SAN FRANCISCO -- With the playoffs now in full swing, it's only fitting the Giants' most valuable article of clothing gets its just due on the national stage.Welcome to the big show, Aubrey Huff's rally thong. Since Aug. 30, the Giants first baseman has worn a red thong in hopes of rallying San Francisco to its first postseason appearance in seven years. When Huff first graced the clubhouse with his thong's presence, the Giants were 72-59 and six games behind first-place San Diego in the National League West. Huff predicted the Giants would go 20-10 with the rally thong and, wouldn't you know it, that's exactly how they finished the season en route to being crowned division champs. After a run like that, Huff's thong isn't going anywhere. "It's just something to kind of loosen the guys up when it started, and it turned out to be kind of a nice run," Huff said before Friday's Game 2. "I couldn't stop and I'm wearing it right now, if you're interested. Kinda get used to it. You know what I'm saying?"
Posey, Sanchez injuries aren't fractures
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants got some relief late Friday night upon learning that X-rays catcher Buster Posey (ribs) and second baseman Freddy Sanchez (right hand) underwent for their respective injuries were negative, showing no fractures.The playing status for both Giants remained unknown. San Francisco and Atlanta have Saturday off before resuming their National League Division Series on Sunday at Turner Field. Posey said that he bruised his ribs when he collided with third baseman Pablo Sandoval in pursuit of Jason Heyward's foul ball during the first inning of San Francisco's 5-4, 11-inning loss in Game 2 of the series. Sanchez was hit in the right hand by a Kyle Farnsworth pitch during the 10th inning, though he remained in the game.
Giants sticking with consistent lineup
SAN FRANCISCO -- After using 126 different lineups during the regular season, Giants manager Bruce Bochy apparently has settled on a regular contingent for the National League Division Series against Atlanta.For Friday's Game 2, Bochy used the group that he sent out in Thursday's 1-0 series-opening victory over the Braves.
"It's pretty much the lineup that we'll be going with," Bochy said before the game. "That's what we decided before the series."The Giants will face only right-handed starting pitchers against the Braves, making Bochy more likely to stick with the same bunch each game. Bochy welcomed being spared from the preoccupation of settling on a batting order and selecting players for various positions. "It probably makes it a little bit easier when you know pretty much what your lineup's going to be," Bochy said. "We still discuss our options. But ... it takes away that distraction from some other things that you may be thinking about. Coming in today, I knew that was my lineup and I was able to focus on some other things."
Sanchez's shoulder holding up
SAN FRANCISCO -- As long as Freddy Sanchez's right shoulder allows him to turn a double play, he'll be the Giants' starting second baseman, skipper Bruce Bochy said Friday.Sanchez, who has dealt with a strained right rotator cuff the past couple of weeks, once again was in the Giants' starting lineup for Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Braves. As Sanchez's sore shoulder has given him trouble, the Giants have been careful with the 32-year-old second baseman. In five of the Giants' final seven regular-season games, Sanchez was lifted in the later innings for a defensive replacement. Although Sanchez's shoulder didn't hurt his hitting -- batting .371 in his final 31 games -- it did affect his throwing arm, and he was visibly lobbing throws in a late September series against the Rockies. Bochy said he checked on Sanchez prior to Game 1 and would do the same Friday. "We'll check on him today and see if it's staying the same, improving, whatever," Bochy said. "But if he's able to turn two, he's going to stay out there unless his shoulder flares up on him."
Giants bullpen ready for action
SAN FRANCISCO -- As Tim Lincecum threw one of the most memorable postseason debuts in baseball history Thursday, the seven Giants relievers watched from the dugout knowing their chances of entering Game 1 of the National League Division Series were slim.In fact, only three pitchers -- left-hander Javier Lopez, setup man Sergio Romo and closer Brian Wilson (twice) -- even warmed up in the Giants bullpen. That's fine for the relievers because, as Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, "they'd just assume stay out of the game when you have a game like Timmy threw last night." One cautionary item for San Francisco as it heads into Friday's Game 2 is the fact that its relievers have not thrown in a game situation since Sunday's win over San Diego. However, Bochy said he isn't concerned that rust will affect a 'pen that had the second-lowest ERA (2.99) in the NL in the regular season and also allowed only 23.7 percent of inherited runners to cross home plate. "They've done a great job, and both teams have real nice bullpens and if we need them, they're ready," Bochy said. "They've been doing some work on the side to stay ready. It's been a few days for them, but we're fresh in the 'pen, have a day off tomorrow, so I can use all of them and maybe even extend them more than I normally do."