Burrell will DH for Giants in Game 5 of Series

Burrell will DH for Giants in Game 5 of Series

Nov. 1, 2010GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy tweaked his lineup again for Game 5 of the World Series.So far this postseason, most of Bochy's moves have been right on.Struggling Pat Burrell returned tothe lineup for Monday night's game against the Texas Rangers, but asthe designated hitter instead of in left field. Aaron Rowand got hisfirst start of the Series in center, with Andres Torres moving fromcenter to right. Cody Ross was in left for the second straight day, andAubrey Huff was back at first base following a one-day stint as DHduring which he hit a two-run drive for his first career postseasonhomer.The Giants are trying to win their first World Series in 56 years and first since moving West in 1958.Torres, who replaced Rowand as the regular center fielder at midseason, has moved to right previously."Torry's comfortable wherever we puthim," Bochy said. "Having Row out there with Torry and Ross is our bestdefensive outfield tonight."Burrell was benched for Sundaynight's 4-0 victory in Game 4. He has eight strikeouts in nine at-batsin the Series, is 0 for 9 overall and has 19 strikeouts in 38 at-batsthis postseason.Bochy said he had told Burrell hewould be back in the lineup Monday and Burrell spent Sunday takingextra swings to try to get on track."He worked on some things yesterday," Bochy said.Burrell entered with a .209 careeraverage in 160 games as a designated hitter, leading to his release bythe Tampa Bay Rays earlier this season. Burrell signed a minor leaguedeal with the Giants in late May and was called up June 4 following ashort stint with Triple-A Fresno.Rowand, who won a World Series ringwith the 2005 White Sox, is 7 for 25 with a homer and four RBIs againstRangers ace and Game 5 starter Cliff Lee. That factored into himgetting the call Monday."More so, we need him," Bochy saidof the decision. "He's faced Lee and we need another right-handed batout there, experience. It's nice to put a good center fielder out therewho has been through this and faced Lee."

San Jose Sharks fans may have just witnessed the end of an era

San Jose Sharks fans may have just witnessed the end of an era

Melodrama demands that San Jose’s exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs be portrayed as the very likely end of the Joe Thornton/Patrick Marleau Era.

It probably won’t work that way, and probably shouldn't as will be explained further down your reading, but when you get shoved out of the postseason in your own building, melancholy is the order of the day. Even if the melancholy isn’t for any player in particular, but for an entire era.

Nobody will blame Saturday’s 3-1 loss in Game 6 of the Western Conference quarterfinal on bad luck (although Joe Pavelski going crossbar/post on the final power play of their season was close enough to it), or unjust officiating, or even lousy ice (though that was a fairly clear by-product for those who like their hockey a little less sticky). Edmonton took advantage of two critical Sharks errors 56 seconds apart in the second period, Oiler goaltender Cam Talbot cheated the gods multiple times when the Sharks weren’t vomiting up chances on their own, and young legs joined up with growing know-how to make this a just outcome.

But for Thornton and Marleau, a quick round of 30-on-1 interviews asking them if they thought their days in Finville Heights had finally come to an end were their mutual introduction to yet another unfulfilling offseason.

And a team whose core is among the league’s oldest was just exposed for that very flaw by a team that, in head coach Todd McLellan’s words, “Grew up, learned how to get into the playoffs, how to get a lead, how to play with it, and how to deal with a desperate team at the end of a game. Now we’ll see what they have to learn next.”

That learning will comes against the Anaheim Ducks, who are 15-0-3 in their last 18 games, including four straight against the Calgary Flames.

As for the rest of it, Edmonton earned its advancement without a big series, or even a single big game, from Connor McDavid. Rather, their difference makers were Talbot, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (whose work with Jordan Eberle and Milan Lucic against the Marleau-Thornton-Pavelski line was the defining matchup) Leon Draisaitl (after a rocky start), Oskar Klefbom (their best defenseman), Zack Kassian (who made the most of his 15 minutes of fame), and Drake Caggiula (whose promotion to the McDavid line at the expense of Patrick Maroon helped wake up Draisaitl).

Plus, McLellan finally got to deliver a rebuttal for his firing by the Sharks two years ago. He didn’t, of course, at least not where anyone could hear it, but the exploding fumigant of the 2015 season never sat right with him as the one who paid the full retail price. Now, with this result, he can let the NHL’s Stanley Cup media guide do the talking for him.

That, and having the team of the future, while San Jose is trying to sort out its past. This is a closing window, one which stayed open a very long time and actually pried itself back open a year ago for the run that took them to the Cup final, but it is now clear that they play at a pace the modern game has outrun. Thornton is still hugely important (he remained an impact player despite the leg injury that cost him Games 1 and 2), and there are no clear young replacements for the central group.

This is why all the melodramatic speculations about Thornton and Marleau in particular and perhaps the entire era ignore one central truth – there are not nearly enough replacements for a reboot, or even a course correction. They may be stuck as what they are – a group whose veterans are still their best players, playing a game that younger and faster players are likely to do better. The Pacific Division, being easily the thinnest of the four, may allow one more year of status quo, but while the day of reckoning has not yet arrived, the method is now clear.

And Edmonton, young, impetuous, sprightly and McLellanized Edmonton, has been the instrument of San Jose’s education.

Steph Curry keeps game ball for Steve Kerr after he misses Game 3

Steph Curry keeps game ball for Steve Kerr after he misses Game 3

While head coach Steve Kerr was unable to make Saturday's Game 3 due to an illness, the Warriors went out and took a 3-0 series lead over the Blazers. 

After the game, Steph Curry dedicated the win to Kerr by keeping the game ball for him. 

"Our coach is going through a lot right now physically and he told us this morning this is a situation where we need to rally and go out and win a game for him, but we felt like that," Curry said after the Warriors' 119-113 win. "The way that game had gone on we had to fight and do it for him. 

"The way that he said it was we had to win one for The Gipper, so shout out to coach Kerr." 

Curry led the Warriors with 34 points in Saturday's win.