Emotional moment: Matt Cain set to make final Giants start on Saturday

Emotional moment: Matt Cain set to make final Giants start on Saturday

PHOENIX -- As he sat at his locker Tuesday afternoon, Matt Cain laughed as he remembered his first September in the big leagues. It was 2005, and Felipe Alou originally told the 20-year-old to relax and have fun. A couple of weeks later, the Giants found themselves three games out of first. Alou approached Cain again.

"He goes, 'Hey, now we might be playing for something, kid,'" Cain remembered. 

The Giants didn't make the postseason that year, but Cain ended up being a key piece in the building of a dynasty. He won three rings, posted a 2.10 ERA in eight postseason starts, and made three All-Star teams. For those reasons and many more, the Giants will celebrate the 32-year-old this weekend.

Cain will start Saturday's game against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park. He wouldn't say if it will be his last appearance in the big leagues, but all parties know -- even if they won't publicly admit it -- that the right-hander's 331st regular-season start with the Giants will be his last for the organization.

"Its going to be a special moment for me," Cain said. "It's a moment I haven't been a part of. I'm not exactly sure what's to come after the season or next year, but this is a special moment."

Manager Bruce Bochy said it's one he has been looking forward to for a while. He has hinted for weeks that the Giants would do this for Cain.

"With what he's done for the Giants organization, he's been here since day one with me, and I wanted him to make this start at home," Bochy said. "I'm sure it's going to be emotional for him. It's important for us and for Matt to have a start there the last homestand. Matt has been great through all of this and he has provided leadership. This is going to be a special game for him and for us."

Bochy said Chris Stratton will start Friday night, meaning Madison Bumgarner is bumped from the rotation. The decision to end Bumgarner's season was not injury-related, Bochy said; he just wanted the left-hander to end his rough season on a high note. Bumgarner won at Dodger Stadium on Saturday. Johnny Cueto is tentatively scheduled to start Sunday.

Cain hasn't appeared in a game since August 31, but he threw a long bullpen session Monday afternoon. What does he have left in the tank for the final start of his 13th year with the Giants?

"We'll see -- as long as it will go," Cain said. "That's my mindset. That's been my mindset throughout my career. We go out and go as long as we can go."

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.”