Giants

EXTRAS: Sandoval anticipating fine from fashion police, etc.

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EXTRAS: Sandoval anticipating fine from fashion police, etc.

BOX SCORE
SAN FRANCISCO -- Second only to performing, Bay Area athletes place great importance on looking good, no matter the consequences.

Evidence:

Brian Wilson wore his All-Star Game cleats in 2010 and was fined because they weren't fifty-fifty black and orange. He was infamous for taking a sharpie to them to get them in compliance with the uniform regulations.

Michael Crabtree and the entire 49ers receiving corps welcomed fines when they wore all white socks in their memorable 2011 season.

Pablo Sandoval, you're up.

Sandoval took a page from Wilson's book and donned his flashy All-Star Game cleats during the Giants' 5-1 win on Orange Friday. The cleats are roughly fifty-fifty orange and gold -- not even close to the league stipulation that cleats must match the team jerseys -- and are likely going to cost Sandoval.

"It's like 1,000 for the fine," Sandoval estimated. Or maybe he didn't. Sandoval said he's received a similar fine before. Last season he wore his all white All-Star Game cleats and was docked pay.

He's anticipating a repeat offense, but it didn't seem to bother him, saying he felt good in them, it was Orange Friday, and they brought him good luck.

Sandoval finished the game 1-for-4 with a triple and a run scored.

'Pen changing?

Bochy shied from a concrete answer about how he plans to treat the ninth inning going forward, but when prodded, he acknowledged that we "are seeing a little change."

"With Sergio (Romo) throwing the ball so well, if he has an easy eighth like he did, there's a good chance he will start the ninth."

RELATED: 'Good baseball' earns complete win

It's a bit of a departure from the stereotypical role of the closer, but then again, when have these Giants been stereotypical about anything?

Bigger, badder curveball

If Madison Bumgarner's curveball looked a bit different Friday night, you are very observant.

"I've been talking with (Jeremy) Affeldt," Bumgarner said. "He's got a really good curveball. We've been working on some stuff.

"We made a little adjustment, and it made it a whole lot better."

Bumgarner's tighter slider is still in his repertoire, but the addition of a larger breaking pitch could take the young lefty to the next level -- especially if he keeps it down like he did Friday.

Greg White

Gregor Blanco didn't play Friday night, but with right-handed pitcher Lucas Harrell going for the Astros Saturday and Justin Christian going 0-for-4 in the leadoff spot Friday, Blanco is likely to start Game 2 against Houston.

The backs of Blanco's cleats are embroidered, the left reading "Greg," the right reading "White."

Given another look at fastball, Williamson gets revenge against Kershaw

Given another look at fastball, Williamson gets revenge against Kershaw

LOS ANGELES — Mac Williamson was sent up to pinch-hit when the Giants faced Clayton Kershaw earlier this month, and on a two-strike count, he watched as Kershaw shook off five different signs as he stood on the mound. Kershaw then froze Williamson with a fastball. It was a good lesson for Williamson, a player still trying to find his footing at the big league level.

“He’s a guy you can’t really guess with,” Williamson said. 

The outfielder admits he tends to overthink things. “I’m a perfectionist,” he said Sunday. But given a start against Kershaw, Williamson let his talent — and a little luck — take over. Williamson’s first hit off Kershaw was a bleeder that resulted in an infield hit. His second bounced through the middle of the infield for a single. The third one was the highlight of the day for the Giants. 

Kershaw had a shutout going when he tried to sneak a first-pitch fastball past Williamson in the eighth. He blasted it to dead center. It was the only run for the Giants in a 3-1 loss to the Dodgers. 

“It’s good to see him get those swings off,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That homer was to the big part of the park. It shows how strong he is.”

The Giants have always known Williamson has the strength and raw talent. He hasn’t stuck for a number of reasons, including injuries and that aforementioned tendency sometimes to overthink at the plate. It probably hasn’t helped, either, that the Giants tend to sit him for days at a time and then play him against the Kershaws and Zack Greinkes and Rich Hills of the world. 

Williamson took advantage of the tough assignment on Sunday, joining a small group of Giants who have three hits in a game off Kershaw. 

“Hunter was ahead of me,” he said, smiling. “He beat me to it.”

Pence also had three hits, giving the Giants six from the corners against the best pitcher in the game. It wasn’t enough, but for Williamson, it was something to build off as the offseason approaches. He said it’s a winter he doesn’t plan to take lightly. Williamson’s agents are working to line up a Winter Ball job in the Dominican Republic.

Giants lineup: Three lefties out against Kershaw

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USATSI

Giants lineup: Three lefties out against Kershaw

With Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers Sunday, Bruce Bochy is resting three left-handed bats...

San Francisco Giants:
1. Gorkys Hernandez (R) CF
2. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
3. Buster Posey (R) 1B
4. Hunter Pence (R) RF
5. Nick Hundley (R) C
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
8. Mac Williamson (R) LF
9. Chris Stratton (R) RHP

Los Angeles Dodgers:
1. Chris Taylor (R) CF
2. Corey Seager (L) SS
3. Cody Bellinger (L) 1B
4. Curtis Granderson (L) RF
5. Logan Forsythe (R) 3B
6. Chase Utley (L) 2B
7. Yasmani Grandal (S) C
8. Joc Pederson (L) LF
9. Clayton Kershaw (L) LHP