SAN FRANCISCO -- While reiterating before Friday's game that Brian Wilson would receive a rest in the series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Giants manager Bruce Bochy downplayed Wilson's diminished velocity in his previous appearance.Wilson's fastball, which exceeded 90 mph when Thursday's ninth inning began, hovered in the 86-mph range after he turned his left ankle while pitching to Colorado's Tyler Colvin. Wilson proceeded to walk Colvin and force in a run, but secured his first save of the season by inducing Marco Scutaro's flyout. Wilson threw 32 pitches Thursday and 24 pitches Wednesday, prompting Bochy's decision to give him a break. Wilson's less-than-steamy fastball was not an issue. "I don't get caught up with that as much as some baseball experts," Bochy said. "You have to command your pitches." Without Wilson available, Santiago Casilla was among the leading candidates to fill the closer's role if the Giants needed to protect a late lead.
Belt remains on bench in favor of hot bats
SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt was on the bench for the fourth consecutive game Friday, though manager Bruce Bochy continued to insist that the first baseman-outfielder would receive his share of playing time ... eventually."I'm trying to put the team out there that gives us the best chance to win right now," Bochy said. Right now -- that is, entering Friday -- Belt was batting .091 (1-for-11) with five strikeouts. Belt was San Francisco's Opening Day first baseman after hitting .378 in exhibitions. But Aubrey Huff and Brett Pill have occupied first since last weekend's Arizona series, partly because Nate Schierholtz's two-homer surge Wednesday has squeezed them from the outfield temporarily. "It's not all about Brandon," Bochy said. "We're going to try to mix everybody in there. Brandon's going to be part of this. I'll get him in there as much as I can." Belt isn't the only Giant whose status appears shaky. Center fielder Angel Pagan started for the sixth time in seven games, but he entered Friday with a .130 batting average. Bochy indicated that he's hoping for a quorum of players to establish consistency. If that were to happen, Bochy said, "We will get settled into more of a regular lineup."
Giants pay tribute to 1962 World Series squad
SAN FRANCISCO -- No Giants home opener is complete without some acknowledgement of the franchise's storied past. So the organization seized the first opportunity to stage a 50th-anniversary commemoration of the 1962 ballclub, which won the Giants' first pennant since they moved west in 1958.Eleven members of the team that bested the Dodgers in a three-game playoff before losing the World Series to the New York Yankees were on hand, including Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Gaylord Perry and Orlando Cepeda. Others present included Jim Davenport, Felipe Alou, Mike McCormick, Don Larsen, Billy Pierce, Carl Boles and Ernie Bowman. Manager Alvin Dark, who's 90 years old, and broadcaster Lon Simmons also took bows. Dark and each former player were escorted onto the field by an active Giant, usually a player occupying a similar role. For example, Mays' usher was Angel Pagan, the current center fielder. Left-hander Madison Bumgarner accompanied the southpaw Pierce. Broadcaster Mike Krukow delivered a brief speech in which he said that the '62 team "helped define what it means to be a San Francisco Giant."
Clark not thrilled by lightning strike
SAN FRANCISCO -- Will Clark endured the Loma Prieta earthquake that struck Northern California in 1989. He was a passenger on a flight so rocky that a flight attendant bumped her head on the ceiling of the main cabin.But never has Clark experienced anything like he did Thursday night, when he was a United Airlines passenger on a Boeing 777 that was struck by lightning. "I can scratch that one off my bucket list," Clark said sarcastically. Clark, the former All-Star first baseman who's a Giants special ambassador, said that "an unbelievable sound reverberated through the plane" when the lightning hit. Trying to imitate the sound, Clark made a noise resembling a combination of a huge inhale and the hissing of the beast from the movie "Alien." The pilot diverted the plane to Sacramento and told passengers that they could deplane if they wished.
"I said, 'I will,'" related Clark, who promptly rented a car and drove to San Francisco.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.