Lincecum pitching for playoffs, Kershaw for Cy

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Lincecum pitching for playoffs, Kershaw for Cy

Sept. 20, 2011

URBAN ARCHIVE
GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO

Mychael Urban
CSNBayArea.com

That it's Giants-Dodgers in late September, with at least one of the teams still clinging to playoff hopes, makes it compelling enough.That it's Tim Lincecum-Clayton Kershaw, each with something of serious consequence at stake, makes it marquee.Kershaw, a clear frontrunner for the National League Cy Young Award, will be gunning for his 20th win of the year Tuesday night as his Dodgers host the Giants in the opener of a three-game series at Chavez Ravine. The last time the Dodgers had a 20-game winner? Rewind all the way to 1990 when Ramon Martinez turned the trick.What's more, Kershaw will be trying to become the first Dodgers hurler to go 5-0 against the Giants in a season since 1946, when both teams were battling for supremacy in the game's golden age in Gotham.Or did you forget the great Vic Lombardi?

Then there's this, yet another sign of Kershaw's dominance: He's 10-0 with a 1.46 ERA over his past 13 starts at home.He's also beaten Lincecum three times this year, but don't lay that on Lincecum, whose ERA in those games is 0.82. Trouble is, Kershaw's ERA in those games is 0.39.Talk about a clash of the titans. That's a total of three earned runs over 55 innings. Despite the Cy Young implications, Tuesday's game is even more meaningful for Lincecum because there's a team element to it. The Dodgers aren't going anywhere but home after their last game of the regular season, and the Giants still have a shot at going to the playoffs. That -- not snapping his losing streak to Kershaw -- is all that Lincecum really cares about.He almost certainly also cares about erasing the memory of two sub-standard starts that came in the midst of the slide that put the Giants in such a precarious postseason position.A two-time Cy Young winner and 2010 postseason MVP as the recipient of the little-known Babe Ruth Award, Lincecum prides himself -- and has proven himself -- as a pitcher who comes up big when his club needs him the most, and on consecutive starts at home, Aug. 29 vs. the Cubs and Sept. 3 vs. the Diammonbacks, he gave up five earned runs each time, going five innings against Chicago and six against the Snakes.Think that doesn't rankle him still? He's sure pitched like it ever since, allowing two runs over 15 innings in gems against the Dodgers and Padres.Beat Kershaw? Yeah, that's be nice. But that's a secondary concern. First and foremost among the Freak's goals Tuesday night is a far more familiar refrain: "Beat L.A."

Obama celebrates World Series champion Chicago Cubs at White House

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AP

Obama celebrates World Series champion Chicago Cubs at White House

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama celebrated the World Series champion Chicago Cubs on Monday and spoke about the power sports has to unite people.

"Throughout our history, sports has had this power to bring us together even when the country is divided,"Obama said at a White House ceremony for his hometown team. "Sports has changed attitudes and culture in ways that seem subtle but that ultimately made us think differently about ourselves."

"It is a game and celebration," he said, and noted that "there's a direct line between Jackie Robinson and me standing here." Robinson, a second baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, broke Major League Baseball's color line to become its first black player.

The White House event came four days before Obama hands the presidency over to Donald Trump following one of the most divisive elections in recent memory.

It also follows a weekend in which civil rights icon John Lewis said he didn't consider Trump a legitimate president because of Russian meddling in the election. Trump responded on Twitter by criticizing Lewis as "all talk" and suggesting the Democratic congressman take better care of his Georgia district.

Obama has a home in Chicago, but is a longtime White Sox fan. He rooted for the Cubs after the Sox failed to reach the playoffs.

His wife, first lady Michelle Obama, however, is a lifelong Cubs fan. She greeted Cubs players before the ceremony, which Obama noted was her first appearance at some of the roughly 50 events he has hosted for championship college and professional sports teams.

The Cubs gave Obama two baseball jerseys — home and away — with the number 44, among other gifts. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo also wears the number, and Obama referred to Rizzo as "my fellow 44."Obama is the nation's 44th president.

Obama said it will be hard for him to wear the jersey, but told the Cubs: "Do know that among Sox fans I am the Cubs' No. 1 fan."

Hours after the Cubs won the series in November, Obama asked the team on Twitter if it wanted to visit the White House before his term ends Friday.

The World Series title was the first for the Cubs since 1908, and they won it by defeating the Cleveland Indians in seven games.

Giants avoid arbitration with Nunez, Smith, Kontos

Giants avoid arbitration with Nunez, Smith, Kontos

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants avoided arbitration with three more veterans on Friday, agreeing to one-year deals with third baseman Eduardo Nuñez, left-hander Will Smith and right-hander George Kontos.

Financial details were not immediately available. MLB Trade Rumors' projections put Nuñez at about $4.4 million, Smith at about $2.3 million, and Kontos at about $1.7 million. The Giants reached deals with all six arbitration eligible players this offseason. 

Nunez, acquired last summer, will enter camp as the starter at third base. He posted a .269/.327/.418 slash line and 12 stolen bases after coming over from the Twins.

Smith was also acquired before the trade deadline, and he had a 2.95 ERA in 26 appearances for the Giants. He is expected to play a pivotal role in setting up for new closer Mark Melancon. 

Kontos has long been Bruce Bochy's most reliable reliever in the middle innings and he could move to a higher-leverage role in a revamped bullpen. He had a 2.53 ERA in 2016, his fifth season with the Giants.

The Giants had previously reached one-year deals with Cory Gearrin, Ehire Adrianza and Conor Gillaspie. They have not gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when a deal could not be reached with A.J. Pierzynski.