CHICAGO — Eduardo Nuñez has spent the last week working out with trainers, jogging and stretching and testing his strained hamstring. On Friday afternoon he finally returned to the pre-game workout, and he did so with a big smile on his face.
“Full workout today,” Nuñez said. “I’m close.”
The Giants don’t expect to have Nuñez available to start for either of the games in Chicago, but he’ll be ready off the bench, and Bruce Bochy will use him given the lack of options. Nuñez is available to play third base tonight in an emergency.
As for the man who has taken his spot, Conor Gillaspie was the first Giant on the field Friday evening by a good 10 minutes. He appears ready for more time in the spotlight.
Some other odds and ends from the pre-game scene at Wrigley …
--- Gorkys Hernandez will see the first pitch of the National League Division Series. Stop and think about that for a moment. It’s remarkable, given where Hernandez sat on the depth chart all spring and most of the season.
Hernandez has never faced Jon Lester, but he didn’t seem all that bothered.
“He has a ball, I have a bat,” Hernandez said. “We’ll see what happens.”
There’s one certainty: If Hernandez reaches base, he’s going. Lester’s issues throwing to first were a big part of the pre-game scouting report. Hernandez and Kelby Tomlinson got the nod against the lefty.
“It’s worked,” Bochy said. “You look at the L.A. series and we did it. We won two big games there against tough lefties (Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill).”
--- If you missed it this morning, here’s the NLDS roster. Bochy said he chose Gregor Blanco over Jarrett Parker because of versatility. Neither has played much the past month, but Blanco can bunt, pinch-run, and replace a lesser defensive outfielder in the late innings. It’ll be interesting to see if Bochy starts replacing Angel Pagan with a lead.
Ty Blach got the nod over other relievers because Bochy needed a long man. “We saw what happened in Washington,” Bochy said. So, Blach will be Yusmeiro Petit in this series.
--- In case you missed it, here's what David Ross had to say about Buster Posey. And here's why Jeff Samardzija gets Game 2.
--- And to get you all warmed up for this big series: Video of Madison Bumgarner taking aim at Waveland Avenue. (Thank you to the Cubs fans who corrected my tweet, and who pointed out that Jake Arrieta can do the same thing. He can't.) Bumgarner hit about a half-dozen balls out of the park.