Urban: NLCS Playoff Blog, Game 4


Urban: NLCS Playoff Blog, Game 4

Oct. 20, 2010

UPDATED: 7:32 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Whoa.Id have posted this update a few minutes earlier, but AT&T Park was shaking so hard I couldnt pin down my keyboard.When Pablo Sandoval shrugged off what appeared to be a very big and badcall against him by tagging a two-run double in the bottom of the sixthinning, it capped the greatest single mini-drama of an at-bat Ive seenin a long, long time.With runners at second and third with nobody out thanks to duh CodyRoss, the beleaguered Panda pulled a ball down the right-field linethat appeared to catch paint. It was immediately ruled foul, drawing ahowl of protest from Sandoval and an angry sprint out of the dugoutfrom Giants manager Bruce Bochy.Its not a reviewable call, though (yet), so it stood, and the sellout crowd roared its displeasure. Moments later, Sandoval sent a pitch roaring into the arcade aboveMcCovey Cove way foul this time with a look of utter disdain on hisface before bitterly swatting his bat with his hand.The man was not going to be denied. You could see it on his face. Thiswas not the cuddly, infectiously happy Kung Fu Panda. This was an angryand determined Panda, ready to kick some serious ass.And he did, drilling a high fastball into the left-center gap to givethe Giants a 5-4 lead, and as he pulled into second base he imploredthe ape-nuts crowd to go full-throat gorilla, lifting them upfiguratively if not nearly literally with both arms, up and down once,twice, three times with feeling.And up the crowd went. And went. And the Giants giddy dugout of grown men went with them.Just a phenomenal moment. For Sandoval, for Giants players, for Giants fans.And dont think there werent some wide-eyes folks from Philly in thispress box shaking their heads in awe, trying their best to conceal thatyes, it was a pretty phenomenal moment -- at least to witness -- forthem, too.

UPDATED: 7:10 p.m.

SANFRANCISCO -- Was the result of the Madison Bumgarner-v-Joe Blantonmatchup the same, or the opposite, of what came out of Tim Lincecum v.Roy Halladay?In terms of hype, pretty dissimilar. Lincecum-Halladay is the Policeheadlining in their prime; Bumgarner-Blanton is Oingo Boingo headliningcounty fairs on the way down from the middle of the musical mountain.But unlike Lincecum vs. Halladay, which was nice but not nearly asnuclear as wed been led to believe, Bumgarner-Blanton came pretty closeto living up to the advance billing. Or did they live down to it?Tomayto, tohmahto.In failing, both, to get out of fifth inning, both looked very much like the No. 4 starters they are.

Sharks conclude NHL draft with five more forwards in the system


Sharks conclude NHL draft with five more forwards in the system

CHICAGO – After nabbing a center in the first round on Friday, the Sharks added four more forwards and one defenseman to conclude the second day of the annual NHL Entry Draft on Saturday, held this year at United Center.

The Sharks weren’t explicitly trying to restock their forward cabinet, according to general manager Doug Wilson and scouting director Tim Burke, although the club did make two separate moves in surrendering some later round picks to move up in the fourth round (to take center Scott Reedy) and sixth round (to take left wing Sasha Chmelevski).

First, though, it was defenseman Mario Ferraro in the second round at 49th overall. The offensive defenseman was a player that the Sharks targeted, using the pick they acquired from New Jersey last Friday as part of the trade for Mirco Mueller.

“He’s got a lot of speed, offensive guy, exciting,” Burke said. “Puck-moving type of guy.”

Wilson said: “We’re very pleased with the d-man. He’s a very dynamic, athletic guy, great skater. He was a guy that we moved up a little bit aggressively to get because that round, you could see people going after who they wanted. He is a guy that we identified.”

After moving up from the fifth round to the fourth round last Friday, again because of the Mueller trade, the Sharks jumped up 21 more spots in the fourth round by obtaining the Rangers pick at 102nd overall for the 123rd and 174th selections.

Center Scott Reedy is a player that Burke has high hopes for, projecting the Minnesota native as a “second line right winger [with] high-end potential.” Burke pointed out that Reedy, who is friends with first round pick Josh Norris, occasionally played on the same line with Norris for each of the last two seasons with the U.S. Under-18 team.

“He’s a big, strong forward that can play both positions (center and right wing),” Burke said.

Right wing Jacob McGrew, an Orange, CA native, went to the Sharks in the fifth round despite missing all of his first season in junior with a lower body injury suffered in training camp with Spokane (WHL).

“We knew about him before he went up there,” Burke said. “He’s a California kid. … If he was healthy he probably would have gone earlier.”

The Sharks again moved up to snag Huntington Beach native and center Chmelevski at 185 overall, and made their sixth and final pick in the 212th position by taking left wing Ivan Chekhovich in the seventh round. Both players look to have some offensive skill, based on their numbers and Youtube highlights.

Burke was surprised that both players were around so late.

“I thought they had pretty good years and they kind of slipped in the draft,” he said. “We weighed that versus some other more project-type guys, and we thought they had more offense and finish to their game. They just kept sliding, so we took a chance on them.”

Wilson said: “We moved up for the guys we wanted, and then there were some skilled guys at the end that we were surprised were still there. … We’ll go back and take a look how it all went, but we feel, I think, really good about where we ended up with this.”

Two former A's players designated for assignment by AL East teams

Two former A's players designated for assignment by AL East teams

Friday night was a bad night for a couple of former A's players.

After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against the Rangers, first baseman Chris Carter was designated for assignment by the Yankees.

New York called up first base prospect Tyler Austin.

In 57 games with the Yankees, Carter his eight homers and drove in 23 runs, but he his just .204 with 70 strikeouts.

Derek Norris, an All-Star with the A's in 2014, was designated for assignment by the Rays after they activated offseason acquisition Wilson Ramos from the 60-day DL.

Norris clubbed nine homers and drove in 24 runs, but hit .201 in 53 games with the Tampa Bay.