Week in review: Giants stay hot; Sac hoops legends get HOF nod
The San Francisco Giants have started the 2021 season on a tear.
The fellas in orange and black have won five straight and hold a National League best 28-16 record coming into today’s three-game series opener against the Dodgers.
“We’re staying humble and we’re staying hungry because we’ve got a long way to go,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “You’re not ever going to be disappointed with a 6-2 road trip to the East Coast. It’s very encouraging, but we know we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
The back half of their recent road trip was especially strong as the Giants swept a four-game series in Cincinnati, outscoring the Reds 33-9.
Pitching has been a big reason for the team’s success with starters Alex Wood (5-0, 1.75 ERA), Kevin Gausman (4-0, 1.66 ERA), Anthony DeSclafani (4-1, 2.03 ERA) and Johnny Cueto (3-1, 3.34) leading the way.
This weekend’s series with the Dodgers is the first time the two long-standing rivals have faced off this season, and while the Dodgers (26-18) open the series in third place in the National League West, they are just two games back of the Giants.
On the other side of the bay, the Oakland Athletics (26-19) come into today having gone 5-5 in their last 10 games, including back to back losses to the Astros. Currently in second place in the American League West, the A’s open a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels (19-25) today.
SACRAMENTO HOOPS LEGENDS HEADED TO HALL OF FAME
While pro basketball in Sacramento has left much to be desired in recent years, it was really good not too long ago. Three of the basketball legends who brought success to the area in the late 90s and early 2000s are being recognized for their contributions to the game.
On Sunday it was announced that former Kings Rick Adelman and Chris Webber as well as Sacramento Monarchs star Yolanda Griffith will be enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame as part of the 2022 class.
Webber averaged 23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists during his run (1998-2004) with the team, helping the Kings reach the playoffs each season he was there and earning All-NBA nods along the way.
Adelman, a coach well-ahead of his time, went 395-229 over eight seasons with the team and led the Kings to the playoffs every year.
Griffith was the No. 2 pick by the Monarchs in 1999. She went on to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year that season. She was an eight-time All-Star and and led Sacramento to its lone WNBA title in 2005.
Paul Pierce, Chris Bosh, Ben Wallace, Lauren Jackson, Jay Wright (coach) and Bill Russell (coach), are also part of the 2022 class.
KINGS MISS PLAYOFFS FOR 15TH STRAIGHT SEASON
Despite some early season flashes of competence, the Sacramento Kings floundered down the stretch and are once again on the outside of the NBA playoffs looking in.
The Kings finished the season 31-41 overall, and as the 12th best team in the Western Conference. It’s the 15th straight season without a playoff berth, the league’s longest such stretch.
There are a couple reasons to be optimistic about the future (De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton), but there are also lots of questions heading into the offseason. Will head coach Luke Walton be back? Can Marvin Bagley stay healthy? Can the Kings contend for big-name free agents?
AROUND THE TRACK
While IndyCar continues its two-week leadup to the Indianapolis 500 on May 30, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Austin, Texas, for the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix.
Grass Valley native and veteran NASCAR driver Matt DiBenedetto will look to get back on track after last week’s 24th place finish at the Drysdene 400. DiBenedetto has two top-five finishes this season and currently sits in 17th in the overall point standings.
The EchoPark Texas Grand Prix will be broadcast on FS1 at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email email@example.com
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