EXTRA BAGGS: Pence not out of breath, Magowan on Zito, etc.


EXTRA BAGGS: Pence not out of breath, Magowan on Zito, etc.

ST. LOUIS -- Even a man of his word can tell a fib from timeto time.

Hunter Pence said he was out of the motivational speechracket. Someone else would take the floor as the Giants prepared to take thefield for Game 5 of the NLCS Friday night.

Hed said all he had to say. He already rallied them backwhen they needed to run a three-game table in Cincinnati. What could repeating thatsermon accomplish? Wouldnt it just result in rolled eyes and deaf ears?

No, definitelyno, center fielder Angel Pagan said. Because he is so positive, man. We couldbe down 20 runs and he still believes we will win. That is the right attitudein this game. That is the encouragement he is giving us.

We cant go by what happened in Cincinnati. That is in thepast. We did it before. This is a totally different series.

They were supposed to have a totally different speaker. Inthe hours before Game 5, Pence walked into the interview room and nominatedJeremy Affeldt to take over as the clubs Tony Robbins. But when it came time

He said what needed to be said, Affeldt said of Pence.

The thrust of Pence's message this time: Get this series to SanFrancisco.

BAGGS' INSTANT REPLAY: Zito saves season, Giants force Game 6

That is how we prepared, Pagan said. We understand wevegot two of our best pitchers (Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain) and weve got agood chance.

Just got together, talked a little bit, Pence said. Weall said something.

The Giants havent done anything yet.

Remember, in 2010, the Phillies won Game 5 at AT&T Parkto bring the series back to Citizens Bank Ball Park. Thats when the Giantsburned every last fiber and three of their four starting pitchers to clinchin a non-elimination Game 6.

The Cards will send Chris Carpenter to the mound Sunday, andthere isnt one person on their side who isnt confident in him.

The Cardinals also proved earlier this postseason that no six-run lead is safe, either.

Barry Zito isnt the only one who heard constant jabs about his126 million contract. Theres the fellow who gave him that deal, too.

RATTO: Zito and his 'little fastball that could'

Former managing partner Peter Magowan was in the Giantsclubhouse after Zitos tremendous outing saved their season, and naturally, hewas set up for an I told you so moment.

He did not partake, mostly because everyone knows that youcannot justify a franchise-altering contract because of one nights labor. ButMagowan did express his happiness for Zito, especially in light of all thatsbeen said and written.

Its so long ago, said Magowan. But when we signed him,we knew what kind of record he had at the time. He was a Cy Young winner, hewas still young, he threw 200 innings every season and we felt he could providesome leadership to a young pitching staff. We thought hed be durable and wethought hed be a leader. He wanted to pitch for the Giants and hed bewonderful to market the team.

Hes had his problems and ups and downs as a Giant. But tosee him come up in a game like this, it says a lot for his character. Hes sucha good guy. He sure rose to the occasion, and we should all be elated at whathe did. Hes kept us going here in this season. Weve got a shot at the WorldSeries because of what he did tonight, and Im just very, very happy for him.Hes a good guy. He deserves good things to happen to him.

This is sort of what we were hoping we would get a leaderof a young staff.

Pablo Sandoval hit his third home run of the postseason,crushing a Mitchell Boggs inside fastball meant to jam him. Most left-handedhitters pull that pitch foul, if they manage to hit it at all.

This might surprise you, but Sandoval is just the seventhGiant in all-time franchise history to hit three home runs in one postseason.

Heres the list, and its loaded with fond fellows:

Pablo Sandoval (3), 2012
Cody Ross (4), 2010
Rich Aurilia (4), 2002
Barry Bonds (8), 2002
Kevin Mitchell (3), 1989
Matt Williams (3), 1989
Jeffrey Leonard (4), 1987

Buster Posey and Angel Pagan can join that home run listwith one more this postseason. But Posey would settle for something less thanthat. Hes hitting .167 in this series and he wasnt really a part of theGiants one scoring rally Friday night.

He has a tangible reminder, though, about what kind ofapproach he must have in Game 6. Its not tied to his finger. Its tattooedjust below his left knee the bruise from where he fouled a pitch off himself.

The ball I fouled off my knee was not a strike, he said.I think I need to just slow down and swing at strikes.

Tim Lincecum will be available in relief in Game 6, managerBruce Bochy said.

Lincecum threw 91 pitches in Game 4 and would be operatingon just two days of rest. But he told Bochy hed be ready for anything, and hismanager will hold him to that.

By the way, Madison Bumgarner has continued to throw in thebullpen in an effort to find a work-around for the fatigue or mechanical issuesor whatever is keeping him from putting the baseball where he wants it.

If the Giants see enough hopeful signs, they might putBumgarner back in a potential World Series rotation, knowing how much of animpact Lincecum made in his relief role earlier in the postseason.

Were getting way ahead of ourselves, but if the Giants makeit past the Cardinals, they would have Zito and either Lincecum or Bumgarner tostart the first two games.

Giants hitting coach Hensley Bam Bam Meulens will managethe Dutch team in the World Baseball Classic next spring. The Giants will makeuse of minor league hitting coordinator Steve Decker to help run things whileMeulens, who is from Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, is away.

The Dutch teams pitching coach is Bert Blyleven, who wasmaster of the hot foot during his playing days. That probably wont go overwell if the Dutch players wear wooden shoes.

First base coach Roberto Kelly returned to the coaches boxafter missing the first four games of the NLCS because of a concussion that resultedfrom a batted ball that struck him in the workout prior to Game 1.

Maybe RallyKelly can get trending on Twitter, too.

Rapper Lil Wayne even sent a Twitter message to congratulatethe Giants and his pal Ryan Theriot.

Yes. Ryan Theriot and Lil Wayne are tight.

The best part of the whole RallyZito movement had to beOrlando Cepeda, the 75-year-old Hall of Famer, showing his social media savvy.

BAGGARLY: RallyZito movement blooms as Giants take NLCS back home

I was told I need to say Rally Zito, he posted from hisTwitter account (@OrlandoCepeda30).

A few moments later, the Baby Bull formatted it properly:

We have a ball game my friends. RallyZito

And theyll have another one Sunday on the shores of McCoveyCove.

Giants use big fifth, sixth innings to take down Cubs

Giants use big fifth, sixth innings to take down Cubs


At Scottsdale, Arizona, Giants starter Matt Cain gave up two runs — one earned — and three hits over two innings.

New Giants closer Mark Melancon tossed a 1-2-3 third inning in his first outing. Cain threw 40 pitches and Justin Ruggiano had an RBI double in a three-run fifth.

Javier Baez went 2 for 3 with an RBI double.

Giants spring training Day 13: Cain goes two; Melancon has perfect debut

Giants spring training Day 13: Cain goes two; Melancon has perfect debut

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bruce Bochy planned to give most of his pitchers one-inning stints during the first weekend of spring ball, but Matt Cain stretched it out to 40 pitches on Saturday. 

“I’ve had enough days off the past couple of years,” Cain said, smiling.

In his first start of a crucial spring, Cain threw two innings. He was charged with three hits and two runs, just one of them earned. 

“He’s in a good place right now with his arm strength,” Bochy said. “His delivery is consistent. I’m glad he got a lot of work today, to be honest. It’s something he needs as much as anybody on this staff, is work. He’s going to get it.”

Ty Blach, Cain’s biggest competition for the fifth starter spot, gave up four hits and one earned in his two innings. Neither pitcher was hit particularly hard, and both suffered a bit from iffy defense in the early innings of an 8-6 win over the Cubs. 

The inning separating Cain and Blach was notable for other reasons. Mark Melancon made his Giants debut, getting two groundouts and a fly to right in a quick inning. Melancon received a nice ovation, and he noted the opponent — a Cubs team that helped guarantee the Giants would spend big on a closer — but he didn’t put any added importance on the outing. 

“It doesn’t matter what I do out there right now,” he said. 

Melancon’s new teammates might disagree. Spring or not, the Giants certainly enjoyed watching a closer breeze through his inning. Especially against the Cubs. 

“He’s a pro,” Bochy said. “He’s going to be out there working on stuff, his command and pitches. It was good for Buster (Posey) to catch him. It was a good day for him.”

NOTABLE: On his first swing of the spring, Posey threw his bat up against the visiting dugout. It can only go uphill from there … Bryan Morris had a scoreless debut, striking out one … Josh Osich ran into some trouble in the eighth and gave up a pair of runs, but Bochy appreciated the way he fought his way out of the frame … Former Giants prospect Chris Dominguez started for the Cubs at first base. He had a couple of hits ... If you're headed to Goodyear for tomorrow's game, Joe Panik, Brandon Belt, Conor Gillaspie, Jimmy Rollins, Mac Williamson, Jarrett Parker, Gorkys Hernandez and Trevor Brown will start behind Matt Moore. Also, if you're headed to Goodyear, I'm sorry. 

TRAINER’S ROOM: Eduardo Nuñez is limited to DH duty for now because of a sore throwing shoulder. Nuñez said the tightness popped up after some work in the weight room, but he’s not concerned at all. He said he would have played third base if Saturday’s game was a regular season contest. The Giants expect him in the field sometime next week. 

Nuñez also said it took five weeks after the season ended for his hamstring to get back to 100 percent, so apparently that injury was much worse than it first looked. Nuñez was out on the field before every NLDS game, trying to get clearance to return. He never quite got there. 

Will Smith (elbow) is just a day or two from throwing off flat ground, Bochy said. 

CUETO UPDATE: The Giants had hoped to have Johnny Cueto in camp this weekend, but he remains in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. Cueto is waiting for a visa for his ill father, Domingo, who will travel to Scottsdale with Johnny. 

LIGHTER SIDE: Brandon Crawford spent a couple of minutes learning some of Jeff Samardzija’s mound moves. The impersonation is pretty solid.