Bay Area Buzz 10/15: Giants Win Game 3, Patrick Willis, Quakes New Head Coach

Bay Area Topics

Giants Win Game 3

Travis Ishikawa hit a bases-loaded double in the bottom of the first inning, but it was Gregor Blanco’s bunt in the bottom of the tenth inning, which propelled the San Francisco Giants to a two-games-to-one lead, over the St. Louis Cardinals, in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series. In fielding Blanco’s bunt, Cardinals pitcher Randy Choate threw the ball wildly, and Brandon Crawford, running on the play, jogged home with the final run of the 5-4 victory.

The ending to Game Three was every bit as climactic as Game Two in St. Louis, when the Cards hit three solo home runs, the third one in the bottom of the ninth inning, to win by an identical 5-4 score. In Tuesday’s game, leading off the bottom of the tenth, Brandon Crawford drew a full-count walk, and Juan Perez singled sharply into left field, to put runners on first and second with no one out.

After a meeting on the mound to discuss strategy, the Cards pitched to Gregor Blanco, who fouled off his first bunt attempt, before putting one down to the right side of Choate, who came off the bag, and had an easy put-out at first. Just as Madison Bumgarner did in Game Three of the National League Division Series, against the Washington Nationals, Choate fired a wild throw to the inside of the first base bag, that Matt Adams never had a prayer catching. Crawford’s run was not as loud as a home run, but it won an NLCS game for the Giants.

Mark O’Neill, Around the Foghorn

Patrick Willis

Linebacker Patrick Willis’ injury has been diagnosed as a sprained toe, according to ProFootballTalk, and he is not expected to play in Sunday night’s game against the Broncos in Denver.

Willis will be evaluated by the same specialist who has been treating Bengals receiver A.J. Green’s toe injury, PFT reported. The 49ers were off Tuesday and did not provide an official update on Willis’ status.

If Willis has turf toe, he could be sidelined for several weeks. Cornerback Tramaine Brock sustained the injury in the season opener and has missed the past five games.

Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle

Quakes New Head Coach

According to the Houston Chronicle, Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear is stepping down and heading to coach the SJ Earthquakes at season’s end. Earlier on Tuesday, it was announced Chris Canetti would assume GM duties until a new technical director is found. This caused many to speculate further that Kinnear was on the way out.

For Kinnear he will be returning to the SJ Earthquakes. He served as assistant coach under Frank Yallop from 2001-03 and grew up in the Fremont, California area. His wife still has immediate family near San Jose as well.

With this in mind, the move makes sense for Kinnear even though he has one year remaining on his contract. The Earthquakes could use a proven winner as their head coach after another disappointing year. Kinnear became the Houston head coach in 2006 after MLS moved the previous San Jose franchise to Houston after the 2005 season. Since then, Kinnear won the 2006 and 2007 MLS Cups as head coach and failed only to reach the playoffs in 2010 and 2014.

Phil Naegely, Playing for 90