SAN DIEGO -- The Giants have lost the last six times with Tim Lincecum on the mound. They hope to save everyone's sanity and end that streak on what should be a pleasant night for baseball.
They'll have to continue to piece together the ninth inning in a save situation, though. Closer Santiago Casilla tested his bruised knee by throwing off a bullpen mound this afternoon, and although he was improved, he is available "only in an emergency," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Right-hander Sergio Romo is doing better with his own knee issues and is available, Bochy said.
In other news, Pablo Sandoval reported to Triple-A Fresno and is in the lineup as the cleanup hitter and third baseman for the Grizzlies. Sandoval met with the media and CSN Bay Area had representatives there. Check back for more coverage on that.
Finally, MLB released the first round of All-Star balloting totals. Melky Cabrera is fifth among NL outfielders and Sandoval is fourth among third basemen. The best showing, though, is Buster Posey. Not only is he second among catchers, but his 1,072,464 votes is right behind the Cardinals' Yadier Molina (1,100,048) for the lead. Atlanta's Brian McCann is third, with barely 700,000 votes.
Given how long Posey was out of everyone's consciousness last season, the voting is a good barometer of his popularity on a national level.
"It's always nice to be recognized by the fans," Posey told me. "It's early in the process, and as players you're always concentrating on doing the best you can to win ballgames. But it's definitely nice to be recognized."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy pointed out that a lot of NL catchers are having good seasons, including the Phillies' Carlos Ruiz (whose .368 average leads the league, just ahead of Cabrera at .364) and the Dodgers' A.J. Ellis. Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy was having a huge year before he broke his hand, too.
"So that's impressive that fans want to see Buster," Bochy said. "He should feel good about that."