Programming note: Giants-Dodgers coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (Channel Locations)
LOS ANGELES – Hey Matt Cain, how does your finger feel?
“It feels like a finger,” he said.
Well that’s good, I suppose. Especially if he’s referring to the right index digit that he sliced in a failed bit of sandwich artistry. Kidding aside, Cain threw off flat ground and the plan remains for him to be activated from the disabled list to start Saturday against Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke. Remember, though, the plan was for Cain to start Monday in Pittsburgh before the Giants put him on the DL.
Yusmeiro Petit remains the backup plan, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he wouldn’t hesitate to use Petit in relief if needed as this rivalry series kicks off Thursday.
As painful as the Giants’ historic replay walk-off loss was on Tuesday in Pittsburgh, there was a lode of silver in that cloud. Tim Hudson went the distance (or 8 2/3 innings, anyway) to give a much-needed respite to a bullpen that got stretched in Monday’s 13-inning comeback win.
Can you imagine the state of the pitching staff if Hudson had gotten knocked out early, or if Tuesday’s game turned into another extra-inning spin city? Combined with Tim Lincecum’s wild and brief start, the Giants would be in shambles as they begin an important series against their chief NL West rival.
Bochy said he was “really happy” with the way his pitchers are entering this four-game series.
“It could have gotten out of sorts, out of control there,” Bochy said. “I think you have to look at Hudson’s start and the one that got us back in order.
Hudson, if you missed it, became the first Giants pitcher to begin the season with at least seven starts of seven-plus innings since CSN Bay Area’s own Vida Blue in 1981. (Vida’s streak went nine starts.)
It’s fair to say the Giants need Hudson to keep his streak going … since he’ll oppose Clayton Kershaw on Sunday. It’s the first time the Giants will face the Cy Young winner this season; Kershaw was in his familiar form in his first start off the DL at Washington.
Not much else going on as Ryan Vogelsong gets ready to face Josh Beckett. The Giants have the standard lineup and no roster moves, although you wonder if something could be in the offing. Bochy said he spent most of the afternoon “in meetings” and didn’t linger long in his pregame media session.
In minor league news, lefty David Huff makes a minor league rehab start for Triple-A Fresno on Thursday. Lefty Dan Runzler, who was struck on the left elbow by a line drive, is getting nearer to returning for the Grizzlies.
Catcher Andrew Susac is back in the Grizzlies’ lineup after missing 16 games because of concussion symptoms. Susac had taken a series of foul tips off the mask.
Oh, one more thing: It’s inflatable chair giveaway night at Dodger Stadium. You know, in case you forgot to bring your beach balls. Prepare to see 15,000 of those things getting whacked around in the stands.