The lineups are in, and Bruce Bochy must be reading More Splash Hits.
Well, sort of.
Pat’s bat is in the Game 5 lineup, but not his glove.
Pat Burrell will be the DH in Game 5, batting in the No. 7 hole.
Here’s the lineup:
RF Andres Torres
2B Freddy Sanchez
C Buster Posey
LF Cody Ross
3B Juan Uribe
1B Aubrey Huff
DH Pat Burrell
SS Edgar Renteria
CF Aaron Rowand
Mitch Williams on MLB Network said he was surprised by the move, saying Burrell didn’t like to DH in the AL and his production as a DH led to him being cut in Tampa Bay.
But his production as the Giants left fielder in this Series who warrant getting him cut by the Giants if it continued for several weeks.
So there’s nothing to lose putting Burrell as the DH. If he can put the bat on the ball, he could change the game with one swing. Also remember it was Burrell’s walk in the fifth of Game 1 that contributed to a big inning against Cliff Lee.
I think Bochy wanted to put his best defense in the outfield. Against the lefty Lee, that’s Ross, Rowand and Torres. So then your DH options are Burrell, Pablo Sandoval (who hit .227 with 1 HR from the right side), Travis Ishikawa (who hit .111 against LH pitching) or Nate Schierholtz (who actually hits .294 against LH pitching).
Given those options, an uncomfortable Burrell is the best bet.
QUESTIONS WITH LINEUP
Bochy and More Splash Hits were in agreement with many aspects of the Game 5 lineup: Burrell at DH, Burrell hitting deep in the lineup, Rowand hitting No. 9.
But like he did in Game 1 against Lee, he’s moving Aubrey Huff down to the No. 6 hole.
The numbers say Huff is the same hitter against RH pitcher or LH pitchers.
He hit .296 vs. LH pitching this season, .287 vs. RH pitching. His on-base percentage is .378 vs. LH, .388 vs. RH. Slugging is dead-even, .506 vs. .506.
Against Lee in Game 1, Huff was 2 for 3 with a double and RBI.
In the postseason, Huff is 3 for 8 with two RBI against LH starters.
But Bochy goes with Buster Posey No. 3 (that’s fine; that’s where he should be); Cody Ross No. 4 (team leader in postseason HRs; fine) and then Juan Uribe.
Don’t look now, but Uribe is hitting. 140 this postseason. It’s just that every hit Uribe has this postseason has counted — his home run in Game 6 of the NLCS, his 3-run homer in Game 1 of the World Series, his dunker for an RBI single in Game 2.
So if Bochy is moving Huff out of the No. 3 hole, then put him in No. 5 spot with Uribe No. 6.
But most of Bochy’s moves have worked out this postseason, so we’ll see.
The other major difference between the MSH’s lineup and Bochy’s was Rowand in CF and Torres in RF.
I put Torres in center because he’s the better center fielder. All the numbers say so.
Range Factor favors Torres over Rowand 2.66-2.54. The league average for RF is .259.
Total Zone fielding runs above average (which basically counts the number of runs saved above or below the average CF) Torres wins again +7 to +2.
Torres has kept 42.9 pct of runners from taking an extra base. Rowand 39.2 pct.
Rowand does have an advantage is catchers thrown out at home in the postseason. Rowand threw out Carlos Ruiz in Game 4 of the NLCS. Torres could not throw out Bengie Molina on a sac fly in Game 1 of the Series.
Bottom line on why Bochy went with Rowand in CF. That’s where he’s comfortable. Rowand has not play anywhere but centerfield since 2004 when he was with the White Sox.
Torres played 84 games this year in CF, 43 in RF and 37 in LF.
ON FINAL STAT
A lot has been made about how good Cliff Lee has been this postseason. But all of his preview four postseason starts have come on the road — two in Tampa Bay, one in New York, one in San Francisco.
So how has Lee pitched in Arlington?
He’s 2-2 with a 3.12 ERA in seven starts.