Giants lineup is sans Belt again


Giants lineup is sans Belt again

Programming note: Giants-Rockies coverage begins at 5 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live and first pitch from Coors Field to follow at 5:30 p.m., only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!

DENVER -- Say this much about Giants manager Bruce Bochy: He doesn't bend to public pressure when he writes out the lineup card.

Bochy's lineup for Wednesday's game at Coors Field is out, and so is Brandon Belt. It's the second consecutive game on the bench for Belt, who was 1 for 10 with five strikeouts in the season-opening series at Arizona. With lefty Jamie Moyer pitching for Colorado on Thursday, there's a pretty good chance Belt will be on the bench for that one, too.

Here's the lineup to face right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, the Rockies' opening-day starter:

CF Pagan
LF Cabrera
3B Sandoval
C Posey
1B Huff
RF Nate
SS Crawford
2B Burriss
P Lincecum

And the Rockies:
2B Scutaro
CF Fowler
LF Gonzalez
SS Tulowitzki
1B Helton
RF Cuddyer
C Hernandez
3B Nelson
P Guthrie

A couple thoughts before the clubhouse opens...

Bochy promised Nate Schierholtz a start in this series, and with Moyer going Thursday, this was the right game to pick. Plus I doubt Bochy wanted Huff patrolling the outfield here at Coors. Huff also had a good game on Monday, reaching base three times -- including two walks. Last season, Huff didn't have a two-walk game until May 12.

Bochy and GM Brian Sabean have pledged that Belt will get ample chances to establish himself in the big leagues. It's far too early to say they've abandoned that pledge. But that public pressure won't go away anytime soon.

In other news, Ryan Vogelsong pitched six innings Tuesday night for Triple-A Fresno at Las Vegas, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk. He struck out six and threw 60 of 93 pitches for strikes.

RELATED: Vogelsong more than ready to return to Giants

Vogelsong is on the schedule to come off the disabled list Sunday and face the Pittsburgh Pirates, when he'll oppose former Giant Kevin Correia.

The Pirates will send right-hander James McDonald against Matt Cain in Friday's home opener at AT&T Park. Pittsburgh still hasn't named a starter to oppose Barry Zito on Saturday.

Dusty chooses son's graduation over Nationals game against Padres


Dusty chooses son's graduation over Nationals game against Padres

WASHINGTON — Dusty Baker will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend his son Darren’s graduation.

Baker said he will rejoin Washington when it begins a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday, near Baker’s offseason home. Bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties against the Padres.

Baker’s son Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California. He’s committed to play college baseball at Cal.

As a 3-year-old bat boy, Darren was rescued from a potential home plate collision by J.T. Snow in Game 5 of the 2002 World Series between Baker’s Giants and the Angels.

Giants notes: 'Disappointing' road trip; Nuñez hopes to return Friday

Giants notes: 'Disappointing' road trip; Nuñez hopes to return Friday

CHICAGO — As they packed up at AT&T Park eight days ago, the Giants talked of taking their momentum on the road. It sounded pie-in-the-sky given the way they had played in April and on the previous trip, but when they took the first two in St. Louis, players started to believe they had finally turned the corner. 

And then came a Sunday loss, and three of four at Wrigley Field. There was no happy flight Thursday. The Giants lost 5-1, again looking flat against a less-than-elite pitcher, and ended up with a 3-4 trip. They’ll finish the first two months of the season without a winning road trip. They're 9-19 away from AT&T Park. 

“It’s disappointing,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Once you win the first one here, you’re hoping you get greedy and take the series, but we didn’t. That’s disappointing.”

The Giants entered the road trip with a 6.62 starters’ ERA on the road, but pitching wasn’t the issue. Sure there were too many meatballs — most of the 10 Cubs homers in this series came on pitches left right over the fat part of the plate — but the starters did their job. The lineup couldn’t keep up. The Giants had just five hits Thursday and finished the trip with 24 runs in seven games. They started the trip nine games out in the West and finished 11 back of the Rockies, their largest deficit since 2013. 

“You come here and take the first game with our (top) guys throwing after that and you’re hoping for a better result,” Jeff Samardzija said. “We started out good and that St. Louis series puts you in a good spot to salvage the trip. We’ll go home now with six solid games on our home turf and they’re six big games for us.”

The Braves and Nationals come to town. The Giants will see Jaime Garcia on Friday, followed by Mike Foltynewicz and R.A. Dickey. 

--- Samardzija’s run without a walk ended at 154 batters when Ian Happ drew a free pass in the seventh. The streak was the best of Samardzija’s career. 

--- Eduardo Nuñez said he got treatment on a tight hamstring throughout the game and he’ll go in early Friday to continue treatment. He hopes to start Friday. 

--- Christian Arroyo was hitless in three at-bats, dropping his average to .191. Before the game, Bochy talked at length about Arroyo’s recent struggles and the plan with him going forward. 

--- If you missed it earlier, I took a tour of the visiting bullpen here. After going in there, I talked to some more pitchers about what they don’t like. It seems to mostly be the fact that you’re separated from the game. One said some of the relievers who pitched Monday had no idea it was raining because they had been getting loose inside for several innings. Seems like there’s a pretty easy fix here: The Cubs can just turn part of that Under Armour wall into a chain-link fence, or have some sort of window that opens up to the outside but doesn’t interfere with outfielders. Maybe next year …