ST. LOUIS Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro wasdiagnosed with a contusion and a strained left hip but remains a possibility to startGame 3 of the NLCS Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
An MRI exam confirmed the strain and ruled out otherstructural damage stemming from Matt Hollidays hard, late and controversialslide in the first inning Monday night, when the Cardinals power hittersuccessfully broke up a double play. Scutaros left knee was sore as well,Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Were hopeful he can go, said Bochy,adding that he was comfortable with veteran Ryan Theriot as an alternative.Hell get treatment today and well know where hes at tomorrow. But thatswhat were hopeful for.
Scutaro accompanied the team to St. Louis on Tuesdayscharter flight and offered to test his condition with some baseball activities.Bochy and trainers originally planned to limit him to rest and treatment, but Scutaro talked his way into jogging in the outfield and taking some swings in the cage, including one that went for a home run.
Bochy added that the chance of wet weather wouldnt impacthis decision whether or not to play Scutaro, whose ability to field hisposition would be the bigger concern.
But I will say hes more optimistic about where hes atright now than when it first happened, Bochy said.
And about what happened
Bochy was resolute when asked if his perceptions ofHollidays slide changed at all after hearing the left fielders remorse atstarting into the base later than he had planned.
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I dont think Ive changed my stance on what I said lastnight, said Bochy, reiterating that the slide was illegal in his view. Idont think there was intent to hurt someone. But it was late. And I explainedmy reasons last night. The second baseman is in a position where there can bedamage done, as we saw. He came out of this pretty good considering how hard hegot hit.
So I dont think my chance has changed at all. Thats an illegal slide.
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Bochy acknowledged he was watching first base and wasscreened out from having a view on Hollidays sideways, body-blocking slide overthe top of second base in the first inning, which took out Scutaros legs. Whenhe asked second base umpire Greg Gibson whether the slide constitutedinterference, the umpire told Bochy that Hollidays momentum carried him intothe runner.
Replays showed more than just a runner sliding through the bag.
Bochy never bristled louder than when asked a question thatincluded the word retaliation. The manager has said many times over hiscareer that hes never ordered a pitcher to hit someone, and he did not wanthis players to be tempted into committing any macho acts in Game 3.
Whats on our mind is to go out and play our best ball,Bochy said. Thats over. You have to move on. You hate to see what happened.Whats important is we keep our focus and try to win a ballgame.
And yes, that includes throwing inside. Matt Cain has heldHolliday to a .200 average (8 for 40) but with three home runs over their manytangles, and the right-hander said he wouldnt be timid about throwing insideas part of his game plan.
If one gets away, it gets away, Cain said.
Said Bochy: Were not changing our game plan with whathappened. Were going to go out there and hopefully execute pitches and not getcaught into that. We dont want any distraction. Well do what we can to win aballgame.