Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he’s sticking with the same rotation against the Cardinals that got the Giants into the National League Championship Series.
As expected, right-hander Tim Hudson will start Game 3 against St. Louis on Tuesday at AT&T Park and Ryan Vogelsong in Game 4.
“We’re going to keep things in order right now,” Bochy said. “Things go a little crazy, extra innings, whatever – we’ll have them all on alert. It’s all hands on deck in this series.”
Hudson, who struggled in September, allowed one run in 71/3 innings in Game 2 of the N.L. Division Series against the Washington Nationals with eight strikeouts and no walks. The 39-year-old will make his first start in the NLCS after six previous trips to the playoffs without getting past the first round.
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Vogelsong gave up one run on two hits in 52/3 innings in the NLDS clincher in Game 4. In five career postseason starts, Vogelsong has completed at least five innings in each while allowing no more than one run.
Hudson will oppose Cardinals right-hander John Lackey in Game 3, and St. Louis will start right-hander Shelby Miller against Vogelsong in Game 4.
Big shoes to fill – After Travis Ishikawa had two hits and a diving catch in left field in Game 1, Madison Bumgarner joked about Ishikawa’s new pair of Mike Trout Nike cleats.
“So he decided he was going to play like Mike Trout out there,” Bumgarner said.
Before Sunday’s game, Ishikawa was asked about the cleats. He explained he has a sponsorship with Nike, and a company rep last week delivered a pair of the Angel All-Star’s signature cleats to Ishikawa’s locker.
“Bum was right next to me in the locker, and I showed him the cleats, and I said, ‘Am I cool enough to pull these off?’” Ishikawa said. “And he said, without hesitation, ‘No.’”
Seriously, Ishikawa said he wore the cleats during the Giants’ workout and they felt comfortable. He demurred when asked how he’d compare his game to Trout’s.
“I am nowhere near Mike Trout’s caliber, defensively, offensively or anything like that,” said Ishikawa, who made his ninth career start in left field Sunday. “My saying was, if I look fast and feel fast, maybe I’ll be fast.”
Giants lucky? – During and after Game 1, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny indicated his team thought Bumgarner may have gotten away with a balk in the seventh inning that would have forced in a run. It was one example put toward Bochy on Sunday by a reporter who asked about the perception that the Giants in recent years have been “lucky” in the playoffs.
Other plays fueling that idea include Hunter Pence hitting a ball three times on a broken-bat swing to drive in three runs, and Gregor Blanco’s bunt in the World Series that stayed somehow just inside the third-base line – both in 2012. The response from Bochy, whose team had won 12 of its last 13 postseason games entering Sunday:
“Well, luck, it’s a beautiful thing. You take it if it goes your way. Just like a blooper – if it falls in, you take it.
“But that usually evens out. It’s not luck when you have your pitchers go out there and throw the ball the way they’re throwing, or some great defensive plays.
“It’s not luck when you’ve done it enough. Maybe in a smaller sample you can say that. But going back to 2010, or ’12, or this year – I can’t say luck is the reason we’re doing what we’re doing.”
Wainwright OK – There was much discussion before Game 1 about the supposed elbow soreness of Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright, who then lasted 42/3 innings Saturday, allowing three runs on six hits. Matheny, though, said Wainwright came out of the start healthy.
“He was very adamant that this is the best he’s felt after a start in a long time,” Matheny said.
When asked if there’s any chance Wainwright would not be available to start Game 5, Matheny said: “With what I know now, I’d say no.”