PITTSBURGH Chooch and Buster.
It sounds like a copbasset hound buddy movie. Or maybe thatplace where you forgot to redeem your skee-ball tickets.
Instead, its the catching corps, as it currently stands,for the National League All-Star squad.
The Cardinals Yadier Molina will not attend the game due toa death in his wifes family, and NL manager Tony LaRussa replaced him withoutfielder Matt Holliday. So unless another catcher is added, itll be up toBuster Posey and the Phillies Carlos Chooch Ruiz to go the distance.
BAGGARLY: Bochy plans Giants' rotation order following the break
It also could alter La Russas plan to name a startingpitcher. It was beginning to look like La Russa would go with Poseys Giants teammate,Matt Cain, and save knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to work with Molina. Giantsmanager Bruce Bochy was certainly in favor of that plan, citing the advantageof starting the game with a battery that has great familiarity.
In other pregame news, Bochy is staying with outfielderJustin Christian against a left-handed starter for the second consecutive day.Erik Bedard isnt as tough on lefties as Thursdays starter, the NationalsRoss Detwiler, but Bochy was impressed when Christian collected three hits andstole a base.
Bochy didnt shy away when asked of Christian could become afixture against left-handed pitching. (Read: platoon partner for Gregor Blanco.)
The way he played (Thursday), he kind of forces that issue,Bochy said.
Top prospect Heath Hembree's MRI confirmed the diagnosis of a flexor strain nearhis right elbow. Hembree will rest for 10 days to two weeks and be reevaluated, Giants vice president Bobby Evans said.
BAGGARLY: Casilla out with blister issue, but gets vote of confidence
All in all, positive news.
It isnt much cooler in Pittsburgh than it was in Washington.Temps are in the low 90s and its humid. The Pirates took batting practiceindoors. The Giants moved up their time, and Bochy was getting annoyed that somany players were getting extra work instead of saving their energy.
Blanco, especially, has been taking a ton of swings whiletrying to dig out of an extended soft streak. Bochy also ordered Christianindoors after finishing his round in the cage.
Bochy had a Bochyism when asked if managing the All-StarGame is more trouble than its worth.
No, he said. Id love to manage it every year.
That means winning the pennant every year, obviously.