Bochy meets with club, reminds them work not done


Bochy meets with club, reminds them work not done

SAN FRANCISCO Marco Scutaro almost never swings andmisses. He seldom strikes out.

In 23 career at-bats against Justin Verlander, hes struckout eight times.

That pretty much tells you what the Giants are up against inGame 1 of the World Series at AT&T Park. Verlander, the reigning AL MVP andCy Young Award winner, already killed the Bernie-leaning As in the NLDS. Nowhell try to drive a stake through another team that seemingly cant be killed.

Just call him Justin Van Helsing.

The Giants do not have the benefit of rest and a perfect alignmentof their rotation, but they have a hopeful symbol in Barry Zito, whose fastballis an Oldsmobile pace car compared to Verlanders Formula One screamer.

One bad omen for Zito: The plate umpire for Game 1 is GerryDavis, who had more runs score on average when he worked the plate than anyother umpire from 2007-2010, according to statistician Andrew Godlblatt.

RELATED: San Francisco Giants 2012 World Series page

Zito, who usually lives on the fringes of the zone, has a5.05 ERA with 25 walks in 35 23 career innings with Davis behind the plate.

His career numbers against the Tigers are encouraging, though. Prince Fielder is just a .167 hitter with one home run in 18 at-bats while Omar Infante is a .150 hittter with no extra-base hits in 20 at-bats. Jhonny Peralta (3 for 14) is no great shakes, either. Zito has only faced Miguel Cabrera a couple times, holding him to 2 for 8 -- both singles -- with two walks and a strikeout.

And for what it's worth, Zito threw six shutout innings, with a three-hour rain delay wedged in the middle, on three days of rest at Detroit last year.

This is the fourth World Series Game 1 that pits two former Cy Young Award winners, although Zito's trophy came a decade ago with the A's. Tim Lincecum beat Cliff Lee in Game in in 2010, Lee started against CC Sabathia in 2009 and Greg Maddux met Orel Hershiser in the 1995 World Series opener.

The postseason is usually about pitching, power and pluck, andthe Giants displayed plenty of the latter while winning six elimination gamesto cheat death against the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals. Theyrightly feel a sense of accomplishment just for making it to the Fall Classic forthe second time in three years.

But Giants manager Bruce Bochy wanted to make sure his teamstayed hungry, so he addressed them prior to Tuesdays workout.

You have to savor special moments like (NLCS Game 7 againstthe Cardinals), you have to enjoy them, which we did, Bochy said. But itstime to move on now, and the journey is not over. We have a big series hereahead of us and its a little different in the World Series. Theres moremedia, more distractions, and I told them, Hey, do what you have to do to makeyourself available to the media, but at the same time, lets keep our focushere. We still have a job to do and a team to play and try to beat.

There are more keys to this series than you could fit on acustodians belt, but here is one important one for the Giants: Get intoDetroits bullpen, which is in disarray with erstwhile closer Jose Valverdeleaving everything over the plate in this postseason. Of course, withVerlander, thats no small feat.

Scutaro is just one of many hitters who must try to putVerlander in the stretch. With one more hit in Game 1, Scutaro will extend his playoffhitting streak to 11 games matching Irish Meusel in 1921-22 for the longestby a Giant in postseason history.

Good ol Irish never had to face Verlander, though.

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Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster


Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure


Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”