Today's scoreboard delayed in respect to coverage of the manhunt in Boston. This blog is also having technical issues which should be fixed soon.

MLB

Milwaukee Brewers 7, San Francisco Giants 2

  • Matt Cain (SF): 0-2, 6 IP, 7 hits, 7 earned runs, 3 home runs
  • Jean Machi (SF): 1.2 IP, 0 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout in debut replacing Jeremy Affeldt as reliever.
  • Brandon Crawford (SF): 3-4 on ABs, 1 home run, extends hit streak to 11 games.
  • Pablo Sandoval (SF): 0-4 on ABs, 10-game hit streak snapped
  • Ryan Braun (MIL): 2-run home run
  • MIL: All seven runs against Cain scored in first 3 innings.

San Diego Padres (5-10) at San Francisco Giants (9-7)
7:00 PM PT - CSN Bay Area

Probable starters: Edinson Volquez (0-3, 11.68 ERA, R) vs Madison Bumgarner (3-0, 1.77 ERA, L)

Oakland Athletics (12-4) at Tampa Bay Rays (5-10)
4:00 PM PT - CSN California

Probable starters: Brett Anderson (1-2, 4.34 ERA, L) vs Alex Cobb (1-1, 1.93 ERA, R)

NHL

San Jose Sharks 6, Minnesota Wild 1

  • Logan Couture (SJ) - 2 goals, 2 assists
  • Niklas Backstrom (MIN) - 5 goals against (has .909 save percentage on season)
Next: Columbus Blue Jackets (21-17-7) at San Jose Sharks (24-13-7)
Sunday, 5:00 PM PT - CSN California
Western Conference Standings
  • 3) Vancouver Canucks - 55 pts
  • 4) Los Angeles Kings - 55 pts
  • 5) San Jose Sharks - 55 pts
  • 6) St. Louis Blues - 52 pts
  • 7) Minnesota Wild - 51 pts
  • 8) Columbus Blue Jackets - 49 pts
  • 9) Dallas Stars - 47 pts
  • 10) Detroit Red Wings - 47 pts

NFL

ARENA FOOTBALL

Spokane Shock (4-0) at San Jose Sabercats (2-1)
7:30 PM PT - AFL All-Access  | Gametracker
Quarterback Comparison:
  • Aaron Garcia (SJ): .614 passing percentage, 845 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, 8 interceptions (leads league)
  • Erik Meyer (SPO): .712 passing percentage, 1279 passing yards (leads league), 32 touchdowns (leads league), 0 interceptions

 

The NFL released the entire 2013 regular season schedule on Thursday night. Here's the regular season schedule for the Oakland Raiders.

There's only one primetime appearance this season, and it comes early against the Denver Broncos in Week 3. They're one of the rare teams that have no games on NFL Network during the regular season, but the criteria of having every team on during Thursday night is extended into the Thanksgiving afternoon games. The Raiders play in Dallas against the Cowboys in a late afternoon tilt on Thanksgiving.

All three of Oakland's final games are against AFC West opponents, along with three of their first six games. The bye week falls on week seven.

Week  Date  Team  Time (PT)  Network 
 1 Sunday, September 8  at Indianapolis Colts  10:00 AM  CBS 
 2 Sunday, September 15  vs Jacksonville Jaguars 1:25  CBS 
 3 Monday, September 23  at Denver Broncos  5:40  ESPN 
 4 Sunday, September 29  vs Washington Redskins  1:25  FOX 
 5 Sunday, October 6  vs San Diego Chargers  1:25  CBS 
 6 Sunday, October 13  at Kansas City Chiefs  10:00 AM  CBS 
 7 BYE       
 8 Sunday, October 27  vs Pittsburgh Steelers  3:05  CBS 
 9 Sunday, November 3  vs Philadelphia Eagles  3:05  FOX 
 10 Sunday, November 10  at New York Giants  10:00 AM  CBS 
 11 Sunday, November 17  at Houston Texans  10:00 AM  CBS 
 12 Sunday, November 24  vs Tennessee Titans  3:05  CBS 
 13 Thursday, November 28
(Thanksgiving)
at Dallas Cowboys  1:30  CBS
 14 Sunday, December 8  at New York Jets  10:00 AM  CBS 
 15 Sunday, December 15  vs Kansas City Chiefs  1:05 CBS 
 16 Sunday, December 22  at San Diego Chargers  1:25 CBS 
 17 Sunday, December 29  vs Denver Broncos  1:25  CBS 

 

Here's the full slate of games for the San Francisco 49ers during the 2013 season. The entire NFL regular season schedule was released on Thursday night, while the four pre-season games were announced earlier this month.

KPIX, San Francisco's CBS affiliate, will show three of the four preseason games with the third game against the Minnesota Vikings being nationally televised on NBC.

The 49ers have five primetime games during the regular season, the max amount of primetime games an NFL team can get per season. Three of the first five games will be at night with two on NBC Sunday Night Football and one on NFL Network Thursday Night Football. The later two will be on ESPN Monday Night Football.

Pre-Season

Week  Date  Team  Time (PT)  Network 
 1 Thursday, August 8  vs Denver Broncos  6:00  KPIX 5 
 2 Friday, August 16  at Kansas City Chiefs  5:00  KPIX 5 
 3 Sunday, August 25  vs Minnesota Vikings  5:00  NBC 
 4 Thursday, August 29  at San Diego Chargers  7:00  KPIX 5 

All games will be replayed on NFL Network and available live and on-demand with NFL Preseason Live.

Regular Season

 Week Date  Team Time (PT) Network 
 1 Sunday, September 8  vs Green Bay Packers  1:25  FOX
 2 Sunday, September 15  at Seattle Seahawks  5:30  NBC 
 3 Sunday, September 22  vs Indianapolis Colts  1:25  CBS 
 4 Thursday, September 26  at St. Louis Rams  5:25  NFL Network 
 5 Sunday, October 6  vs Houston Texans  5:30  NBC 
 6 Sunday, October 13  vs Arizona Cardinals  1:25  FOX 
 7 Sunday, October 20  at Tennessee Titans  1:05  FOX 
 8 Sunday, October 27  vs Jacksonville Jaguars
(at London) 
10:00 AM  FOX 
 9 BYE       
 10 Sunday, November 10  vs Carolina Panthers  1:05  FOX 
 11 Sunday, November 17  at New Orleans Saints  1:25  FOX 
 12 Monday, November 25  at Washington Redskins  5:40  ESPN 
 13 Sunday, December 1 vs St. Louis Rams  1:05  FOX 
 14 Sunday, December 8  vs Seattle Seahawks  1:25  FOX 
 15 Sunday, December 15  at Tampa Bay Buccaneers  10:00 AM  FOX 
 16 Monday, December 23  vs Atlanta Falcons  5:40  ESPN 
 17 Sunday, December 29  at Arizona Cardinals  1:25  FOX 

 

It looks to be a highly offensive series between the 3rd and 6th seeds in the first round of the NBA Western Conference Playoffs. Both the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors rank in the top seven in scoring per game with well over 100 points per game.

Scouting Denver

They may not have a superstar player, but there's a benefit for the Denver Nuggets on having so many talented players - the best offense in the NBA. They're ranked first in points (106.1), fastbreak points (20.1), and points in the paint (58) per game in the league. In general the strongest quarters offensively are during the second (27.7) and fourth (25.9) quarters. To put it simply, they're the best offensive team in the NBA with the least-known players around the nation.

Some faults include being ranked 28th in free throw shooting percentage (.701) and teams on average shoot over 23 3-point attempts against the Nuggets. That bodes as a serious upside for Stephen Curry  and the Warriors who make as many 3-pointers that Denver gives up.

  • Ty Lawson leads team with averages of 16.7 points and 6.9 assists per game.
  • Kenneth Faried averages a team-high 9.2 rebounds per game.

Series Schedule

  • Game 1: at Denver - Sunday, 2:30 PM PT, ESPN
    Announcers - Mark Jones, Doris Burke, Holly Rowe
  • Game 2: at Denver - Tuesday, 7:30 PM PT, TNT
    Announcers - Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Marty Snider
  • Game 3: at Golden State - April 26th, 7:30 PM PT, ESPN2
    Announcers - TBD (also on ESPN Radio)
  • Game 4: at Golden State - April 28th, 6:30 PM PT, TNT
    Announcers - Matt Devlin, Mike Fratello, Marty Snider
  • Game 5-7 (if necessary): April 30th, May 2nd, May 4th (TBD)

It's a near-perfect schedule with a balance between days off and network broadcasts for the first four games. Just one day off between games at both venues, then two days for travel between Denver and  Oakland.

Ideally, if the Warriors are in position to win a game six, they should really try to get that victory. Both trips back to Denver for games five and seven would come off of one day of rest.

 

Three Storylines

  • How healthy is Andrew Bogut? He's missed 42 games this season while recovering from micro-fracture surgery on his ankle. Bogut averages 5.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.71 blocks a game.
  • When will Kenneth Faried come back to play? He played in every game this season until the final two with his ankle injury. He'll be listed as day-to-day but the Nuggets would love to have him, averaging a little over 11 points and rebounds in four games against the Warriors this season.
  • Can Golden State handle Denver's frontcourt? One of the biggest mismatches are points in the paint with the Nuggets holding a 19.7-point advantage per game.

Prediction

Denver Nuggets in 7. It would be a shock if all the games in this series aren't over 100 points, and there's easily a chance that Golden State can take it if they get it to Oakland with a 3-2 lead and capitalize in Oracle Arena. But the assists and points in the paint advantage is the key, and that's more reliable than the 3-point advantage the Warriors have.

Golden State will open up with Denver in the NBA Playoffs beginning this weekend, Oakland gets ready for Tampa Bay after sweeping Houston, and San Francisco will try to salvage a game in the Milwaukee series.

NBA

Golden State Warriors 99, Portland Trail Blazers 88

  • Stephen Curry (GSW): Sets record 272 3-point shots made in a season.
  • Klay Thompson (GSW): 24 points, 5-7 from 3-point range

First-Round Playoff Schedule (this weekend):

SATURDAY

  • Boston Celtics at New York Knicks - 12:00 PM PT, ABC
  • Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets - 2:30 PT, ESPN
  • Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets - 5:00 PT, ESPN
  • Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Clippers - 7:30 PT, ESPN2

SUNDAY

  • Atlanta Hawks at Indiana Pacers - 10:00 AM PT, TNT
  • Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs - 12:30 PM PT, ABC
  • Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat - 4:00 PT, TNT
  • Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder - 6:30 PT, TNT

MLB

Milwaukee Brewers 4, San Francisco Giants 3

  • Yuniesky Betancourt (MIL): 2nd-straight home run in series (2 HR this season)
  • Hunter Pence (SF): 2 RBI hit to tie game in top 6th (3-3)
  • Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford (SF): Both on 10-game hitting streaks

Giants (9-6) at Brewers (5-8)
10:00 AM PT - CSN Bay Area

Oakland Athletics 7, Houston Astros 5

  • Top of A's order (first four batters): 8 H, 3 RBI, 4 R
  • Josh Donaldson (OAK): 0-4 AB, 8 left on base
  • Bud Norris (HOU starter): 0.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 3 BB
  • HOU: 17 runners left on base

Athletics (12-4) OFF DAY
Next series: at Tampa Bay (5-9), Friday-Sunday

NHL

Minnesota Wild (24-16-3) at San Jose Sharks (23-13-7)
7:30 PM PT - CSN California / NHL Network

Western Conference Standings (rankings 3-11):

  • 3) Vancouver Canucks - 55 pts
  • 4) Los Angeles Kings - 53 pts
  • 5) Sharks - 53 pts
  • 6) Wild - 51 pts
  • 7) St. Louis Blues - 50 pts
  • 8) Columbus Blue Jackets - 49 pts
  • 9) Detroit Red Wings - 47 pts
  • 10) Dallas Stars - 45 pts
  • 11) Phoenix Coyotes - 43 pts

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Bay Area Sports and CLONES CONFIDENTIAL. Follow the blog on SportsBlog.com and on Twitter (@BAYAREASB) for the latest news and in-game updates. 

In a move that was expected, Major League Soccer has suspended Alan Gordon for a total of four games because of a homophobic slur that was caught on camera and for getting a red card in the match between the San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers last Sunday night.

Here's the upcoming schedule for the Earthquakes showing what games Gordon will miss while serving his suspensions:

  • April 21st vs. Portland Timbers (2-1-3)
  • April 27th at Chivas USA (3-2-1)
  • May 4th vs. Montreal Impact (4-1-1)
  • May 8th vs. Toronto FC (1-2-3)

It's a tough slate to miss with three of the four games being against teams that are currently in the playoffs. The schedule features a rematch against the Timbers, the second-best team in the Western Conference, and the top team in the Eastern Conference.

[Also see: Gay slur suspensions should expand to other sports ]

Gordon will also "attend diversity and sensitivity training" according to the report. It was mandated by league commissioner Don Garber. Leagues already go through this type of training before the season begins.

Here's the official statement by Garber in the report:

"Major League Soccer stands against discrimination and prejudice of any kind and will not tolerate this type of behavior," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. "All of our players, staff and fans must remain committed to respect and dignity at all times."

Gordon has no goals and one assist this season with just one shot on goal attempted.

Here's the lineup of Wednesday night's action involving Bay Area teams. It's the final night of the NBA regular season as the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, and Utah Jazz are all jostling for the final positions in the Western Conference.

MLB

San Francisco Giants 8, Milwaukee Brewers 10

Giants (9-5) at Brewers (4-8)
5:10 PT - CSN Bay Area

Oakland Athletics 4, Houston Astros 3

  • Josh Donaldson (OAK): Triple in 8th scored game-winning RBI.
  • Eric Sogard (OAK): Career-high 3 hits.

Astros (4-10) at A's (11-4)
12:35 PT - MLB.tv

  • Probable starters: Bud Norris (2-1, 1.96)  vs Bartolo Colon (1-0, 4.15)

NBA

Golden State Warriors (46-35) at Portland Trail Blazers (33-48)
7:40 PT - CSN Bay Area +

  • Stephen Curry (GSW): Two 3-pointers tonight breaks NBA season record.
  • GSW: Can clinch 6th seed with win.
  • POR: 12-game losing streak.

Notable games:

  • Utah Jazz at Memphis Grizzlies - 5:00 PT, ESPN
    UTAH needs win and LAL loss to obtain 8th seed in West.
  • Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers - 7:30 PT, ESPN
    LAL win clinches 7th seed in West; UTAH loss clinches playoff spot.

NHL

San Jose Sharks 3, Los Angeles Kings 2 (F/SO)

  • Brent Burns (SJ): 1 goal, 1 assist
  • SJ: Scored two goals in 47 seconds during 2nd period.

Next: Minnesota Wild (24-16-3) at Sharks (23-13-7)
Thursday, 7:40 PT - CSN California 

 

The San Francisco 49ers will be holding a local pro day on Wednesday, and it's been reported that Nate Montana, Joe Montana's son, will be participating in the event. Is there a chance that his father's former team may be eyeing a spot on him?

Nate's been in the low light since transferring from Notre Dame a few years ago after a few problems with the law. That was combined with his dad's issues of how the university handled the entire situation. From a story on Bleacher Report when the transfer happened:

"What happened with my son and the reasons for leaving Notre Dame shouldn't happen to any kid," he said. "At this point in time, it's hard to be in their corner." Montana stressed "preparation, work and trust" as the keys to success. "I really believe that the way you come to work every day has more to do with your success than anything you do," he said.

His son Nate Montana recently transferred from Notre Dame to the Montana Grizzles. But during his stay in South Bend he was arrested twice for underage drinking and suspension of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Well, hindsight is definitely 20/20 with the Irish coming off of a National Championship appearance. But as time went on Montana eventually played at West Virginia Wesleyan, a Division II school. From the AP report, he completed 225-436 passes for 2,480 yards and 19 touchdowns along with seven interceptions and 12 sacks.

Nate played in four different schools during his collegiate career, and it's pretty clear that he couldn't live up to his father's potential during it. From NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks:

"It's going to be hard for him to transition to the next level," Brooks said. "His passes don't have zip. He has difficulty making pro throws."

"He's a great kid, his measurables are fine, but in terms of playing at the next level, his performance here was not very good."

Nate Montana won't be drafted later this month, but he'll have a last-chance effort at potentially the supplemental draft or getting into a training camp later on as teams get ready for the season.

Now what about his shot with the San Francisco 49ers, the team where Nate's dad arguably displayed what it takes to the best quarterback in the NFL?

There's not much of a chance. With Colin Kaepernick solidifying his starting position and the addition of Colt McCoy in the offseason, it simply doesn't make sense to combine Nate's development to what expectations that he would be held to in San Francisco. It would be better to start in a different football league if he wants a career in this sport.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Bay Area Sports and Clones Confidential. Follow the blog on SportsBlog.com and on Twitter (@BayAreaSB) for the latest news and in-game updates.

 

First off, I'd like to thank all of you for visiting this new blog on SportsBlog.com with a focus on a variety of different sports in the Bay Area. There's already been over 1,000 views in just a couple days along with over 500 unique viewers. Please spread the word about this blog; I'll be covering mostly the San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, and Golden State Warriors, but I'll sprinkle in some other insight for teams in Oakland and San Jose as well.

Follow the blog on Twitter @BayAreaSB  and you can follow myself on there as well @Spaeniard   You can also like us on Facebook and add us on Google+.

I'm testing out a new layout on the website that will hopefully fix some bugs that I ran into while posting in the past. Feel free to leave any comments on that as well if desired.

Because there's a bit of a glitch in responding to comments right now at SportsBlog.com, I'll be doing so in a blog post each day I do receive comments on any of the posts. So if I didn't respond to your comment on a specific post, look for one of these posts on the blog.

From the post Joe Montana Criticizes USGA in Twitter Rant:

mike says:

OK Joe so if the tv camera or a fans cell phone sees a player or caddy intentionally kicking their ball (hypothetical) to improve the lie and the player then finishes out and signs the card, nothing should happen to that golfer after it is known later that he kicked his ball. Ridiculous!!! and sorry but you sound like a true idiot on this one. There is no way for officials to watch every thing every player does and that is why the integrity of the game and your score rests with the player and the player alone. It is obvious that you are not a REAL golfer. Go back to fluffing your ball in the rough.

And Brian, if you don't have knowledge about golf or its rules please refrain from giving an opinion. You are a journalist, I think, aren't you suppose to be an expert in what you are writing about. This issue is 100% black and white to anyone who has ever played golf competitively in their lives. Ignorance of the rules is no excuse. He benefited from a bad drop as he stated in the interview. He was the only one who knew that and that is why the golfer is solely responsible for their score. If you don't understand that then you don't understand or know golf.

Thanks for the comments, Mike.

I do have knowledge about golf and everyone is entitled to their own opinions on a subject no matter their level of knowledge. Because this is a blog and not an official AP report I'm also entitled to opinions if desired. My goal is to keep this a diverse and newsworthy sports blog, and to keep it fresh opinions are necessary.

This isn't about IF Tiger Woods made a mistake, because he certainly did. But myself along with other expert golfers want to know when exactly Tiger knew he made a mistake as I pointed out in the post.

 

Another starter for the San Francisco Giants suffered a disastrous inning early to put the team in near possible odds to win the series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers. But the Giants had a valiant effort with a rejuvenated offense that fell just short in the end.

Pablo Sandoval was the lead man offensively bringing in four RBIs for the Giants (9-5) on two hits, one of them being a double in the 3rd inning to bring in Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro to make an early 3-1 lead.

That didn't last long as the Brewers (4-8) roughed up Barry Zito in the bottom of the inning. He would only be able to get two outs and never made it out of the inning after facing 11 batters.

Zito's final stat line: 2.2 innings pitched, eight hits, nine runs (all earned), and five strikeouts. The biggest damage was dealt by Milwaukee's Yuniesky Betancourt with a grand slam after the bases were loaded for a second time in the third inning.

The Giants were able to chip away at the lead and cut it all the way to a 9-7 deficit in the top of the 6th when Sandoval brought in Nick Noonan across home plate on a sacrifice fly. Brewers reliever Brandon Kintzler came in when Sandoval was at bat and was able to strike out Buster Posey with Pagan at second base to avoid any more damage.

John Axford struck out Marco Scutaro and Sandoval back-to-back in the 8th inning, and Andres Torres flied out to the warning track in the 9th with Brandon Belt at 2nd base to end multiple threats by San Francisco to dive into the deficit any more.

Belt finally looked consistent at the plate tonight getting a team-high three hits on four ABs. Noonan came in and delivered during his pinch hit opportunity. Scutaro extended his hitting streak to seven games.

Eight different Brewers scored and five had runs batted in, but a player that did neither was Ryan Braun. He went 0-5 and had a career-high four strikeouts, pulling the dreaded golden sombrero.

Hunter Pence also went 0-5 with two strikeouts. This is only the third game he didn't get a hit in the 14 he's played in this season.

The series resumes tomorrow night with Ryan Vogelsong taking on Kyle Lohse. First pitch will be at 5:10 p.m. PT at Miller Park.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Bay Area Sports and CLONES CONFIDENTIAL. Follow the blog on SportsBlog.com and on Twitter (@BAYAREASB) for the latest news and in-game updates.

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