PHOENIX – The Giants will go for a sweep at Chase Field and Tim Lincecum will try to slay a beast that answers to the name of Paul Goldschmidt Wednesday night.
But it’s hard not to look ahead to the weekend, when the Giants play host to the Daddy Warbucks Dodgers for the first time in 2013.
The Giants have some decisions to make before Friday. Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt is scheduled to come off the disabled list after his session throwing to hitters in extended spring went well Wednesday.
Affeldt threw 25 pitches while facing seven Angels farmhands, giving up two soft singles at the Tempe sports complex. He said it was a step he benefited from taking, since it allowed him to gauge his stuff against hitters.
He also was able to use this time on the DL with a strained oblique to brush up his mechanics, and stay on a more direct line to the plate.
“What I thought was lined up wasn’t really lined up,” he said, and any golfer certainly can identify with that.
Affeldt had to take some ribbing, though. One of his former teammates, Denny Hocking, is an Angels minor league coach and started chirping at him.
“He was saying, `Hey, let’s get this guy?’” Affeldt said. “I was like, `There’s nobody here. Who the heck is yelling at me?’”
The Giants could do one of several things to make room for Affeldt, but it’s hard to imagine Jean Machi going back to Triple-A Fresno. Maybe the Giants would go to a 13-man staff and send out Hector Sanchez, but that’s not ideal, either, after the bullpen will have a day off Thursday to rest up for the series. The other reliever with options, George Kontos, doesn’t deserve to go down, either.
Sandy Rosario is likely to be sent out, but his space will be claimed by left-hander Jose Mijares, who missed the Arizona series in the bereavement list after his beloved grandmother passed away in Venezuela.
Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw is grieving as well after the death of his father. He’ll return from the bereavement list to start Friday at AT&T Park. If Ted Lilly’s back is good to go Saturday, the Dodgers will start three lefties in the series.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Joaquin Arias would start Friday against Kershaw, either in place of first baseman Brandon Belt or shortstop Brandon Crawford.
Crawford hasn’t gotten a day off all season. He and Hunter Pence are the only Giants to start every game.
I was talking to Crawford about that, and how difficult it is for a shortstop to go to the post every day. I wondered to myself if a shortstop had ever played 162 games when a light bulb went off. Cal Ripken, duh. Miguel Tejada, too.
Finally, Bochy hinted ever so slightly that he would have Lincecum walk Goldschmidt intentionally if the Diamondbacks’ power-hitting first baseman steps to the plate with a base open.
As you probably know, Goldschmidt is 8 for 14 with five home runs off Lincecum in his career.
I asked Bochy if he’s ever had a matchup sheet where a hitter has owned one of his pitchers so badly that he’d just order up four fingers.
“I know who you’re talking about,” Bochy said, smiling. “You hope your guy can adjust. But there’s times when it’s not working. That’s the definition of insanity, right? When it happens over and over again?”
Worth noting: Minus Goldschmidt, the rest of the Diamondbacks’ active roster is hitting .192 against Lincecum (24 for 125).
If I'm the Giants, I bring up Brett Pill and throw him a start in the Dodgers series. But that's just me. I know you look at PCL stats through a warped lens, but he's hitting .361 with six home runs, eight doubles and 28 RBI in 21 games (83 at-bats). Ye gads.
Final pregame note: Jean Machi and Sandy Rosario became the first Giants to receive their first big league victory on consecutive days since September, 1975. That’s when Rob Dressler and Greg “Moon Man” Minton won on back-to-back days.
I wonder if they did the ol’ beer shower back then.