Fans of Brandon Belt — I’m surrounded by them in my life so I’m guessing you are, too — aren’t too pleased with tonight’s lineup:
Tonight’s (6/21) #SFGiants lineup – Blanco CF, Scutaro 2B, Posey 1B, Pence RF, Sanchez C, Arias SS, Torres LF, Noonan 3B and Lincecum RHP
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) June 21, 2013
It’s mystifying when Belt is benched when the Giants face left-handed starters, since his numbers are … come again? Ricky Nolasco is right-handed? Well, crap in a Coliseum shower, I’m flummoxed.
Those who’ve been following the Giants a while know Bochy is fond of batter-vs-pitcher splits. Belt is 0-for-3 lifetime against Nolasco, not exactly a sample size worth paying attention to. Hector Sanchez has never faced tonight’s Marlins starter, a pitcher who might see tonight as an audition of sorts since Miami’s season is going nowhere and the Giants are looking at all avenues to bolster a shaky pitching staff.
Sanchez came through with a pinch-hit a couple days ago off Luke Gregerson, and tonight will be his second start since getting called up on June 13. He and Tim Lincecum also have some history, as we all know. But if the Giants want to break their eight-game losing streak against the Marlins at AT&T Park, where Nolasco is 4-0 in four starts with an ERA of 0.87 and a BAA of .180, they’re going to need to figure out a way to score more than the 2.6 runs they’ve averaged over the last five games.
Taking a page from Bochy’s book, these are they guys they’ll lean on tonight based on their lifetime numbers off Nolasco:
- Gregor Blanco: 5-for-12 (.417/.462/.500)
- Buster Posey: 5-for-13 (.385/.385/.462)
- Hunter Pence: 6-for-26, 4 HR (.231/.286/.731)
- Andres Torres: 5-for-14 (.357/.438/.571)
The Giants could use a home run from Pence … or anybody, really. Their last homer came when Gregor Blanco led off with one on Friday in Atlanta.
– Pablo Sandoval is starting and playing third base for San Jose tonight, which might be a good sign since in recent days Bochy said Sandoval was going to start his rehab assignment as a DH.
– Santiago Casilla will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, and could face hitters as soon as the Giants’ next series in Los Angeles. After that would come two or three rehab appearances, but Bochy sounded optimistic about Casilla’s chances of coming back by the end of the road trip.
– In the meantime, Jeremy Affeldt is still Bochy’s eighth inning guy.
– Angel Pagan had an MRI, but the team doctor won’t review them until after the game starts. Bochy said he’d have an update on Pagan’s hamstring after tonight’s game.
– Brandon Crawford’s having trouble throwing, but might hit tonight.
– Nothing new on Chad Gaudin, who took a sharply hit grounder off his right forearm last night.
– Colin Kaepernick is throwing out the first pitch. Hopefully he’ll do better than Alex Smith, who bounced his first pitch before Game 1 of the 2012 NLDS.