ST. LOUIS -- Center fielder Angel Pagan ran in the outfield, took batting practice and said his hamstring was improved after he had a cortisone shot on Wednesday.
He is considered a possibility to start Saturday and manager Bruce Bochy considered him “more definite” to start on Sunday.
The Giants are banged up right now and without Pagan as well as Pablo Sandoval (strained foot) as they begin this series with the Cardinals. It’s their first visit to St. Louis since Barry Zito beat them in an NLCS Game 5 that will go down in franchise lore.
Matt Cain would settle for something better than his last outing against the Cardinals, when he gave up nine runs in his first home start of the season in April.
Officially, the Giants are listing Chad Gaudin as Sunday’s starting pitcher. It’ll be his first big league start since 2009 with the Yankees. He won’t be used in relief the next two days, Bochy said.
The Giants were loose and in a good mood after playing a clean game in Thursday’s victory over the A’s. Bochy sang “Macho, Macho Man” as Andres Torres descended the dugout steps – a reference to Torres breaking a bat over his knee in frustration the previous day.
“It was 35-34,” Torres said, pointing out it was one of his larger models in terms of inches and ounces. “It was bigger than the one I broke the last time.”
Players had a little fun with reliever Jean Machi, too. So many autograph seekers in the stands thought he was Pablo Sandoval that lefty Jose Mijares took a piece of masking tape and wrote “I MACHI” on it, then stuck it to the reliever’s back. Sergio Romo took a pen and added, “Not Pablo. Please and thank you.”
The clubhouse guys were in a good mood, too, which is surprising. Brandon Evans, who is supervising for Mike Murphy on this trip, had to wait until the Kansas City Royals vacated the visiting clubhouse at 4 a.m. Central time following their long, long, long rain delay Thursday night/Friday morning. By the time Evans finished unpacking and setting up all the Giants’ lockers, it was after 6 a.m. here. (Murph is fine. He doesn't make every trip, in case you were wondering.)
Last night’s umpiring crew got the worst of it, though. Joe West and Co. had to work a day game Friday at Wrigley Field, and they’d prearranged to get to Chicago in a limo. It was a 5-hour drive, and they left at 4 a.m. Good thing the Cubs didn’t play extra innings. That would’ve been cruel.
But give a lot of credit to West and his crew for sticking out that long delay, especially since a new rule would’ve meant a suspended game would have ended as a 2-1 victory for the Cardinals. The Royals had scored three in the ninth to take a 4-2 lead before the storms came through, stopping play.
Because it was the Royals’ last game in St. Louis, the new rule calls for suspended games to be called final, reverting back to the last complete inning.
West wanted the outcome decided on the field, as it should be. We always accuse umpires of trying to bend the rules to make life convenient. Let this stand as an example when they sacrificed to make sure the most just outcome was reached.
Birthday wishes to MLB.com beat reporter Chris Haft as well as Giants announcer Dave Flemming, who gets a special birthday gift on Saturday – nine innings in the booth with Eric Karros. They’ll form the announcing team for the Fox telecast.