The Giants called in some familiar faces to bring them luck in the World Series.
San Francisco enlisted the help of five franchise greats -- Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry and Monte Irvin -- to help prime the local crowd for Game 1 of the World Series. All five Hall of Famers met on the mound for the ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday night's opening game against Texas.
Willie Mays was to throw out the first pitch, but was unable to attend because of illness.
Had Mays been able to attend, he and Irvin would have provided a link to the Giants' last World Series title. Both Mays and Irvin played for the 1954 Giants, who swept the 111-win Indians. The Giants have been back to the Fall Classic three times since moving to San Francisco but have yet to win again.
McCovey, Cepeda, Marichal and Perry are links to the post-move Giants, who have enjoyed quite a bit of success in the last five decades. All four of them played for the 1962 Giants, a team that lost the World Series in seven games to the Yankees. San Francisco also went to the World Series in 1989 and 2002, but lost to the A's and Angels, respectively.
San Francisco will try to tap the same magic on Thursday, when it enlists Bobby Thomson's daughters, Megan Armstrong and Nancy Mitchell, to throw out the first pitch. Thomson, a three-time All-Star whose game-winning homer -- dubbed "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" -- against the Dodgers gave the Giants the 1951 pennant in the final game of a best-of-three playoff, died in August.
-- Spencer Fordin
Torres, Uribe, Renteria in Game 1 lineup
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ignoring Andres Torres' subpar performance this year as a right-handed batter, Giants manager Bruce Bochy left the switch-hitting center fielder in the leadoff spot Wednesday against Texas Rangers left-hander Cliff Lee for Game 1 of the World Series.Torres went 1-for-4, notching a double off Lee, and scored two runs. He struck out twice.
Torres hit .268 overall during the regular season, but posted just a .224 mark against left-handers. He had received scant opportunities against lefties during the postseason, going 0-for-4.But Torres finished the National League Championship Series against Philadelphia with six hits in his final nine at-bats.
"He's seeing the ball a lot better," Bochy said. "He has his confidence back."Besides, playing lefty-righty percentages is usually meaningless against top pitchers such as Lee. Lefties actually fared better against him (.276 during the regular season) than righties (.240). "He's tough on everybody," Bochy said. Nevertheless, the batting order reflected Lee's presence. Aubrey Huff, a left-handed swinger who typically bats third, occupied the sixth spot. To nobody's surprise, Edgar Renteria started at shortstop, which prompted Juan Uribe to shift to third base. That forced switch-hitting Pablo Sandoval to the bench, though he could emerge as a designated hitter when the Series moves to Texas.
Renteria went 1-for-3 and scored twice in Game 1.
Giants' roster unchanged for World Series
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants made no changes to their 25-man postseason contingent as they set their roster for the World Series against the Rangers, which opens on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. ET at AT&T Park. The Giants officially announced the roster Wednesday morning.As they did for the National League Division Series and NL Championship Series, the Giants will carry 11 pitchers and 14 position players in the Fall Classic. The position players were set with the same seven infielders, five outfielders and two catchers. Outfielder Jose Guillen, who has been nursing a neck injury, has been the odd man out of that group. The only debatable issue was whether left-hander Barry Zito would make the roster instead of right-handed reliever Guillermo Mota. Zito sat out the first two rounds in lieu of Mota, who didn't make an appearance in any of the club's 10 games leading up to the World Series. Mostly from his days with the Oakland A's, Zito is 18-5 with a 3.72 ERA in 31 career starts against the Rangers. Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted that leaving Zito off the roster for the World Series was tougher than bypassing him for the NLDS against Atlanta and the NLCS against Philadelphia. "He's a big reason why we're here," Bochy said, adding that making relievers Chris Ray and Dan Runzler inactive was also difficult. The fact is, in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the NLCS on Saturday in Philadelphia -- with right-handers Mota, Santiago Casilla and Ramon Ramirez available -- Bochy went to Tim Lincecum as his setup man on one day's rest after the right-hander's Game 5 start. Lincecum pitched to three batters and allowed a pair of singles before Brian Wilson came in to close the series and 3-2 win with a five-out save. Lincecum is scheduled to start Game 1 of the World Series against Rangers left-hander Cliff Lee, who is 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA over the past two postseasons, including 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA this year. Lee went 2-0 against the Yankees as a member of the Phillies in last year's World Series. Lincecum said on Tuesday that his Game 6 relief appearance, which occurred on his regular throwing day, didn't change his preparations for Wednesday's start. "I don't think it threw me off or anything -- I'm still ready to go," Lincecum said. "It's nothing. As far as getting in there, it was pretty exciting. I rarely get into games out of the bullpen. It was fun and nerve-wracking." And it begs the question: If Bochy was not prepared to use Mota in that situation, why continue to have him on the roster? Mota has pitched only five times since Sept. 17. "He didn't pitch his way off [the roster]," Bochy said. "I just decided to stay with the same roster, because it's worked." Zito, who hasn't pitched since Oct. 2, threw to batters on Tuesday as Bochy looked on intently. Zito was 9-14 with a 4.15 ERA in 33 starts, but his effectiveness severely curtailed toward the end of the regular season, with the Giants losing nine of his final 10 starts. That's why Zito was left off the roster for the first two rounds. As far as a designated hitter for the middle three games of the series, to be played in Arlington, Bochy said he had yet to make a determination but had a wide variety of choices. "Pat Burrell is going to be mentioned," Bochy said. "I don't have a DH set, but he [served in that role] with Tampa Bay. Pablo Sandoval is an option. Another option would be Aubrey Huff, who's done some DHing. That would allow me to put another left-handed bat in there if I went with Travis Ishikawa [at first base]. So these are the things we're talking about." Huff is the regular first baseman, and Burrell starts in left field. Sandoval, a third baseman, has played sparingly since the second game of the NLDS against the Braves.
Affeldt's resurgence helps bullpen depth
SAN FRANCISCO -- As seen in the final game of the National League Championship Series, the Giants usually have no issue in getting from their vaunted starters to All-Star closer Brian Wilson.The main reason is the variety of arms the Giants can throw at opposing hitters, from strong-armed right-handers such as Santiago Casilla to side-arming lefty Javier Lopez. "Our bullpen has done great a job for us this year and certainly saved us in the last game against the Phillies," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We have a number of guys that we'll use in any role." The biggest bullpen hero in Game 6 of the NLCS was left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt, who pitched two scoreless innings and allowed zero hits. Because of lingering injuries that affected his consistency, Affeldt had a rough regular season, but in the NLCS, he evoked memories of his dominant 2009 campaign, in which he was named Setup Man of the Year. Because of Affeldt's history and his latest outing, he could possibly regain his setup role in the World Series. Prior to Game 1, Bochy said he would use both Affeldt and Lopez in the seventh and eighth innings against tough left-handed hitters. "Affeldt can help out there, too," Bochy said of the late innings. "It looks like he's back to where he was earlier in the season."
Bochy an admirer of former teammate Ryan
SAN FRANCISCO -- Although Bruce Bochy lets pitching coach Dave Righetti handle the majority of the duties when it comes to managing the Giants' pitchers, the San Francisco skipper also has dealt with great pitchers in his day.Bochy and Rangers president Nolan Ryan played together on the 1980 Astros, and Bochy said what he remembers most was Ryan's intense work ethic and competitiveness. "With Nolan, I'd say more than anything, watching how he went about his business, his work ethic," Bochy said. "He was relentless with his workouts, and that was really at a time where the working out, the weights and conditioning probably wasn't as emphasized as it is now. That's what I probably got from him as much as anything, you know, how much work you need to put into the game. "Getting a chance to catch him, you got a chance to see how competitive Nolan was. Sure, he had great stuff, but more than that, he had that maniacal focus that the great pitchers have."
Early start for Bochy
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy arrived at AT&T Park at 10 a.m. PT Wednesday, nearly seven hours before the first pitch of Game 1 of the World Series.Do you think he was excited? "You can't wait to get to the ballpark," said Bochy, who piloted San Diego in his only other Series trip in 1998. "It's a long, tough road to get here. You realize where you're at and it's a great feeling." Bochy didn't just sit idly in his office. He spent time playing catch with his son, Brett, a right-handed reliever who the Giants selected in the 20th round of the First-Year Player Draft this June. Brett Bochy had Tommy John surgery in April and continues to rehabilitate his elbow.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.