If World Series goes to Game 7, Giants could have pitching problem

By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 31, 2010; 10:31 PM

ARLINGTON, TEX. - Should the World Series reach a decisive Game 7 for the first time in eight years, the San Francisco Giants could find themselves scrambling for a starting pitcher. Here are their options:

l LHP Jonathan Sanchez. After starting and losing Saturday night's Game 3, he is lined up to start Game 7. However, his velocity was noticeably diminished Saturday, and Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti admitted afterward that the team was concerned about fatigue and would have to consider other alternatives for Game 7. It seems doubtful the Giants would use Sanchez, when the risks - to both their title hopes and his health - are so great.

l RHP Tim Lincecum. Lincecum, who will start Monday night in Game 5, would be on only two days' rest in Game 7 on Thursday, and thus would only be available for a handful of innings, if at all.

l LHP Madison Bumgarner. He was the Giants' Game 4 starter on Sunday night, and would be on three days' rest for Game 7. But he is a rookie with a career-high workload this season, and the Giants would hope to avoid using him on short rest in Game 7.

l LHP Barry Zito. Zito was left off the Giants' roster all postseason, and thus hasn't pitched in a game in nearly a month. Nonetheless, he has been traveling and working out with the team. To add him to their roster as a replacement, the Giants would have to convince Major League Baseball they have a legitimate injury to another player.

"We haven't even discussed that," Manager Bruce Bochy said when asked about the possibility of an injury-replacement move.

l LHP Jeremy Affeldt/RHP Guillermo Mota. This would be the classic "bullpen game," where you try to coax two or three serviceable innings from a handful of relievers and hope for the best. It is also the option that makes the most sense, with Lincecum and Bumgarner joining the regular relievers in the bullpen.

Lee eager for redemption

Rangers ace Cliff Lee said he is eager for a shot at redemption in Monday night's Game 5, after suffering the first postseason defeat of his career in Game 1.

"In the regular season, usually when you have a bad outing, your next outing is going to be against someone else," Lee said. "This time I get a chance to redeem myself against the team that actually put it to me pretty good last time. I'm looking forward to it."

Giants mix things up

Bochy's Game 4 lineup featured some drastic changes, with left fielder Pat Burrell (0 for 9 with eight strikeouts in the series) benched, Aubrey Huff at designated hitter and Travis Ishikawa (first base) and right fielder Nate Schierholtz (right field) making their first starts of the postseason.

"It's pretty much what we've been doing all year," Bochy said. "If somebody is not quite seeing the ball as well, we give them a break." ...

Rangers right-hander Alexi Ogando left Game 4 in the sixth inning with a strained oblique muscle. By rule, the Rangers can replace him on their roster for the remaining games.

Ratings hit rock bottom

Game 3 drew the second-lowest television ratings of any World Series game in history, according to the Associated Press, registering just a 6.7 rating and beating out only Game 3 of the 2008 Phillies-Rays series, which began after 10 p.m. because of a rain delay and drew a 6.1.

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