distance of their first playoff spot in 11 years. They blew it up after saying they weren’t considering trading the dynamite at all.

Kingsy, Kingsy, Kingsy. It’s Kingstastic!

And the best part of it all is that the trade leaves everyone deflated and confused and ultimately angry, while the Kings undervalued their only marketable player to invest in a future they have mocked for decades.

You know what we;’re talking about. Gimme a K! Gimme an I! Gimme an N-G-S, throw an extraneous Y on the end of it what does it spell?

Yeah. Right.

It’s remarkable thing, being a King. While we have all amused ourselves with the machinations of the thick-as-two-short-planks New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony, the Kings have been Kinging this way for most of the last 35 years.

And now, they have decided to feed their obsession with the Golden State Warriors by running even further away from them, by tossing their only bargaining chip for a future player or players that they typically ruin, and Buddy Hield, who just found out that even at these prices life can still be cruel.

Give them their due, though. The Kings could win the NBA title and hock the trophy. They could be invited to the White House when the President is off playing golf. They could increase their Forbes valuation to $5 billion and declare bankruptcy.

Because they are the Kings, and that sentence has rarely meant more than it does now.

Not because they traded Cousins. Trades happen all the time. Wilt Chamberlain got traded twice.

But the Kings handled this with all the skill of a pickpocket with feet where his hands should be. They lied unconvincingly. They talked hard business and ended up with a nebulous deal that guarantees nothing except more speculation come summer. And they have nothing else to trade between now and . . . well, whenever they stopped being so damned Kingsy.

For New Orleans, it is a roll of the dice, an attempt to make the playoffs with a two-headed monster in Cousins and Davis. It may be too much to giver, but without knowing how the Kings will screw up those picks, it remains speculative at best.

Indeed, this is subtraction by subtraction, the standard Kings deal. And whatever the Kings have gained in this trade (hey, you never know), we remain safe in saying that they did it in such a Kingsy way that they may never top this.

Until the next time they do anything at all. Never doubt the power of Kingsiness.