SAN FRANCISCO -- As manager Bruce Bochy said on Thursday, it’ll be Yusmeiro Petit starting tonight for the Giants against the Marlins in place of right-hander Tim Hudson, who has a strained left hip. Bochy said Hudson "feels good today" and was supposed to play catch before the game, which would give the Giants "a better read on exactly where he’s at."
"But we still believe he’s going to be fine to make his next start," Bochy said.
For Petit, even one day is more advance notice than he got for his first start this season, when Matt Cain cut his finger making a sandwich and Petit learned he’d be starting an hour before first pitch. Petit handled that situation deftly, throwing six scoreless innings against the Padres on April 29. This will be his third start for Petit, who has given the Giants a pretty reliable option for spot-starts.
"I think (a spot-starter) has to be somebody that has a calmness about him," Bochy said. "You have to control those emotions, because you don’t know when you’re pitching, and when you’re called on to do it, you haven’t pitched in a while, you may not have that confidence you normally would
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"I think that’s a big part of the makeup, and I think anytime you look at that guy you’re looking at a strike-thrower. You want innings out of him, you don’t want him to beat himself, and Petit is that."
Bochy said the Giants would ideally like to get five or six innings out of Petit. The right-hander has pitched just once in the last 10 days -- an inning against the Braves in a 5-0 loss on Tuesday night. He struck out two of the three batters he faced.
Here’s the full Giants lineup against the Marlins and right-hander Henderson Alvarez:
And the Marlins’ lineup against Petit:
* Tyler Colvin starts in left field for the fourth time in five games. Bochy acknowledged he didn’t see Colvin playing this regularly right away when the Giants called him up, but Brandon Belt’s injury created a need and Colvin is swinging the bat well, going 6-for-12 with three doubles and a home run in his three starts.
Bochy said the Giants are still keeping an eye on Colvin’s back -- he had a herniated disc that bothered him much of last season -- but Bochy "talked to him last night and he feels great. And he’s playing so well, you go with your hot stick."
Bochy also said Colvin stepping in and being a contributor will make it easier to get days off for Angel Pagan, who can be spelled by Gregor Blanco in center.
* It doesn’t sound as if the Giants will be going away from their current 13-pitcher roster anytime soon. With Michael Morse now playing mostly first base, Bochy said he’ll have less reason to take Morse out late in games for defense. And Morse does give the Giants another outfield option -- tonight Blanco is their lone outfielder on the bench -- so that if necessary, Morse could shift to the outfield and Buster Posey or Hector Sanchez to first.
"I think it’s going to work fine right now," Bochy said.
* Petit isn’t the only one filling in tonight. Bench coach Ron Wotus will coach third with Tim Flannery in southern California for the college graduation of his youngest daughter.
"Where is Ronny, at third base reading balls?" Bochy joked. "No, he’ll be fine. He’s done it a few times."