Giants sticking with five-man rotation
Bochy opts not to change despite upcoming off-days
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have decided to maintain their current five-man rotation, even with three more off-days this month.The idea is to keep top-of-the-rotation guys like Tim Lincecum rested and bottom-of-the-rotation guys like Todd Wellemeyer sharp. "It's a grind of a season," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "If we can give them rest early, hopefully it will pay dividends in August and September. They're all throwing well, so we'll keep the order." There was some thought given to using Wellemeyer in relief, if needed, during Sunday's game because the bullpen had been extended the previous two days. Lincecum and Jeremy Affeldt made it academic. Barry Zito warmed up in the bullpen during Saturday's game, but that was an example of getting in work in between starts. "We just held back his side work and when we knew we weren't going to use him, he got his bullpen session in," Bochy said. "We'll do that occasionally when we've used the bullpen quite a bit."
Rain forces Giants to improvise
SAN FRANCISCO -- Playing cards or board games are a couple of ways to wile away the time before a game, but what happens when you have four hours to kill?The Giants and Braves waited just over four hours before finally taking the field Sunday night for a game that lasted two hours and 20 minutes. "We had the chance to watch the Masters," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We had a couple of meetings to determine whether the game would be played or not." The Giants and Braves needed four hours and one minute to play 13 innings in Friday's home opener. Two days later, the wait was four hours and nine minutes even before the game started. Perhaps the best performance of the day came from somebody who stayed in the clubhouse and never took the field. "The guy with the toughest job was Joe, our chef," Bochy said. "He had a menu for a day game, and he had to make adjustments. Guys were going into the kitchen quite a bit."
Giants match up with familiar face
SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants face a familiar face on Monday night in Pirates left-hander Brian Burres, who tabbed for the start in the hours leading up to the series opener after Ross Ohlendorf was scratched.Burres was selected by the Giants in the 31st round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, though he made his Major League debut with the Baltimore Orioles in '06. Current Giants Matt Cain and Travis Ishikawa were Burres' teammates briefly at Class A San Jose in '04. John Bowker and Nate Schierholtz knew him from the organization, but were a year behind him at every stop. "I faced him last year," Bowker said. "He doesn't throw very hard, but he's one of those crafty left-handers. He hits spots and tries to keep you off balance." Burres grew into one of the Giants' top pitching prospects before the Orioles claimed him on waivers.
Infielder Freddy Sanchez (recovering from left shoulder surgery) remains on track to return to the lineup by the end of the month. "He's coming along just fine," manager Bruce Bochy said. "There have been no setbacks." ... Outfielder Fred Lewis (left intercostal strain) is currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno and has been performing well for the Grizzlies. He was eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday. "He's swinging it well and getting some nice at-bats," Bochy said. "He still needs to get quite a few at-bats since he missed a lot at the end of Spring Training." ... Third baseman Pablo Sandoval doubled to lead off the third inning on Monday and is the only Giants player to record a hit in each of the first seven games to start a season.
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.