Starting pitchers always face the media after they pitch, but they’re usually left to themselves in the hours before their starts. That was also the case today, but Tim Hudson seemed like a guy who wouldn’t mind if anyone asked him a question.
A handful of players, most of the clubhouse attendants (including Mike Murphy, who was VERY interested) and about a half dozen reporters watched the Belmont Stakes in the Giants clubhouse. And Hudson was as talkative as anyone.
For the 36th year in a row, horse racing does not have a Triple Crown winner. California Chrome finished in fifth place, as a horse named Tonalist won the race.
Before the race started, Hudson let everyone around know that he had a premonition. A certain horse was certain to take the prize.
Ride on Curlin.
Why? Because Hudson utilizes a traditional handicapper’s tool that’s equal parts hilarious, popular and useless. He saw Ride on Curlin’s bowel movement as the horses headed to the start gate, and he was sold.
Ride on Curlin finished 11th in the Belmont Stakes. Dead last. No matter to Hudson, who was laughing and hollering along with Pablo Sandoval, Hector Sanchez and Michael Morse as the race progressed.
Tim Lincecum is known as being pretty loose in the hours before he pitches, and besides Ryan Vogelsong I don’t think the rotation is known for being abnormally intense on gameday. Matt Cain injured himself cutting a sandwich before one of his starts this season, for goodness sake.
The clubhouse was loud this afternoon, full of laughter before, during and after the race before everyone started filing out to go take BP. But there’s something amusing about Hudson sitting in his leather chair in the corner, telling his teammates in graphic terms why his new favorite horse would win the race, just a few hours before pitching against the Mets.
Giants pregame notes
— The volume was turned down after the race ended, so I missed California Chrome owner Steve Coburn’s televised rant where he complained about horses who didn’t run in the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness (like Tonalist) racing in the Belmont. The first question someone asked Bruce Bochy was about the race, and whether he was upset that there would be no Triple Crown winner.
“I’m not going to snap like the owner did,” said Bochy. “That was a huge snappage there.”
— Several players wore Star Wars-themed t-shirts in the clubhouse that read, “MAY THE MORSE BE WITH YOU.”
— “Ay. They lost a lot of money.” — Pablo Sandoval, when the cameras focused on California Chrome’s owners after the race finished.
— “I told you not to give him that carrot before the race.” — Michael Morse’s guess on what the owners were saying to each other at that same moment.
— Santiago Casilla update:
“He threw 30 pitches (today), came out of it well. Did some running, some 30- and 60-yard striders. So at this point he’ll take another day off, throw another pen. We will reevaluate him after that and good chance he can start his rehab if all goes well.”
Bochy said Casilla should make his first rehab appearance by Thursday if there are no setbacks. It could take four minor league outings before the Giants take him off the DL, but since the injury isn’t arm-related he might not need that many.
— This isn’t much of an update since we reported on Brandon Belt last night, but Bochy was asked again. “He’s been running around a little bit. Riding the bike. I think within a week he’ll be doing some baseball activities,” he said. “He’ll pick up the conditioning and those type of things, and see if we can speed up this process.”
“He’s done a great job. I know he had a couple runners get on. With another closer, that was the norm. That question was never asked,” he said.
(That’s when people laughed.)
“Now Romo gets a couple guys on and there’s speculation something was wrong. He’s fine.”
— It’s “Heroes and Comics” night at AT&T, and the media session ended with someone asking Bochy if he had a favorite superhero.
“I liked a lot of them. I grew up in a comic book era. I was big Superman guy. The TV show was awesome to watch. Batman got a little goofy there, the show. But as far as comics. Shoot, I enjoyed reading them all when I was young,” said Bochy, who smiled when Andrew Baggarly brought up “Adventures of Superman,” the old black-and-white show starring George Reeves.
“I couldn’t wait to get home from school and watch it,” said Bochy.