Will Clark on NLCS MVP Scutaro: 'I had flashbacks'


Will Clark on NLCS MVP Scutaro: 'I had flashbacks'


SAN FRANCISCO There wasnt a soaked soul in a Giantsuniform who didnt appreciate what NLCS MVP Marco Scutaro did in leading thempast the St. Louis Cardinals and into the World Series.

But some understood it better than others.

To see him hit the ball on the screws every time up there,I had flashbacks, said Will Clark, who so memorably obliterated the ChicagoCubs in the 1989 NLCS. Getting that hot, barreling up every ball it was greatto see somebody get locked in and stay locked in. He hit line drive after linedrive. Thats a true professional doing his craft and from my perspective, itsrefreshing to see.

Clark hit .650 against the Cubs, and to this day, pitcherstalk into their gloves on the mound because of the grand slam the thrill hitoff Greg Maddux after reading the pitchers lips. Clark had 13 hits in thatpostseason series.

Scutaro had 14 against the Cardinals, who knocked him downbut never out.

Ive been there before, Clark said. Youre in the middleof the tightest place in the world, in front of the brightest lights, andyoure putting great swings on the ball. Its great to see.

After rapping out three more hits in the Giants 9-0,pennant-clinching Game 7 victory Monday night, Scutaro became the first playerin LCS history to post six multi-hit games in one series. And 12 of his hitscame after Matt Hollidays controversial takeout slide left him hobbling towardthe X-ray room.

How you like me now? said Scutaro, who couldnt help onemore jab.

The Giants paid back Holliday in every way. With the Giantsup 7-0 in the sixth, Matt Cain drilled him with an 0-2 pitch that had theCardinals, especially pitcher Chris Carpenter, screaming at him from thevisiting dugout.

There was one more bit of retribution to end the game.Holliday popped up in the rain to Scutaro, who squeezed the Cardinals lastlife between his fingers.

The Giants celebrated more than their second trip to theWorld Series in three years, or their first Game 7 victory in franchisehistory. They celebrated the invitation for Scutaro, a 36-year-old professionalhitter, to show his skills on the most important stage.

BAGGARLY: Giants soak up their first Game 7 win in franchise history

I couldnt be happier for him, right fielder Hunter Pencesaid. Hes been an anchor for us. What an incredible performance. Hes verydeserving of the MVP.

Scutaro, who ended the season with a 20-game hitting streak,now has hit safely in 10 consecutive during the playoffs.

Scutaro received his trophy in one of the strangestpresentations in memory amid a driving rainstorm. Afterwards, he did notsound like an impending free agent eager to test the waters.

All those guys in there, I love every single one, Scutarosaid. I think to win a championship, it takes more than 25 guys. It takes thefront office all the way to the bat boy, and you have to have that chemistrygoing.

When I got traded here, in the beginning, I was thinkingstuff like, Where am I going to live? And family, and packing, all thatstuff. But a couple days later I was kind of happy just because of the kind ofteam we had. And now here we are in the World Series.

D'backs release former Giants outfielder

D'backs release former Giants outfielder

Editor's Note: The above video was recorded following Matt Cain's perfect game in 2012.

Gregor Blanco's bid to make the Arizona Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster is over.

The former Giants outfielder was released on Monday, Arizona announced.

Blanco had been dealing with an oblique injury and had played since March 21.

In 14 Cactus League games, Blanco went 9-for-40 (.225) with one double and three triples.

Blanco spent five years with the Giants and was part of the World Series winning teams in 2012 and 2014. During his time in San Francisco, the 33-year-old hit .259/.338/.360 with 78 doubles, 24 triples and 157 RBI in 649 games.

The D'backs signed Blanco to a minor league deal in January.

Giants spring training Day 43: A big game for veteran trying to lock up OF job

Giants spring training Day 43: A big game for veteran trying to lock up OF job

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For the first time, Gorkys Hernandez did not go back to Venezuela in the offseason to play winter ball. He's hoping that leads to another first. 

Hernandez has never made an opening day roster, but after breaking into the Giants’ outfield rotation last season, he entered the winter in a decent shot. To bolster his case, Hernandez stayed in Scottsdale over the offseason to work out at the minor league facility. The added strength didn’t lead to any notable results over the first month of games, but Hernandez broke through Monday with three doubles in the final home game of the spring.

“Sometimes (slumps) happen and sometimes you’re late (on pitches) and you don’t feel comfortable at the plate, but now I feel different. I feel better,” Hernandez said. “I’m recognizing pitches and trying to keep it simple and not do too much.”

The coaching staff has asked several players to head down to the minor league facility late in the spring and get additional at-bats, and Hernandez took Bruce Bochy up on the offer. He twice played in minor league games, and on Sunday he rotated into different games so he could get six at-bats. Hernandez said that helped him find his timing. 

“Without question, it helped his timing,” Bochy said. “He was off. He was getting out front, his timing was off. I think the at-bats he got paid off.”

The three-double day was perfectly timed. Hernandez entered with a .159 average and Justin Ruggiano, the other option as a backup center fielder, had started to put together better at-bats. Monday’s game was a reminder in more ways than one. Hernandez showed off the type of speed the Giants won’t have on the bench if Kelby Tomlinson is optioned, and he played all three outfield positions, switching from left to right to center. 

The role in play is one Gregor Blanco had for five seasons. The Giants would like Hernandez to be their defensive whiz at every outfield spot, and they’re light on true center fielders. If the Giants put Hernandez on the roster this week as expected, he’ll be ready to try and be the new Blanco. 

“If they give me that role, I’ll try to do the same thing,” he said. “Or better.”

THE ACE: Madison Bumgarner is going to Madison Bumgarner. He threw seven sharp innings Monday, lowering his spring ERA to 2.52. In 25 innings, he has allowed just 17 hits and struck out 23. Bochy appreciated Bumgarner’s intensity Monday against a Reds team that was filled with minor leaguers. 

“That’s what makes him so good,” Bochy said. “He takes every outing seriously. His preparation doesn’t waver.”

Bumgarner even added a single, and he liked that it came on a breaking ball. He’s worked on getting better at hitting those pitches, which he’s seeing more and more. 

“I feel I’m as ready as I can be to start the season,” Bumgarner said. 

His next pitch will be thrown Sunday at Chase Field. 

GAME RECAP: The Giants blasted poor Reds starter Cody Reed, hanging 10 runs on his line in 3 2/3 innings. Denard Span had two hits and Aaron Hill had three, driving in three runs. Bochy went with an interesting lineup, leading off with Span, Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford. He said he likes Crawford in that five-spot. He also plans to hit the pitcher eighth on occasion.

TRAINER’S ROOM: Joe Panik was drilled by a fastball in the lower back and he came out of the game as a precaution. Panik has a nasty welt, so he’s in for a night of ice, but there are no concerns. 

QUOTABLE: Posey turned 30 today. As he walked out to stretch, Bumgarner was asked if he was giving Posey a hard time. “No, he’s been 30 for the last seven years,” Bumgarner said.