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Urban: Without pressure, Giants are flourishing

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Urban: Without pressure, Giants are flourishing

Sept. 16, 2011

URBAN ARCHIVE
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Mychael Urban
CSNBayArea.com

Pretty amazing what the absence of pressure can do for a team, isn't it?The Giants made it six wins in a row Friday night with another victory in Colorado, and it might have been the most stress-free triumph of the season.After four taut frames, Brandon Belt broke things up with a two-run homer that surely left him wondering what life might be like playing 81 games a year at altitude, and Madison Bumgarner pretty much took it from there.The rest of the Giants' offense followed Belt's lead, piling on as any wise Coors Field foe knows is necessary, and Bumgarner continued to confound. How a kid that young, with that heavy a workload over the past two seasons, can keep getting better and stronger as the season wears on is simply mind-boggling.It all added up to a win that, coupled with the Braves' loss, trimmed San Francisco's deficit in the National League wild-card race to five games with 11 games to play.
RECAP: Bumgarner, Stewart propel Giants past Rockies 9-1
Insurmountable? No. Baseball's a crazy game.Daunting? Totally. It'll take a fairly epic collapse by Atlanta, a similarly spectacular slide by St. Louis, and eight or nine more wins by the Giants for any of this to mean anything of consequence.But who cares at this point? It's been a week or so since most realistic fans have come to grips with the defending champions going home before October opens, and what's happening right now sure beats the heck out of watching a series of 2-1, or 3-2, or 1-0 reminders of what went wrong -- even if those scores were in San Francisco's favor.The absence of pressure brings home runs off the bat of Chris Stewart. It brings Brandon Crawford in the starting lineup. It brings Barry Zito out of the bullpen for the ninth inning, of all things, and if that's not a strange sight to you, spare us the details of your night life. We don't want to know.Playoffs? Stop it. Not gonna happen.That doesn't mean, however, that you can't savor every last second of the 2011 season. Your boys are the champions of the world for 11 more games -- heck, they're the champs until somebody dogpiles in the middle of a diamond somewhere late next month -- and they're winning games again. It could be a heck of a lot worse. You've seen it a lot worse. So just sit back and enjoy the release of pressure while you can.

Giants lineup: After 10 runs vs Phillies, Bochy sticks with his guys

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Giants lineup: After 10 runs vs Phillies, Bochy sticks with his guys

The Giants scored early and often Friday night, giving Bruce Bochy no reason to switch anything up Saturday in San Francisco.

Philadelphia Phillies (43-77)

1. Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
2. Freddy Galvis (S) SS
3. Nick Williams (L) CF
4. Rhys Hoskins (R) LF
5. Maikel Franco (R) 3B
6. Jorge Alfaro (R) 1B
7. Cameron Rupp (R) C
8. Cameron Perkins (R) RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff (R) P

San Francisco Giants (50-74)

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Hunter Pence (R) RF
3. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
6. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
7. Ryder Jones (L) 1B
8. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
9. Ty Blach (R) P

Giants outfielder, UVA alum reacts to Charlottesville: 'Shocking and absurd'

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Giants outfielder, UVA alum reacts to Charlottesville: 'Shocking and absurd'

While it has been a week since white supremacists marched on the University of Virginia campus and clashed with protestors in Charlottesville, Va., Giants outfielder Jarrett Parker still cannot believe what happened. 

Parker, who played college baseball at UVA from 2008-2010, spoke on the events Saturday before the Giants' game in San Francisco. 

"It was a huge shock for me," Parker said to the San Francisco Chronicle. "I just think in this day and age it's ridiculous that there's still stuff like this going on." 

While seeing such racial injustices displayed in 2017 shocked Parker, he was just as appalled at where the events took place.

When asked if he believed Charlottesville was a welcoming community, Parker said, "Oh, goodness. Of course. The whole thing is pretty shocking and absurd to me.

"I don't think Charlottesville can be in any way described as a place where that's acceptable or goes on in any way. I still have a (former Virginia) teammate who lives there, and my college coaches. I'm sure they're just as shocked as anybody."

Parker, 28, is in his third season with the Giants. Through 23 games this year, he is batting .267 with one home run and eight doubles.