Braves' Hudson doesn't plunk Cabrera, but tensions linger


Braves' Hudson doesn't plunk Cabrera, but tensions linger

ATLANTA Braves right-hander Tim Hudson didnt so much asbrush back Melky Cabrera during the Giants 3-2 loss Thursday.

But Hudson offered one zinger in his postgame interview.

We won the game. Thats all that matters, Hudson said.Whenever they want to strut around when they lose, thats fine. Thats theirown thing.

RELATED: Instant Replay: Braves 3, Giants 2

Whether Cabrera showed up his former team or not -- and heinsisted he wasnt trying to embarrass anyone -- clearly the Braves are holdingonto some sour sentiments. So itll be interesting when these two contendingclubs cross paths again Aug. 23-26 at AT&T Park.

For now, the Giants were more focused on the fact they losta one-run game despite outhitting the Braves 9-3. As Buster Posey said, younever want to waste the kind of pitching performance that Madison Bumgarnergave them. Yet the Giants also cant feel too bad about merely taking two ofthree at Turner Field.

Its only their second series win out of 19 that theyveplayed here.

Cabrera fueled much of their success. He posted multiplehits in all three games while going 6 for 13 with a homer, a triple a double,four runs scored and three RBIs.

He didnt express satisfaction with his series whilespeaking with the help of center fielderresident Rosetta Stone Angel Pagan, somuch as he repeated his appreciation to be playing every day.

But he didclaim that the gestures and fun he was having on the field had nothing to dowith showing up his former team, who non-tendered him after a bust of a seasonin 2010.

Nor did he claim to pay heed to the boos that grew withevery hit he collected.

No, no, I didnt pay attention to that, Cabrera said.Just trying to play hard baseball. Sometimes when the adrenaline is reallyhigh, something might happen. Its not trying to embarrass anybody. Its justtrying to play hard and competitive.

The Braves expressed particular annoyance at the pelvicthrust movement that Cabrera and Gregor Blanco made after Blancos three-runhome run in the 11th inning Wednesday. (Chipper Jones, who called outCabrera after Wednesdays game, laughed as he pointed downward while receivingDavid Ross in the dugout following Rosss home run Thursday.)

RELATED: Chipper Jones calls out Melky Cabrera for taunting

Blanco, a former Brave, was surprised by that. He said thelittle celebration move wasnt intended to mock the Braves, pointing outtheyve done it all season long.

It didnt have anything to do with them. I dont know whythey think that, Blanco said. They misunderstood what were trying to do. Meand Melky, we played here. We played in Kansas City. Thats just a thing we do.

Well keep doing it. Its just like a handshake. It makesthe game fun. Its a misunderstanding if they take it another way.

And what if the Braves let a little strategic time passbefore deciding to take a pot shot at Cabrera in San Francisco?

Hopefully not, Blanco said. Because we are all grown menand we are a team here, and wed respond back.

As Samardzija ages, it isn't as easy to lose the weight gained in offseason

As Samardzija ages, it isn't as easy to lose the weight gained in offseason

Jeff Samardzija is entering Year 2 of the five-year contract he signed with the Giants following the 2015 season.

With spring training underway, what is the hardest part about getting his body and mind prepared for the upcoming campaign?

"The pitching aspects of things, the older I get, the more they kind of just fall right in line with feeling my mechanics out," Samardzija explained on KNBR 680 on Wednesday morning. "For me, it's probably the cardio (laughter). The older I get, the more I realize that you put more weight on in the offseason, then it's a little harder to get off.

"You hear about it, right? You hear about it all the time when you're younger ... and my offseasons, I like to have offseasons. I don't watch my calories. I don't watch my intake (I don't really watch any of that anyways). But the offseason -- I have fun, I relax ... then you get working out again and usually those first five or six poles, two-mile runs, camelback hikes -- they're always pretty interesting the first couple times."

The former college wide receiver is listed at 225 pounds.

Samardzija turned 32 years old in January and is entering his 10th big-league season.

He went 12-11 with a 3.81 ERA over 32 starts last year.

Over his final 10 starts, he went 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA.

"The splitter came back for me there toward the end of the year," Samardzija said. "I kind of brought the curveball in to not replace, but kind of take up some of the space of the splitter that wasn't there.

"And then come September, the splitter showed up and then we had the curveball and we ran with it from there."

Key Giants lefty reliever Smith sidelined by elbow inflammation

Key Giants lefty reliever Smith sidelined by elbow inflammation

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For years, the Giants would give Sergio Romo time off during spring training to make sure his tender elbow would be ready for opening day. Romo is now a Dodger, but one of the men tasked with replacing those eighth-inning outs has been shut down. 

Will Smith won't throw for about a week because of inflammation in his left elbow. Manager Bruce Bochy said an MRI came back clean, but Smith won't pitch in a game for two to three weeks. The Giants are confident, however, that Smith will be ready for opening day. Because of the long spring, the staff has mapped out a schedule where Smith can return and make six spring appearances before the regular season. 

Any setbacks would strike a big blow to the bullpen. Smith, 27, is supposed to be a key part of the revamped group. The Giants acquired him at the deadline last season hoping he turns into the next Jeremy Affeldt, a lefty capable of facing left- and right-handed hitters.

After a slow start in San Francisco last August, Smith ended the regular season with 18 consecutive scoreless appearances. The Giants entered camp with Smith set to share the eighth-inning role with right-handers Derek Law and Hunter Strickland.