Urban: World Series Live Blog, Game 4

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Urban: World Series Live Blog, Game 4

Oct. 31, 2010
URBAN ARCHIVEGIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO
UPDATED: 7:32 P.M.Mychael UrbanCSNBayArea.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The question regarding Madison Bumgarner going into Sunday night: Is he rested or rusty?He hadnt started since Game 4 of the NLCS, working only two innings out of the bullpen in the interim, and that was a week ago Sunday.The answer now is pretty clear. Rusty, the kid is not.Hes been dominant, holding the Rangers hitless until the fourth, and the second hit didnt come until the sixth, which he escaped by rolling a double play.Hes been in and around the strike zone all night, despite working with an umpire who seems to be using a thimble as his inspiration, and through six innings hes at just 73 pitches.So heres another question: Where would the Giants be without this 21-year-old who looks like he barely has a pulse out on the mound?They wouldnt be here, thats for sure.
UPDATED: 6:34 P.M. When Freddy Sanchez grounded out with Andres Torres at second after a leadoff double, Giants fans had to be thinking Not again!?Rangers righty Tommy Hunter has been all over the place tonight, but the Giants let him off the hook in the first inning, and Josh Hamiltons diving catch saved Hunter in the second. Aubrey Huff wasnt having it. Huff, the DH tonight, had the best year of his career in 2008 with Baltimore -- mostly as a DH. He must like it, because he just hit his first homer of the postseason.If the Giants go on to win this game, thats going to go down as one of the biggest homers in franchise history. Right up there with Juan Uribes Game 6 blast in the NLCS. Hunter isnt long for this game, and it was imperative the Giants got to him before he left.Huff, as hes so often done this year, handled it -- and picked up Freddy Sanchez in the process.UPDATED: 4 P.M.Bruce Bochys postseason Midas Touch is getting a stiff test in Game 4 of the World Series. Pat Burrell and Pablo Sandoval are out, Cody Ross moves from right field to left, Nate Schierholtz takes over in right, Aubrey Huff moves to DH and Travis Ishikawa takes over at first base. Thats not tweaking the lineup. Thats gutting it, stuffing it and sewing it back up.And it all makes sense.Burrell absolutely had to go, and Sandoval blew his shot at keeping the DH spot for another day with an awful Game 3. The Rangers are starting a right-hander, Tommy Hunter, so loading up on lefties -- Huff, Schierholtz, Ishikawa and switch-hitting Andres Torres -- is a no-brainer. So is playing as strong a defensive hand as possible, and thats what you get with Schierholtz and Ishikawa in the game from the start. The Rangers offense instantly improved upon arrival back home, where the DH is in play, and the Giants defense instantly improved when Bochy posted his lineup card for Sunday.A solid plan all the way around. Solid gold, though? Play ball

Durant: Scoring with Warriors 'not much of a grind' compared to Thunder years

Durant: Scoring with Warriors 'not much of a grind' compared to Thunder years

Over 62 regular season games this season, Kevin Durant averaged 25.1 points while shooting just under 54 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from deep.

In 72 games with the Thunder in 2015-16, Durant averaged 28.2 points per game and shot 50.5 percent from the field and just under 39 percent from 3-point territory.

Durant recently sat down with The Vertical's Michael Lee, who asked him the following question:

Lee: "I know we talked earlier and you said this move wasn’t about a ring chase, it was more about how you want to play basketball for your career. How do you feel it has played out for your game, in terms of maybe shots coming easier? Because it seems like you’re getting your points, but it’s not as much of a grind. Am I right in saying that?"

Durant: "Uh, yeah. Obviously, when you’ve got a better, when you’ve got a deeper team, you’ve got guys that can handle the ball, you’ve got shooters, you’ve got guys that can finish at the rim, it just opens it up for everybody. I think we just work well together.

"I scored a lot of points before I came here. I did a lot. This is not the first time I shot 50 percent from the field. It’s not the first year I averaged 25 points a game. And I’m not doing it because I’m here with these guys. I’ve done it before.

"It’s just the fact that when I get my shots – and it’s not as much as I got before – but I’m in position to be efficient. I may get in transition a lot more than I did before. I may get it in space more, so I’m allowed to catch and make a decision whether I want to shoot or drive. Simple stuff like that, that’s the difference.

"But I had some great years before I got here. It’s just a different way I’m getting my points now. It’s not much of a grind. But it’s still a challenge."

Last year, 38 percent of Durant's shots came after zero dribbles, 26.9 percent were "open," 9.6 percent were "wide open," his usage rate was 30.5 percent and he averaged 5.1 transition points per game.

This year, 46.1 percent of his shots came after zero dribbles, 27 percent were considered "open," 10.9 percent were "wide open," his usage rate was 27.6 percent and he averaged 6.5 transition points per game.

He was a quick learner.

"We’ve got smart players. My IQ has grown since I’ve gotten to the league and I realize how important all the moving parts are for the team," Durant explained. "It was an adjustment as far as me being a new guy and having a certain way of playing, talking about the team and adding me in there.

"I’m just figuring how to move without the ball, play in space. But for the most part, it wasn’t that difficult as far as the basketball side, it was just the small details that had to get done."

Bills sign two former 49ers

Bills sign two former 49ers

The Buffalo Bills have signed two 49ers free agents within the past two days.

After signing wide receiver Rod Streater on Wednesday, the Bills announced the signing of linebacker Gerald Hodges on Thursday.

The 49ers acquired Hodges in a 2015 trade with the Minnesota Vikings for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round draft pick. Hodges started 12 games last season and ranked second on the team with 92 tackles.

Hodges left the 49ers shorthanded for a late-season game against the Atlanta Falcons when he violated team rules. Then-coach Chip Kelly did not disclose the nature of Hodges infraction. Hodges offered no explanation or apology.

The 49ers entered the game against the high-powered Falcons with just two healthy inside linebackers due to Hodges’ deactivation. Starter Nick Bellore sustained an elbow injury on the third play of the game, and the 49ers were forced to use safeties Antoine Bethea and Vinnie Sunseri, and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks at various points of the game.

The 49ers showed no interest in re-signing Hodges as a free agent.

Streater, a five-year NFL veteran, saw action in all 16 games last season after being acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in September. He caught 18 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.