EXTRAS: Pagan stays hot, committee works, Bochy vs. Harbaugh, etc.

August 24, 2012, 8:51 am
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Angel Pagan went 1-for-3 to extend his hitstreak to seven games while scoring the Giants first two runs in a 5-2 winover the Atlanta Braves Thursday.Giants manger Bruce Bochy experimented with other options in the leadoff spotand Pagan lower in the batting order, but its clear that the table-settingrole is Pagans moving forward.You feed off that guy, Bochy said. Hes leading off and what a job hes donesince hes assumed that leadoff spot. There are guys that get you going and setthe table and the tone and hes really picked up his game since hes gone tothe leadoff spot. Hes helped us so much getting these early runs, especiallydown in L.A.. And his defense and what hes doing at the plate, hes playing asgood ball as anybody.Since August 3, Pagan is hitting .366 with 23 runs scored, seven doubles, threetriples, two home runs, 12 RBIs, four steals and a 1110 KBB ratio. With the disgraced Melky Cabrera a long-shot to return to San Francisco as afree agent, fellow free-agent-to-be Pagan is definitely making a case to bere-signed by Giants GM Brian Sabean, as Insider Andrew Baggarly suggested lastweek.Pagan also had some issues earlier this season with bad jumps and taking poor routes to fly balls,but has been a lot better patrolling centerfield lately. He also made one ofthe best throws of the Giants season in Wednesdays series finale in LosAngeles.Bruce Bochy said he has four closer types in his bullpen.The group he is referring to includes two lefties, Javier Lopez and JeremyAffeldt, and two righties, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo.Casilla was unavailable Thursday after pitching on back-to-back days Tuesdayand Wednesday against the Dodgers. Asked before the game if Casilla could takeback sole possession of the closer role, Bochy simply said hes now part of thecommittee. Every other member of the committee had to work in the ninth inningThursday, and despite Affeldts struggles, it worked.Lopez didnt get the save, but he got one of the biggest outs of the game whenhe struck out the potential tying run in Brian McCann.Hes throwing great, Bochy said of Lopez. Thats a bigout for us against a tough hitter. If he doesnt get that out, then the gamesgoing to get real tight at that time. Hes throwing probably as well as hesthrown. And thats saying a lot because hes done a great job with us.Everybody goes through their ups and downs, but hes really locating andpitching well with a lot of confidence right now and got a huge out there.Romo ended up with the save in the box score, and it was well deserved afterthe Braves had 2010 Rookie of the Year candidate Jason Heyward waiting topinch-hit and representing the tying run. Heyward avoided being doubled-up toend the game, but was still clearly the tougher assignment for Romo compared toJuan Francisco, the eventual final out.I respect that man (Heyward) and what hes able to do in the batters box so Iwent out there with my best stuff and was able to get a ground ball andeventually was able to save the game, Romo said. Really happy I was able todo that.Hector Sanchez has been in a prolonged slump since returning from the disabledlist August 2, including 10 straight hitless at-bats heading into Thursdaysgame. Bochy even said Sanchezs teammates were making fun of him for having ahole in his bat of late. Sanchez quieted his teammates and impressed his skipper with atwo-double, two-RBI game against the Braves.A great game all around, Bochy said of his young backstop.He caught well. Him and Z were in synch. Hes caught Z a lot and the bat camearound tonight. We were giving him a hard time that he had a hole in it in L.A.but hes a good hitter. I think getting some at-bats here with Buster Poseyneeding some rest has been good for Hector. Tonight he really came through withsome big hits and had some better at-bats and it looks like hes got his timingback.Sanchez was asked after the game if it was one of his best in the big leagues.For me, every game is amazing, Sanchez said. Its important for me,especially my first year with the team. I just try and do my job. I just tryand do my best, especially with men in scoring position.Sergio Romo was sporting a red and gold winter ear-flap hatwith a 49ers logo at his locker after the game.Romo told reporters he was a big fan of all things Bay Area, including the49ers, and that he went to a few games at Candlestick Park last season. He alsosaid he plans to attend a few games this year as well, baseball schedulepermitting, of course.I asked Romo, clearly a fan of what Jim Harbaugh has done with the team, whowould win a chess game between Harbaugh and Bochy.Romo surprised the media scrum by going with Harbaugh over his own skipper. Hementioned something about Stanford education, even though Harbaugh went toschool at Michigan and only coached at Stanford.Maybe Romo knows something we dont about Harbaugh sitting in on classes downon The Farm during his tenure there.No word on whether a Bochy vs. Harbaugh chess game can bearranged with one season ending and the other just about to get underway.