Nationals edge Giants 2-1, set up rubber match

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Nationals edge Giants 2-1, set up rubber match

June 7, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Jordan Zimmermann wanted to go deep in the game to give Washington's bullpen a rest. He turned in a performance that showed why fill-in manager John McLaren believes the right-hander could one day be the ace of the Nationals' staff.Less than two years after having Tommy John surgery, Zimmermann pitched seven impressive innings and drove in the tiebreaking run with a safety squeeze to lead Washington over the San Francisco Giants 2-1 on Tuesday night."I had a good curve and a good fastball and I felt like I could throw (them) whenever I wanted to," said Zimmermann, who scattered five hits to beat the Giants for the second time this season. "There were a couple hard-hit balls, a couple bloopers that could have fell, but we got good breaks on them."The game was in stark contrast to Monday night's 4 12-hour marathon in several ways.Washington hit into three double plays and left the bases loaded twice but held on for the win by getting a solid effort from Zimmermann (4-6) and two scoreless innings from the bullpen.Zimmermann, the 25-year-old righty who had elbow ligament replacement surgery on Aug. 19, 2009, went seven innings to match his career high and had three strikeouts and a walk. He also beat the Giants on May 1 when he pitched six innings and allowed two runs.McLaren, the bench coach who managed the Nationals while Jim Riggleman served a one-game suspension, didn't flinch when asked if Zimmermann could eventually develop into an ace."Absolutely," McLaren said. "The definition of a No. 1 starter, for me, is being able to stop a losing streak and pick your team up. That's what he looked like. He's come back a long way."Ian Desmond had an RBI single and Wilson Ramos added two hits as the Nationals rebounded from Monday's frustrating 13-inning loss to win despite stranding 11 runners.Nate Schierholtz doubled in San Francisco's only run in the second."We had a tough time scoring runs," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We woke up in the second inning but we couldn't get another hit. The bats got quiet in the later innings."Aubrey Huff, who made an error in the first inning after colliding with second baseman Freddy Sanchez while chasing Desmond's short popup, tripled leading off the second and scored on Schierholtz's double to left-center to give San Francisco an early lead.Zimmermann was dominant after that and didn't allow another Giants runner past first base. It marked the sixth time in his last seven starts that Zimmermann has held an opponent to fewer than two runs.The Nationals' bullpen, which gave up all five runs in Monday's 5-4 loss to the Giants, made a 2-1 lead hold up.Tyler Clippard walked pinch-hitter Cody Ross leading off the eighth, then retired the next three batters. Drew Storen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances.Desmond singled home Laynce Nix in the third to tie the game but San Francisco starter Jonathan Sanchez struck out Ramos with the bases loaded to end the inning.
VIDEO: Jonathan Sanchez postgame
Washington took a 2-1 lead when Rick Ankiel doubled and scored on Zimmermann's bunt in the fourth.Sanchez (4-4) kept it close and pitched out of another bases-loaded jam in the fifth by striking out Nix, but left with his team trailing by a run. The left-hander had five walks and six strikeouts.The Giants' bullpen, which combined for eight scoreless innings Monday, blanked the Nationals over the final four innings.NOTES: Sanchez has issued 15 walks in his last three starts. ... The Nationals stranded nine runners in the first five innings. ... Washington 3B Jerry Hairston Jr. left the game after complaining of lower back spasms. Hairston was lifted for a pinch-runner after walking to load the bases against Sanchez in the fifth. ... Giants LHP Barry Zito allowed two hits in 6 2-3 innings of a rehab assignment for Class-A San Jose on Monday. Zito, who had six strikeouts and didn't walk a batter, will start against Modesto on Saturday and make one more start in the minors before the team decides whether to activate him from the disabled list. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval homered and drove in four runs in his rehab game with Triple-A Fresno. Sandoval will work out with the big league club in San Francisco on Wednesday before possibly rejoining Fresno. ... Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman, who has missed 54 games since going on the DL with an abdominal injury April 12, singled and doubled in his second rehab game in the minors. ... Bullpen coach Jim Lett served as Washington's pitching coach while Steve McCatty attended his son's high school graduation. McCatty is expected to rejoin the team before Wednesday's game. ... The Giants have sold out all 26 home games so far this season.

'The Kid' Arroyo continues wildly impressive first week with Giants

'The Kid' Arroyo continues wildly impressive first week with Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — In a quiet moment in the dugout Friday, manager Bruce Bochy tried to figure out a nickname for his new budding star. During a week where Christian Arroyo has made the game look so easy, this has turned out to be the most difficult part. 

Bochy briefly settled on “Yo” before that was scuttled because the team’s video coordinator is Yo Miyamoto. Joe Panik said some players have tried C.A. or YoYo, but admitted that neither is all that good. The team’s Twitter account spent a few days trying to make Boss Baby a thing, but Arroyo wasn’t thrilled with that one and the experiment appears to be over. In a back room of the clubhouse, there’s a printout showing Arroyo and Buzz from “Home Alone,” but that comparison is much better made with Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman. 

Perhaps the answer is as simple as the path Arroyo’s bat takes to a fastball. As he watched Arroyo field grounders during batting practice, Dick Tidrow was asked about the 21-year-old. Tidrow, the team’s senior VP of player personnel, has seen and worked with Arroyo since he was drafted. 

“We always just called him The Kid,” Tidrow said. “He would turn around when I called him Kid.”

The Kid is growing up quickly. Arroyo’s second homer of the week was the game-winner Friday, an eighth-inning blast that put a lead in Mark Melancon’s hands. The new closer made sure the new third baseman’s homer didn’t go to waste, clinching a 4-3 win that got the Giants out of the National League West’s cellar. 

The homer might have surprised Arroyo as much as anyone. He came here with a reputation as a mature and talented hitter, but power is not his calling card. 

“I’m not trying to hit a homer there,” he said. “Get the head out, see a pitch over the plate, barrel something, just keep the line moving. I got a good pitch, elevated it, and fortunately it went out.”

Arroyo already speaks like a hitting coach, but he is not afraid to admit that there are things he doesn’t know. It’s easy to get film on opposing starters, but there’s little a rookie can do to prepare for late-inning pitching changes. Arroyo consulted Buster Posey and Conor Gillaspie before facing Ryan Buchter, who has been in the division for two years. Gillaspie told him Buchter’s fastball has some late life and gets on a hitter. 

“I wanted to see it and the first pitch was a little low so I got a good read on them,” Arroyo said. 

The second one was right at the belt and Arroyo pulled it down the line for his second big league homer. He had just three last year in Double-A, but the Giants felt the 36 doubles showed that power was on the way. 

“He’s got pop,” Bochy said. “He’s not a guy trying to hit homers. He tries to put a good swing on it. But he drives balls and you saw it tonight. We see him more as a gap guy, but he’ll get more power as he gets older. We’re not asking him to hit homers, trust me, but it’s good to see him letting it go.”

The homer secured a win on a night when a lot went right. Jeff Samardzija was sharp, paying for one pitch to Ryan Schimpf that left the park but otherwise pitching seven strong. Panik and Brandon Belt ignited the offense early and Michael Morse came through with a game-tying sacrifice fly in the fifth. Derek Law and Mark Melancon closed it out, with Melancon getting help from Panik, who made a spectacular tumbling catch on a flare to shallow right-center. It was a big first out given that Melancon was pitching for the third straight day. 

“It was going to be in no man’s land,” Panik said. “You give it everything you’ve got. Fortunately the ball stayed in the glove.”

When it was over, the youngest Giant was in for another round of interviews to cap a hectic week. On Monday he made his debut and on Tuesday he picked up his first hit. Wednesday brought the first homer and Thursday was the first multi-hit game. What will the weekend include? Maybe a real nickname? 

For now, the Giants are fine with leaning on The Kid, because many of them didn’t even know how young the star of the week was until he was a couple of days into his big league career.

“I was thinking he was 23 or 24,” Samardzija said. “This has been really impressive.”

Vanderdoes out to 'prove people wrong,' show Raiders his very best

Vanderdoes out to 'prove people wrong,' show Raiders his very best

ALAMEDA – Eddie Vanderdoes knows his UCLA game tape is inconsistent. The powerful defensive tackle admits he wasn’t always at his best, especially after tearing his ACL in 2015. Before that, he was difficult to stop. Afterward, he wasn’t the same player. He doesn’t blame the knee.

He struggled with ankle injuries and weight issues in 2016, a lackluster campaign by his own standard. Since that season ended, Vanderdoes has returned to 100 percent. His ankles are fine. His knee is great. And he lost 40 pounds heading into the NFL scouting combine, preparing for a return to his old self.

The Raiders see great potential in the former Bruin and made him their third-round pick on Friday evening. The Auburn native was excited by the prospect, and believes the Raiders will get his absolute best. His voice was passionate, his determination clear even on a conference call with local press.

“I am going to be the player I was earlier in my career,” Vanderdoes said. “I had a bad season. That wasn’t me. That’s not the person that I am. That’s not the character that I hold. I’m definitely going to bring that to the Raiders’ defensive line. I’m going to bring that energy and I’m really happy to be an Oakland Raider.”

The Raiders will be thrilled if that’s true. They liked what he showed at the Senior Bowl and the NFL scouting combine, where he showed traits that should translate to NFL production.

“I am definitely back 100 percent, very confident with the combine, the Senior Bowl,” Vanderdoes said. “I got my explosiveness back. I got my speed back, my athleticism back. I am definitely at the top of shape right now, so I’m ready to get back to work and show them the player that they saw on the film and the player that they wanted to draft and I’m also looking to turn even more heads and do things that some people might expect that I couldn’t do.”

That includes rushing the passer, being a consistent three-down tackle in the Raiders scheme. He might be a rotational player first, filling the void created when Stacy McGee left in free agency.

“He’s a good, active defensive lineman that we think his best football is in front of him,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He had an ACL (injury) a couple of years ago. His weight has been up and down. We expect him to come in here and be a real professional and work hard with (head strength and conditioning coach) Joe Gomes and the strength staff and get himself ready to roll. He needs to come in here and add depth to our defensive line and give us a little interior push.”

Vanderdoes believes he can do more than that if he does things right. If his weight stays down, strength stays up and he learns the system well, he wants to compete for a significant role as a rookie.

“I’m coming in expecting to contribute and play right away,” Vanderdoes said. “That’s the mindset that I’ve always had. I’ve came with that mindset that I need to be the guy to step in and do what I do and dominate. I definitely think people slept on me a little bit this past offseason.

“I love the fact that (the NFL) slept on me, I think that’s what motivated me every morning waking up, knowing that I get to prove people wrong. I think I’ve done a good job so far of that, and I’m going to keep doing as well being an Oakland Raider because I know I’m at the bottom again. I have to work my way back up.”