Wounded Giants hand ball to Lincecum vs. Brewers

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Wounded Giants hand ball to Lincecum vs. Brewers

May 27, 2011

GIANTS (27-22) vs.
MILWAUKEE (27-23)

Coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

(AP) -- Shaun Marcum has been the ace on a Milwaukee Brewers team that's recorded three straight sweeps at Miller Park while putting together the best home record in the major leagues.The San Francisco Giants may have the answer for that in Tim Lincecum.Coming off a dominant effort, Lincecum will take the mound for the Giants against Marcum, who seeks his NL-leading seventh win in the opener of a three-game set Friday night.
Lincecum (4-4, 2.06 ERA) is coming off a game manager Bruce Bochy said "has got to be right up there with his best performance." The right-hander pitched a three-hitter and struck out six in a 3-0 win over Oakland on Saturday.
REWIND: Lincecum magnificent, Giants blank A's
Lincecum threw 133 pitches, the second-highest total of his career, but didn't seem fazed."I think it just goes back to having good rhythm throughout the game. Not expending yourself too much to allow yourself, if you get into a jam, to take it to another level," he said.The two-time NL CY Young Award winner has a 60-31 career record, but among NL foes, Lincecum has losing marks only against Washington and Milwaukee. He's 2-3 with a 4.62 ERA in seven starts versus the Brewers, with both wins coming in his last two visits to Wisconsin as he held Milwaukee to one run and eight hits with 18 strikeouts in 15 innings.
Related: Tim Lincecum 2011 game logs
Lincecum is 2-1 with a 0.91 ERA in four starts this month, and he now gets to face a Brewers team that has won six in a row overall."It's going to be a big challenge," Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder said. "They're a great team, but we've been playing good. Hopefully we can come out on top."Fielder is 4 for 14 with five strikeouts and left fielder Ryan Braun is 6 for 18 with two homers against Lincecum.Following sweeps of Pittsburgh and Colorado at home, Milwaukee took its third straight from the Nationals with a 6-4 win Wednesday and moved to 19-6 on its own field. The Brewers are one short of the franchise record for the longest home winning streak set July 8-29, 1979.
RELATED: Greinke homers, Ks 10 in Brewers win
"I felt all along our team would go on a roll somewhere," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I didn't know where it would be or when it would be."Roenicke will look to Marcum (6-1, 2.37) to keep the roll going. The right-hander hasn't lost in nine games since his season debut and has surrendered one run or fewer six times.He gave up a run, four hits and had a season high-tying eight strikeouts in eight innings of a 3-2 win against the Rockies on Saturday.In his only other start against the Giants, Marcum didn't receive a decision after allowing two runs and five walks in five innings for Toronto in a 9-6 loss June 20.One player Marcum won't face this time is Buster Posey. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year is likely lost for the season after breaking his left leg in a home plate collision Wednesday in a loss to Florida.Minus Posey on Thursday, the Giants (27-22) dropped their third straight, 1-0 to the Marlins. Eli Whiteside was 0 for 2 as Posey's replacement."That's our cleanup hitter and one of the best hitters in baseball. I'll do my best and play my game, but I'm not going to try to be Buster Posey," Whiteside said.San Francisco swept a four-game set at Milwaukee in July and has taken seven of the last eight meetings there.

San Jose Sharks fans may have just witnessed the end of an era

San Jose Sharks fans may have just witnessed the end of an era

Melodrama demands that San Jose’s exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs be portrayed as the very likely end of the Joe Thornton/Patrick Marleau Era.

It probably won’t work that way, and probably shouldn't as will be explained further down your reading, but when you get shoved out of the postseason in your own building, melancholy is the order of the day. Even if the melancholy isn’t for any player in particular, but for an entire era.

Nobody will blame Saturday’s 3-1 loss in Game 6 of the Western Conference quarterfinal on bad luck (although Joe Pavelski going crossbar/post on the final power play of their season was close enough to it), or unjust officiating, or even lousy ice (though that was a fairly clear by-product for those who like their hockey a little less sticky). Edmonton took advantage of two critical Sharks errors 56 seconds apart in the second period, Oiler goaltender Cam Talbot cheated the gods multiple times when the Sharks weren’t vomiting up chances on their own, and young legs joined up with growing know-how to make this a just outcome.

But for Thornton and Marleau, a quick round of 30-on-1 interviews asking them if they thought their days in Finville Heights had finally come to an end were their mutual introduction to yet another unfulfilling offseason.

And a team whose core is among the league’s oldest was just exposed for that very flaw by a team that, in head coach Todd McLellan’s words, “Grew up, learned how to get into the playoffs, how to get a lead, how to play with it, and how to deal with a desperate team at the end of a game. Now we’ll see what they have to learn next.”

That learning will comes against the Anaheim Ducks, who are 15-0-3 in their last 18 games, including four straight against the Calgary Flames.

As for the rest of it, Edmonton earned its advancement without a big series, or even a single big game, from Connor McDavid. Rather, their difference makers were Talbot, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (whose work with Jordan Eberle and Milan Lucic against the Marleau-Thornton-Pavelski line was the defining matchup) Leon Draisaitl (after a rocky start), Oskar Klefbom (their best defenseman), Zack Kassian (who made the most of his 15 minutes of fame), and Drake Caggiula (whose promotion to the McDavid line at the expense of Patrick Maroon helped wake up Draisaitl).

Plus, McLellan finally got to deliver a rebuttal for his firing by the Sharks two years ago. He didn’t, of course, at least not where anyone could hear it, but the exploding fumigant of the 2015 season never sat right with him as the one who paid the full retail price. Now, with this result, he can let the NHL’s Stanley Cup media guide do the talking for him.

That, and having the team of the future, while San Jose is trying to sort out its past. This is a closing window, one which stayed open a very long time and actually pried itself back open a year ago for the run that took them to the Cup final, but it is now clear that they play at a pace the modern game has outrun. Thornton is still hugely important (he remained an impact player despite the leg injury that cost him Games 1 and 2), and there are no clear young replacements for the central group.

This is why all the melodramatic speculations about Thornton and Marleau in particular and perhaps the entire era ignore one central truth – there are not nearly enough replacements for a reboot, or even a course correction. They may be stuck as what they are – a group whose veterans are still their best players, playing a game that younger and faster players are likely to do better. The Pacific Division, being easily the thinnest of the four, may allow one more year of status quo, but while the day of reckoning has not yet arrived, the method is now clear.

And Edmonton, young, impetuous, sprightly and McLellanized Edmonton, has been the instrument of San Jose’s education.

Steph Curry keeps game ball for Steve Kerr after he misses Game 3

Steph Curry keeps game ball for Steve Kerr after he misses Game 3

While head coach Steve Kerr was unable to make Saturday's Game 3 due to an illness, the Warriors went out and took a 3-0 series lead over the Blazers. 

After the game, Steph Curry dedicated the win to Kerr by keeping the game ball for him. 

"Our coach is going through a lot right now physically and he told us this morning this is a situation where we need to rally and go out and win a game for him, but we felt like that," Curry said after the Warriors' 119-113 win. "The way that game had gone on we had to fight and do it for him. 

"The way that he said it was we had to win one for The Gipper, so shout out to coach Kerr." 

Curry led the Warriors with 34 points in Saturday's win.