Day baseball as Cain takes the mound vs. Maya


Day baseball as Cain takes the mound vs. Maya

June 8, 2011

WASHINGTON (27-34) vs.
GIANTS (34-27)

Coverage begins at 12 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- It's not surprising Matt Cain would prefer to have a lead when he's on the mound.

The San Francisco Giants are struggling to comply at home, but could be in for an improved effort at the plate.

Cain may get some solid backing as he attempts to win consecutive starts for the first time this season when the Giants conclude this three-game series with the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

Cain (4-4, 3.64 ERA) is 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA in five starts at AT&T Park, but he might have a better record if the offense could have provided more than eight total runs of support.

Production from the lineup at home has been an issue for San Francisco (34-27), which owns a .233 average while scoring 2.88 runs per game to rank near the bottom of the league in both categories. The club averages 4.09 runs on the road.

The offense sputtered at home again Tuesday, collecting five hits in a 2-1 loss to Washington (27-34) after taking the series opener 5-4 in 13 innings a night earlier.

REWIND: Nats edge Giants, setting up rubber match

Cain didn't need much assistance from his teammates Friday, yielding one run and four hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings of a 3-1 home victory over Colorado. He didn't get any runs of support in his two previous outings, losing both.

Getting enough backing seems to put the right-hander at ease on the mound.

"I think most starters feel that way, if you get a two- or three-run lead, that's set in our mind that we want to keep that lead," said Cain, who is 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA in four home starts against the Nationals, but hasn't faced them there since a Giants' victory May 12, 2009.

He's lost his last two games against them in Washington, compiling a 6.39 ERA while working with three total runs.

Aubrey Huff is one of the Giants struggling at home, hitting .192 while getting one of his eight homers and eight of his 32 RBIs. He's 2 for 10 with two RBIs in this series after going 0 for 10 when San Francisco dropped three of four in the nation's capital from April 29-May 2.

The Giants are batting .196 against the Nationals this year while being outscored 17-10.

They might be in a favorable position to improve on that since Washington is giving the ball to Yunesky Maya (0-1, 8.00), who is still searching for his first career win.

The right-hander is facing San Francisco for the first time, and he's 0-4 with a 6.43 ERA in seven starts over two seasons. The Nationals are winless when he's taken the mound.

The Cuban right-hander struggled again in his latest outing Friday, giving up four runs and six hits with four strikeouts and three walks in 4 1-3 innings of a 4-0 loss at Arizona.

Maya is getting desperate to get his first victory.

"It worries me a little bit," Maya told the team's official website through catcher and interpreter Ivan Rodriguez. "I want to win badly. That's one of the things I'm always thinking about. When I pitch, I want to win my first major league game. I realize that is not the right way to think. I have to come out the next time and do a good job."

The Nationals have dropped 11 of 15 on the road since last winning consecutive games there May 10-11 at Atlanta.

Report: JaVale McGee will re-sign with Warriors


Report: JaVale McGee will re-sign with Warriors

JaVale McGee isn't going anywhere.

McGee will re-sign with the Warriors, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes.

Golden State could only offer the big man the minimum of $2.1 million.

In 77 games (10 starts) with the Warriors last season, he averaged 6.1 points and 3.2 rebounds.

More to come...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Gold Cup roundup: Five takeaways from USMNT's championship win


Gold Cup roundup: Five takeaways from USMNT's championship win

For the sixth time in Gold Cup tournament history, the United States hoisted the championship trophy – this time in front of 63,000 fans Wednesday night at Levi’s Stadium.
Jozy Altidore opened the scoring in the 45th minute with a beautiful free kick. However, Jamaica equalized only five minutes into the second half.
Stanford product Jordan Morris later scored the game-winner in the 88th minute to secure a U.S. title. 
Here are five things you should know about the U.S.’ latest tournament championship.
-- Aside from a little extra gold in the trophy case, the biggest thing the United States takes from winning the cup is confidence. They’ll have about a month worth of rest before the Hexagon resumes – and right out of the gate, it’s a date with Costa Rica, who the U.S. beat on their road to the tournament title.
Currently, Costa Rica sits three points clear of the U.S. in the CONCACAF’s 2018 World Cup qualifying table. A victory against Los Ticos on Sept. 1 would be the biggest win of this latest Bruce Arena era.
-- Speaking of Bruce Arena, it can’t be understated just how big of tournament win this is for the U.S. Soccer manager. Hired to jumpstart a team that to many pundits looked flat and lacked fire under Jurgen Klismann, Arena has now won a trophy, helped the USMNT get back into Hex contention and has not lost a match. In 15 matches, Arena has a 9-0-6 record. He now has 84 career wins as the USMNT front man.
-- We’re still on record breaker watch since Clint Dempsey did not start or play in Wednesday’s final. The Seattle Sounders, who recently took down the San Jose Earthquakes to move ahead of them in the standings and are Dempsey’s club of employment, play their next MLS fixture on Saturday. The risk of shot rest could explain Bruce Arena’s apprehension to not start Dempsey. He came in during the 57th minute. Captain America came really close to scoring twice. 
So, the record, shared by Dempsey and Landon Donovan at 57 international goals, will sit there for at least another match.
-- Quick look at the numbers and there isn’t a clear contender for the U.S. Player of the Gold Cup. So after stumbles against Panama and Martinique to start the tournament, what was most impressive is how the U.S. defense came together to close out the Gold Cup. In five games, they surrendered just one goal. So, hats off to Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi, Matt Besler and Jorge Villafaña who were instrumental during that stretch – but let us not forget Matt Hedges, Eric Lichaj and Justin Morrow who really got that impressive defensive stretch rolling.
-- Morris had been struggling to score all season but he may have now forced Arena’s hand with his Gold Cup performance. While he did get beat on defense on Jamaica’s goal, the search for a scoring defender by the USMNT as qualifiers creeps up is ongoing. Morris, who burst onto the MLS scene last season, is making a strong case for himself.