SAN FRANCISCO -- Both managers called Monday night's game a fun one. It was also a reminder: Every roster spot is important in a playoff series.
With that in mind, the Giants are having internal discussions about two injured players, Angel Pagan and Eduardo Nuñez. Pagan has back spasms that have kept him out of the lineup for two straight games, and it's unclear how available he'll be off the bench for Game 4. He was not able to play in any way Monday. Nuñez pinch-hit early and grounded out for the second time in the series, and he once again jogged to first to protect his aching hamstring.
If the Giants replace a player before Game 4, they would have to add another position player to the roster, not a pitcher. Any player replaced in the NLDS would be ineligible for the NLCS.
"We're evaluating the situation," Bochy said when asked about Pagan. "Right now, the deal with the back spasms, we'll see where we're at here in the next couple of hours obviously and decide. We're going to have to have an understanding on how soon we think he'll be ready and will he be ready for the next game."
Bochy said that "right now," the Giants don't plan on replacing Pagan. He sounded a bit more skittish with Nuñez, who isn't needed as a starter because Conor Gillaspie has turned into a postseason star. After the triple off Aroldis Chapman, you can throw out any left-right platoon, too.
"It's coming around slower than we had hoped," Bochy said of Nuñez. "I thought he'd be further along at this point."
Bochy said Nuñez is under orders to take it easy on ground balls, which is why he shut it down once the ball left his bat last night. That's obviously not ideal for a speed guy, though. Part of his game is beating out slow rollers.
Another factor at play: Shortstop Brandon Crawford is pretty sore after taking a shot off his funny bone last night, and the Giants could possibly replace Nuñez with Ehire Adrianza, a backup shortstop.
--- Who gets the ninth tonight? "I'll let you know in the ninth," Bochy said, smiling. At this point, Will Smith might be the best option. He has 19 consecutive scoreless appearances and he's fresher than Sergio Romo, who pitched two innings last night.
As for the rest of the bullpen, Bochy said he would like to stay away from Ty Blach, who pitched two innings and has 3 1/3 over the past two games in his first extended stint as a reliever. Jeff Samardzija is available out of the bullpen. Johnny Cueto is not, unless something insane happens.
The bullpen was saved a bit by Madison Bumgarner's ability to work past the Jake Arrieta homer and get through five. Bochy said he was close to a move in the second, but ...
"It is Madison," he said. "The way he kept us in that game at three runs, we had George (Kontos) up and help on the way and he, to be honest, was pretty close to coming out. He knew it. He knew the situation and he gutted it out."