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Crawford's historic slam lifts Giants over Brewers

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Crawford's historic slam lifts Giants over Brewers

May 27, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
MILWAUKEE (AP) It's all still kind of a blur to Brandon Crawford.As he wiped the remnants of a shaving-cream pie from his face and uniform, he wasn't even sure which of his prankster teammates got him.Welcome to the big leagues, kid - and how! RELATED: Giants Insider notes -- Welcome to MLB, Brandon
Crawford hit a go-ahead grand slam in his first major league game, helping Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 on Friday night."It was all unreal," Crawford said, recalling how he felt as he rounded the bases. "Awesome. I mean, I still kind of have the jitters about it."Lincecum (5-4) gave up three runs in seven innings. The Giants won despite the ejection of manager Bruce Bochy, who argued a close play at home plate in the fifth inning.Bochy admitted he might have lost his temper in part because it has been such a frustrating week for the Giants.
URBAN: Giants still favorites without Posey
"I'll be honest, I couldn't really tell if he had the call right," Bochy said. "But there's frustration building up, with everybody."With the Brewers trying to rally in the eighth, Giants catcher Eli Whiteside absorbed a big hit from Prince Fielder. It was reminiscent of the play that caused a serious injury to Giants catcher Buster Posey earlier this week, but Whiteside held on to end the inning and preserve the lead."You don't have any choice but to try to knock the ball loose," Fielder said. "But they made a great play."Posey, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, likely is out for the season. His jersey hung by itself in a locker in the visitors' clubhouse Friday.Bochy stood by his assertion that baseball needs to make a rule to protect vulnerable catchers, but said Whiteside at least had time to catch the ball and brace for Fielder to run into him."It's a little different," Bochy said. "He had the ball, so he could set up a little bit. A catcher's got a better chance than when he's in the process of trying to catch a ball. That's when he's really vulnerable. Still, it's a big guy bearing down on you. 'Whitey' did a great job."Brian Wilson pitched the ninth for his 14th save, striking out Rickie Weeks to end a potential rally.Weeks hit a two-run homer off Lincecum and Shaun Marcum (6-2) took the loss.Nyjer Morgan had a single and a double in his return from injury. But it wasn't enough to give the Brewers what would have been a franchise record-tying 10th straight victory at home."It's a good run," Fielder said. "We just have to start another one."Until the seventh inning, it had been shaping up as another strong outing for Marcum, who has been the Brewers' best starter this season. The Giants finally got to him in the sixth when Freddy Sanchez singled home a run.A fan sitting in the front row near home plate then earned the crowd's ire when he appeared to interfere with what could have been an inning-ending foul popup. The fan was off the hook after Marcum got Pat Burrell to fly out.But Marcum got in trouble in the seventh, loading the bases.Making his major league debut with a start at shortstop, Crawford came to the plate with the Giants trailing by two runs. He pounded a pitch from Marcum over the fence, giving the Giants a 5-3 lead with his first hit as a major leaguer."Very happy for the kid," Bochy said. "That's a debut he'll never forget."The 24-year-old Crawford had his contract purchased from the Giants' Class-A San Jose affiliate Thursday. He missed several weeks to start the season after breaking his finger in spring training.It was a boost to Lincecum, who didn't look quite as dominant Friday as he did in his last outing, a shutout against Oakland. Lincecum allowed six hits, striking out four with no walks.NOTES: Giants GM Brian Sabean said before the game that he wants baseball officials to consider rules changes to protect catchers at home plate. "It's simple: You have to slide into other bases. Why shouldn't you have to slide into home plate?" Sabean said. ... Brewers LHP Dan Merklinger cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Double-A Huntsville. OF Brandon Boggs accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A Nashville.

Shanahan expects 'everyone in our building to be pissed off' after loss to Denver

Shanahan expects 'everyone in our building to be pissed off' after loss to Denver

After a couple of practices and one exhibition game against the Denver Broncos, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan once again came to the realization things are often not as good or bad as they seem.

That was his takeaway a day after the 49ers provided the Broncos with five giveaways to go along with 11 penalties in a 33-14 loss at Levi’s Stadium.

“But when I get in and watch the tape, it wasn’t quite as bad as it felt,” Shanahan said Sunday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “When you look at each situation, especially when you talk about the ones on offense, it takes 11 guys to execute a play, and if you have one guy off a little bit, it breaks down.”

A couple of passes that could have been caught, a ball that slipped out of quarterback Brian Hoyer’s hand and some other correctable errors gives Shanahan reason to be optimistic.

When he spoke to the media on Saturday night after the game, Shanahan was clearly upset with how his 90-man team performed. He was asked a day later if it was a relief to watch the film and come to the conclusion that not everything was a total disaster.

“It’s not really relief,” Shanahan quipped. “It’s kind of my life story.

“We put a lot into it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a scrimmage, practice or preseason. I try to compose myself by the time I talk to you guys (the media) after practice. But I’m pretty pissed after practice when it doesn’t go well. We’re competitive guys and we want everything to be perfect. That’s why most of the time I’m not that happy.”

Shanahan said he expects everyone in the organization to hold themselves to the same high standard.

“Whenever you go out to a game like that, you want to win, you want to play well,” he said. “And you turn the ball over like that and you have the penalties that we did, I’m definitely going to be pissed off and I expect everyone in our building to be pissed off. If they’re not, that’s when I would be worried.”

Shanahan said he had the opposite feeling after the practice Wednesday against the Broncos that looked like a decisive win for the 49ers. Upon review, Shanahan said he felt there was still a lot of room for improvement.

“I thought things seemed real good at practice our first day versus them,” he said. “Then, I go in and watch the film and it was good but not quite as good as I felt when I was out there.”

49ers could get presumptive starting free safety back soon

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USATSI

49ers could get presumptive starting free safety back soon

The 49ers could get their presumptive starting free safety back on the field this week.

Jimmie Ward, who has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list since sustaining a hamstring injury during a conditioning test on the eve of training camp, will go through strenuous workouts Monday and Tuesday.

Ward could be cleared to return to practice as early as Wednesday, when the club is scheduled to hold its next practice.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Sunday in a conference call with reporters that defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley will will pace him through a football-related workout on Monday and Tuesday.

"Hopefully, we'll get him ready to go by Wednesday," Shanahan said.

The 49ers envision Ward, a first-round draft pick in 2014, as a major contributor in the team’s new 4-3 scheme, which is based on Seattle’s defense. With strong safety Eric Reid playing close to the line of scrimmage, Ward will play the deep safety – a role that Earl Thomas has played for the Seahawks.

In Ward’s absence, undrafted rookie safety Lorenzo Jerome started the 49ers’ first two exhibition games and appears to have played his way into solid position for a spot on the 53-man roster.

"Lorenzo has done a good job," Shanahan said. "I think a couple of times he's ran around and been a ballhawk for us and made some tackles. I thought they caught him a few times out of position last night on a few play-action looks because he's been so aggressive. He's going to have to learn from those, but they never made him pay for those by going outside."

QUICK SLANTS
--The 49ers will have days off on Monday and Tuesday as they settle into their regular-season routine.

--Shanahan said he has been formulating ideas for the game plan against Carolina in Week 1 of the regular season. So as the 49ers play the exhibition games, they are mindful of not showing too much.

"I never get too far away from that," Shanahan said. "Everything we put into a preseason game, you always try to take into account what you’re going to be doing in the regular season."

--Shanahan said he thought No. 1 quarterback Brian Hoyer "did a good job." He said the first throw intended for Vance McDonald over the middle was thrown a little late.

"Besides that, I thought he did a good job with his reads and went to the right spots," Shanahan said.

Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard also was on-point with his reads, Shanahan said.

--Eli Harold got the start Saturday night at outside linebacker position, as he competes with Ahmad Brooks for a job.

"I try to go off what I see in practice," Shanahan said. "You want to know who has more upside, things like that. Who's going to get better throughout the year if given the opportunity? But you also want to know, when it's all said and done, who is going to affect your win-loss record the most. Those are the things I look at personally."

--Former 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin announced his retirement on Sunday. Shanahan never coached him, but he was obviously a big fan.

"I've personally met Anquan or talked to him before, but he has been one of my favorites of all time," Shanahan said. "I love Anquan. I don't know him at all, but I feel like I do because I've always studied how he plays. I remember watching him in college when he came into Florida State as a quarterback and moved quickly to receiver his freshman year.

"And I remember him coming into the league and people thinking he wouldn't be as great because he didn't have a fast 40 time. And watching him play over the years. That's my definition of a football player. He's as violent of a receiver as there is, and I've always truly believed that receivers can really set the mentality of an offense. I feel lineman have no choice, they have to be tough. Running backs, if you're not tough, you're not going to make it in this league because you get hit every play. Quarterbacks got to hang in there. Receivers are the guys who can pick and choose a little bit. And when you have guys who play like Anquan, that just brings a whole different mentality to your offense that I think usually leads to teams that have chances to win Super Bowls."