Bay Area Baseball

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

May 7, 2013
Machi optioned having made an impression, Mijares available

SAN FRANCISCO -- After a few days of keeping the possibility open, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said there ultimately wasn't much debate over whether to keep 13 pitchers with Jose Mijares coming off the bereavement list. By optioning Jean Machi to Fresno, the Giants keep a five-man bench and don't lose Francisco Peguero, who gives them another right-handed bat in the outfield and capable pinch runner.

"It was discussed, but right now it makes sense to go this way," Bochy said. "We always have the ability if we think we're in a box and we need another arm, we can make that move at another time."

Bochy said Machi made a strong impression with a 1.74 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings. There simply wasn't room in the pen with Mijares coming back as another left-handed option, which Bochy said he explained to Machi. For now, Machi will be a bus ride or short flight away if needed.

"It's nice to have a guy down there we know can pitch here, gives us that confidence to call him up anytime," Bochy said. "He did well for himself."

Bochy said he doesn't think Mijares threw much while away from the team but Mijares is available tonight against the Phillies. Mijares played catch today and Bochy said he could throw a "touch-and-feel" bullpen around 60 percent if needed.

* Stuck in a 2-for-32 slump, Brandon Crawford is bumped down to eighth in the Giants' lineup today behind Brandon Belt. Bochy, though, said he hasn't felt the need to talk with Crawford about staying positive at the plate.

"He's had some hard-hit balls," Bochy said. "He really hasn't changed anything, and he has faced some tough left-handers. ... Brandon's going to be fine. With what he went through last year, the way he handled it, I don't have any concern with Brandon."

Crawford was hitting .219 at the end of May last year but came around in the second half, batting .285 from August 1 through the end of the regular season.

* An interesting note from last night's game -- the Giants in their 6-2 loss became just the third team in the majors this season to leave no runners on base. Of the five runners who reached against Cliff Lee, two scored -- Hunter Pence both times -- and three were erased on double plays. The Giants last stranded no runners in a game on Sept. 27, 2008 against the Dodgers.

* Lee's start against the Giants lowered his ERA since last Aug. 14 to 2.39. Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick, who gets the start tonight against the Giants, has been nearly as good. Kendrick's 2.43 ERA in 16 starts since that date is fifth-lowest among National League starters. The Giants are already familiar with the guy who owns the lowest -- Clayton Kershaw (1.66).

-- 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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