Getting swept in July isn’t a reason to quit on a season. At least, not when the sweep leaves you just a game and a half out of first. However, a sweep at home, especially against these guys, would sound some alarms.
“This is a huge game,” said Bruce Bochy. “We’ve got to get on track, especially here at home. Not just at home, but playing the Dodgers. They’ve been having their way with us.”
Jake Peavy has only one relief appearance in his career — four nearly perfect innings (one hit allowed and seven strikeouts) in 2011 as a member of the White Sox — but he’ll need to be a fireman tonight.
Peavy spoke last night about how much he adores Bruce Bochy. Today Bochy explained what he brings to the Giants, besides a major league arsenal and that all-important track record.
“You’ll get to know Jake. He’s a very intense player. He’s all-out,” said Bochy.
“If I could compare him to somebody, he’s almost like a Hunter Pence on the mound. He gives you everything he’s got. He brings that fire and intensity that you love. He’s full bore in everything he does, including running the bases and swinging the bat.”
Pence has been the Giants’ best player this year, often serving as a much-needed jug of 5-hour Energy among eight cups of warm milk. With so many injuries to key players bogging things down, and frighteningly poor results lately against elite pitchers and teams over .500, they could use a caffeinated boost wherever they can get it.
“We’re excited to have (Peavy). Fiery guy, competitor,” said the actual Hunter Pence. “That’s exciting to add to the team.”
Energy and team chemistry are fun things to think about when a team is winning, but you may have heard the old quote, “Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher.” You’ve heard that, right? The same people who like to say that one also love dropping a good old “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” in the middle of every single sports season that’s ever existed.
Anyway, Brian Sabean said eight different scouts told him Peavy was pitching well enough to thrive as a fourth starter-type pitcher in San Francisco. Bochy also liked what he saw.
“He’s a really good pitcher. His numbers aren’t indicative of how he was throwing in Boston,” Bochy said.
We’ll see, starting tonight on national TV in a “huge” game.
— Here’s another well-known quote: “A team only looks lively as its offense.” OK, maybe I made that up, but the Giants somehow have to figure out how to score some runs against another tough left-handed pitcher, Hyun-jin Ryu, with an even worse sun field than yesterday’s 6:05 pm start.
Bochy flip-flopped Hunter Pence and Gregor Blanco in the order, moving Blanco back to leadoff and Pence right behind him. Bochy said Blanco had the best swings off Kershaw of anyone last night.
“I don’t know how big a difference it makes. Whether it’s Pence leading off or Blanco. We haven’t scored off a starter in a couple games, so we’re trying to break it up a little bit,” Bochy said.
— Brandon Belt and Hector Sanchez are seeing a doctor today at 4 pm. Bochy didn’t know what kind of doctor they’d see, just that someone would “reevaluate” both players. Sounds like Belt is a few days away from any kind of baseball activities, and that’s if he starts getting better (which isn’t a given).
— Angel Pagan will do some running today, and Bochy hoped they’d have an idea either Monday or Tuesday as to when he might start playing some rehab games.
— A lot of people have wondered why Bochy didn’t shape his rotation out of the All-Star break so Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson would pitch in this series, something Don Mattingly did with Zack Greinke, Kershaw and Ryu.
“To be honest, we wanted to set it up where we thought we had our best rotation (coming out of the break). Obviously Matt Cain, we wanted to give him more time,” said Bochy.
“We go in Florida, a tough place to win games, great pitching and they’re playing great ball. We took the series there. Played well after we left. That’s a tough place to win. We wanted our best coming out of the break, if they were ready. They were, and we had a great road trip. You want wins. Sure, the games in the division are big wins, but the other games are big too.”