Manager Bruce Bochy said he and the staff are “real close” to picking a 25-man playoff roster. Though someone’s performance (or lack thereof) over the final four games could come into play, Bochy said, “We’re pretty well set.”
The headline here is that the Giants are leaning toward an 11-man pitching staff, taking an extra bench player over another reliever. Bochy stressed it’s “not much of a lean,” so they could change their minds.
All five starters are going to be included this time, so whoever does not start one of the four Division Series games will be part of the bullpen. That leaves room for six true relievers. Five are locks: Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt, Javier Lopez, Santiago Casilla and Jose Mijares. That would create a tough choice between Guillermo Mota and George Kontos for the last spot. Given Mota’s experience, especially in the postseason, he’d have the edge.
The odd man out in that equation could lose his spot to a speedster such as Justin Christian or Emmanuel Burriss.
“We’ve talked about speed on the bench,” Bochy said. “We’re talking about all the variables.”
He acknowledged that he and the staff specifically discussed the disastrous ending to the Giants’ 2003 Division Series at Florida. The Giants had opted to place another pitcher on their roster, because Jason Schmidt had an elbow injury, and left off speedy outfielder Eric Young. In Game 4, with the Marlins holding a lead of two games to one and a one-run lead in the ninth inning, J.T. Snow tried to score the tying run from second on a Jeffrey Hammonds single to left but was thrown out by Jeff Conine, who did not have a great arm.
Snow tried to crash into catcher Pudge Rodriguez to dislodge the ball, but Rodriguez held the ball in the air with his bare hand, waving it triumphantly, as the Marlins began their celebration and the Giants’ season ended. Snow later said he was standing at second base, staring at the inactive Young and shaking his head knowing that Young would have been a better choice to run there.