California ballin' -- sort of


California ballin' -- sort of

Unless the Angels pull off a wild-card miracle, the great state of California is going to be shut out of the MLB playoffs for the first time since 1999.Thats a little bit sad given that its the state with the most big-league teams -- the Angels, As, Giants, Dodgers and Padres represent 16th of the games squads.It hasnt been a completely lost season for the Golden State, though, and here are five golden storylines that support that stance.1) The Giants sent three starting pitchers to the All-Star Game, as well as their colorful closer and their lone consistent offensive performer, Pablo Sandoval. Only Wilson and Sandoval got into the game, but both of them had a positive impact and helped the National League secure home-field advantage in the World Series. 2) The As are the subject of a movie that features perhaps the biggest star in Hollywood (Brad Pitt), an Academy Award winner (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and one of the hottest comedic properties on the planet (Jonah Hill). Moneyball had been met with largely positive reviews, which is more than you can say of the 2011 As season as a whole. 3) Outfielder Matt Kemp and starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, despite playing for a Dodgers team that made more headlines for the marital messiness atop the org chart than for what happened on the field, are frontrunners for the two most prestigious postseason honors. Even if Kemp falls short of winning the NL MVP and Kershaw is edged in the NL Cy Young voting, they at least brought some positive attention to a team that needs all it can get. 4) The Angels are the lone California team that entered play Monday with a shot at making the playoffs. Its a longshot, no doubt; theyre three back in the AL wild card race with three games to play. But at least theyre still playing meaningful games, and for a good long while they had a legitimate Cy Young candidate of their own in Jered Weaver.5) The Padres um the Padres well the Padres OK, busted. Four will have to do.Or do you have a Padres positive? Heath Bells sliding entrance to the All-Star Game? OK, thatll have to do.Got any more? The Golden State is hurting. Give it some love.

Barry Bonds back in left field at AT&T Park


Barry Bonds back in left field at AT&T Park

Barry Bonds was back in left field Friday at AT&T Park. Calm down, he was in blue jeans not a Giants jersey. 

Before the Giants take on the Phillies, Bonds casual caught fly balls back at the spot he used to roam for San Francisco. On Twitter he wrote, "I think I still got it. What do you guys think?"

Known for his legendary power as baseball's all-time home runs leader, Bonds is also one of the best defensive outfielders the game has ever seen. Bonds won eight Gold Glove awards in his career, five of them coming with the Giants.

Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente are the all-time leaders of Gold Glove awards among outfielders with 12 each. 

The Giants have used 13 players in left field this season. Perhaps they could use one more in Bonds.

Giants lineup: After beating Phillies to start series, no changes for Game 2


Giants lineup: After beating Phillies to start series, no changes for Game 2

The Giants scored early and hung on to beat the Phillies on Thursday night. One night later, Bruce Bochy is going with the same eight.

Philadelphia Phillies (43-76)

1. Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
2. Freddy Galvis (S) SS
3. Nick Williams (L) CF
4. Rhys Hoskins (R) LF
5. Maikel Franco (R) 3B
6. Tommy Joseph (R) 1B
7. Jorge Alfaro (R) C
8. Cameron Perkins (R) RF
9. Zach Eflin (R) P

San Francisco Giants (49-74)

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Hunter Pence (R) RF
3. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Ryder Jones (L) 1B
8. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
9. Matt Moore (L) P