Giants

Northern California gets shut out in Pacific Northwest

henderson_benson_ufc_fight_sports.jpg

Northern California gets shut out in Pacific Northwest

Nitesh Dutt
CSNBayArea.com

In what was being called the biggest card in the UFC this year, each and every fight truly delivered and gave fans what they wanted. For Northern California fans, the night was not as memorable.

Things didn’t start off well for Northern California on the main card, San Jose’s Mike “Quick” Swick became victim to his own nickname. In a battle of two welterweights hoping to throw their names into title contention, Matt Brown came out looking like the better fighter.

The first-round started off slow as both fighters spent the first few minutes feeling each other out with solid jabs. Brown was able to score a takedown two minutes into the bout and used his jiu-jitsu to gain a quick upper-hand. He had Swick in some early trouble in the round, but AKA’s Swick was able to get out of a guillotine and triangle choke. It was clear, even after five minutes, that Swick was slightly outmatched and sluggish.

It was much of the same in the second round for Brown, who was able to make “quick” work of Swick. Brown landed left then right to drop Swick 2:31 into round two. The bout lived up to the expectations and did finish in quick fashion, but it was in a way that Nor Cal fans were not hoping for.

The hopes and dreams of Nor Cal MMA fans on this night were now in the hands of Stockton’s Nate Diaz.

Diaz, the younger brother of UFC Welterweight Nick, challenged Benson Henderson for Henderson’s UFC lightweight championship in Seattle. This bout was hyped as a match-up of the top two lightweights in the world, not just the UFC. When the lights hit and the action took place, one lightweight simply outclassed and out-fought the other.

Right from the first bell Henderson was in-control. He used his wrestling, kicks and every skill that he has to show he was the better fighter. And to prove, that there is not one fighter near his level.

Fighting in front of his hometown crowd of Seattle, the one they call “Smooth” delivered his best performance since joining the UFC. Even though the bout went the distance, it was not as close as one would imagine. Benson ended up winning via unanimous decision, outscoring Diaz 50-43, 50-45 and 50-45.

As for Diaz, who was fighting in his first title fight, was staying true to form. At a certain point in the fifth round, while he was already thoroughly beaten, Diaz began to antagonize Henderson by tapping himself on the chin asking to be hit. It was a classic Diaz moment and left the Gracie Fight Team with zero UFC titles.

Once the final second passed, Henderson stared down Diaz and sent a message to him and the rest of the lightweight division. He’s growing in each fight and will let his actions inside the octagon do the talking.

Nitesh Dutt is a Productions Assistant at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. You can follow him on Twitter @NiteshDutt

Samardzija dials up seven strong innings as Giants take series from Pirates

samardzija-batting-pirates-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Samardzija dials up seven strong innings as Giants take series from Pirates

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt doubled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning in support of starter Jeff Samardzija, who threw seven strong innings in the San Francisco Giants' 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.

Pinch-hitter Miguel Gomez doubled to lead off the seventh for the Giants, who won their second straight and third of five. Denard Span sacrificed him to third and Belt drove a ball to left field that Starling Marte seemed to have trouble finding. It fell in front of him, allowing Gomez to score.

Adam Frazier drove in a run for the Pirates, who lost their fourth in five following a six-game winning streak.

Samardzija (5-11) allowed a run and four hits, striking out eight and walking two in winning for the first time since July 2. He had allowed 12 runs in his previous 10 1/3 innings.

Pirates starter Trevor Williams pitched well, allowing a run and five hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out two.

Tony Watson (5-3) pitched the seventh and took the loss.

Hunter Strickland pitched a spotless eighth and Sam Dyson worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Each pitcher worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the early going. Samardzija struck out Josh Bell to open the second and then allowed four consecutive baserunners, including Frazier's double. He helped himself with a bare-handed grab of high hopper to record an out at the plate.

The Giants loaded the bases with one out in the first, with Brandon Crawford driving in a run on a groundout.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Pirates: OF Gregory Polanco (hamstring) is resuming baseball activities. He is hitting and playing catch and riding on a stationary bike. ... Austin Meadows, the Pirates' top prospect, has been hitting and throwing and is scheduled to resume playing games next week.

Giants: OF Carlos Moncrief had his contract purchased from Sacramento and will be used as a pinch-hitter and spot starter. ... RHP Johnny Cueto (blister) threw 45 pitches in a bullpen session before the game. He's scheduled to throw again Friday and if all goes well, will likely return to action. ... RHP Mark Melancon (right pronater strain) threw 30 pitches before the game and will throw again in Los Angeles either another bullpen or to hitters. He could start a rehab assignment soon after.

UP NEXT:
Pirates: Chad Kuhl (3-7, 4.92 ERA) gets the call in Friday's series opener at San Diego. He's won his only start against the Padres.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore (3-10, 5.82 ERA) starts the series opener at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. He's 2-2 in four career starts at Dodger Stadium.

Eduardo Nuñez thanks Giants after trade: 'I will be forever grateful'

Eduardo Nuñez thanks Giants after trade: 'I will be forever grateful'

Eduardo Nuñez's stint with the San Francisco Giants lasted just under a year.

After the Giants acquired the infielder from the Twins on July 28, 2016, they shipped him off to Boston for two minor league pitchers on July 25, 2017.

On Wednesday, the day after Nuñez was traded mid-game, he went to Instagram to thank the Giants' organization and the fans for his year in San Francisco. 

Between the second half of 2016 and the first half of 2017, Nuñez slashed .293./331/.417 and swiped 31 bags. 

The Giants and his teammates also took to social media to thank Nuñez for his time.