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Archive for Friday, October 18, 2002

Baker reveals rotation

Order: Schmidt, Ortiz, Hernandez, Rueter

October 18, 2002

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— After flying down the coast Thursday, San Francisco Giants manager Dusty Baker announced his big decision: Jason Schmidt will be followed by Russ Ortiz, Livan Hernandez and Kirk Rueter in his World Series pitching rotation.

On Wednesday, Baker picked Schmidt to face Anaheim's Jarrod Washburn in Saturday's opener. But Baker held off announcing the rest of his rotation until his team arrived for its first workout at Edison Field.

"We had two or three different orders. We thought this was the best one for a seven-game series," Baker said Thursday.

Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia hasn't announced any starters except for Washburn. Ramon Ortiz, John Lackey and Kevin Appier also will be in the rotation, but no order has been set.

Baker had simple reasons for making his choices.

"Our two hottest pitchers are Jason Schmidt and Russ Ortiz," he said, standing behind the batting cage. "Also, if there's a Game 7, Livan can handle it as well as anybody. He's the only guy who's been there before."

Hernandez was the MVP of the 1997 NL championship series and World Series for Florida. He started Games 1 and 5 of the Marlins' seven-game victory against Cleveland in the World Series.

Schmidt it 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in two postseason starts, while Ortiz is 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA in three starts. Hernandez is 1-0 with a 3.07 ERA in two starts, and Rueter is 1-1 with a 7.07 ERA in three starts.

In the first-round series, Russ Ortiz opened for the Giants at Atlanta's Turner Field, and was followed by Rueter, Schmidt and Hernandez. Ortiz also pitched Game 5 against the Braves.

In the league championship series, Rueter pitched the opener at St. Louis, followed by Schmidt, Ortiz and Hernandez, then pitched six shutout innings in Game 5 Monday as the Giants won 2-1 to finish off the Cardinals.

Baker still hasn't decided if he will make any roster changes before Saturday's 10 a.m. deadline and said he hasn't decided on his designated hitter in the AL ballpark.

He opted to hold a workout Thursday starting at 5 p.m., roughly the same time the World Series games will start this weekend.

"You try to get acclimated to the ballpark, the situation, the visuals, how you see the ball at this time," he said.

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