Bay Area Baseball

Follow the latest news and notes on the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics

April 9, 2013
Bochy on Lincecum-Sanchez pairing, plus Romo on sharp start

SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey gets his first day off of the season tonight with Tim Lincecum starting, so manager Bruce Bochy knew what direction his pre-game media session was headed. With the Giants playing a day game tomorrow, Bochy said Posey was going to get either tonight or tomorrow off, and with the Giants facing a left-hander tomorrow it made more sense for Posey to rest tonight.

"It's just the way it falls this time," Bochy said.

That said, Bochy did not rule out a scenario down the road where Hector Sanchez could become Lincecum's regular catcher, if the two develop chemistry. Sanchez often caught Lincecum's starts last year -- leading to the speculation of a Lincecum-Posey rift that all parties involved have spent plenty of time refuting -- and has been behind the plate for both Lincecum starts this season.

What Bochy would want to avoid is being locked in to taking either Posey or Brandon Belt -- if Posey started at first base -- out of the lineup on days Lincecum starts.

"But I don't think there's anything wrong with your regular catcher getting a day off and your backup catches the same guy every time," Bochy said. "There's a sense of comfort for both of them. But we'll see how the games fall."

Lincecum's first start against the Dodgers was also Sanchez's first of the season, and Bochy acknowledged that Sanchez "struggled at times" receiving Lincecum's pitches. "Timmy's not easy to catch sometimes, the ball moves so much," Bochy said. Lincecum walked seven in the game but didn't allow an earned run in five innings.

* Bochy said he's looking at Thursday, the first game of the Giants' four-game series in Chicago, to give Marco Scutaro a day off. Scutaro is 3-for-27 this season and has been getting treatment for his back, but Bochy said he talked with Scutaro and the second baseman is "good to go." Nick Noonan would be in line for his first career start.

* Talked briefly with Sergio Romo this afternoon about whether he feels any sharper than normal to begin this season than in years past. Romo is 4-for-4 in save chances and has allowed just one of the 13 hitters he has faced to reach base. That was a leadoff double in the ninth last night, and Romo responded by striking out the next three batters in order.

"I mean, no," he said. "I just think right now things have just kind of gone our way. Buster and I have had some pretty good approaches to the hitters that we've faced. We've worked them well. So I feel good, knock on wood.

"I just think with the shorter offseason and playing in the WBC, maybe you could say I'm a little bit more prepared than I would be at this moment. But I typically feel good at the beginning of the year anyway, so all in all, I'm just glad to be doing well."

Romo has converted his last 13 save opportunities since taking over the closer role late last season. Still, it's his first time starting out a season in the full-time role, and he said getting off to a good start has been important.

"I know it's not how you start, it's how you finish," he said. "But it's still good to get going on the right foot, to get some confidence going, to get some momentum, to get in a good rhythm. So I think it is huge for me to get going on the right foot so hopefully I can get into a rhythm for these guys, for my teammates. They're going to count on me to play a pretty big role this year, so I think it is important for me to get going early."

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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