Giants leave Barry Zito, Jose Guillen off playoff roster
Giants manager Bruce Bochy remained intensely loyal to Jose Guillen down the stretch, starting the struggling outfielder in 15 of the club's final 16 games.
But the postseason is another matter.
Along with the expected move to trim left-hander Barry Zito from their Division Series roster, the Giants also left off Guillen, citing concerns about a disc issue in his neck. Cody Ross, who hit .500 with five extra-base hits in his last five games, started in right field Thursday.
"It's a tough decision when you have a guy going out there pretty much every day and he's off the roster," Bochy said of Guillen. "But I think he'd agree he's not 100 percent. So we went this way."
Guillen had a six-RBI game Sept. 19, shortly after he had a cortisone injection in his neck. But the effects were temporary; he hit .121 without an RBI in 12 games after that. He also bounced eight double-play grounders in 128 at-bats.
Guillen told reporters he was disappointed and still hoped to play in the NLCS. Teams submit new rosters at the beginning of each series.
Zito stated his case to make the club as a reliever, but Bochy already had three deserving bullpen arms for one spot. He went with Guillermo Mota over Chris Ray and Dan Runzler.
Bochy said his meeting with Zito went well.
"Barry is such a good teammate and a stand-up guy," Bochy said. "I think it's fair to say the other (candidates) are throwing a bit better right now. "... Believe me, it's tough when you (leave off) a guy who's a big reason you are here."
Zito threw off a bullpen mound and will remain ready in case he is needed in the NLCS.
Tommy Hanson, Atlanta's Game 2 starter, walked off the field with a trainer after a ball struck him in the face during batting practice. Hanson hit a chopper off the plate that bounced up and struck him near the eye.
Hanson was scheduled to see a doctor as a precaution, but was expected to be fine to pitch today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The Giants might look to put runners in motion against Hanson. He allowed an NL-high 33 stolen bases (in 37 attempts). One other Hanson stat: His career high is 11 strikeouts, which he set against the Giants on June 20, 2009.
As a young pup, Matt Cain learned about competing from veteran right-hander Matt Morris. Some of those words echo now as Cain prepares for his first postseason start today.
"The biggest thing he always said was it's fun, it's exciting," Cain said. "It's really just trying to get the nerves out in the bullpen and let all that energy out in that first pitch or so. And after that, it kind of starts flowing like normal. But that first pitch or so is always a little bit nerve wracking."
The Braves didn't place right-hander Takashi Saito on their roster because of a sore shoulder. That news had to be welcome in the Giants clubhouse. Saito, the former Dodgers closer, has a 1.14 ERA in 31 career games against the Giants.
The players took a straw poll and overwhelmingly chose to wear their "Orange Friday" jerseys for Game 2, club president Larry Baer said.
"It's in the city code," Baer joked. "You play at AT&T Park on a Friday, you wear orange."
The Giants are getting the attention of A-listers. Comedian Robin Williams fired up the crowd before the players took the field.