Buster Posey took a couple of shots on foul balls last night, including one off the right arm catching in the first inning, and so gets a day off in Sunday’s Giants series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers.
“Buster needs a day,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He got pretty banged up yesterday, been out there every day for a while, catching or playing first.”
Bochy said Posey is available off the bench if needed. It’ll be Andrew Susac catching Madison Bumgarner in a start for the first time, though Susac caught Bumgarner for one inning earlier this season. Bochy said he normally wouldn’t make the switch with Bumgarner pitching, “But it’s important we give these guys a little break, because we do have some baseball left.”
Bumgarner has a chance at completing what has been an impressive home stand for Giants starting pitchers. Including Bumgarner’s last start, in which he took a perfect game into the eighth against Colorado, Giants starters have combined for a 1.01 ERA over 44 2/3 innings with 50 strikeouts and six walks in their last six games.
Bumgarner can also strengthen his case for N.L. Pitcher of the Month on the final day of August. In five starts this month, he’s 3-1 with a 1.58 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 40 innings. The ERA and strikeouts lead N.L. pitchers this month, and his .152 opponents’ average ranks second.
Here’s the lineup that will support Bumgarner today:
And the Brewers’ lineup:
• Not much news from this morning, but Bochy did talk a little about the odd situation the Giants are headed into Monday in Colorado, with making up their suspended game from May 22 before playing their regularly scheduled game in the evening.
The game was suspended in the bottom of the sixth with two outs, the score tied 2-2, Michael Cuddyer on first base, Troy Tulowitzki coming up to bat and David Huff pitching for the Giants. Cuddyer and Tulowitzki are both hurt, Huff is on the Yankees now, and the Giants’ defense included two players, Tyler Colvin and Brandon Hicks, who are no longer on the roster.
“You’re going to see a lot of changes made right away,” Bochy said.
“There’s a lot of things you can do. Morse made the last out, so you can double-switch. We’ve got to replace a lot of guys, so right away you’re going to put some guys out there.”
Bochy said he doesn’t yet know who will pitch for the Giants when the game resumes. It depends largely on whom Bochy needs to use in relief today against the Brewers. He said Tim Lincecum could be an option, “But we’ll wait and see how it goes today.” Adding to the possibilities is the fact teams can expand their rosters Monday with September call-ups, so Bochy may have more options than he does today.
The game is scheduled to resume at 1:10 p.m. PDT, with the Giants and Rockies then playing their regularly scheduled game starting about 30 minutes after the first game ends. Bochy was asked if he learned anything he can use from the Giants’ suspended game in Chicago on their last trip, which they appealed after it was originally called with the Cubs winning but went on to lose, 2-1.
“I don’t know what I learned,” Bochy said, “except that we need to score.”
• One other note: Bochy reiterated that had he not needed to pinch hit for Sergio Romo with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth last night, Romo would have come back out to start the ninth after throwing just three pitches striking out Carlos Gomez for the last out in the top of the eighth.
Romo has clearly worked his way back into consideration to at least share closer duties with Santiago Casilla. He has not allowed a run in his last 14 appearances since July 22, giving up just six hits in 12 1/3 innings with 17 strikeouts. Bochy said the key has been command and that Romo has looked “determined to get back on track.”
Casilla had another shaky start to the ninth last night, allowing a Jonathan Lucroy double off Hunter Pence’s glove in right field and an RBI single by Ryan Braun, though he did recover to nail down the save. Still, Casilla has been scored upon in six of his last 12 outings, and Bochy said Sunday morning he will continue to “ham and egg it” with Romo and Casilla in the ninth.
• Jake Peavy’s outing Saturday night, in which he took a no-hitter into the eighth, was the seventh time this season a Giants starter has held an opposing team hitless through at least the first five innings of a game. Peavy has done it twice, as has Tim Lincecum, and Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong and Bumgarner have each done it once.
According to pre-game notes, via the Elias Sports Bureau, the Giants are the first team to have seven such starts in a season since the 2011 Detroit Tigers and the first Giants team since the 1975 squad, when Pete Falcone had four such starts, Jim Barr had two and Ed Halicki had one.
• The Giants can match their longest winning streak of the season (six) with a win today over the Brewers. It would also mark their first sweep of the Brewers since a four-game series in Milwaukee from July 5-8, 2010.