Bay Area Topics
Giants Win the NLCS
Bobby Thomson and Travis Ishikawa … any relation?
Well, here’s one: THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!
A team that displayed zero power four games into this National League Championship Series busted out of the joint in the late innings of Game 5, and dare we suggest it’s never been louder here at this little intersection of Third and King.
Michael Morse made an exuberant tour of the bases after his pinch home run in the eighth tied it, and then Ishikawa sent the Giants to their third World Series in five years with a three-run shot into the right field arcade in the ninth.
Ishikawa lifted both arms in triumph from the moment he made contact against last year’s NLCS MVP, Michael Wacha, who was making his first appearance of the series.
And just like that, born on the backs of Morse, whose last homer came in a rehab game at Papago Park a week ago, and Ishikawa, a minor league free agent who considered retiring in April, the Giants celebrated a 6-3 victory to clinch the NLCS over the St. Louis Cardinals in five games.
The San Francisco 49ers take on the Denver Broncos this Sunday, and it promises to be a humongous mountain to climb for the 4-2 49ers.
The team is coming off a short week, thanks to their Monday night affair against the St. Louis Rams. They have to travel to Sports Authority Field rather than taking on the Broncos at home. There, they will meet the 4-1 Broncos, who have been as good as any team in the NFL this season—their only loss was a nail-biter of an overtime loss to the Seahawks in Seattle. They are currently my pick to win the Super Bowl this year.
It Looks like Patrick Willis will miss the game with an injured toe.
Furthermore, the 49ers are the walking wounded. Not only will NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith miss the game, as expected but the 49ers defense will also practically be a B-team. Tramaine Brock, Patrick Willis and Jimmie Ward are all expected to miss the Denver game with a variety of injuries. On offense, Mike Iupati is still going through the NFL’s concussion protocol, and Anthony Davis’ status remains in question.
Furthermore, the crowd should be pumped for the chance to see Peyton Manning break Brett Favre’s all-time touchdown record. Manning needs three touchdown passes to move into sole possession of first place, so it’s a question of when, rather than if, he’ll break the record.
Manning has thrown three or more touchdowns in 88 of his 245 starts, while the 49ers have allowed three or more passing touchdowns in only five of their 54 games under Jim Harbaugh.
Add it all together and you have the toughest matchup for the 49ers this season—even tougher than the road trip to Seattle later in the year. At least for that game, they’ll be coming in on full rest with a healthier roster. This will be their toughest test in the regular season.
347 days have passed since Oakland Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden took to the turf and lined up across from a wide out.
After two injuries, nearly a year of waiting, and high expectations from the fan base, Hayden is eligible to practice and eager to get back to playing football:
“I felt like I was 100 percent, like, three weeks ago, running and cutting and stuff. I just had to wait my time and I waited it, and now it’s my time.”
The team has yet to make a decision on when Hayden will be activated for game action, and he certainly has some rust to shake off. On that, Sparano says it’s all about small victories:
“Small successes every day on the practice field. Today was a small success. He went out there and he got a chance to run around a little bit and be with his teammates and do some of that, so that’s an important first step. Then I think there’s some more small successes coming up where maybe his workload increases a little bit, and then whenever we decide, hopefully as we get to that point, that he gets involved in a ball game and what his role is in that game at that time.”