SAN FRANCISCO -- Ryan Vogelsong said it best: I was justalong for the ride tonight.Vogelsongs 19th consecutive start of six innings or more, datingback to his last outing of 2011, was overshadowed by a three-hit night fromBuster Posey, a cringe-inducing catch from Melky Cabrera and a crew of umpiresthat made itself a part of the game.The Giants had already pounced on the Padres for three first-inning runs whenBrandon Crawford hit a sinking line drive that San Diegos Mark Kotsay appearedto trap. Crawford and third base coach Tim Flannery, who had the best view ofthe play along with third base umpire and crew chief Dana DeMuth, were irateimmediately. Bruce Bochy trotted out of the dugout to voice his displeasurewith the call as well, and before the Padres had time to switch their fieldinggloves for batting gloves, the umpires met on the field and overturned DeMuthscall of a catch.Its a tough call, Bochy said. You run and you try and make the call. Weknew it short-hopped him. Its all about getting it right, which they did. Theydid a great job of getting together and getting it right. Thats a big call toobecause the run scores.Vogelsong, who was in the on-deck circle with Crawford atthe dish, said he never returned to the dugout despite the out call on thefield.I saw the ball hit the ground, Vogelsong said. I didntknow if they were going to overturn it or not.The four-run first inning gave Vogelsong a cushion he rarely enjoys. Cominginto Mondays game, the Giants had provided their veteran right-hander with3.16 runs of support, lowest on the teams staff and third lowest in theNational League. Though the four runs would end up being more than enough forVogelsong, the Giants werent done.Posey, who was in the middle of the Giants first inning rally, put the gameout of reach with a three-run shot into the first row of arcade seats in right.The fans above Levis Landing seemed to know off the bat it was gone, but didPosey?Not off the bat, Posey said of only the 14th home run by aright-handed Giant at AT&T Park. I knew I got the barrel on it. I sawMark Kotsay keep drifting and thought it was going to go off the wall, butwas even happier when it went over.Posey collected three hits, as did Cabrera and Ryan Theriotfor a potent 2-3-4 part of the lineup that combined for six runs and four RBIs.Multi-hit games from Cabrera have become the norm since he came to SanFrancisco in an offseason trade, but his catch in the sixth inning as he fellinto the stands was nothing short of spectacular.Even in a 7-1 game in July, Cabrera hustled to make it to the short wall nearthe Giants bullpen, then sacrificed his body as he left his feet to make thecatch. Cabrera landed on a few fans, who helped him back onto the field, thentrotted back to his position with a wide smile and chants of Melky! Melky!surfacing around the stadium.Bochy and Posey both said they did not think Cabrera had a chance to catch theball.First of all, I thought it was going to be in the seats,Posey said. He went a really long way and that was an unbelievable catch.Bochys take is nearly identical.I thought the ball was in the seats, Bochy said. Its a dangerous play. Youhate to see him go into the stands like that but hes so athletic and he landedpretty soft there. It looked like he landed in the seat. But what a grab. Ittakes great focus to catch that ball. Thats the way he plays.For Cabrera, its just part of the job.I always play hard because I like to help my team in any way I can, Cabrerasaid through a translator. Before Cabrera even had time to catch his breath, the umpires re-took centerstage. In a cruel twist of fate, Crawford went from having an out turned intoan RBI hit in the first inning to having a double turned into an out in thesixth. After splitting the right-centerfield gap, Crawford appeared to have aneasy double, but was called out when first base umpire Jordan Baker said henever touched first on his way to second. Unlike in the first inning, argumentsfrom the Giants side fell on deaf ears.When Crawford grounded out to first in the eighth, he stepped on the bag harderthan normal and tried to have a conversation with Baker. But the umpire wasntin the mood and handed the Giants young shortstop his first career ejection.I didnt think I said anything worthy of getting tossed, Crawford said. Other than the hit to Crawfords batting average, the Giants had a bannerMonday to open a 10-game homestand. The bats looked lively, the defense stepped up in big spots, and the starterthe Giants picked up off the scrap heap continues to prove that his 2011breakout season was no fluke.
World Series ace Jon Lester is all set to start Game 1 for the Chicago Cubs.
Lester will be fully rested when he pitches Tuesday night at Cleveland. Corey Kluber will start for the Indians.
The 32-year-old lefty is 2-0 in three starts during this postseason, with wins over the Giants and Dodgers in the NL playoffs. He was 19-5 during the regular season.
Lester is 3-0 in three starts in the World Series with a sparkling 0.43 ERA. He helped the Boston Red Sox win championships in 2007 and 2013.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon says Lester is "really, really in the moment" right now.
Indians ace Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs.
Manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he will go with Kluber, an 18-ame winner during the regular season, in the opener on Tuesday night. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 0.98 ERA in his first postseason.
Francona has right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin penciled in for Games 2 and 3, respectively. The order could change depending on how Bauer's injured right pinkie heals over the next few days.
Bauer's start in the AL Championship Series lasted less than one inning after his pinkie began bleeding against Toronto. He injured his finger when he sliced it open while repairing a drone.
Also, injured starter Danny Salazar could be available against the Cubs. Salazar hasn't pitched since Sept. 9 because of forearm tightness but he's made major progress in the past week and could be on the World Series roster.
Two quick runs off the best pitcher on the planet on Saturday night afforded the Cubs exactly what they needed to snap a 71-year-old drought.
Already confident after consecutive offensive outbursts in the previous two games, a two-run first inning against Clayton Kershaw had Cubs hitters in a positive frame of mind.
They rode the surprising rally and a dominant performance by Kyle Hendricks to a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. The win earned the Cubs their first NL pennant since 1945 and on Tuesday night they’ll seek their first World Series title since 1908 when they face the Cleveland Indians in Game 1.
“It’s huge for the confidence, the positive momentum from LA, to carry over back home,” left fielder Ben Zobrist said. “Those were the biggest moments in the game early on to help everybody keep pushing and that we got this thing -- that we’re in charge of the game early. That’s a huge momentum builder.”
The Cubs did a little bit of everything in the first inning against Kershaw, who dominated them for seven scoreless frames in a 1-0 Dodgers victory in Game 2 on Sunday night. Some hitters took a more aggressive approach against the three-time NL Cy Young winner while others remained patient. The one constant throughout the 30-pitch frame was that Cubs hitters took advantage whenever Kershaw made a mistake.
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