Programming note: For complete coverage of the Giants-Pirates Wild Card game, tune in to October Quest at 4 p.m. Wednesday and following the game on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
PITTSBURGH – Aside from Buster Posey, no major leaguer has caught Madison Bumgarner more than Chris Stewart.
And Stewart hopes to use that experience to gain an edge.
“Oh yeah, absolutely,” said Stewart, now the Pirates’ backup catcher, as he prepared for Wednesday’s NL Wild Card game against Bumgarner and the Giants.
“Honestly, it isn’t too much that we don’t already know. But just in terms of what his stuff looks like out of the hand … he’s a pretty unconventional guy. I’ll tell these guys what he throws in certain situations, what he goes to in certain counts. It’ll be nice to relay that to these guys, maybe help us get a head start.”
Stewart has caught 13 of Bumgarner’s starts, mostly in 2011 after Posey’s left ankle was shattered in a collision at home plate. He teamed with Bumgarner plenty of times in his two springs with the Giants, too.
“I don’t think the stuff is that different,” Stewart said. “It’s more the experience factor. He’s turned into a veteran even though he’s what, 26 years old?”
“See?” Stewart said. “He doesn’t let things get under his skin. It’s our job to get out there and get him off his game, and that’s what we’ll try to do.”
The Giants and Pirates have until Wednesday morning to set their playoff rosters for the NL wild card game, and neither team was too eager to tip its hand Tuesday.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he would carry nine pitchers, same as last year’s game when they knocked out the Cincinnati Reds, but he declined to name them. Giants manager Bruce Bochy plans to take two starters – expected to be Jake Peavy and Yusmeiro Petit – in addition to starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner on a staff that will be composed of either 10 or 11 arms.
As for Michael Morse? He’s here at PNC Park. He disappeared into the indoor cage with a bat. He reemerged a moment later. He did not immediately go back in.
“I’ll put him at doubtful,” Bochy said of Morse, who hasn’t played in September because of a strained left oblique.
The Giants brought most of their 40-man call-ups to Pittsburgh because they do plan to change their roster for the NL Division Series, should they advance to play the Washington Nationals on Friday at Nationals Park. The only call-ups who didn’t travel were pitchers Chris Heston, Mike Kickham, Brett Bochy and outfielder Chris Dominguez.
The Giants did bring back infielder Ehire Adrianza, who hasn’t played in more than two months because of a strained hamstring. Adrianza got a call Monday night to catch a flight from Arizona, where he had played in a handful of instructional league games at minor league camp, to meet the team in Pittsburgh.
“It was a surprise for me,” said Adrianza, adding that his hamstring was 100 percent. “I wasn’t expecting that. I was getting ready for winter ball.”