EXTRA BAGGS: Pence not out of breath, Magowan on Zito, etc.


EXTRA BAGGS: Pence not out of breath, Magowan on Zito, etc.

ST. LOUIS -- Even a man of his word can tell a fib from timeto time.

Hunter Pence said he was out of the motivational speechracket. Someone else would take the floor as the Giants prepared to take thefield for Game 5 of the NLCS Friday night.

Hed said all he had to say. He already rallied them backwhen they needed to run a three-game table in Cincinnati. What could repeating thatsermon accomplish? Wouldnt it just result in rolled eyes and deaf ears?

No, definitelyno, center fielder Angel Pagan said. Because he is so positive, man. We couldbe down 20 runs and he still believes we will win. That is the right attitudein this game. That is the encouragement he is giving us.

We cant go by what happened in Cincinnati. That is in thepast. We did it before. This is a totally different series.

They were supposed to have a totally different speaker. Inthe hours before Game 5, Pence walked into the interview room and nominatedJeremy Affeldt to take over as the clubs Tony Robbins. But when it came time

He said what needed to be said, Affeldt said of Pence.

The thrust of Pence's message this time: Get this series to SanFrancisco.

BAGGS' INSTANT REPLAY: Zito saves season, Giants force Game 6

That is how we prepared, Pagan said. We understand wevegot two of our best pitchers (Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain) and weve got agood chance.

Just got together, talked a little bit, Pence said. Weall said something.

The Giants havent done anything yet.

Remember, in 2010, the Phillies won Game 5 at AT&T Parkto bring the series back to Citizens Bank Ball Park. Thats when the Giantsburned every last fiber and three of their four starting pitchers to clinchin a non-elimination Game 6.

The Cards will send Chris Carpenter to the mound Sunday, andthere isnt one person on their side who isnt confident in him.

The Cardinals also proved earlier this postseason that no six-run lead is safe, either.

Barry Zito isnt the only one who heard constant jabs about his126 million contract. Theres the fellow who gave him that deal, too.

RATTO: Zito and his 'little fastball that could'

Former managing partner Peter Magowan was in the Giantsclubhouse after Zitos tremendous outing saved their season, and naturally, hewas set up for an I told you so moment.

He did not partake, mostly because everyone knows that youcannot justify a franchise-altering contract because of one nights labor. ButMagowan did express his happiness for Zito, especially in light of all thatsbeen said and written.

Its so long ago, said Magowan. But when we signed him,we knew what kind of record he had at the time. He was a Cy Young winner, hewas still young, he threw 200 innings every season and we felt he could providesome leadership to a young pitching staff. We thought hed be durable and wethought hed be a leader. He wanted to pitch for the Giants and hed bewonderful to market the team.

Hes had his problems and ups and downs as a Giant. But tosee him come up in a game like this, it says a lot for his character. Hes sucha good guy. He sure rose to the occasion, and we should all be elated at whathe did. Hes kept us going here in this season. Weve got a shot at the WorldSeries because of what he did tonight, and Im just very, very happy for him.Hes a good guy. He deserves good things to happen to him.

This is sort of what we were hoping we would get a leaderof a young staff.

Pablo Sandoval hit his third home run of the postseason,crushing a Mitchell Boggs inside fastball meant to jam him. Most left-handedhitters pull that pitch foul, if they manage to hit it at all.

This might surprise you, but Sandoval is just the seventhGiant in all-time franchise history to hit three home runs in one postseason.

Heres the list, and its loaded with fond fellows:

Pablo Sandoval (3), 2012
Cody Ross (4), 2010
Rich Aurilia (4), 2002
Barry Bonds (8), 2002
Kevin Mitchell (3), 1989
Matt Williams (3), 1989
Jeffrey Leonard (4), 1987

Buster Posey and Angel Pagan can join that home run listwith one more this postseason. But Posey would settle for something less thanthat. Hes hitting .167 in this series and he wasnt really a part of theGiants one scoring rally Friday night.

He has a tangible reminder, though, about what kind ofapproach he must have in Game 6. Its not tied to his finger. Its tattooedjust below his left knee the bruise from where he fouled a pitch off himself.

The ball I fouled off my knee was not a strike, he said.I think I need to just slow down and swing at strikes.

Tim Lincecum will be available in relief in Game 6, managerBruce Bochy said.

Lincecum threw 91 pitches in Game 4 and would be operatingon just two days of rest. But he told Bochy hed be ready for anything, and hismanager will hold him to that.

By the way, Madison Bumgarner has continued to throw in thebullpen in an effort to find a work-around for the fatigue or mechanical issuesor whatever is keeping him from putting the baseball where he wants it.

If the Giants see enough hopeful signs, they might putBumgarner back in a potential World Series rotation, knowing how much of animpact Lincecum made in his relief role earlier in the postseason.

Were getting way ahead of ourselves, but if the Giants makeit past the Cardinals, they would have Zito and either Lincecum or Bumgarner tostart the first two games.

Giants hitting coach Hensley Bam Bam Meulens will managethe Dutch team in the World Baseball Classic next spring. The Giants will makeuse of minor league hitting coordinator Steve Decker to help run things whileMeulens, who is from Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, is away.

The Dutch teams pitching coach is Bert Blyleven, who wasmaster of the hot foot during his playing days. That probably wont go overwell if the Dutch players wear wooden shoes.

First base coach Roberto Kelly returned to the coaches boxafter missing the first four games of the NLCS because of a concussion that resultedfrom a batted ball that struck him in the workout prior to Game 1.

Maybe RallyKelly can get trending on Twitter, too.

Rapper Lil Wayne even sent a Twitter message to congratulatethe Giants and his pal Ryan Theriot.

Yes. Ryan Theriot and Lil Wayne are tight.

The best part of the whole RallyZito movement had to beOrlando Cepeda, the 75-year-old Hall of Famer, showing his social media savvy.

BAGGARLY: RallyZito movement blooms as Giants take NLCS back home

I was told I need to say Rally Zito, he posted from hisTwitter account (@OrlandoCepeda30).

A few moments later, the Baby Bull formatted it properly:

We have a ball game my friends. RallyZito

And theyll have another one Sunday on the shores of McCoveyCove.

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.”