SAN FRANCISCO – Giants manager Bruce Bochy swapped strong innuendo for a chisel, announcing that left-hander Madison Bumgarner would get the ball in Wednesday night’s NL Wild Card game against the Pirates.
But he’s planning to have Jake Peavy on the roster, too.
Peavy would be shrink wrapped and used only in dire need, since the Giants plan to use him in Game 1 in an NL Division Series at Washington on Friday. But first they have to get there, so it doesn’t make sense to take their co-ace completely out of play.
“If you don’t win, there’s no tomorrow,” Bochy said.
As for the choice to start Bumgarner over Peavy?
“We’d be comfortable with either one,” Bochy said. “But Bum has done such a good job for us. I don’t think there’s any question who was going to pitch that game.”
Bochy also confirmed that Travis Ishikawa would be his starting left fielder in the Wild Card game, since the Giants are expected to face right-hander Edinson Volquez.
It’s a rather stunning turn for Ishikawa, who was the Pirates’ Opening Day first baseman before they traded for Ike Davis and shipped him off the roster.
Ishikawa, who won a World Series ring with the Giants as a bench player in 2010, is making just his third career start in left field in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park.
Ishikawa had played a total of 3.2 innings in the outfield in his major league career before playing 23 innings over seven games for the Giants after joining them July 29.
“That’s why I’m playing him today, to give him a little more time,” Bochy said. “He looks fine. It really looks like he’s tracking the ball well. It’s funny how all this has come around. He played in the World Series for us. He’s got experience and he’s not hesitant at all. He wants to be out there, he wants to play, and that’s part of it. I love his makeup.”
And if Ishikawa turns into this year’s version of Cody Ross, all the better.
Bochy plans to leave off at least one and likely two of his starting pitchers for the Wild Card roster, which can be resubmitted if they advance to an NLDS. That allows him the flexibility to carry an extra reliever and/or position player.
Third-string catcher Guillermo Quiroz is one anticipated addition because it would free up Bochy to use Andrew Susac’s bat off the bench.
The Giants plan to fly to Pittsburgh on Monday.
In the meantime, the Giants have most of their starters in the lineup for Sunday’s finale – including Pablo Sandoval, who will be a free agent and could be playing his last home game as a Giant. If you have a Panda hat, you might as well break it out while you can.