PHILADELPHIA -- Brandon Belt was cleared to fly home with the Giants after their series finale here in South Philly on Thursday. Belt has spent very little time outside of his hotel room over this four-game series and hasn’t put a uniform on or done any activities that would elevate his heart rate as he deals with lingering concussion symptoms.
I heard today that it was Marco Scutaro who made the throw from second base that Belt wasn’t expecting during batting practice Saturday at Miami. The throw hit Belt in the right cheek/jaw area. This is totally my pedestrian medical speculation, but perhaps Belt has a TMJ disorder in addition to his concussion.
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Pitching coach Dave Righetti also will rejoin the Giants when they return home on Friday, although he is still dealing with some dizziness nearly a week after the team flight to Miami diverted to Las Vegas when he lost consciousness.
Bochy said he understood that Righetti, who was hospitalized overnight last Monday, drove back home from Las Vegas to make sure he didn’t have another altitude-induced issue.
It’s thought that the sinus/respiratory illness that has swept through the clubhouse caused Righetti’s disorientation.
The Giants are going for their first four-game sweep in Philadelphia since 1998 and Bochy already told Santiago Casilla that he wouldn’t use him for a fourth consecutive day. Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez will match up if there’s a save situation. Bochy also would like to stay away from using Jeremy Affeldt, who threw 39 pitches on Tuesday.
Bochy won’t go into mega-conservation mode to keep guys fresher for this weekend series, though. He didn’t even like talking about the Dodgers, saying the game in front of him was just as important.
Everyone is going to make a big deal about this weekend’s series, which is understandable. But Bochy’s perspective is well honed.
“I don’t know what’s not a big series,” he said. “When we went through a tough stretch, every series was a big series. I thought this Phillies series was a big one. I don’t know how you change your thinking or philosophy going into any series, especially in July.”
Left largely unsaid: The Dodgers arranged their second-half rotation precisely so they could have their three best pitchers – Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu – lined up to go at AT&T Park. The Giants arranged theirs so they’d get an extra start out of Madison Bumgarner, push back Matt Cain (who ended up on the DL anyway) and so that Tim Lincecum could start in the AC of Marlins Park instead of the Philly swelter.
There’s an unspoken confidence you could read into the Giants’ alignment -- or, for the Dodgers’ Don Mattingly, a lack thereof.