ST. LOUIS – The Giants won five of their first six postseason games. The Giants hit .177 with runners in scoring position.
Something look out of place here?
“It probably has to turn around a little bit,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, prior to Game 2 of the NLCS Sunday night at Busch Stadium. “You’re going to have to get some timely hits against the team we’re playing right now. It’s going to be a battle with these guys.”
The Giants can’t rely on wild pitches and errors and double plays not turned, which is how they clinched against the Washington Nationals and then again in Game 1 against the St. Louis Cardinals, barely backing Madison Bumgarner in Sunday’s 3-0 victory.
Leadoff man Gregor Blanco is 2 for 27 (.074 average) with one run scored in the postseason. Brandon Crawford is riding house money after his grand slam in Pittsburgh, but he’s hitting .231 and stranded 10 runners on Sunday. Hunter Pence has hit one home run in his last 112 at-bats, postseason and regular season, dating to Sept. 1.
Bochy has not made a single lineup change except for Game 4 of the NLDS against Washington, when left-hander Gio Gonzalez was on the mound and Juan Perez started in place of Travis Ishikawa in left field. Bochy also flip-flopped Pence and Pablo Sandoval in the No. 4-5 spots that day.
Other than that, he’s running the lineup through the ditto machine, riding his pitching, and hoping the hits will be there whenever the arms slip.
“When you’re in the postseason, you’re probably nit going to have the same numbers as the regular season because of the pitching you’ll see,” Bochy said. “But it’s still going to take somebody coming through and getting that hit. We’ve gotten a couple breaks and … those things don’t happen a lot, so you can’t rely on that. We’re going to have to have somebody come through for us.”
Does that feed into the old storyline that the Giants are more lucky than good in October?
“Well, luck is a beautiful thing,” said Bochy, smiling. “You take it if it goes your way, just like you take a blooper when it falls in. … But it’s not luck when your pitchers throw the ball the way they’re throwing, or (you get) great defensive plays.
“When you’ve done it enough, going back to 2010 or ’12 or this year, I can’t say luck is the reason we’re doing what we’re doing.”
Bochy confirmed what he had encouraged writers to speculate, naming Tim Hudson his starter for Game 3 against right-hander John Lackey and Ryan Vogelsong his Game 4 starter against right-hander Shelby Miller.
Bochy said both pitchers would be available in case of an extra-inning emergency in Game 2, though.
Cardinals catcher A.J. Pierzynski said he would divulge all his secrets about Giants right-hander Jake Peavy, whom he caught with both the Chicago White Sox and earlier this year with the Boston Red Sox.
“He will be Jake out there, have his whole act where he is yelling and screaming,” Pierzynski said. “I told guys not to fall for that. That’s kind of what he does and it can get under guys’ (skin) a little bit.
“But that’s just Jake being Jake, and you have to out-compete Jake. He will go out there and battle you and he will never give in. You have to fight him to the end. If we do that, we should be OK.”
Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright told trainers he felt great despite laboring through 4 2/3 innings and would be ready to take the mound and start a potential Game 5.