SAN FRANCISCO – Giants manager Bruce Bochy wanted to give a routine day off to either Michael Morse or Buster Posey on Wednesday as the Giants play a day game following a night game. He decided Posey was fresher.
But not fresh enough to catch Tim Lincecum.
Morse is off, Posey is at first base and Hector Sanchez is forming the battery with Lincecum for the right-hander’s fifth consecutive start. So …. not to drum up old controversies, but is Sanchez starting to form one of those “personal catcher” terms of endearment again?
Bochy said he didn’t intend it, but “we may keep it that way.”
Lincecum and Posey pretty much put to rest any rumbles that they might not see eye to eye back in July. The two formed an iconic image in franchise history when Posey bear-hugged Lincecum from behind following the final out of a no-hitter at Petco Park.
Posey caught four of Lincecum’s first five starts but lately his rest requirements have fallen on days when the two-time Cy Young Award winner is pitching. Because Lincecum is on a bit of a roll with Sanchez, Bochy isn’t messing with it.
Lincecum has a 3.79 ERA with Sanchez catching him, and 5.95 ERA with Posey. Plus managers often like to pair their backup catcher with one starter, the better to maintain continuity all the way around.
The biggest reason, though, might be preserving the Giants’ most important offensive player.
“Timmy is a little rough on a catcher,” Bochy said. “No getting around it. He beats you up some games.”
Given Sanchez’s magnetic powers to attract foul tips, you can almost guarantee it.
In other pregame news, Bochy said he was impressed with Ehire Adrianza’s balance and comfort level in a rare start Tuesday, which is why he’s back at second base on Wednesday as the Giants try to take two of three from the Cubs. Brandon Hicks, who was 0 for 10 with seven strikeouts in his last three starts, will be back at second base Thursday in St. Louis, Bochy said.
Finally, Bochy is willing to tolerate Pablo Sandoval wearing his lucky cowboy boots in the dugout if it helps him hit, even though “it’s not a good look.”
Bochy said he’s permissive when it comes to superstitions, but “you’ve got to draw a line somewhere.”
Given that recent franchise history includes a rally thong, you wonder ... where exactly does Bochy draw that line?