LOS ANGELES -- The Giants are in for an unusual experience Saturday when they face Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Charlie Haeger, who favors a knuckleball.Haeger, 26, has appeared twice against the Giants in relief, allowing one earned run in 1 1/3 innings. Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged that trying to hit a knuckleball becomes a see-the-ball, hit-the-ball exercise. "You have to make sure you let it travel and don't commit too early," Bochy said. "Then you swing and hope." Giants veterans have had mixed success against the few knuckleballers they've faced. For example, Aaron Rowand owns a .647 lifetime average (11-for-17) against Tim Wakefield, while Bengie Molina's hitting .350 (7-for-20) off him. Juan Uribe (.250, 3-for-12), Edgar Renteria (.176, 3-for-17) and Aubrey Huff (.164, 9-for-55) have been less productive against Wakefield. Against retired knuckleballer Steve Sparks, Renteria was 3-for-5, Rowand 2-for-8, Uribe 1-for-2, Molina 0-for-6 and Huff 0-for-2.
Rowand suffers fractured cheek, concussion
LOS ANGELES -- Giants center fielder Aaron Rowand sustained a couple of small fractures near his left cheek and a mild concussion when he was beaned in the fifth inning of Friday night's game by a Vicente Padilla pitch.Films of Rowand's X-rays, which were taken at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, were to be rushed to San Francisco for further evaluation by Giants doctors. Rowand, 32, was not placed on the 15-day disabled list. Rowand was batting with runners on first and second, one out and two runs in when Padilla's first-pitch, 88-mph fastball veered inside and struck his batting helmet. Rowand immediately fell to his knees and elbows and remained motionless for close to a minute with his head between his hands. Rowand managed to walk from the batter's box to the clubhouse, flanked by members of the Giants' athletic training staff, before heading for the hospital. Giants manager Bruce Bochy doubted that Padilla was throwing at Rowand in retaliation, since San Francisco starter Todd Wellemeyer had pitched high and tight to Matt Kemp three innings earlier. "You're always going to wonder what the intent was," Bochy said. "In that situation, that's not a time when a pitcher is going to hit somebody."
Giants skipper wishes Lewis well
LOS ANGELES -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy shared the consensus opinion that outfielder Fred Lewis, who was traded Thursday to the Toronto Blue Jays, needed a fresh start with another team."I'm happy for Freddie," Bochy said Friday. "But we're backed up here with outfielders." Bochy mentioned that Lewis seemed to get "derailed" offensively early last season. Following a promising 2008 performance (.282, 81 runs scored in 133 games), Lewis drove in one run in the first month of '09 and finished with the fifth-fewest RBIs (20) among Major Leaguers with at least 300 plate appearances. "This could be a case where a change of scenery would be good for him," Bochy said of Lewis, who began the season on the disabled list with a sore left side. Bochy said that he spoke with Lewis after the trade and wished him well. "He came into spring with a great attitude and worked his tail off," Bochy said. "I don't know what their plans are for him, but I think he'll help their club."
Molina eschews clashing gloves
LOS ANGELES -- Bengie Molina loves the added cushioning he receives from a new line of batting gloves.But Molina won't wear the gloves, which are produced by a company known as XProTeX, in a regular-season game. A significant portion of the extra padding is tinted yellow, which would clash with the Giants' orange-and-black color scheme. "You can use it," said Molina, who employed the gloves during offseason and Spring Training batting-practice sessions, "but you want to look good." Molina observed that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Oakland A's, whose uniforms include gold or yellow, wouldn't have to give the gloves a second thought. "They feel great," Molina said. "... I think it's a great invention if they find a way to put them in the right [team] colors."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.