San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy is planning to tweak his rotation for the NL championship series, moving up left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to go Game 2 against the Philadelphia Phillies following ace Tim Lincecum.
Bochy said he would do so to break up the two right-handers — Lincecum and Matt Cain, who now is set to pitch Game 3 back in San Francisco on Tuesday.
“It gives Matt the home opener here,” Bochy said Wednesday before his team’s workout at AT&T Park on an unseasonably hot 90-degree fall day in the Bay Area. “That’s the way we’re leaning right now. We have confidence in both of them but we really think to break up the righties and lefties there is a better way to go.”
Game 1 is Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park with the highly anticipated matchup between Lincecum and Roy Halladay, who pitched a no-hitter in the division series.
“It’s going to be fun,” Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval said. “They have one of the best pitchers in the National League and we have one of the best pitchers on our team.”
Lincecum is coming off a two-hit gem with 14 strikeouts in his playoff debut in Game 1 of the division series against the Atlanta Braves. Sanchez is penciled in to pitch Sunday’s Game 2 against the two-time defending NL champions.
“We’ll see what happens these first two games. It’s going to be a hyped-up crowd,” said Lincecum, who faced the Phillies in his major league debut on May 30, 2007. “They’re the team to beat. They’ve been there before and they’re there again.”
Bochy said rookie Madison Bumgarner, who beat the Braves in the division series clincher Monday at Atlanta, is a candidate to pitch Game 4 depending on where the series stands.
If anybody can help the Giants get ready, it’s Pat Burrell. The left fielder, who signed a minor league deal in late May and joined San Francisco after a short stint with Triple-A Fresno, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Phillies — and won a World Series ring in Philly two years ago. Burrell was the No. 1 overall draft pick by the Phillies in 1998.
“There were a lot of expectations, I remember, but no more than I put on myself,” Burrell said. “I had some years when I struggled and I had some good years. It was never up to me to decide if I lived up to the expectations. My job was to go play and be accountable for it. I felt like I did that.”