Programming note: Padres-Giants coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants returned to San Francisco after a 2-3 road trip having lost nine of their last 12 games, and there is still no significant update regarding Angel Pagan's ailing back, which has kept him from playing in the last seven games -- including Monday's series opener against the Padres.
"As of now, no," manager Bruce Bochy replied when asked if Pagan could still be headed for the disabled list.
For the second day in a row, the center fielder took batting practice and shagged fly balls in the outfield, after which on Monday he was to be re-evaluated.
"He's the guy that really gets us on track," said Bochy, acknowledging that the leadoff hitter is often hardest to replace. "He certainly makes us go. We saw what life was without him last year."
Pagan played in just 63 games last year. The Giants were 28-22 and tied for first place in the division when he suffered a hamstring injury. They were 60-74 and 19 games out of first place when he returned on Aug. 30 and helped the Giants earn a one-run win against Arizona.
Honoring Tony Gwynn
Bruce Bochy was Tony Gwynn's teammate in San Diego for five seasons from 1983 to 1987, and his manager for another seven from 1995-2001. So the Giants' pregame ceremony to honor Mr. Padre was especially significant for the Giants skipper.
"Great teammate, great friend, great mentor," Bochy said, searching for words that would do the late Hall-of-Famer justice.
"An ambassador of the game. A simple guy who just wanted to play baseball."
Bochy called Gwynn the best at executing the hit-and-run and hitting the fastball, but he didn't stop there.
"He just didn't miss. An incredible talent. He had the whole game. He's gotta go down as one of the greatest hitters of all time. It was amazing to watch the guy."
Prior to Monday's series opener, Bochy presented Padres manager Bud Black with a signed base from Gwynn's final game in San Francisco in 2001 and the Giants announced contributions to the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation and the Padres' foundation.
May the 'Morse' be with you
Michael Morse is back in the lineup on Monday after missing a game due to his own back stiffness.
Bochy is counting on an honest appraisal from his first baseman.
"If he feels anything in BP, we'll scratch him," Bochy said before facing the Padres, adding that Morse felt much better after receiving treatment on Sunday and received more on Monday morning.
So fresh and so clean
Opponents are 9-for-their-last-18 against Sergio Romo, and the Giants closer shaved off his beard while the team was in Arizona.
His manager approves.
"Took about 10 years off him," Bochy said. "He's a lot prettier without it."
Romo, 31, is 3-3 with a 4.75 ERA this year. He converted saves in each of his last two appearances in Arizona after back-to-back blown saves and losses in his two previous outings in Colorado.
Romo has converted 22 saves in 26 chances, tied for the second-most in the majors.