Giants score on two errors and a balk to win 1-0

492151.jpg

Giants score on two errors and a balk to win 1-0

June 25, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Even for a team that regularly wins close games, the San Francisco Giants couldn't remember an inning like they had Saturday.Two errors. A slip on the bases. And a balk that happened so fast some didn't even see it.Tony Sipp balked home the only run with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, giving the Giants a 1-0 win over the error-prone Cleveland Indians on Saturday for their fourth straight victory."We've had some weird ways to win," said Giants bearded closer Brian Wilson, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save in 25 chances. "That one's definitely up there."Sipp slightly flinched his left arm before even throwing a pitch to Emmanuel Burriss, allowing Miguel Tejada to score from third and gift-wrapping San Francisco's major league-leading 17th one-run victory at home. There also were two errors in the inning by second baseman Cord Phelps that spoiled a strong start by Justin Masterson (5-6).Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he completely missed the play in live action. Burriss knew immediately, stepping out of the batters box and signaling repeatedly. The Indians knew it and did not protest home plate umpire Bob Davidson's call."It was just a mental lapse," Sipp said. "Went up for the set, didn't see the sign that I had in mind. I was supposed to stay set until I actually got a sign that I liked but I started moving too early and paused. Put my hand up a little bit and was going to try to keep going with my hands and just step off, but by that time they had already caught it."The Indians didn't do much else all day.Matt Cain (7-4) pitched seven-plus innings of four-hit ball in another strong outing for San Francisco's right-hander. He struck out six and walked one to keep the offensively challenged Giants close."Those are the ones that are tough to lose," Cain said, "but great to win."A day that began with bad news for the Indians ended even worse.Cleveland right fielder Shin-Soo Choo said he will likely have surgery on his broken left thumb after it was hit a night earlier by a pitch from Jonathan Sanchez. Suddenly, the Indians, who began the day with a one-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central, are losing their grip.By no fault of Masterson, everything started to unravel in a wild seventh.Even the Giants almost blew it.Nate Schierholtz hit a ball into the left-center field gap to start the inning, hustling around second to try for a triple only to slip halfway between the bases. He was tagged out easily in a rundown.Then Tejada reached on a throwing error by Phelps that pulled first baseman Jack Hannahan off the bag. Two batters later, Cain hit a chopper up the middle that Phelps couldn't corral for his second error.Sipp entered and walked Andres Torres on eight pitches to load the bases. Before he even threw another pitch, Sipp flinched his left arm ever-so slightly on the rubber and was called for a balk to give the Giants a 1-0 lead."It's not frustrating," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "You shouldn't put yourself in that spot. We put ourselves in that spot by making the two errors and the walk."Making things even worse for the Indians, they squandered an opportunity to answer back with a baserunning gaff.Pinch-runner Adam Everett was tagged out in a rundown between third and home on a groundball with one out in the eighth. Michael Brantley, standing on second, didn't advance to third - and he might've scored on a passed ball later in the inning on a pitch by Javier Lopez.For most of the day, Cain was untouchable.After allowing leadoff singles to Brantley and Phelps in the first, Cain retired 14 straight batters with a dominating fastball that had pinpoint control. The streak ended with an inside pitch that hit Austin Kearns with two outs in the fifth, about the only time either starting pitcher lost his rhythm.Masterson exited after 5 2-3 innings, allowing the one unearned run on four hits. He struck out five and walked two, but his team gave him little support.The closest Cleveland came to getting a run off Cain came in the sixth, when Brantley doubled leading off. Cain induced two quick groundouts, walked Carlos Santana and then got Grady Sizemore to pop out to first.NOTES: Indians 1B Matt LaPorta (sprained right ankle) will join the team in Cincinnati on Friday and take batting practice. ... The Giants placed Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his left biceps. LHP Barry Zito, who hasn't pitched in the majors since he sprained his right foot on April 16 fielding a bunt, was activated. ... The announced crowd of 42,130 was San Francisco 36th consecutive sellout to start the season.

Fultz a perfect fit, but do Kings have assets required to trade up?

Fultz a perfect fit, but do Kings have assets required to trade up?

It’s lonely at the top, which is where Markelle Fultz sits on almost every 2017 NBA Draft board. The Brooklyn Nets should be set for the next decade with a big time scoring point guard. Instead, it’s the Boston Celtics who have no choice but to take Fultz with the No. 1 overall selection after a savvy trade that sent veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for a stack of picks and players back in 2013.

Fultz can do it all. He’s deadly from the outside, he can take you off the bounce and he has elite passing skills to boot. In a draft packed with star potential, specifically at the point guard position, the freshman from Washington stands out well above the rest.  

It would take a major shake up at the top for Fultz not to have his name called first on draft night, but there are plenty of very talented players sitting on the board behind him. Here is a deeper look at the potential top overall selection.

The Positives:
Fultz has tremendous size, length and athleticism for an NBA point guard. He measured in at 6-foot-5, 195-pounds with a 6-foot-10 wingspan and has a frame built to take on muscle. At just 19-years-old, he is already well defined physically and has plenty of room to grow and get stronger.

A crafty, high-end scorer, Fultz changes speed and direction well and has an advanced Euro-step for a young player. He averaged 23.2 points in 35.7 minutes a night for the Huskies while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three. He can score from all three levels, finish well above the rim and play through contact.

In his lone season in college, Fultz showed that he is not only a legitimate scoring threat, but he is a willing passer and an unselfish teammate. While Lonzo Ball is considered the true pass first point guard of the draft, Fultz had a higher assist rate (35.5 to 31.5) and lower turnover rate (13.4 to 18.2) than the star guard from UCLA.

Fultz rebounds well for his position, averaging 5.7 rebounds per game at Washington. He also has potential as a defender, posting 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks, although he is a work in progress on that end of the floor.

Known as a high-character kid and tireless worker off the court, Fultz has the entire package. He can also play the lead or shooting guard spot, which will come in handy if the Celtics decide to pair him with All-Star Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt.

The Negatives:
9-16 is a concern. Great college players should be able to will their team to victory, even if the talent around them is suspect. Washington was certainly worse off without Fultz down the stretch, losing their last six while he sat with a knee injury.

Shot selection and sloppy ball handling was also an issue this season. In Fultz’ defense, he played with a group that lacked overall talent and those issues might eventually disappear when he’s added to a roster that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.  

Fultz is a quality chase down defender, but he fell asleep on plenty of plays or didn’t show a consistent fight on the defensive end. Lack of focus allowed for plenty of back cuts. He also showed an inconsistent effort fighting through screens.

He’s a work in progress on the defensive end, like most young players coming into the league. Most of these issues can easily be coached out of him at the next level.

Projection:
Fultz has an advanced feel and tons of room to expand his game. On the court, he resembles another former Husky in Brandon Roy. Fultz is much further along than Roy was at the same age, but possesses both the ability to score from anywhere on the court, as well as rebound and set up his teammates.  

It’s hard to imagine the Celtics passing on Fultz with the top overall selection, but if they do, teams will scramble trying to move up to select him. He would fit perfectly in the Kings starting backcourt alongside sophomore Buddy Hield, but Sacramento lacks the assets to move from five to one, Fultz’ likely landing spot.

 

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The blisters on Johnny Cueto's middle and index fingers that limited his effectiveness in his last few starts haven't yet completely healed.

But the two-time All-Star is learning to pitch with them.

Cueto threw six strong innings and Brandon Crawford drove in three runs as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Sunday.

Cueto (5-4) bounced back from his roughest stretch as a Giant. He was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four starts.

"They're not bothering me like they were before," Cueto said through a translator. "I'm just getting used to it but I have to continue pitching until they get better."

The Giants won their third straight home series and posted their 11th victory in 18 games overall.

Crawford's two-run single highlighted a four-run second against R.A. Dickey (3-4) that made it 6-0.

Matt Kemp had three hits for Atlanta. But the Braves couldn't get much going against Cueto, who allowed one run on six hits and a walk. Cueto struck out eight, including five in a row at one point.

"He did what he needed to do to get us out," Kemp said. "We had chances to score runs and we didn't. I think in this series we really didn't do a good score of scoring runs."

Dickey allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks in six innings.

"This can be a challenging place to throw because of the wind because it swirls so much," Dickey said.

Eduardo Nunez and Gorkys Hernandez each had two hits for the Giants. Joe Panik tripled to start the second-inning burst.

Cueto had two productive at-bats, bunting a runner to second in the second inning and driving in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third.

"It's always nice to have a lead and I thought Johnny was the sharpest he'd been this year," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "Hopefully it's something he can build on. The changeup was working really well and his command of the fastball was really good."

Posey was 0 for 2 with two walks. He hasn't struck out in 55 consecutive plate appearances.

FUN FACTOR:
The Giants scored the game's first run when Nunez came around from third when a knuckleball glanced off catcher Kurt Suzuki glove in the bottom of the first. The play was ruled a passed ball. Asked if he had any empathy for the plight of his counterpart, Posey said "Yes, no question. It's not fun to hit, it doesn't look fun to catch, either."

FANCY FIELDING:
Hernandez made a diving catch in the gap in left-center robbing Emilio Bonifacio of an extra-base hit with one out in the seventh inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips left in the fifth for pinch-hitter Jace Peterson. Phillips fouled a ball off his foot in his last at-bat in the third.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner will start his throwing program on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Bumgarner will start out playing catch and make five rehab starts. The 2014 World Series MVP suffered a separated left shoulder in a dirt biking accident. "The progress is happening," Bochy said. "I think he sees light at the end of the tunnel." ... Slumping rookie INF Christian Arroyo was out of the lineup on Sunday and his playing status appears uncertain. Arroyo, who turns 22 on Tuesday, is 0 for 19 in his last five games. "I'll talk to him, about what his situation is," Bochy said. "I'm definitely planning on giving him a couple of days" off.

UP NEXT:
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will make his first career start against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. He is 3-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 15 career interleague starts.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore will face the Nationals for the second time in his career. He was with Tampa Bay when he gave up two runs in five innings against Washington in 2012.