Giants Insider notes: No more 'Bum' luck


Giants Insider notes: No more 'Bum' luck

May 30, 2011

Our MLB Insider takes a look at the Giants' 7-3 victory over the host Cardinals on Monday at Busch Stadium.

Double duty: Despite having pitched himself out of an early season funk with a series of rock-solid outings, Madison Bumgarner entered the Memorial Day matinee with one win over his past six starts -- all of them "quality." One of the reasons for his "Bum" luck was a lack of run support; the Giants were blanked in two of those games. So in addition to firing seven strong innings to give himself a 2.21 ERA in May, Bumgarner took offensive matters into his own hands to a degree by drilling a leadoff double and scoring to give himself a 2-0 lead in the third. He also was on base, via walk, in the fourth when the game was broken open with one swing of the bat.

Unloading: With the memory of rookie Brandon Crawford's game-breaking grand slam at Milwaukee on Friday still fairly fresh in everyone's mind, Andres Torres did the same thing to Monday's game with a bases-juiced blast off Kyle McClellan, who has been one of the pleasant surprises on the St. Louis pitching staff this season. Torres was anything but surprised by the get-me-over, belt-high fastball McCllellan offered him, pushing the Giants' lead from 3-2 to 7-2.About that kid: Crawford got another start at shortstop and continued to impress on both sides of the ball. His footwork is outstanding, his arm above-average, and if he keeps putting up swings like the one that broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth ahead of Torres' slam, he's going to see his name in the lineup more often than not. Nobody's saying the guy's going to challenge for NL Rookie of the Year, but he looks awfully comfortable as a big leaguer right now. Like he belongs.Truly foul: It cost Bumgarner a couple of runs, but at least it didn't cost the Giants the game. After two quick outs in the bottom of the third, Ryan Theriot hit a legit double into the left-field corner. The subsequent double by Allen Craig was not legit. It was a foul ball, ruled fair by third-base umpire Tim Welke, who chose not to heed the animated advice of San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy and ask for help on the line-hugger. Craig's "double" scored Theriot, and Albert Pujols followed with a gorgeous piece of hitting -- a shot into right field -- to tie the game. Random thought: Don't the Giants feel like a way better team on the days that Cody Ross homers? His shot in the second inning opened the scoring.Ramirez in a rut: Remember when right-handed hitters had a better shot at picking up a rattlesnake with his teeth than getting a hit off Ramon Ramirez? Gone. At least lately. Pujols' Pujolsian home run off Ramirez in the eighth inning was victory No. 6 for the hitters in the past eight Ramirez-vs.-righties battles.

Instant Replay: Warriors torch Blazers, complete first-round sweep

Instant Replay: Warriors torch Blazers, complete first-round sweep


PORTLAND -- Never allowing the Trail Blazers to find an offensive rhythm, the Warriors rolled to a 128-103 Game 4 triumph Monday night, completing a sweep of the first-round Western Conference playoff series.

The Warriors advance to the conference semifinals and will face the winner of the Jazz-Clippers series currently tied at two games apiece.

All five Warriors starters scored in double figures, with Stephen Curry scoring 37 points to lead the way. Draymond Green totaled 21, Klay Thompson 18 and Zaza Pachulia 11. David West scored 12 points off the bench.

Kevin Durant -- making his first appearance since Game 1 -- started and added 10 points, three rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal in 20 minutes of action.

The Warriors rode white-hot shooting from deep, making 17-of-29 (58.6 percent).

The Warriors silenced the Moda Center crowd early, outshooting Portland 62.5 percent to 29.6 percent in the first quarter before going on to finish with a 53.5-percent to 38.8-percent advantage for the game.

Damian Lillard scored 34 points to lead the Trail Blazers, who were ousted from the playoffs by the Warriors for the second consecutive year.

Curry, who struggled with his shot for the majority of the series, continued the hot streak he began in the fourth quarter of Game 1.

Curry’s line: 37 points (12-of-20 shooting from the field, including 7-of-11 from beyond the arc, 6-of-7 from the line), eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals. He played 30 minutes and finished plus-29 for the game.

Curry moved into a tie with Robert Horry for ninth place on the all-time list of 3-pointers in the postseason with 261.

The Warriors took control immediately, going up 14-0 with 8:40 left in the first quarter and pushing it to 35-9 with 4:11 left in the quarter. They led by as much as 28 in the first half.

Portland got no closer than 18 in the second quarter, and no closer than 23 after intermission.

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L calf strain) was listed as questionable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. F Matt Barnes (R foot/ankle bone bruise) and G Shaun Livingston (R index finger sprain, hand contusion) were listed as questionable and downgraded to out prior to tipoff. F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as out.

Blazers: G Allen Crabbe (L foot soreness) and G CJ McCollum (R ankle sprain) are listed as probable. C Jusuf Nurkic (L leg fracture) C Ed Davis (L shoulder surgery), C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery) and C Jusuf Nurkic (R leg fracture) are listed as out.

The Warriors now await the winner of the Clippers-Jazz first-round series. Game 1 date TBD, either April 30 or May 2.


Instant Replay: Giants end four-game skid with win over rival Dodgers

Instant Replay: Giants end four-game skid with win over rival Dodgers


SAN FRANCISCO — There was a different buzz at AT&T Park on Monday night, which was expected. The Dodgers always bring the most energy out of the fan base and the surprise promotion of the organization’s top prospect added a little sizzle. 

For six innings, Matt Cain made sure the good vibes didn’t go to waste. By the seventh, he was dealing with his own set of problems.

Cain dominated the Dodgers but he was removed by trainer Anthony Reyes after throwing warm-up pitches in the top of the seventh. There was no immediate word on his condition. The Giants went on to win the opener of this four-game series 2-1, wrapping up a well-earned victory for their longest-tenured player. 

Cain has been looking for consistency for three years. When he was on the mound Monday, he was able to carry over the strides he made in his two previous starts. Cain sailed through six, allowing just two singles and a walk. 

He benefited from sparkling defense on the infield, and in the second, three infielders teamed up to give Cain the lead. Brandon Crawford hit a leadoff double and went to third when Christian Arroyo grounded one to the right side in his first career at-bat. Joe Panik’s deep sacrifice fly to center brought Crawford trotting home. 

Panik was in the middle of an insurance rally ion the seventh. He singled with one out, went to second on a walk, and scored on Hunter Pence’s bouncer up the middle. That run would immediately be needed. The Dodgers put runners on the corners with no outs in the eighth and got one back on a grounder. With two outs, Chris Taylor was gunned down by Buster Posey at second, with Corey Seager at the plate. He would probably like that decision back. 

Sergio Romo took the mound in the bottom of the inning. He walked Eduardo Nuñez, got Posey to fly out, gave up a single to Crawford, and struck out Arroyo to end the inning. 

Starting pitching report: Cain had a 5.13 ERA over the previous three seasons. Through four starts, he’s sitting at a staff-best 2.42. All of a sudden, his loss would be a huge one for the Giants. 

Bullpen report: Steven Okert hustled to replace Cain in the seventh. He retired Yasmani Grandal and Adrian Gonzalez.

At the plate: Arroyo grounded out to second in his first three at-bats and then struck out. 

In the field: Arroyo made a slick barehanded play to rob Grandal of an infield hit in the fourth and he kept going, picking Cain — who had been hit by the liner — up off the grass. They chest-bumped.

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,399 human beings. There were no donkeys. The fans gave Romo a standing ovation after the first and Romo came out in front of the visiting dugout to tip his cap. He was wiping tears away as he returned to the dugout rail.

Up next: It was supposed to be Madison Bumgarner vs. Clayton Kershaw. Ty Blach vs. Clayton Kershaw is pretty fun, too.