Thursday leftovers: No ifs, ands or bunts
ATLANTA — A discerning manager does not ask his players to perform tasks they’re incapable of handling. That largely explained why Bruce Bochy didn’t order Fred Lewis to bunt in a pair of situations Thursday when most players might have been asked to sacrifice.
Lewis has one career sacrifice bunt. Bochy figured the Giants were better off letting Lewis swing away.
Bochy had an additional reason to avoid the bunt when Lewis batted in the fifth inning with Barry Zito on second base, Randy Winn on first and nobody out. With Zito as the lead runner, Bochy said, “I didn’t have any speed there.”
Lewis’ next at-bat followed Randy Winn’s leadoff double in the seventh. Lewis flied to center without Winn advancing. That wasn’t the sort of “productive out” the Giants had hoped for. Besides, said Bochy, “I wanted three shots” at driving the run in. As it turned out, Winn was marooned on second base, but the Giants scored four runs in the eighth to settle matters.
Jeremy Affeldt hiked his Major League-leading total of double plays induced to 14 during his scoreless eighth. He’s having one of the best years I’ve seen from a reliever.
“The guy really could have made the All-Star team, when you look at the job he’s done,” Bochy said.
Nate Schierholtz is one tough dude. His left leg looked as if a saber-toothed tiger had tried to have it for lunch.
Schierholtz nearly mangled his leg while leaping at Turner Field’s right-field wall, which has a cyclone fence “padding” in some parts.
“Just wait until you see my leg,” Schierholtz said after the Giants’ 5-1 win as he greeted reporters at his dressing stall.
We could have waited a little longer. The outside of Schierholtz’s leg was scraped almost from top to bottom. Discoloration — budding bruises? — were spread throughout.
Has anybody noticed:
Barry Zito is 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four career appearances against Atlanta?
Infielder Matt Downs wears No. 37 — same as late-1980s right-hander Kelly Downs?
– Chris Haft