Giants

Tony Romo sets a Cowboys record in win over Eagles

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Tony Romo sets a Cowboys record in win over Eagles

From Comcast SportsNetARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Tony Romo knows what matters the most when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys. So while it's nice to break Troy Aikman's franchise record for career touchdown passes, he's focused on getting his team to the playoffs.Romo threw three second-half touchdown passes to answer a strong game by Philadelphia's rookie duo of Bryce Brown and Nick Foles, and the Cowboys sent the Eagles to their eighth straight loss with a 38-33 victory Sunday night.The first two scoring tosses from Romo erased seven-point deficits, including a 23-yarder to Dez Bryant that was vintage Romo and broke Aikman's career mark of 165 TD passes. Romo scrambled to his right and threw back across the field to Bryant, who weaved through the Philadelphia defense to tie it at 17 in the third quarter.Romo tied it again at 24 on a throw to Miles Austin, and had one more answer after Brown and Foles led the Eagles to a go-ahead field goal. He threw deep to Bryant for 35 yards on third down, and Bryant found his way into the end zone again by taking a screen pass 6 yards just inside the pylon for a 31-27 lead with 5:40 remaining in the game."It's about winning games," said Romo, who was 10 of 10 in the second half and completed his last 12 passes. "We desperately had to have this win tonight, and our team fought like heck to get a win."The Eagles' slide continued despite 169 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Brown a week after he set a team rookie record with 178 yards on the ground.After Romo's go-ahead touchdown pass, Dallas went up by 11 when Morris Claiborne returned a fumble by Brown 50 yards for a touchdown.Brown's fumble snapped a streak of eight straight scoring drives by both teams. It was the second straight week that he mixed big runs with critical fumbles after losing the ball twice in last week's loss to Carolina."Up until that fumble, he had done a heck of a job," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "He was trying to get every stinking yard he possibly could."Philadelphia (3-9) had a chance for an improbable rally when Damaris Johnson returned a punt 98 yards with 31 seconds left. After a failed 2-point conversion, the Cowboys recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.Foles, who was 22 of 34 in his third start in place of Michael Vick, led the Eagles to a 27-24 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 43-yard field goal by Alex Henery, who now has the longest current field goal streak at 21 after Cleveland's Phil Dawson had a kick blocked Sunday."It was a tough loss," Foles said. "I'm proud of our team with the way they fought. We have to keep working and stick together."Dallas running back DeMarco Murray, who started after missing six games with a sprained right foot, finished with 83 yards and a touchdown. Romo was 22 of 27 for 303 yards with no interceptions and a passer rating of 150.5.Brown, who started his first game since high school when he filled in for LeSean McCoy last week, went in untouched on both of his scoring plays in the first half. He scooted around the left side for a 7-0 lead and trotted through a big hole up the middle to make it 14-3 midway through the second quarter.Vick and McCoy are sidelined by concussions.Philadelphia was in front after the first quarter for the first time all season, but Dan Bailey got the Cowboys on the board with a 39-yard field goal early in the second. DeMarco Murray's 1-yard touchdown run trimmed the Eagles' lead to 14-10 with 41 seconds left in the half.Romo overcame a holding penalty and an 8-yard loss when Kevin Ogletree fumbled a handoff on a reverse by completing third-down passes to Jason Witten, Bryant and Miles Austin. Romo then found Witten all alone in the middle of the field for 28 yards to the 1, setting up Murray's score.The Eagles answered by driving 52 yards in 35 seconds to a 43-yard field goal by Henery on the last play of the half. Foles completed a 29-yard pass to Jason Avant to get the Eagles in scoring range.Brown got Philadelphia's first scoring drive going with a 42-yard run up the middle and finished it with a 10-yard run.Trailing 7-3 early the second quarter, the Cowboys went three and out after a third-down completion from Romo to Witten was overturned on a challenge by Reid. Replay showed the ball hitting the turf as Witten grabbed it.Two plays later, Brown went 39 yards down the sideline and later scored from 5 yards out.The Cowboys welcomed Murray back by running him three straight times to start the game after calling 52 straight pass plays from the second quarter to the end of a Thanksgiving loss to Washington. The first time Murray went to the sideline, Romo was sacked by Brandon Graham on third-and-3.After the first Philadelphia touchdown, the Cowboys drove down the field for Bailey's field goal. Romo found Witten for 11 yards on third-and-10 and escaped pressure to complete a pass to Cole Beasley for 13 yards to the Eagles 41. Romo also had a 15-yard scramble.Not only did Dallas get Murray back, but the offensive line was closer to full strength. Center Ryan Cook returned after missing time with a knee injury, which allowed Mackenzy Bernadeau to return to guard after two starts at center.NOTES:The Cowboys snapped an eight-game losing streak on Sunday night. ... Foles' first two career TD passes were against Dallas, and both were to Riley Cooper. ... Heisman Trophy contender Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M watched the game from a suite. His next game will be at Cowboys Stadium, against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4.

'We're not the worst' banner at stake in Giants-Phillies series

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AP

'We're not the worst' banner at stake in Giants-Phillies series

Nobody is paying much attention to this, and for good reason I grant you, but the Giants could end the suspense over which bad National League team is the worst National League team this weekend.

Plan your snacking regimen accordingly.

San Francisco beat Philadelphia last night, 5-4, to widen its stranglehold on 14th place in the National League to four full games. Further success this weekend could widen that to five or even eight games, and that would almost be enough to create an impromptu parade around the ballpark.

The Giants’ future is too amorphous to consider quite yet – we know this by the absurd suggestions that they could be the next home for Giancarlo Stanton.

And you thought the Warriors-to-chase-Paul-George stories were absurd.

But we digress.

The Giants are still figuring out what a rebuild would look like, and how that rebuild would manifest itself, but until it does, there is still the Ypres-like slog of the 2017 season to endure. And this weekend right here is about all that is left.

There is no spoiling the Dodgers’ march to regular season glory. There are no postseason awards for any individual to chase. Catching the Padres for fourth seems increasingly unlikely.

Now there could be a question about whether Bruce Bochy wants to return but none about whether the Giants would do anything to him, and if you need something to chew on, Bobby Evans’ longterm future as general manager might be sufficiently gristly, though we doubt it will result in anything.

There is only the raising of the “WE’RE NOT THE WORST” banner over the promenade in right field. And this looks like the weekend when it can be best be decided. Like we said, snack accordingly.

Down on the Farm: When Lincecum looked like batboy, became Giant in San Jose

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AP

Down on the Farm: When Lincecum looked like batboy, became Giant in San Jose

The last time Tim Lincecum pitched on a MLB mound was Aug. 5, 2016. Lincecum only lasted 3 1/3 innings in front of his hometown Seattle fans while doused in Angels red. The final image of Lincecum may be in an Angels jersey, but it's also with a Giants-orange glove on his left hand. 

If that is the last time Lincecum ever pitches again in the bigs, Aug. 5, 2016 will go down as a date many hope to forget as The Freak was a diminished version of himself. Remember the date, not so much the year. 

Exactly 10 years before that last pitch, Lincecum became Giant. Only two months after going No. 10 overall in the 2006 MLB Draft, Lincecum made his San Jose Giants debut on Aug. 5, 2006. He started the game against the Bakersfield Blaze and allowed two earned runs over 2 2/3 innings pitched while striking out five. 

Lincecum's stint in San Jose only lasted six games, including Game 1 of the playoffs. At 22 years old, Lincecum went 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA, struck out 48 batters in 27.2 innings pitched, and held opposing hitters to a .135 batting average, which somehow is a career-high for his time in the minors with Giants affiliates.

Here's how Joe Ritzo, the voice of the San Jose Giants, remembers the time San Jose fans witnessed a sight unlike anything else with Lincecum.  

Q: What was your first impression of Lincecum in San Jose? 

A: Unique talent. Everyone knew he was a first-round draft pick and there was a lot of hype and a lot of high expectations for him when he joined us. He went out there and was just dominant from the very first start. He was just a fun guy to watch because he gave you such a different look out there as a smaller pitcher with an unusual motion and then the ball coming out at 95, 96 miles an hour with this big curve ball as well that hitters in the California League just couldn't touch. And he was going up against hitters in this league -- in many cases with two, three, four years of professional experience -- and Tim was playing college baseball two months earlier.

I thought he was the best pitcher in this league when he was there those final six or so weeks of the season. A lot of fun to watch. I think our fans here really looked forward to his starts because you had a pretty good idea he probably wasn't going to be in San Jose for too long. 

Q: Did he remind you anybody else or was he completely different? 

A: Oh no, I mean he was totally his own guy. He was a very unique pitcher and the way he operated out there with the motion that not a lot of people had seen before. It was like something I don't think anyone had ever really experienced that year in San Jose. 

I remember our manager back then, Lenn Sakata, saying that when he first saw Tim when he walked in he thought he was the batboy. It was just this little guy with this baby face. It was like, 'No, that's your new ace pitcher.' Then he went out there and was just spectacular and kind of made you sit up in your chair and go, 'Whoa! This guy could be sometin' special.'

Q: Was that your real first impression? Just how he looked so small, but was amazing on the mound. 

A: Yeah, I mean he looked like a kid out there. Like I said earlier, I think he was the best pitcher in the California League those final few weeks of the season and he was our Game 1 starter in the playoffs that September, and won that start. I think we all knew that he was gonna move quickly through the system with what we saw here in San Jose. 

Q: Is he the best pitcher you've ever seen at that level? 

A: I think he's the best pitcher I've seen here in San Jose. Madison Bumgarner was pretty spectacular as well, and like Tim, was only here for a short amount of time. But Tim, the stuff was just electric. And you had a feeling watching him, he could probably go up to the big leagues the next day and get people out.

He goes to Triple-A the next year, I think he was only there for a month, and then he's in the big leagues so that kind of turned out to be pretty true. A special talent. 

Q: With the Giants, what is your favorite Tim Lincecum memory? 

A: My favorite memory was how he pitched the final game of the World Series in 2010. I grew up in the Bay Area, I grew up a Giants fan and I was a fan like anyone else that October and was all caught up in what was going on with that team and loving every minute of it. He was outstanding as everyone knows during that playoff run and it was fitting that he got a chance to be out there in what turned out to be the clinching game in Texas.

That I think was the moment for me that sticks with me after all these years with Tim Lincecum as a Giant. 

Q: Do you think we'll ever see someone else like a Tim Lincecum? 

A: I don't know. I don't know how you teach what he did. It clearly worked for him. I'm not sure if we'll ever see anything like that ever again. It was pretty incredible watching him here in San Jose because it was like a motion we've never seen. I think at that time, he wasn't really refined as the pitcher that he became at the major league level with changing speeds a lot, becoming more of a pitcher.

He was flat out overpowering in San Jose and they couldn't hit him here. I don't know if we'll ever see anything quite like that motion and the size, just the whole package he had back then.