Giants call on Surkamp to stop slide
On Tuesday, Eric Surkamp will making his first big league appearance since September 28, 2011. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants will call up left-hander Eric Surkamp to start the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds.
Surkamp’s presence in the clubhouse confirmed what was known but not made official for several days. The left-hander, who had Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2012, will make his first big league appearance since the final game of the 2011 season.
Barry Zito will pitch the second game of the single-admission doubleheader, which is a scheduled makeup from the July 4 rainout at Great American Ball Park.
According to the official rules, the second game is considered the makeup. So in Game 2, the Giants will act as the road team, wear road uniforms and bat first.
So, yes, Zito will start a road game and wear a road uniform – at home. He’s winless with a 9.89 ERA in his eight road starts this season.
Why start Zito in the second game? Well, generally, managers will be a little quicker to go to their bullpen if a starter is struggling in the first game. The thinking: you do all you can to win that first game, and treat the second one as gravy.
That’s not to suggest the Giants have no confidence in Zito; he’s 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in his 11 starts at AT&T Park. But Surkamp is coming off surgery and can’t throw many more than 100 pitches. If you have to leave a starter out there to “wear it,” then Zito is better equipped to do that.
Game 1 starts at 4:05 p.m. and Game 2 will start 30 minutes after the final out.
Not to confuse you, but in the official statistics, both games will be recorded as home games for the Giants, even though they’ll act the part of visitors in Game 2. So at the end of the season, the Giants will end up with 82 home games and the Reds will have 80.
To answer one other question I’m getting a lot: The Giants do not share any portion of the gate, concession revenue, etc. with the Reds. The Reds will be compensated out of baseball’s general fund.
Kind of neat that Surkamp draws the Reds in what will be a big day for him. He’s a graduate of Cincinnati's Moeller High – the same school that produced Ken Griffey Jr.
Joaquin Arias (appendectomy) is hitting and running but won’t be activated until Wednesday at the earliest.