Notes: Giants excited to get Hawkins

Notes: Giants excited to get Hawkins

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mike Matheny has another pitcher to get to know, but it's become old hat for the veteran catcher.

When LaTroy Hawkins arrives in San Francisco on Sunday, he'll become the 15th pitcher to wear a Giants uniform this season. Unlike the other 14, who had an opportunity to work with Matheny and backup catcher Yorvit Torrealba in Spring Training, Hawkins comes from a different organization and has yet to work with the Giants' catchers.

"We'll talk about how he likes to pitch and I'll let him do his thing," Matheny said Saturday. "Hopefully, I'm someone he does trust. That comes with experience and opportunity. I'll learn how he pitches. I've faced him enough to know he's got good stuff."

Hawkins, whom the Giants acquired from the Chicago Cubs for pitchers Jerome Williams and David Aardsma on Saturday, is a welcome addition for the Giants.

"You get someone who has experience, and we're trying to get better, so this is a good thing," Matheny said. "You're always going to have good guys leave whom you've gotten to know and have been part of the team. That's the nature of the game and you roll with it. You hope for the best for them. Sometimes it can be the best thing for them."

Giants manager Felipe Alou said he didn't like the idea of losing two young pitchers but that it was necessary for the team to remain in contention in the National League West.

"We let go a couple of promising guys but we are having problems today, now," Alou said. "I believe the message is we don't want to let this thing go down the drain."

Giants outfielder Moises Alou, a former teammate of Hawkins, also felt it was a good move.

"I was happy when I heard about it," said Alou. "He's a nice guy and he needed a change of scenery. I know he's going to help."

The dynamics of the bullpen will likely change, but that doesn't bother relief pitcher Jim Brower, who appeared in a franchise-record 89 games last year.

"LaTroy is a known commodity," Brower said. "There isn't any guesswork there. When you bring in a quality pitcher, it's a good thing."

Batting trends: Giants outfielder Michael Tucker has three hits in his last four at-bats against Adam Eaton, the Padres' scheduled starter on Sunday. That's after getting one hit in his first seven tries against Eaton.

   Michael Tucker  /   RF
Born: 06/25/71
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 195 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: R

"You don't know what a pitcher throws and/or what he's like; it's a coin toss," Tucker said. "You always have to make adjustments. You get a better idea of what he's trying to do to get you out. That doesn't necessarily mean you're going to hit it. It's true for everybody."

Moises Alou and Ray Durham have also seemed to learn from their past failures against Eaton. Alou had two hits in 11 at-bats against the right-hander but has four hits -- including two home runs -- and a walk in his past six at-bats.

Durham has two doubles, a triple and a home run in his last eight at-bats against Eaton after two singles in his first eight at-bats.

Alou preferred not to discuss his recent success against Eaton since he'll be facing him Sunday.

Good grief! Snoopy climbed down from his doghouse and was joined by Charlie Brown as the Giants presented "It's Your Town, Charlie Brown" Day at SBC Park on Saturday.

The Giants joined the city of Santa Rosa in paying tribute to "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz. The streets and public places of Santa Rosa, where Schulz was living when he passed away, feature 55 Charlie Brown statues, including a Giants-themed one.

The statues will be auctioned off in September to raise money for scholarships for local high school students pursuing a career in the arts. The Giants-themed Charlie Brown was signed by Giants team members and was exhibited at the park.

It's the first time the Schulz family has allowed Charlie Brown to wear a professional sports team jersey over his classic zig-zag shirt because Charles Schulz was a lifelong Giants fan.

Charlie Brown and Snoopy joined Lou Seal in mingling with the fans during the game.

Short hops: The San Francisco and San Jose Giants Booster Club is honoring former Giants standout Jim Davenport at Lou's Village in San Jose on Sunday, June 26. For information contact Ron Castro at 408-364-0701. ... The wife (Susan) and daughter (Carrie) of Roy Hallums, who has been held hostage in Iraq since last November, were recognized by the Giants during the game. ... Giants closer Armando Benitez threw on the field for the first time, using a cart to keep all weight off his strained right hamstring. Benitez continues to maintain his arm strength and motion as he rehabs from the injury. ... Overheard on CalTrain after Friday night's loss: "From April to September, when the Giants win, everything is fine, and if they lose, they have a chance to win tomorrow." ... Sunday's matchup at Triple-A Fresno features Giants top pitching prospect Matt Cain, 20, against the Seattle Mariners' top prospect, 19-year-old Felix Hernandez.

On deck: Jason Schmidt makes his second start since returning from the disabled list Sunday. He'll be opposed by San Diego's Eaton in a matchup of pitchers who have won 10 of their 12 combined decisions. He struck out seven in five innings and beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.