EXTRA BAGGS: Giants supremely confident going into Game 7, etc.


EXTRA BAGGS: Giants supremely confident going into Game 7, etc.


SAN FRANCISCO The Giants are 27 outs from the WorldSeries. They know the St. Louis Cardinals will not yield any of them without afight.

The Giants might have a streak of five win or go homevictories in this postseason, but the Cardinals, defending World Serieschampions, have won six consecutive elimination games over the last two years including that storm of a comeback from a 6-0 deficit on the road to knock outthe Washington Nationals in their NL Division Series.
INSTANT REPLAY: Giants 6, Cardinals 1

But say this: The Giants are a very, very confident team.

Were what, five wins away from winning it all? said TimLincecum, who will be available in the bullpen should Matt Cain falter in Game7. I dont feel the emotion has changed at all. We know what we have to do.Its about rising to the occasion and putting on a show.

Said Angel Pagan: Were ready for tomorrow. I hope I cansleep, but thats all I can tell you. Im very, very confident in what weregoing to do tomorrow.

Said Sergio Romo: Were one win away from the World Series.What a feeling it was in 2010. Yeah, I want to get there again. I imagine wecan. This is a game where you have no idea whats going to happen next. But Iexpect this team to show up tomorrow and fight and survive.
RATTO: Romo, Giants continue to dispel myths

Pagan was asked which lineup, the Giants or Cardinals, wasbetter.

Im not going to say whos better, he said, diplomatically.

Whos going to be better in Game 7?

Us, Pagan said. Believe it.

Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday did not watch Game 6from the bench. Thats because he went for an MRI exam on his lower back duringthe game, reported Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Hollidays back gotworse, not better, during the game.

That screams doubtful for Game 7, doesnt it?

While were on the subject of the Cardinals andvulnerability

It sent a megaphone-loud message when Matheny kept ChrisCarpenter in the game to hit for himself in the third inning while the Cards alreadytrailing 4-0. Obviously, Matheny was saving all hisbullets for Game 7.

You know this is a team that believes it can come back inany game. There is a vacant ballpark in the Beltway to prove that. But perhapsall that ammo preservation also speaks to the Cardinals confidence, or lackthereof, in Lohse. The right-hander walked five and allowed seven hits over 5 23 inningsin Game 3. Yet the Giants only scored one run against him in a 3-1 loss atBusch Stadium.

We let him off the hook, one Giant told me. Thats notgoing to happen again.

One of the most important at-bats in Game 6 belonged toPablo Sandoval, and not just because his single up the middle knocked in theGiants fifth run.

His at-bat came immediately after Ryan Vogelsong scored fromfirst base on Scutaros double. Not only did Sandoval extend the inning, but hefouled off a number of pitches while working a 10-pitch at-bat.

Vogelsong surely appreciated that. He was asked if his focuschanged after Scutaros double made it a 4-0 lead.

Well, I was looking for the oxygen first, said Vogelsong,who sat next to Scutaro in the interview room.

Couldnt breathe. Sorry, brother, Scutaro replied.

You can do it any time, buddy. Ill take it, Vogelsongsaid.

The Giants will take what theyre getting from Sandoval, too.Hes starting to look locked in.

When hes swinging well, hes fun to watch, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

As you might expect, Vogelsong was asked how his ritual meal ofchicken enchiladas tasted Saturday night.

The enchiladas were good, he said. The place I get themfrom, theyre always good.

Prepare for every Mexican restaurant in the Bay Area toadvertise a Rally Enchilada special. Fans certainly got into the saucygoodness with their Twitter avatars. Vogelsongs wife, Nicole, was overwhelmedwith fans sending her recipes and images.

Shell probably give me the lowdown tonight and show mesome pictures, Vogelsong said. Shes been around me long enough to knowthat this afternoon probably wasnt the best time to show me whats onTwitter.

Well, considering his teammates don't talk to him AT ALL on the days he pitches ... yes, probably not.

The grounds crew put the tarp on the field just minutesafter the final out of Game 6. The weather is going to be dicey for Monday,with an 80 percent chance of showers.

All parties will go all night to get the game in, though.

Game 1 of the World Series is scheduled for Wednesday, andthanks to Melky Cabrera and the NL All-Star team, the National League hashome-field advantage. So the Detroit Tigers, who are scrimmaging againstinstructional league pups at the moment, are waiting to find out where theyllfly on Tuesday to start the series.

Thats why MLB cant push back this NLCS Game 7 a day.

Last word, from Vogelsong, about one of the loudest crowdsIve ever heard in nine years covering this team:

Theyre making this something that Im never, ever going toforget. And I cant thank them enough for it.

Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate


Familiar faces trying to find success, health with Giants' Triple-A affiliate

SACRAMENTO -- A young man named Clayton Blackburn walked into the home clubhouse at Raley Field on Tuesday decked out in Round Rock gear. 

"You're here for my start?" he said, smiling.

Sorry, Clayton, I was on Panda Watch for two days. But it was fun watching Blackburn, DFA’d in a weird move earlier this year, face former teammates. Blackburn hasn't had a great season with Texas, but he is still just 24 and he has gotten into terrific shape. Given what happened during his call-up last year, you should root for him to get a second chance. 

Blackburn gave up three runs over six innings against his former team. The River Cats won on Jarrett Parker’s walk-off homer to dead center with two outs in the ninth. Parker was one of many familiar faces in the lineup Tuesday. Here are some thoughts on guys you know, and guys you will: 

--- Trevor Brown is the backup catcher in Sacramento, which is certainly a fall from his run as Buster Posey's backup. Brown is batting .168 in what has been a very frustrating season for him. The groin injury that slowed him early lingered, he had a concussion, and he hasn't been able to find any BABIP luck. This year seems a lost one for a guy who was a big part of 2016. I’m still intrigued by his versatility.

--- Chris Shaw is the latest podcast guest. You can stream it here. We talked about his power, his move to left, thinking he was a Ray, and more. I didn't see many at-bats, but I saw enough in left field to be confident he'll be fine out there. 

--- Parker started in center field and made a nice running catch at the wall. He wouldn't hold up as a big league center fielder, but perhaps the Giants should throw him out there a few times down the stretch to see if he can be a backup option next season. Parker said he finally found his swing over the past few games. His rehab assignment ends in about a week, and he’s expected back in San Francisco. 

--- Reyes Moronta, who spent a day in the majors in May, was promoted to Triple-A. In his first inning, Drew Stubbs took him deep. I found that quirky. It's been a long season with far too many transactions. 

--- If Steven Duggar would stay healthy, he would probably make it up to SF in September. Unfortunately, his hamstring was tight again this week, keeping him out of San Jose’s lineup for a few days. Speaking of health: Tyler Beede’s groin injury will keep him out longer than just the standard DL time … Melvin Upton Jr. is still in Sacramento rehabbing a shoulder injury, but he’s not throwing yet so it’s hard to picture him making any noise before September call-up time …Christian Arroyo is in Arizona rehabbing from hand surgery. 

--- Derek Law was smiling because Derek Law is always smiling. He has a 4.32 ERA but said he feels much better than those results. “My slider is back,” Law said. He should be, too, when the Giants expand their roster. There are some other interesting relievers in Sacramento. A first baseman told me opposing hitters grumble about facing D.J. Snelten (1.84 ERA) and Tyler Rogers has a 1.94 ERA as a dirt-scraping right-hander. 

--- A teammate predicted Carlos Moncrief would hit .270 in the big leagues if called up, and he ended up getting that call Wednesday morning. Moncrief is a fun clubhouse addition. He gave Sandoval some good-natured heckling for talking to reporters after going 1 for 4. 

--- The Giants have had a lot of veterans visit San Jose this season. They all bought the postgame spread, but word around the block is that Madison Bumgarner provided the best meal. He had steak and lobster delivered to San Jose Muni. 

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

Eduardo Nunez 'forever grateful' for his time spent with the Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Eduardo Nuñez left San Francisco in a strange way. The third baseman was traded in the middle of Tuesday night’s game and mostly said his goodbyes in a stairwell behind the home dugout at AT&T Park. Before joining the Red Sox, Nuñez took to his social media pages to send a message to the Giants and their fans. 

On Twitter, Nuñez thanked the organization for “the great opportunity and experiences learned” and wished the team the best of luck. His Instagram message was a bit longer. 

“I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this amazing team,” Nuñez wrote. “I value the experiences learned during my time here and I will miss my teammates, the fans, and the beautiful city of San Francisco very much. Best wishes to the Giants organization during the rest of this season. God Bless.”

Nuñez is expected to join the Red Sox on Friday. Boston’s manager, John Farrell, told reporters that his new infielder will get “a high number of at-bats” despite the presence of top prospect Rafael Devers. 

"This is someone who's swinging the bat very well right now,” Farrell said, according to "A high energy player that can run the bases well. He’s got really good line drive power so his .300-plus batting average to mix into this lineup is a good addition."