Tag Archive | "Atlanta Braves"

MLB playoff schedule, National League


MLB Playoff schedule.

National League Division Series  (American League schedule here)

The San Francisco Giants and the Atlanta Braves were able to clinch a playoff spot on the final day of the season and the two teams will meet in a playoff series beginning on Thursday this week. The entire schedule for both NL opening round series is below.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS vs. ATLANTA BRAVES

Game 1: ATL @ SF Thursday, October 7 9:37 p.m.

Game 2: ATL @ SF Friday, October 8 9:37 p.m.

Game 3: SF @ ATL Sunday, October 10 TBD

Game 4*: SF @ ATL Monday, October 11 TBD

Game 5*: ATL @ SF Wednesday, October 13 TBD

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES vs. CINCINNATI REDS

Game 1: CIN @ PHI Wednesday, October 6 5:07 p.m.

Game 2: CIN @ PHI Friday, October 8 6:07 p.m.

Game 3: PHI @ CIN Sunday, October 10 TBD

Game 4*: PHI @ CIN Monday, October 11 TBD

Game 5*: CIN @ PHI Wednesday, October 13 TBD

*If necessary

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Braves beat Cubs in final at bat


The Atlanta Brave loaded the bases on walks against Chicago Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol in the top of the ninth inning setting up a base-clearing triple by Rick Ankiel. When it was all said and done, Marmol blew the save and the much deserved win for starter Ryan Dempster and the Cubs lost 5-3 at Wrigley Field.

This was the MLB leading 22nd time the Braves have pulled off a win during their last at bat.

It was a bit of a strange day all around.

When ex-Cub and newest Brave Derrek Lee arrived at the ballpark this morning, he took his car to the player’s lot. After attempting to park, he was told he couldn’t park there because he was no longer with the Cubs. Lee looked around a bit confused until he was told it was just a joke.

Then Lee had to make his way to the visitor’s locker room. The last time he was in that locker room was when he was with the Florida Marlins, the year they won the World Series.

Lee admitted to reporters that it was a bit strange walking past the home clubhouse, seeing all the people he normally saw and going into the visitor’s dugout. But he also said that the visitor’s dugout held many good memories for him when the Marlins clinched the title at Wrigley to go to the World Series.

Concerning the other dugout, it must have been strange for Dempster to face Lee for the first time in his career. Lee and Dempster played together for the Marlins and then the Cubs, spending almost the past 11 years in the same uniforms as teammates. The duo came up through the Marlins system together and after being teammates in Florida through the first half of the 2002 season, both joined the Cubs in 2004.

It was a strange day for the fans, as well. As Lee approached the plate for his first at bat as a Braves player, he was greeted with a Standing Ovation by the Cubbie faithful who showed Lee how much they appreciated what he had done in Chicago.

Lee responded by waving his helmet to acknowledge the crowd, then it was back to baseball business. He flew out to left on Dempster’s first pitch to him.

Attendance was announced at more than 39,000 and after the Cubs took a lead into the ninth inning and Marmol blew the game, the fans started booing and walking out. It was just another day at the ballpark.

Used with permission of the author.

Miriam Romain is a Chicago-based sportswriter and national columnist covering the Chicago Cubs for Examiner.com. The Windy City native is also the Associate Editor for SBNation Chicago and has been published in the Maple Street Press Cubs annuals. In her free time, Romain is working on a book titled “Summers At Wrigley With My Dad.”

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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“Bark in the Park” in MLB


Bark in the Park will make its debut at Dodger Stadium and for those of you who have not heard of it, it has nothing to do with the performance of the players on the field.

In conjunction with their sponsor Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc. the Los Angeles Dodgers are selling seats for pet owners and their dogs. Canines will gallop through the turnstiles after their owners have plunked down an additional $25.00 for a pet ticket with a portion of the proceeds going to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles branch.

The Dodgers’ Bark in the Park Day on August 21, 2010 is one of three for the month of August in the MLB. The Dodgers are joined by the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants who have theirs scheduled for August 29, 2010. The Cincinnati Reds are closing out the event with the final one of the season scheduled for September 14.

In L.A. there will be a rally where ticket holders will be invited to join in the Pup Parade. All pets and owners will be given the opportunity to stroll along the warning track inside the stadium prior to game time.

Some rules for attendees: All dog owners must bring a copy of a current vaccination documents from a licensed veterinarian. Pet must wear an identification tag to gain entrance to Dodger Stadium. Each dog must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older. Attendees must bring a signed copy of the Bark in the Park release waiver to gain admittance to the ballpark.

If any of the fans situated in the designated Right Field Pavilion where the animals will sit aren’t happy about sharing the space with dogs and their owners, they will be moved to another section.

Concerned about stepping in a doggie accident?

These stadiums have made plans for that as well. Natural Balance has experience in staging these events and will provide clean-up service.

For more information on the Dodgers’ event, to view a copy of the release waiver and check out details on “Bark in the Park,” check out the Dodgers website, here.

Fans of the Chicago White Sox, Florida Marlins, Houston Astros, NY Mets and Oakland A’s will have to wait for next season since those event dates have passed but details for the other remaining dates throughout the league can be found below.

Atlanta Braves – Bark in the Park: August 29 vs. Florida

San Francisco Giants – Dog Days of Summer: August 29 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Cincinnati Reds – Bark in the Park: September 14 vs. the Diamondbacks

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Braves to retire Tom Glavine No. 47


On Friday, August 6th, the Atlanta Braves will retire number 47, the number that Tom Glavine wore while pitching the majority of his career in Atlanta.

Drafted in the second round back in 1984, Tom Glavine passed up a chance at an NHL career to pitch for the Atlanta Braves after he was a 4th round pick in the NHL draft.

After pitching well in AAA for the majority of the 1987 season, Glavine was called up to Atlanta and made his MLB debut on August 17th. In his first start, he allowed six runs in just 3.2 innings. Overall, his 1987 major league campaign was forgettable.

In 1988 it was better ERA-wise but Glavine led the league in losses. By 1989, Glavine started to figure things out, going 14-8 with a 3.68 ERA. After a solid but unspectacular 1990 season, Glavine and the Braves started creating their legacy in 1991.

The 1991 edition of the Atlanta Braves went worst to first, in large part thanks to Tom Glavine. With a league leading 20 wins and a sparkling 2.55 ERA, Glavine won his first Cy Young award and led the league in ERA+. Although the Braves eventually lost in the World Series, their dynasty had started.

Glavine picked up where he left off in 1992, winning 20 games for the second year in a row, and finishing second in Cy Young voting.

The Braves dynasty started a new era in 1993. The Braves signed free agent Greg Maddux, who, along with Glavine and John Smoltz, became the “Big Three” in Atlanta. Although Maddux won the 1993 Cy Young, Glavine led the team in wins with 22.

To say the least, 1995 was a special year for Glavine and the Braves. After the strike-shortened 1994 season, the Braves won the NL East for the third straight year, and eventually made it back to the World Series.

With the Braves leading the series 3-2, Glavine got the ball in game six. Glavine was at his finest, shutting down the Cleveland lineup for eight innings. Although the Braves managed to push just one run across, Glavine made it stand up. He allowed just one hit while striking out before giving way to Mark Wohlers.

When Wohlers recorded the final out, the Braves were World Series Champions and Glavine was named Series MVP.  Although Glavine went on to pitch seven more seasons for the Braves before departing to the Mets, the World Series win was his signature moment with the Braves.

In 2007, Glavine won his 300th game while with the Mets, essentially guaranteeing himself a spot in Cooperstown.

Glavine returned to Atlanta for the 2008 and 2009 season, but was a shade of his former self, and retired from baseball after the Braves released him.

Glavine finished his career with 305 wins and a 3.54 ERA. He won 20 or more games five different times. Glavine appeared on 10 All-Star teams, won two Cy Young Awards and four Silver Sluggers.

But Glavine’s legacy to the Braves goes deeper than the jaw-dropping numbers. Glavine was a member of possibly the greatest pitching three-some of all time. He, along with Maddux and Smoltz defined a Braves team that won an unprecedented 14 consecutive division titles.

Just about every Braves home game, it seems that the television cameras seem to find the picture of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz. To say the least, the three are all Atlanta icons. Three aces on one team, a feat which may never again be accomplished.

Glavine even wrote a book about his time with the Braves and their World Series win: None but the Braves: A Pitcher, A Team, A Champion.

But Glavine has something that neither Smoltz nor Maddux have: a World Series MVP. Glavine’s masterpiece was probably the most memorable game that the Braves have played during their time in Atlanta.

Glavine was part of an iconic pitching staff, and will be inducted into the Braves Hall-of-Fame on Friday. Without a doubt, this will just be practice for Glavine’s eventual call to Cooperstown.

Used with permission of the author.

 Along with contributing to Sports Climax, Brett Kettyle is the Atlanta Braves Community Leader on Bleacher Report and maintains a Braves column for MTR Media. Follow Brett on Twitter.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Strasburg versus J-Hey pushed after injury


In what was supposed to be the first meeting between two Major League Baseball rookie phenoms.

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg reached another first milestone as he was scratched from what was supposed to be his first time facing Atlanta Braves rookie sensation Jason Heyward. 

Though Strasburg faced the Braves earlier in the season, it was during the time that J-Hey was sidelined with an injured thumb.  Once again, this battle between these two surging stars will have to wait.

Despite injuries and scratched starts, Heyward and Strasburg are easily two of the biggest rookie stars in MLB and, barring season-ending injuries, seem among the most likely candidates to claim the National League Rookie of the Year. 

As the season began, Heyward was widely considered the No. 1 MLB prospect with Strasburg sitting in the No. 2 position.  With expectations and pressure high, Heyward delivered in his first major-league at bat with a three run home run off of Carlos Zambrano on opening day in front of a delighted Turner Field crowd.  In the history of the Braves organization, Heyward is the fifth to begin his career with a home run while appearing at the plate for the first time. 

Since then, Heyward has been named the Rookie of the Month in both April and May of this season.  In June, Heyward was placed on the disabled list due to a thumb injury.  Although he was selected to start the All-Star Game he did not play due to the injury. 

Thus far, Heyward boasts a .276 batting average through 349 plate appearances.  With 81 hits on the season, Heyward is currently at 11 home runs and 48 RBI’s. 

Strasburg was hyped like no other prospect in the history of Major League Baseball and was selected first overall in the 2009 draft.  Moments before the deadline to sign with the Nationals, Strasburg set a record with a contract valued at $15.1 million. 

The former San Diego State University star began his MLB career against the Pittsburgh Pirates in front of a sold out Nationals Park on June 8, 2010.  Living up to the hype, Strasburg did not disappoint with 14 strikeouts across seven innings and no walks.  Amazingly, the last seven batters in his rookie start were fanned.  The debut performance set a team record for strikeouts by a starter.

Strasburg currently boasts a 2.32 ERA with a 5-2 record across nine starts.  Thus far on the season, Strasburg has 75 strikeouts and has not had a start where he did not strikeout at least five batters. 

Strasburg was not selected for the All-Star Game as Phillies Coach Charlie Manuel indicated he needed to be “broken in” prior to becoming an All-Star.  In all fairness, the pitchers Manuel selected had played the entire first-half of the MLB season.  Strasburg later acknowledged that he felt “undeserving” of a selection given his amount of starts.

The Nationals have placed a 160-inning limit on Strasburg.  Currently, Strasburg is at 54.1 innings for the season.  Tests that have been conducted on the arm of the rookie phenom show inflammation in the right shoulder but no structural damage has been revealed.  Assuming Strasburg returns to the mound as normal it would appear that the battle between the two rookies might go until the end of the season. 

And with the Braves and Nationals meeting up in three more series before the end of the regular season, we might get to see the Heyward-Strasburg battle after all.

Used with permission of the author.

Cade Caldwell is an Atlanta-based sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Strasburg facing Jason Heyward and Braves


Here’s an Atlanta Braves update and Nats series preview. The Braves are just 3-3 over their past six games now, even though they could easily be 6-0.

Billy Wagner has blown two saves in the past two series and Sunday we were given another example of why Jesse Chavez doesn’t belong in the major leagues.

On the bright side, the Braves did have a big comeback win Saturday and Jason Heyward has been terrific since coming off the DL.

I know it’s been a day since the last loss, but I’m still in a bad mood about it, so instead of discussing things further I will just move onto the upcoming series against the Nationals.

Pitching Matchups: Atlanta Braves @ Washington Nationals

7/27: Tommy Hanson (8-6, 4.12) @ Stephen Strasburg (5-2, 2.32)

7/28: Tim Hudson (10-5, 2.47) @ Livan Hernandez (7-6, 3.12)

7/29: Derek Lowe (10-8, 4.48) @ Craig Stammen (2-4, 5.50)

Series Outlook

It’s safe to say that everyone is looking forward to the first game of this series, as baseball’s top prospect, Jason Heyward (that’s right everyone, he was BA’s top prospect) will take on its’ second ranked prospect (Stephen Strasburg).

Heyward has raked since coming off the DL, hitting .436 with an OPS over 1.000. Strasburg has already lost to Atlanta once this year, but it will be interesting to see how this game plays out, as it is the first time in his pro career that he is facing the same team for a second time.

I think the first game will come down to Tommy Hanson, who has been inconsistent so far in 2010. However, Hanson has been great in the month of July (2.66 ERA) and has pitched well against the Nationals in the past.

Just like last time, I think the Braves will beat the Nationals even with Strasburg on the hill.

To me, the second matchup is almost as interesting as the first. While Strasburg and Hanson both have electric stuff, Hudson and Hernandez are their polar opposites. Neither of them rely on overpowering strikeout pitches, but both have been terrific in 2010.

Overall, I think Hudson is the better pitcher, and he will do his thing, getting the Nats to pound the ball into the ground en route to a Braves win.

The Braves would look to have a favorable matchup in game three, but I just can’t find it in me to pick this team to sweep a series on the road right now. Derek Lowe has been consistently mediocre lately, and I don’t think the Braves will be able to give him another cheap win. 

Used with permission of the author.

 Along with contributing to Sports Climax, Brett Kettyle is the Atlanta Braves Community Leader on Bleacher Report and maintains a Braves column for MTR Media. Follow Brett on Twitter.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Tigers’ rookies Boesch and Jackson tearing it up


Boesch vs. Hanson (Photo: Cindy Ferda / SC)

The 2nd place Detroit Tigers appear to be built for the present and future as their rookie tandem of Brennan Boesch and Austin Jackson continue to tear up the bases like in yesterday’s 10-4 win against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

Most expected the Tigers (40-34) to depend on sluggers Miguel Cabrera (.332, 20HR, 64 RBI), Magglio Ordonez (.319, 10HR, 49RBI) and newly-acquired Johnny Damon to carry the load this season but Boesch and Jackson have contributed an enormous amount at the plate.

During yesterday’s 17-hit attack on starter Tommy Hanson and the Braves pitching staff, Boesch and Jackson’s combined stats included 5 hits, including a two-run, 400-ft. dinger by Boesch, 5 RBI and 4 runs.

After yesterday’s performance in Atlanta, Boesch improved his season’s average to a team-leading .338 while Jackson’s leaped to .307.

Both hitters have enough at bats to qualify for the AL Rookie-of-the-Year voting and are getting their share of attention regarding the award. The tandem sits well above the rookie pack in the American League at No. 1 and No. 2 in batting average with the nearest trailer Tampa Rays Reid Brignac batting .272.

Jackson came to Detroit as the main acquisition in the unpopular trade with the bitter rival New York Yankees that sent fan-favorite Curtis Granderson off to the Big Apple.

If Jackson stays on this kind of pace, it won’t take long for Tigers fans to “forgive” Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski for making the move.

BTW, here’s another stat for all the Dombrowski haters. While Jackson continues to tear it up for Motown’s Tigers, Granderson is hitting a career-low .237 in New York.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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‘Thanks for the 50 Years Bobby Cocks’


In case you missed it, a group of our politicians on Capitol Hill led by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) presented thebobby cox cake Atlanta Braves manager a cake that had these words inscribed:

“Thanks for 50 Great Years Bobby Cocks”

Cox handled the gaffe well and accepted the reception as a nice gesture and thanked the group for recognizing him for his long tenure in the sport, a majority of which he spent in the Braves’ organization.

Senator Isakson’s spokesperson, Sheridan Watson, said that she ordered the cake from the vendor that handles cafeteria services in the Capitol and that Cox’s name was spelled correctly in the e-mail that was sent to the company.

However when the cake arrived, the goof was immediately noticed and the organizers smeared the top of it to hide the screw-up, but not before a few of our fellow quick-drawing media photogs snagged a shot like the one here.

So, ‘My Dear Watson’ how do you suppose this may have occurred?

“”Whether the mistake was accidental or intentional, I don’t know,” said Watson. “The only people who saw it were me, the scheduler and unfortunately some media members who had arrived early and took pictures.”

After this screw-up you have to wonder what these rocket scientists would have delivered to a reception for former players Rusty Kuntz or Dick Butkus.

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More Hotties – Hottest Athlete Wives  Gallery – Sports Climax

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™

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Jimenez tosses first no-hitter in Rockies history


Ubaldo Jimenez was handed the ball in this season’s opener for the Colorado Rockies and after his performance jimenez no hitteragainst the Atlanta Braves last night, it’s clear why.Jimenez no-hit the Braves in a 4-0 victory at Turner Field on a career-high 128-pitch performance. It was the first no-hitter in the history of the Colorado Rockies who’s starting pitching staff had only gotten into the 7th inning in a few previous attempts. 

What was impressive about this performance was the fact the radar gun at Turner was still showing 98 miles per hour in the ninth.

“He wasn’t tired, believe me,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “He could have thrown 150 pitches and he would have been throwing 98.”

The feat was far from over when Jimenez took the mound in the 9th with the heart of the order coming up for the Braves. Fueled by adrenaline, the fast-baller threw smoke and managed to get sluggers Chipper Jones and Brian McCann out then the celebration began.

“That’s an unbelievable feeling, having your teammates enjoying the time with you and just hugging you, admiring everything we did,” Jimenez said. “Not only I did it. It was the whole team. Every single guy was pulling for me. You can see it in their faces.”

One guy who was laying it all out was center fielder Dexter Fowler who made a diving backhanded snag of a line drive late in the game.

Jimenez from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic is the first pitcher to no-hit the Braves since Randy Johnson did the deed while pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 18, 2004. Johnson actually one-upped Jimenez, his was a perfect game.

Jimenez improved his season record to 3-0 and 1.29 ERA.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™

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Lincecum Smokes Braves With 10 Strikeouts in 6-3 Win


SAN FRANCISCO – Ten years to the day the Giants christened AT&T Park, their spanking-new digs on the shores of lincecumMcCovey Cove, with the first regular season game. Sunday, the team reunited 13 members from the 2000 National League West championship team for a day of reflection and commemoration.

After a four hour, nine minute rain delay washed away most of the festivities, the Giants turned their attention to avoiding a full-on replica of that April afternoon a decade ago that was spoiled by a 6-5 loss to the Dodgers.

Thanks to Tim Lincecum’s 10 strike-out performance, some timely two-out hitting, and the first home run of the year for Pablo Sandoval, the Giants didn’t allow history to repeat itself, picking up a satisfying 6-3 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Lincecum survived a first inning hiccup – a mammoth two-run shot off the bat of Braves catcher Brian McCann (2) that made it 2-0 Atlanta. It was also the first homer allowed by Lincecum at AT&T since the Rockies Seth Smith hit on Sept. 23, 2008. But the Giants’ ace settled down, retiring 20 of the next 24 hitters he faced, and nine by way of strikeout.

Lincecum (2-0) departed after 108 pitches and with a 3-2 lead in the seventh. In has last inning of work, he struck out the side, retiring Matt Diaz, Omar Infante and pinch-hitter Brook Conrad in order, marking the 20th time in his young career that he racked up double-digit Ks.

“I was just trying to keep a good rhythm,” said Lincecum about his impressive finish. “When we scored, it was a big deal to come out there and throw up a zero, so whether it was the strikeout I was getting the outs on, or ground balls, I was just trying to get outs, and trying to keep that momentum going that we had.”

Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted that initially he wasn’t totally comfortable about sending Lincecum out there, considering the weather.

“We really debated about whether to play the game, and I have to admit I was probably as nervous as I’ve been with Timmy at the mound when it started sprinkling (in the first inning),” Bochy said. “What a game, terrific game there. Timmy, great job, …The kid’s won two Cy Youngs, so nothing surprises you when he does something out there.

“He made one mistake in the first inning, that fastball got away form him, but he settled down pitched great, in the seventh, he probably had his best inning their with his stuff.”

At first glance, the weather wasn’t the only threatening element of frustration for a crowd of 38,062. Frigid, stiff winds blowing in off the Bay quieted the crowd, and Atlanta starter Kenshin Kawakami did the same by setting down the first 11 Giants he faced.

Finally in the fourth, Sandoval broke through with a two-out triple, and Aubrey Huff singled through a vacated hole at short, as Atlanta was shading the lefty to pull.

The Giants would take the lead in the sixth, with more two-out magic, as Sandoval singled to left, Huff followed with a walk, and they both came around to score on Mark DeRosa’s single to right. Braves right fielder Jason Heyward, fielded the hit cleanly and looked to have a play on Sandoval at the plate. But the rookie’s throw was up the line, hitting Sandoval, and caroming toward the Braves dugout, allowing Huff to score, and DeRosa to end up at third.

“It’s great, obviously, coming back late like we did, that was big,” said Lincecum, who killed time during the delay with a 30 minute nap and some Golden Tee. “Pablo started off every rally we had, it was great to see him have a big day like that. ‘Huffy’ coming up big, DeRosa coming up big in an RBI situation.”

Kawakami (0-1) was the tough-luck loser, despite needing just 65 pitches in six innings against the Giants bats. The Giants would add three runs of insurance in the eighth, two of which came on Sandoval’s titanic blast that pierced through the winds before landing beyond the seats on the arcade in right center.

“Not those two, I’m not sure a hurricane would have held those up,” said Bochy, referring to both Sandoval and McCann’s booming shots.

When asked about his first round-tripper of the year, the Panda didn’t shy away, acknowledging that he likely couldn’t hit a ball much better than he hit this one.

“I don’t think so,” said Sandoval, who was 3-for-4, scored two runs and drove in a pair. “That was the pitch I was looking for. I tried to hit a line drive and got it on the barrel. It was the right spot.”

Not to be completely outdone, Heyward, who introduced himself to Giants fans by going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts Friday, continued his rebound by hitting his second homer in as many days. Heyward took Jeremy Affeldt deep, going the other way to left, making it 6-3. Affeldt would strikeout Diaz to end the game, and pick up his first save of the season, and his first since Sept. 19, 2006.

The last out arrived just in time. As the Giants greeted one another in the center of the diamond, the skies opened up, and instantly the storm was back to full strength.

“It’s been great, opening up like that, wining both series, and coming out on top,” Lincecum said. “But like I said, it’s still really early in the season. We’ve go tot carry this momentum into every series we go in to.”

Re-printed with permission of the author.

Theo is a staff reporter and feature writer for the Marin Independent Journal where he covers local prep and college sports. As an Associate Production Manager for ESPN, he helped produce Sunday Night Baseball among other national ESPN and ABC Sports telecasts. Besides his contributions to Examiner.com, the I.J. and Sports Climax, Theo is the play-by-play voice for Sonoma State University baseball and softball.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™ 

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