Programming note: For comprehensive Giants-Royals World Series coverage from Kansas City, watch "October Quest" tonight at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
KANSAS CITY -- The Giants -- the franchise that once gave you Tsuyoshi Shinjo as a World Series designated hitter -- finally have one that looks the part.
Michael Morse, fresh off his tying, pinch-homer heroics in Game 5 of the NLCS, will start at DH for the Giants in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy wasn’t ready to say where Morse would fit in the lineup, but there’s a good chance he slides in between No. 6 hitter Brandon Belt and No. 7 hitter Travis Ishikawa to break up the run of three consecutive left-handed batters at the lower third of the order.
Ishikawa would remain the starting left fielder and be in the lineup against Kansas City Royals right-hander James Shields. Although the outfield is ample here at Kauffman Stadium, Bochy said there wasn’t much discussion of starting Juan Perez and perhaps moving Ishikawa to DH.
“We've talked about these things, but right now Morse is DHing,” Bochy said. “So I don't see any changes right now with how we're going to start the game, and that's Ishi in left field. But we know we have that option of a guy that's probably a little faster, but still, we like the job that he's been doing out there defensively and the bat in the lineup.”
The Giants haven’t always had a wide selection when it comes to the DH in October. They’ve played 11 World Series games in AL parks since the invention of the DH, and they’ve used nine different players. It was Ernie Riles for two games in 1989 at Oakland, Pedro Feliz, Shinjo and Shawon Dunston (twice) in 2002 at Anaheim, Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell and Pablo Sandoval in 2010 at Texas and Hector Sanchez and Ryan Theriot in 2012 at Detroit.
It hasn’t been a completely empty spot. Dunston hit the last homer of his career in Game 6 at Anaheim, Huff smacked a critical two-run home run in Texas and Theriot scored the tiebreaking run in the clinching victory at Detroit.
But Morse offers even more thump, and his pinch homer in the eighth inning of Game 5 off the Cardinals’ Pat Neshek is one heck of a confidence builder.
Tim Lincecum threw an extensive side session on Sunday and declared himself fit, confident and ready for action out of the bullpen. Bochy reiterated he expects to use the two-time Cy Young Award winner, who hasn’t appeared in a game since Sept. 28.
Lincecum has thrown just 8 1/3 innings since Sept. 1.
“We need to have him ready because you don't know what's going to happen,” Bochy said. “We played 18 innings in Washington, and he's getting ready to come in the game. He's ready to go, and he's healthy. So all these guys, it's an old adage, all hands on deck, and he's one of them.”
Tim Hudson might have found his way to the World Series even if he hadn’t signed a two-year, $23 million contract with the Giants. He revealed to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times that the Royals made him “a very good offer” just before he decided to come to San Francisco.
Three days after Hudson signed, the Royals agreed to terms with left-hander Jason Vargas on a four-year, $32 million contract. Vargas is expected to start for the Royals in Game 4.