Lincecum looks for more dominance vs. D'backs

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Lincecum looks for more dominance vs. D'backs

May 10, 2011

ARIZONA (15-18) vs.
GIANTS (18-16)
GIANTS COMMUNITY FUND RING RAFFLE

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The first six weeks of the season weren't easy for the San Francisco Giants, but the defending World Series champions are hoping they finally have some momentum after finishing off their first sweep.

Having Tim Lincecum on the mound for the opener of a home series with Arizona could be a great recipe for the start of another.

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Coming off perhaps his sharpest outing of the season, Lincecum faces the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night looking to give the Giants their 16th win in 20 meetings.

San Francisco (18-16) hasn't exactly come roaring out of the gate in defense of the franchise's first championship in 56 years, but it's above .500 despite outscoring only San Diego and Minnesota.

Pitching keyed the Giants' World Series run, and that's again been the team's strength this season. San Francisco starters posted a 1.86 ERA in a three-game weekend series against Colorado, capped by 6 1-3 innings of one-hit ball from Ryan Vogelsong in a 3-0, sweep-completing victory Sunday.

REWIND: Ross powers Giants to sweep of Rockies

San Francisco has won five of six despite totaling 21 runs.

"It's early but it's good to get a sweep," manager Bruce Bochy said. "There's so much baseball left. This is going to be a battle but we certainly helped our cause by coming in here and winning some games."

The Giants have certainly had the Diamondbacks' number in recent years, winning 13 of 18 in both 2009 and 2010. San Francisco took two of three at Chase Field from April 15-17 and has outscored Arizona 93-61 in going 15-4 in the last 19 matchups.

Lincecum (3-3, 2.47 ERA) will try to keep it going after an outstanding effort in New York on Wednesday. After a pair of so-so starts in losses to Atlanta and Washington, the two-time Cy Young Award winner bounced back against the Mets, holding them to five hits over seven innings and striking out 12 in a 2-0 win.

The right-hander surpassed Christy Mathewson for the most double-digit strikeout efforts in team history with 29 - three of which have come in his last six starts.

"Terrific job," Bochy said. "He's one of those special guys, when he's had to turn it up a notch he can do it."

Lincecum has typically turned it up against the Diamondbacks (15-18), though he was just 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA in five meetings last season. He has gone 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA in eight career starts versus Arizona at AT&T Park, with four double-digit strikeout games.

Justin Upton is 9 for 28 (.321) against Lincecum, but Stephen Drew (.200), Chris Young (.158) and Miguel Montero (.156) have had far less success.

With Lincecum on the hill, the Diamondbacks can't afford to fall behind early, something that's consistently plagued them. Arizona gave up four first-inning runs in a 4-3 loss to San Diego on Sunday and has allowed 30 runs in the opening inning this season.

Ian Kennedy (3-1, 3.80) has given up four runs in the first this season, but none of those have come in his last four outings. He's posted a 1.93 ERA during that stretch, and gave up two runs over six innings of a 3-2, 11-inning win over Colorado on Thursday.

NOTES
Kennedy was 1-2 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts versus San Francisco last season. Catcher Buster Posey, in a 2-for-21 slump, is 5 for 11 against Kennedy. ... San Francisco has won 15 of its last 19 games against Arizona, including two of the three matchups between the clubs this season. ... The Diamondbacks have alternated wins and losses over their last six games (WLWLWL). Arizona is 1-6 in its last seven road contests. ... The Giants have won five of their last six games and will be looking to extend their current winning streak to four in a row. ... Ian Kennedy is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last four starts. Arizona has lost each of Kennedy's last four starts against San Francisco. ... Tim Lincecum has won each of his last two starts against the Diamondbacks and has seven wins in his career against them -- the second-most wins in his career against any opponent (8 vs. Colorado). ... Chris Young is tied with Lance Berkman for the most extra-base hits among NL players this season with 19. Young has failed to record a hit in each of his last three games, going 0-for-14 in those contests.

Matt Williams joins NBC Sports Bay Area's Giants TV coverage

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AP

Matt Williams joins NBC Sports Bay Area's Giants TV coverage

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It has been 30 years since Matt Williams broke into the big leagues with the Giants, and he has been back many times in recent seasons as an opposing player, coach and manager. When the Giants play their home opener on April 10, Williams will once again be affiliated with them, this time in a new role. 

Williams will join NBC Sports Bay Area this season as a studio analyst for the pre- and post-game shows, which are expanding to one hour. After spending most of the last two decades in various on and off-field roles for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Williams is coming full circle with the Giants. 

“It feels like that, doesn’t it?” he said. “I love coaching and managing, but I also enjoy talking about the game and experiencing the game from that angle, which is a lot of fun. I really enjoy it. You get to talk about the intricacies of the game.”

Williams knows it inside and out, and not just because he played 17 seasons for the Giants, Diamondbacks and Indians. He has coached first and third base for the Diamondbacks, most recently during the 2016 season. When the organization retooled the front office in the offseason, changes were made to the coaching staff. Williams has also had a stint as a manager, doing two years with the Washington Nationals. He went 179-145, winning the NL Manager of the Year Award in 2014, when the Giants knocked the Nationals out of the postseason in the NLDS. 

Williams is best known in San Francisco for 10 strong years on the field. He hit 378 career home runs, 247 of them with the Giants. Williams is a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger winner and four-time Gold Glove winner, and he finished in the top five in the MVP voting in 1994 and 1999. While Williams was gone by the time a title drought was broken, he does have a ring to wear around the ballpark. He batted .275 with 16 homers for the champion Diamondbacks in 2001. 

Williams’ time in Arizona also included color commentary for their television and radio broadcasts, and he said he’s looking forward to working with former Giants players he has coached against, and fellow former coach Tim Flannery, who was an NL West rival in the late 1980s. 

“During the offseason, this is always one of my favorite cities to visit,” he said. “It’s home. I’ve been in the Bay Area practically my whole life. It’s a fantastic atmosphere in the ballpark with a great fan base, and the Giants’ recent success has been phenomenal.” 

The Giants plan on that success carrying over into the odd year, and one of the best infielders in franchise history will be along for the ride. 

York: 49ers do not expect short-term benefits from Raiders' move to Vegas

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York: 49ers do not expect short-term benefits from Raiders' move to Vegas

PHOENIX – CEO Jed York said he does not expect the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas to have a significant short-term benefit for the 49ers.

After all, there appears to be a clear delineation between the two fan bases.

“The easy thing to say is this is a great financial gain for the 49ers, which just isn’t the case,” York said from the NFL owners meetings on the 49ers Insider Podcast.

The Raiders moved from Oakland to Los Angeles in 1982, leaving the 49ers as the only NFL act in the Bay Area for 13 seasons. During that time the 49ers won four Super Bowls. But there were few tangible benefits to the 49ers that were directly associated with the Raiders' absence from the market.

“You did not see a huge increase in ticket revenue, sponsorship revenue, even in terms of overall exposure in the market, because I think Raiders fans and 49ers fans are just a different group of folks,” York said. “The Raiders fans aren’t necessarily loyal to a certain geographic location. They’re loyal to the Raiders. I think you’ll see those fans follow the Raiders to Las Vegas.”

York said “20-plus percent” of the 49ers’ season-ticket holders live in Alameda County. He said the only change he envisions would be the expansion of some of the 49ers’ philanthropic efforts to some of the East Bay’s underserved communities.

The 49ers’ home, Levi’s Stadium, was built with the design of accommodating two home teams. While the NFL might have preferred the 49ers and Raiders to forge a relationship with a shared stadium, like the New York Giants and Jets, the Raiders never seriously considered a move to the South Bay.

“We had the conversation with Mark (Davis), but when the stadium was up and running in Santa Clara, and Levi’s was really going, it really is the 49ers’ stadium,” York said. “I think there was a little hesitancy of truly being a tenant in somebody else’s stadium, which certainly makes sense that it wasn’t high on their priority list.”

The Raiders figure to remain in the Bay Area for three seasons until their new home in Southern Nevada is ready for NFL action. The Raiders have a lease at the Oakland Coliseum for the 2017 and ’18 seasons. Davis expressed a preference to extend the lease to 2019.

The 49ers would be open to discussing the possibility of the Raiders’ use of Levi’s Stadium – seemingly as a last resort for both sides.

“If that was an opportunity, we’d certainly sit down and discuss it,” York said. “But I think there are a lot of moving pieces right now and it’s really conjecture to talk about 2019 at this point when they’d still obviously prefer to stay at the Coliseum.”