It’s rare for shortstop Brandon Crawford to get a day off against a left-hander, and for right fielder Hunter Pence to get a day off, period. But both will rest for the Giants’ series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.
Manager Bruce Bochy said both have some nagging soreness. Pence bruised his left wrist making a sliding catch on Andrew McCutchen’s ball to right-center on Monday, and Crawford has been experiencing calf tightness.
“You get in a little streak like we’re in right now (four consecutive losses), you want to keep running your guys out there,” Bochy said. “But you get to a point of diminishing returns, wearing them down. Hunter needs a day and Crawford needs a day today. We’re going to try to do it without them.”
Justin Maxwell gets the start in right field and Joaquin Arias at shortstop against Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano. The full Giants’ lineup:
And the Pirates’ lineup against Tim Hudson:
▪ Jake Peavy threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session this morning and said afterward he felt “completely pain-free” in his lower back. Peavy will make his next rehab start Saturday with the Triple-A River Cats in Sacramento.
Peavy said he threw all his pitches in the bullpen session and felt “as good as I’ve felt physically since I’ve been doing this rehab.” The right-hander felt back tightness after his last rehab outing at Sacramento, causing the Giants to push back his timetable.
“He’s feeling a lot better with that lower back, and that’s good news for us,” Bochy said. “It’s going to take a few starts for him; he did have a setback here. But the good news is he’s gotten over the hump where it was bothering him.”
Peavy is slated for 75 pitches on Saturday and said he wants to work up to 100 pitches before rejoining the Giants’ rotation. He said he hopes that would only take two or three starts in the minors. Bochy said there’s no target date still for Peavy’s return.
▪ Tim Lincecum will not be with the Giants when they visit the White House on Thursday, Bochy said. Lincecum will instead fly directly to Philadelphia, where he starts against the Phillies on Friday. Bochy said that was a mutual decision.
“It’s a fun day, but it can get a little long,” Bochy said of the White House visit. “He had his choice, but he knows the best thing is to just fly right into Philly and get his rest.”
Bochy said it “might’ve been” different if this were the Giants’ first trip to the president’s home (it’s their third in five years). “Still,” Bochy said, “you’ve gotta do what’s right and this is the right thing to do. This makes the most sense.”
The Giants said Michael Morse will join them at the White House – the Miami Marlins have an off-day Thursday, plus Morse is on the DL with a finger sprain.
▪ After meeting with the president, the Giants will take the train from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia – something they also did after their 2013 visit. It’s not a common way for a major-league team to travel, but Bochy said that last time, “players enjoyed it.”
“It takes you back in time a little bit,” Bochy said. “That’s the way you traveled for the most part in baseball. … You eat on the train, get to see part of the countryside. So they enjoyed it.”
▪ Giants starters are in a bit of a rut – in their last 12 games, they have a combined 5.64 ERA with only two outings of at least seven innings. Hudson had one of those in his last start, when he allowed one run in seven innings against the Braves. A win Wednesday would move Hudson into a tie for 78th all-time on the career list.