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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- The series finale between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants on Wednesday pits one starting pitcher hoping to extend his recent success against one coveting more run support.Cincinnati right-hander Dan Straily (5-6, 4.01 ERA) will make his first career appearance at AT&T Park. He enters riding a string of three consecutive quality starts, and he hopes to help the visitors capture the three-game series.San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner (10-5, 2.14 ERA) has similar impressive recent numbers (1.93 ERA over four starts), but is only 1-1 in that time because his teammates has scored only nine runs during that stretch.The Reds (39-61) sit in last place in the National League Central, while the Giants (59-41) are atop the NL West. However, San Francisco is still trying to escape a post-All-Star break slump. With a 9-7 victory on Tuesday, the Giants won for only the second time in 10 games, and they hope to carry momentum into Wednesdays finale.Were still in July here, San Francisco right fielder Mac Williamson said. Weve still got all of August, all of September and a couple days in October. A lot can go down between now and then. We just need to keep our heads down, keep grinding away and playing. We cant look too far ahead. You can get in trouble. ...We play our game, do what we can do. We can only control on what we can do on the field and in this clubhouse, so thats what were focused on.Giants pitcher Matt Cain, who homered and got the win Tuesday, added, We know the situation that was going on. We just need to keep building. We had a couple good games (and some) tough losses since the break. Youre going to hit those patches, but just find a way to get out of them.Opponents are hitting only .213 against Straily this year. In his career against the Giants, he is 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts. Straily threw 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball in a 7-4 win over San Francisco on May 4 in Cincinnati.Straily allowed two runs on five hits and struck out eight over six innings during the Reds 6-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in his last start on Friday. Cincinnati won three of Strailys past four starts.Bumgarner is 3-1 with a 2.40 ERA in his last four starts against the Reds, though he hasnt faced them this year. He is 3-3 with a 4.33 ERA in seven outings against Cincinnati overall.The Giants have won 13 of the left-handers 21 starts this season. They came up short in his last outing, falling 3-2 to the Yankees in New York after Bumgarner allowed two runs in seven innings on Friday.As a staff, San Francisco would like to stop allowing the long ball. Cincinnati struck for four more home runs Tuesday. The Giants have allowed 23 home runs in the 10 games since the break, 18 surrendered by starters.Some guys and some teams are just hitting home runs, Cain said. Weve just got to do a better job pitching to the end of the bat and the hands a bit more. It just seems like some guys are capitalizing on the long ball. Cheap Iceland Jerseys . P.A. Parenteau scored early in the third period to help the Avs edge Toronto 2-1 on Tuesday night. Cory Sarich also scored for Colorado (3-0-0), which is off to its best ever start. Cheap Soccer Jerseys China . But Bourque, who has missed three games with a lower-body injury, wont be in the lineup when the Habs travel to Buffalo to take on the Sabres on Wednesday. . Kiriasis and brakeman Franziska Fritz finished two runs in one minute 55.41 seconds -- a mere 0.01 seconds ahead of Meyers and Lolo Jones, who likely bolstered her Olympic hopes by helping give USA-1 a huge push in the second heat. Cheap Manchester City FC Jerseys . Scott Kazmir allowed four hits in seven shutout innings, Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer in a three-run first inning and the Indians maintained their hold on an AL wild-card spot with a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night. Cheap Tottenham Hotspur FC Jerseys . The International Olympic Committee released the official list of bid cities on Friday after the deadline for applications had passed. The candidates -- all previously announced in their own countries -- are: Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing; Krakow, Poland; Lviv, Ukraine; Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm. Halfway through his maiden Test double-hundred, against India in Ahmedabad in 2008, AB de Villiers told Jacques Kallis about a shot he had mastered. He referred not to a cut or sweep, lap or ramp, not to one of those outlandish pick-up shots that a hockey player would try if handed a tennis racquet. No. De Villiers was talking about the far more humble defensive block.A helmeted de Villiers, bat in hand, pink pads on, ready for a hit in an indoor net, recounts the moment via a video clip on If I could have my career over again, he says, this will be the first shot that Ill teach myself: the late block. Once you can play this shot, everything else will come naturally to you… Every shot I play, I set up to play a really late defensive stroke.De Villiers goes on to demonstrate how he shapes up for each ball - bat pointing to first slip, backlift raised high at the point of the bowlers release, set to meet the full ball with a late block, before letting his reflexes take over. If the ball is wide, he will allow his hands to flow. If short, he will cut or pull as per instinct. I dont have a defensive mindset when I do it, he says of setting up for the defensive block. All I know is, that is my best chance of getting into a really, really good position for my other strokes. And if its a really good ball, I will sort of succumb to the bowler and say, Listen, well bowled, Im going to do the late shot. And I might still get off strike if it runs down to third man.Process that for a second. The most versatile shot-maker in the game - with the capacity, it seems, to hit any ball, of any length, in any format, to any part of the ground - has a method rooted in a textbook forward-defensive. The shot that results may go against the dictums of cricketing geometry - not to mention the laws of physics - but until the ball is delivered, de Villiers adopts a tried-and-tested approach. Only when he is ready to defend - visualising a box in front of him, within whose boundaries he keeps his bat, feet and head - does he consider the possibility of attack.The world of batting abounds with such contradiction. Most of the analysis (from commentators and writers) is little but informed guesswork. A lot of it is convenient categorisation. Spectators may term a firm push back to the bowler as a defensive shot, but a batsman may think differently. For him, picking the ball out of the hand, reading length early, taking a purposeful stride and finding the middle of the bat may all be signs of aggression. Similarly, commentators may assumme a batsman is confident when he strides out, but he could be putting on an act when actually being wracked with insecurity.dddddddddddd A batsmans body language, his strokes, his response to a bowler mouthing off, all this is only one part of the story. When one observes said batsman at practice and listens to him deconstruct his method, when one speaks to his team-mates and coaches, keeping in mind past batting successes and failures as well as critical junctures in his career, only then does the full picture emerge. And that too is often work in progress.There was a time when journalists (and players) explored these themes in books (and autobiographies). The amount of time available between tours allowed for deep analysis, and the terrific rapport between cricketers and writers enabled colour and insight. These days there is barely time to hammer out match reports, let alone examine spells and innings. Journalists have to make do with press-conference mutterings and the occasional one-on-one. Backroom access is almost out of the question.Which brings us to this months cover story: Ed Smiths meticulous exploration of technique and coaching in the age of the dazzling bat. Smith is a former Test cricketer who draws upon his technical and tactical know-how. He is an aesthete who is well versed with the games evolution, able to link a Virat Kohli cover drive to an image of Geoff Boycott taking his stance.Earlier this year, Smith worked as a consultant to Royal Challengers Bangalore, getting a ringside view of some of the finest limited-overs batsmen of our (and all) time. Which put him in an enviable position - not only because he was able to watch batsmen of the calibre of de Villiers and Kohli from close range but also because he could shadow them at practice, observe them at team meetings and listen to what team-mates had to say about them. Inside knowledge isnt always right, Smith cautions. But about pure talent, people close to the subject tend to know. Ask cricketers to name the games freak, theyll say AB. When de Villiers walks into a room, you sense exactly that. He does not signal this pre-eminence himself. It is written on everyone else.There is much else to savour in this issue: a cracking history of Pakistanis in the north Staffordshire leagues, the little-known story of Don Bradman meeting Kerry Packer, a Garry Sobers retrospective, and five writers on how cricket broke their hearts. cheap falcons jerseys cheap ravens jerseys cheap bills jerseys cheap bears jerseys cheap bengals jerseys cheap cowboys jerseys cheap lions jerseys cheap texans jerseys cheap colts jerseys cheap jaguars jerseys cheap chiefs jerseys cheap rams jerseys cheap dolphins jerseys cheap vikings jerseys cheap saints jerseys cheap giants jerseys cheap jets jerseys cheap eagles jerseys cheap steelers jerseys cheap 49ers jerseys ' ' '

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