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Urban: Lincecum's progress, Giants' silver lining

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Urban: Lincecum's progress, Giants' silver lining

June 17, 2011

URBAN ARCHIVE
GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO

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Mychael Urban
CSNBayArea.com

Giants manager Bruce Bochy wasn't demonstrative, boisterous or even slightly emotive Friday night while discussing his club's loss to the suddenly energized A's.There was a resigned passivity to what he brought to the postage proceedings in his smallish temporary office at Old Testament Coliseum (or whatever they're calling it these days).While discussing his team's offense, which managed to earn itself all of one run on six hits and zero walks, Bochy didn't need to trot out any biblical bluster."We squandered some opportunities tonight," he said of San Francisco's bagel in six chances with runners in scoring position. And, "Our margin of error isn't that big. And, "We don't put a lot of runs on the board."And, "We didn't hit too many balls hard today."Of his club's defense, which was charged with only two errors but had a real Benny Hill thing going for a spell, he was similarly matter-of-fact."It wasn't awful," he said. "But it wasn't the cleanest game in the world."Not even close. It was to clean what Felix Unger -- Monica from "Friends," for you hipsters -- was to dirty.Yet while the totality of it all left Bochy doing a subtle Mrs. Lincoln after the play, it wasn't all bad.Tim Lincecum, for instance, took the loss and fell to 5-6 overall, but he did so while posting his first quality start of the month and showed signs that he's started to figure out the mechanical issues -- no, it was most definitely not all mental, gang -- that turned his ERA over the previous three June starts into something you might see in a Ponzi scheme return-rate promise (9.39).RELATED: Giants Insider gallery: Lifeless in Oakland
The good news was that the Franchise, pitching for the first time as a 27-year-old, struck out seven and held the A's to two earned runs over six innings."I was back to being more aggressive," he said. "Letting things go."The bad news is that his fastball command -- or lack thereof -- was less than perfect, leading to five free passes that forced him to battle early and often. Ergo the departure after a leadoff walk in the seventh, with a pitch count of 113. Some interesting interpretations of the strike zone by the plate ump on several breaking balls, as well as the shaky D, didn't help, but Lincecum himself conceded that he was "throwing breaking balls in fastball counts." He said it was, in part, to try to fool guys by pitching backwards, but it's not a leap over Snake River Canyon to assume it was in part because he's still waiting for the GPS that guides his heater to come back from the shop."I've just gotta be better," Lincecum said. "I'm not saying it's all the way back."Another positive to come out of the postgame skull session with Lincecum was the burning of the tired he-misses-Buster-Posey and he-can't-work-with-Eli-Whiteside crutches that some people are offering the two-time Cy. Chris Stewart caught Lincecum on Friday, and Lincecum was moderately better, but when asked if any of the aforementioned excuses fly, the Freak didn't hesitate to riddle them with a verbal shotgun blast."Not at all," he said, reminding everyone that the catcher is the suggestion box, but the pitcher bought the lock and holds the key.In other words, the pitcher's neck and head trump the backstop's fingers every time."It doesn't matter who they're throwing behind the plate," Lincecum said. "As the pitcher, you have the last say."So that settles that. What, exactly, has been Lincecum's problem? Well, not to get all Insidery, but he hasn't been getting his upper torso over his legs, which means his finely tuned core and Ryan-esque leg drive haven't been providing the power and synchronicity he relies on, and that seems to have shortened his giraffe-like stride.In far simpler terms, he's falling toward first base too early.These aren't incredibly quick fixes. Lincecum's windup is a classic concerto, and an extra 10 minutes in rehearsal doesn't mean you're ready for Carnegie Hall. But Friday suggested he's already started the process, and that's probably why Bochy was so chill after such an uninspired performance.For all the ugliness, the thought of Lincecum on the verge of finding himself again must have seemed downright beautiful.

Report: Cavs, Celtics engaged in trade talks for Kyrie Irving

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USATI

Report: Cavs, Celtics engaged in trade talks for Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving to the Celtics?

Boston and Cleveland are engaged in active trade discussions, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania.

Kyrie requested a trade back in early July.

He has two more years on his contract -- $18,868,625 next season and $20,099,188 in 2018-19 -- with a $21,329,750 player option in 2019-20.

Thomas will make about $6.26 million next year and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

The Celtics were the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference last season, and the Cavs were the No. 2 seed.

Cleveland dispatched Boston in five games in the East Finals.

Thomas was sidelined for Games 3, 4 and 5 because of a hip injury.

The two teams face off on Opening Night on Oct. 17...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Report: Former No. 3 overall pick works out for 49ers

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USATI

Report: Former No. 3 overall pick works out for 49ers

The 49ers appear to have plenty of depth along their front seven, but the team brought in three defensive linemen for workouts on Tuesday, according to a source.

One of those players is reportedly Tyson Jackson, the No. 3 overall pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009. The identities of the other two players were not immediately known.

Jackson has been without a team since the Falcons released him in March with two years and $8.5 million remaining on his contract. His workout with the 49ers was reported by the NFL Network. He also worked out recently with the Los Angeles Rams.

Jackson, 31, spent his first five season in Kansas City before playing three years with the Falcons. He appeared in all 16 games last season, starting seven times, and recorded 13 tackles and no sacks.

The 49ers have an abundance of defensive linemen, or players capable of rushing the passer from a position along the defensive line, such as DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Earl Mitchell, Elvis Dumervil, Aaron Lynch, Chris Jones, Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial, Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, Ronald Blair and D.J. Jones.