LOS ANGELES -- Nate Schierholtz has decided to take a sensible approach to his plate appearances when he receives a start in right field. He'll pretend that he's pinch-hitting. In Schierholtz's case, why not? He began Tuesday batting .429 (6-for-14) as a pinch-hitter, the second-highest average in the Major Leagues.
Usually, a player in the lineup will take pitches and try to work the count. A pinch-hitter often can't afford to do that, because he's typically facing a reliever who possesses a devastating out pitch. "When you haven't played in a while, you need to jump on the first good pitch you see and be aggressive," Schierholtz said. "I've taken both approaches in my starts and I figure that being aggressive is better than falling in the hole two strikes every at-bat." This strategy worked Monday night for Schierholtz, whose two-run, fourth-inning homer broke a 2-2 tie and provided the standup runs in the Giants' 5-2 triumph over Los Angeles. "I kind of tried to separate every at-bat, because you can't plan on having four more at-bats the next day, necessarily," said Schierholtz, who has started 37 games yet entered Tuesday having appeared in all but 12 of San Francisco's games.