Giants

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."

As Dodgers celebrate, Bochy turns eyes to franchise-altering talent

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USATSI

As Dodgers celebrate, Bochy turns eyes to franchise-altering talent

LOS ANGELES — The Giants left their dugout quickly after Friday’s loss, escaping a celebration on the mound and a fireworks show in the sky. As Dodger Stadium shook with cheers, Bruce Bochy sat in the visiting clubhouse and smiled. He nodded at his laptop, which earlier had been used to pull up highlights of Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani. 

“He’s good,” Bochy said, laughing. “I absolutely would play him every day.”

Earlier in the week, when it became known that Bobby Evans and Jeremy Shelley were headed to Japan to scout Otani, Bochy said he couldn’t imagine a player pitching and then moving to the outfield between starts. What changed? 

Perhaps it was the tape Bochy saw. Otani throws 100 mph and hits homers with ease. Or perhaps it was the game he watched Friday. The Giants lost for the 94th time, with the big blow coming from a 22-year-old Dodgers star. Cody Bellinger’s blast was the difference in a 4-2 win, and the Giants don’t have a Bellinger, or anything close. Otani, 23, is a long shot for a team that very well could finish with the worst record in baseball. Still, he’s the kind of talent that could help pull the Giants closer in a hurry. He’s the  kind of talent they haven’t developed in years, and Bochy certainly sounded a bit wistful as he talked of the power Bellinger has put on display. 

“You call up a guy and he does that — that just doesn’t happen,” he said. “It’s a rare deal.”

The ninth inning of the Dodgers’ clincher reinforced that point for the Giants. They got a homer from Pablo Sandoval, but he’s playing only because Christian Arroyo — the Giants’ best prospect bet this year — is hurt. Ryder Jones, their 23-year-old prospect, struck out to end the night, dropping his average to .180. 

That set off a celebration for Bellinger and the Dodgers. They have won five straight NL West titles, with three of the last four clinched against the Giants. 

“Congrats to them,” Bochy said. “They’ve had a tremendous year across the board, and they’ve played great baseball. They brought some guys up that really did a great job for them. It’s well deserved.”

Bochy said it was not difficult to watch this one. The division has been wrapped up for months, with only a September slide keeping the Dodgers from clinching earlier. 

“We knew what we were facing here,” Bochy said. 

The Giants have two more against the Dodgers and then six more before a long winter. The Dodgers, on the other hand, will host an NLDS series here at Dodger Stadium. Both Bochy and starter Jeff Samardzija made the same observation, that the Dodgers will have a hard time cutting their deep roster down to 25 postseason players. 

That’s a nice problem to have. It’s a foreign one right now for the Giants, who have a serious talent gap and no clear solutions internally. It’s no wonder, then, that Bochy has all of a sudden become so intrigued by a wondrous talent overseas. 

Samardzija hits two milestones, makes 200-200 club in start vs Dodgers

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Samardzija hits two milestones, makes 200-200 club in start vs Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — When the Giants gathered for spring training in February, team officials thought they had put together a rotation with four 200-inning arms. The starters didn’t come close to hitting that lofty goal, but one Giant got to the 200-inning mark Friday night. 

Jeff Samardzija hit 200 innings in the third inning Friday night at Dodger Stadium, reaching the standard for the fifth consecutive season. Samardzija also became the first Giant this year to reach 200 strikeouts when he struck out Curtis Granderson to open the second inning. The right-hander will be the only member of the rotation to reach either milestone, with Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto limited by injuries and Matt Moore having a down year. 

“These guys like Jeff that are able to handle that workload that he does and log 200 innings and have durability, that’s invaluable,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “You look at what it does for the ‘pen but also the quality of innings he gives you. His record should be different with how he has thrown the ball — he can’t control that. But the workload itself is important.”

Samardzija became the first Giants right-hander to strike out 200 in a season since Tim Lincecum (220) in 2011. Samardzija joined Carlos Martinez as the only National League pitchers who have thrown 200 innings this year, and Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Robbie Ray, Martinez and Zack Greinke in the league’s 200-strikeout club.