ST. LOUIS – Giants manager Bruce Bochy expects Marco Scutaro to be on his lineup card for Game 3 of the NL championship series tonight, 2 days after St. Louis slugger Matt Holliday plowed into the San Francisco second baseman.
“I think so. It feels much better,” Scutaro said of his sore left leg after participating in a workout at Busch Stadium on Tuesday. “I thought it was going to be worse. Normally, the next day is when you feel it the most.”
Neither seemed too interested in any talk of retaliation when the best-of-seven series resumes at Busch Stadium today, with the Giants and Cardinals tied at one game apiece.
“What’s on our mind is to go out and play our best ball,” Bochy said. “That’s over. You have to move on.”
Scutaro said a shutout from Matt Cain would be perfect, and knew nothing about get-even plans. If Holliday approached him before the game, he joked that the Cardinals slugger would be in for a fight.
The recollection of the play was vivid.
“All of a sudden, I just saw this train coming,” he said. “I didn’t have time to do pretty much anything. I don’t even know how I threw the ball to first, but I think I did, huh?”
He added that if Holliday had slid any farther, “probably you’re going to make it to shortstop.”
Results of an MRI exam Tuesday morning showed Scutaro has a strained left hip after Holliday’s late slide while breaking up a double play during Monday’s game 2. Bochy said Scutaro also had a sore left knee, and the manager had planned on holding him out of practice after the team flight arrived from the West Coast.
“We’re being hopeful he can go,” Bochy said. “I will say he’s more optimistic about where he’s at right now than when it first happened.”
Cain, who will face fellow 16-game winner Kyle Lohse, said little about any possible animosity. Cain added that he wouldn’t be afraid to throw inside against Holliday.
“You’ve got to go out there and pitch your game,” Cain said. “If something gets away from me inside, that’s kind of part of the game. You can’t have a fear of doing that.”
Bochy reiterated his opinion that Holliday had made an “illegal slide,” but said he hadn’t talked with St. Louis manager Mike Matheny or anyone else on the Cardinals.
“I don’t think there was intent, to be honest, hurting somebody,” Bochy said. “But it was late. Marco was behind the bag, he really didn’t hit dirt until he got behind the base.
“And the second baseman, he’s in a position there where there can be some damage done, as we saw. He came out of this plenty good considering how hard he got hit.”
The 36-year-old Scutaro was an unexpected find for the Giants, batting .362 with 40 runs and 44 RBIs in 61 games after being acquired in late July from the Rockies for a minor league infielder. He’s batting .250 with three RBIs in the playoffs, but has stepped it up in the NLCS, going 4 for 8 with two RBIs.
“He’s driven in a lot of two-out runs and gotten rallies going for us as well,” Cain said. “He’s been really, really big for us.”
NLCS Game 3
Giants (Matt Cain 16-5) at Cardinals (Kyle Lohse 16-3)
When: 4:07 p.m. today
Where: Busch Stadium