SAN FRANCISCO — It’s almost never “all hands on deck” for a Madison Bumgarner postseason start, but, just in case, Jeff Samardzija will be available out of the bullpen for Game 3. Samardzija is preparing for a potential relief role two days after blowing up in his first two innings at Wrigley Field.
Bruce Bochy had a long flight to digest the move of Samardzija over Matt Moore. He still feels it was the right call.
“We all talked about it quite a bit (beforehand),” Bochy said of his staff. “Everyone (on the outside) looks at one start (September 1), that’s what gets me. His recent body of work has been very, very good. This loyalty thing I’m hearing … this is who we thought was the best guy to put out there. We started the right guy. Who knows if he gets that (1-2) call on the first hitter (Dexter Fowler), things might change.
“He’s a big reason why we’re here. The guy threw over 200 innings, and the last third of the season his ERA was two-something.”
Samardzija had a 2.45 ERA over his final 10 starts, even with the rough first inning at Wrigley Field the first day of September.
The Giants went into the Samardzija-Moore decision thinking both would get one start in this series anyway. Madison Bumgarner will try to guarantee Moore a shot at the Cubs. Here’s a preview of Bumgarner versus Jake Arrieta.
--- On Sunday, Bochy said he would take a read of the clubhouse and decide if a speech was needed. He joked Monday that he’ll play the “Rocky” theme when the team gathers. You can bet Bochy has something up his sleeve. He always saves a story for moments like this.
--- It was lost in a losing effort, but Ty Blach got through four heart-of-the-order Cubs with ease in his first postseason appearance. Bochy confirmed the obvious Monday: Blach will get a shot at winning the fifth rotation slot next spring. With the way he has thrown, he’s got to be the frontrunner.
“He’s got great poise,” Bochy said. “A lot of confidence and great poise. He really believes in himself.”
--- Eduardo Nuñez is close to start-able, but it sounds like Game 4 remains a longshot. The better bet is Nuñez starting against Jon Lester if the Giants can force a Game 5.