Programming note: Giants-Padres coverage starts tonight at 5 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
SAN DIEGO – The daily updates on Angel Pagan and Michael Morse seem to be fluctuating so wildly and randomly, you begin to wonder whether they’re coming from the trainer’s room or a Magic 8 ball in Bruce Bochy’s office.
The current report: Reply hazy, try again. Trending toward: Outlook not so good.
Pagan and Morse both exited the Giants’ 5-0 loss Friday night and both remained sore when they arrived at the ballpark Saturday. They won’t play the remainder of this series at Petco Park and Bochy is listing them as questionable to be available for any part of the three-game series at Dodger Stadium that begins on Monday.
Pagan will see Dr. Ken Akizuki, who is scheduled to arrive at or around the scheduled first pitch. It’s the same nerve irritation from a bulging disc that caused him to miss 44 games earlier this season and knocked him out for three days in Arizona on this road trip. Pagan started Friday and stole second base, but grimaced afterward and didn’t appear comfortable in his next at-bat. He exited after five innings.
Morse appeared for the first time in September after straining his oblique in batting practice Sept. 1 at Coors Field. He struck out as a pinch hitter, remained in the game, then lasted one inning after aggravating the injury while striking out in his next at-bat.
“Well, what can you do?” Bochy said. “We’ve got to be focused forward. These guys probably won’t be available for a few days.”
The Giants are starting Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez, even though Perez is batting .165 this season and is 0 for 11 with a walk on the road trip. Bochy said talk of giving rookie Gary Brown a shot is gaining steam, should Perez fail to come around with the bat.
“We’re going to need some help there,” Bochy said. “Between (Brown) and Perez, we hope we can get it done until Angel gets back.”
Bochy said the staff also kicked around the possibility of Brandon Belt in left field, but that might be asking a lot of a player who just returned after missing a month with concussion symptoms. Travis Ishikawa has played a bit of left field, too.
“We’re not scoring a lot of runs,” Bochy said. “If you’re not swinging the bats, you’d better catch the ball. So we’ll put close to our best defense out there.”
They’ll rely on Yusmeiro Petit to involve that defense while he tries to outduel Padres ace Andrew Cashner. There’s every confidence to believe Petit will do just that. Not only has he faced 62 batters without issuing a walk, but he hasn’t even gone to a three-ball count over that span. (Oh, and that walk by the way, to the Rockies’ Corey Dickerson, was intentional.)
If the Giants win, they’ll cut their deficit to 2 ½ games in the NL West. That’s courtesy of the Cubs, who roared back from a 7-2 deficit to beat the Dodgers at Wrigley Field. Chris Coghlan had four hits, including the two-run homer off Brian Wilson that put the Cubs ahead. That’ll get you an open bar tab in San Francisco for at least the rest of the decade.