Series preview: Giants vs. Braves


Series preview: Giants vs. Braves

April 22, 2011
Giants (10-8) vs. Braves (8-12)

Series schedule
Friday, 7:15 p.m.
Saturday, 1:10 p.m.
Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

Starting Pitchers
Friday: Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 7.36) vs. Tommy Hanson (1-3, 3.86)
Saturday: Tim Lincecum (2-1, 1.67) vs. Tim Hudson (2-2, 4.05)
Sunday: Jonathan Sanchez (2-1, 3.13) vs. Brandon Beachy (1-1, 3.86)

Previous games
The Giants won their first two games vs. Colorado before dropping the finale, 10-2, on Wednesday. Matt Cain was reached for six runs in 4 23 innings, while Dan Runzler and Guillermo Mota each allowed a pair of runs in relief.

The Braves lost three of four games against the Dodgers this week, including a 5-3 loss in Thursday's finale. Atlanta's David Ross tied it with a two-run single in the ninth before Matt Kemp won it for L.A. with a two-run homer in the 12th.
The Giants went 3-4 against the Braves last season before eliminating Atlanta in four games in the National League Division Series. This is the first meeting between the teams in 2011.

Whos hot?
Buster Posey is riding a six-game hitting streak with two homers and seven RBIs during that run. Freddy Sanchez also has a six-game hitting streak, a stretch that includes five games with more than one hit. For Atlanta, Freddie Freeman has four hits, including a pair of homers, and three walks in his last three games.

For starters, any playoff rematch is always an interesting storyline. ... Posey went 6-for-16 in the NLDS to help the Giants advance last fall. ... Lincecum's last start against the Braves was his dominant two-hitter with 14 strikeouts in Game 1 of the NLDS. ... Jonathan Sanchez is averaging 11 strikeouts per nine innings, while several Braves - notably Dan Uggla and Alex Gonzalez - are prone to the strikeout.

Sound off
What are your memories from Lincecum's start against the Braves in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS?

Warriors as healthy as ever while playing waiting game for next opponent

Warriors as healthy as ever while playing waiting game for next opponent

OAKLAND -- Now that the Warriors have gone through a full-squad scrimmage for the first time in three weeks, there is only one issue to be resolved before they get back to the business of the playoffs.

Whom to play? And when?

As of Friday afternoon, the Warriors had no idea of either.

They will face the winner of the Clippers-Jazz first-round series, in which Utah took a 3-2 lead into Game 6 Friday night in Salt Lake City.

“Why are we talking about Utah like the Clippers are done?” Draymond Green wondered after fielding several Jazz-related questions after scrimmaging.

Well, because the Jazz won Games 4 and 5 and is favored to win Game 6 at home. If they win, they’ll come into Oracle Arena Sunday afternoon to meet the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

If the Clippers win Game 6 to even the series, those teams will meet for Game 7 Sunday in Los Angeles, with the winner advancing to face the Warriors in Game 1 of the conference semifinals next Tuesday night in Oakland.

In any case, the Warriors appear about as healthy has they have been at any time since February.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, out with a finger/hand injury since Game 1 (April 16) of the first-round series against Portland, participated in the scrimmage, as did veteran forward Matt Barnes, who last played on April 8, when he sustained a bone bruise atop his right foot.

“They practiced today and they even went through the scrimmage,” acting head coach Mike Brown said. “But we’ll wait for our training staff to clear them, after they see how they feel today and (Saturday).”

In short, if swelling is minimal, both will be available for Game 1, regardless of when.

So, too, will Kevin Durant. After a strained left calf kept him out of Games 2 and 3 against the Trail Blazers, he started and played 20 minutes in decisive Game 4 without any ill effects.

Nothing changed during the scrimmage Friday.

“It felt great out there,” he said. “Nothing bothered me. It was definitely good. I’m just trying to hopefully put that injury stuff behind.”

Durant conceded that he continues to receive treatment and ice, but mostly to minimize potential swelling.

49ers select CB Ahkello Witherspoon in third round of the 2017 NFL Draft

49ers select CB Ahkello Witherspoon in third round of the 2017 NFL Draft

Position: Cornerback
College: Colorado
Height: 6-2 3/4
Weight: 193
Selection: Third round, No. 66 overall

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers selected Colorado cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, a Sacramento native, in the third round of the NFL draft with the No. 66 overall pick.

“Being close to home is an incredible opportunity, as well as the type of defense they play -- press man, up in your face,” Witherspoon said. “When I came in for a visit, they were asking me if I’ve adopted that role and if I’d be willing to continue that. And I said, ‘Absolutely.’

“It’s an opportunity to play for such a great organization, close to home, with such a savvy defensive mentality. I think it’s going to be a great place for me.”

The 49ers were also scheduled to have the next pick, but traded the selection at No. 67 for the New Orleans Saints’ second-round pick in next year’s draft, as well as a seventh-round selection (No. 229 overall) this year. The 49ers now have 10 picks in next year’s draft.

The Saints used that pick at No. 67 to select Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara.

Witherspoon began his college career at Sacramento City. He played his final three college seasons at Colorado. He started 12 games last season and earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors.

Witherspoon led the nation with 22 pass breakups. He recorded one interception -- a game-saving pick in the end zone to preserve a 41-38 victory over Oregon. A pre-med student majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology, he said he aspires to be a doctor after his football career.

But Witherspoon said he is committed to football and promised the 49ers during his visit to Santa Clara that he will make huge strides over the next few years as he continues to develop as a player.