Giants' rotation stacks up historically
Pair of World Series shutouts demonstrates depth, talent
ARLINGTON -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that his team's historic pair of shutout World Series victories over Texas reflects the quality and potential of San Francisco's pitching staff."It shows you how good those guys are, or can be," Bochy said Monday. "We know that's our strength. These guys have done a great job to this point, pitching against a good offensive team." This hasn't been a secret, of course. Tim Lincecum has won the last two National League Cy Young Awards and has been an All-Star for three consecutive years. Last year, Matt Cain was an NL All-Star, while Jonathan Sanchez pitched a no-hitter. This season, the Giants' 3.36 ERA led the Major Leagues. With their 4-0 victory in Sunday's Game 4, the Giants became the first team to record multiple shutouts in a World Series since Baltimore swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in four games in 1966. The Orioles posted three shutouts, including one apiece by Jim Palmer and Dave McNally, who remained with the club for years afterward and helped Baltimore win AL pennants in 1969 and '71 and the World Series in '70. The Giants are hopeful that their homegrown postseason rotation of Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner can thrive, as their Orioles predecessors did. "They're young, they're under [contractual] control," Bochy said. "It's nice to have that staring at you for the future."
Giants' lineup features Rowand, Burrell
ARLINGTON -- Inserting Aaron Rowand in the Giants' starting lineup for Game 5 of the World Series -- a 3-1, championship-clinching victory -- wasn't meant as a favor to the veteran center fielder, manager Bruce Bochy said on Monday. Rowand went hitless in three at-bats."We need him," Bochy said. "We need another right-handed bat out there and his experience. It's nice to have this depth." Rowand batted a career-low .230 and lost his starting job to Andres Torres during the regular season. He actually hit worse against left-handed pitchers (.211) than against righties (.237), but he owned a .280 lifetime average (7-for-25) with one home run against Cliff Lee, Texas' Game 5 starter. Rowand swatted a two-run, pinch-hit triple in his only previous Series at-bat in Game 2. He entered Monday with a .246 batting average in 21 postseason games, including 3-for-8 (.375) in six games this year. With Rowand in center, Andres Torres shifted to right field, where he started 38 games this year. Torres went 1-for-4 in Game 5.
"Tory's comfortable wherever you put him," Bochy said.Pat Burrell struck out three times in Game 5 in his return to the lineup as designated hitter, a role he disliked while playing for Tampa Bay. That didn't sway Bochy, who wanted to deploy his strongest defensive outfield possible. Burrell entered Monday batting .158 (6-for-38) with 19 strikeouts in the postseason, including 0-for-9 with eight strikeouts in the Series. This prompted Bochy to bench Burrell in Game 4. Burrell used the spare time to take extra batting practice with hitting coach Hensley Meulens, who discovered a flaw in the 11-year veteran's stroke. "He was leaning over too much," Meulens said. "When he does that, he usually doesn't see the ball very well."
Bochy's spirits high before Game 5
ARLINGTON -- It was a jovial Bruce Bochy who met the baseball press during his pregame media briefing Monday.Asked what Juan Uribe said to Madison Bumgarner after the rookie left-hander walked leadoff batter Elvis Andrus in the first inning of Sunday's Game 4, Bochy jokingly referred to the shortstop's sometimes garbled English. "Oh, I couldn't tell you. I don't know if Madison could tell you, to be honest," Bochy said, prompting laughter. Another interrogator, citing a young Rangers fan who shaved his head and dressed himself to resemble Texas manager Ron Washington, wondered aloud what steps a kid would have to take to look like Bochy. "Well, he'd have to blow his head up somehow," Bochy said, referring to his 8 1/8 hat size. "I don't know how he would do it. Put a lot of air in it, and he would get close. I don't think you're going to find too many kids that could do that with me."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.