PHOENIX – Golf legend Jack Nicklaus has a stock story he tells on the banquet circuit about what he’d hear in the clubhouse during major tournaments.
Someone would complain about how fast and firm the greens were. Some would complain the rough was too high or the course was too long. Nicklaus loved every word.
“That’s one less guy I need to worry about beating,” he’d say.
I’d bet Bruce Bochy would like that story. Because when he was asked about Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw being shelved for at least a couple weeks, taking the two-time Cy Young Award winner out of the Giants’ hair for at least the first two rivalry series, Bochy declined to raise both arms in triumph.
“I don’t look at that and think, 'I’m getting a break here,’” Bochy said. ”Once you think that, it comes back to bite you.”
Bochy pointed out that the Dodgers have plenty of depth and other talented starters – including Hyun-Jin Ryu, who already has pitched two gems and will face the Giants’ Ryan Vogelsong in Friday’s series opener at Dodger Stadium. Bochy said he watched most of Ryu’s start at San Diego on Monday.
You can bet that Bochy wants Buster Posey for all three games in that weekend series, but the manager wouldn’t commit to playing his catcher in all three. Bochy is very fond of the phrase “diminishing returns,” which is nicer to say than, “Listen champ, do you want to see Buster hit .244 with two homers in the second half again?”
Bochy did confirm that he’d give Posey a break from behind the plate here in Thursday’s series finale against the Diamondbacks. It’s a day game after a night game, so Hector Sanchez gets the start. And … put your tinfoil hats on, if you so choose … Tim Lincecum will be on the mound. (We’ve dispelled the whole Timmy-Buster thing by now, haven’t we?)
The Diamondbacks are still listing Thursday’s starter as TBA, but it’s expected to be Bronson Arroyo, who had an epidural to treat lower back spasms barely a week ago, in his Arizona debut. I’d imagine the Diamondbacks would be cool with Arroyo doing what he did last year. He threw two complete games, and both were against the Giants.
Not that you’ll catch Bochy complaining about it.