Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted that leaving Zito off the roster for the World Series was tougher than bypassing him for the NLDS against Atlanta and the NLCS against Philadelphia.
"He's a big reason why we're here," Bochy said, adding that making relievers Chris Ray and Dan Runzler inactive was also difficult.
The fact is, in the eighth inning of Game 6 of the NLCS on Saturday in Philadelphia -- with right-handers Mota, Santiago Casilla and Ramon Ramirez available -- Bochy went to Tim Lincecum as his setup man on one day's rest after the right-hander's Game 5 start. Lincecum pitched to three batters and allowed a pair of singles before Brian Wilson came in to close the series and 3-2 win with a five-out save.
Lincecum is scheduled to start Game 1 of the World Series against Rangers left-hander Cliff Lee, who is 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA over the past two postseasons, including 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA this year. Lee went 2-0 against the Yankees as a member of the Phillies in last year's World Series.
Lincecum said on Tuesday that his Game 6 relief appearance, which occurred on his regular throwing day, didn't change his preparations for Wednesday's start.
"I don't think it threw me off or anything -- I'm still ready to go," Lincecum said. "It's nothing. As far as getting in there, it was pretty exciting. I rarely get into games out of the bullpen. It was fun and nerve-wracking."
And it begs the question: If Bochy was not prepared to use Mota in that situation, why continue to have him on the roster? Mota has pitched only five times since Sept. 17.
"He didn't pitch his way off [the roster]," Bochy said. "I just decided to stay with the same roster, because it's worked."
Zito, who hasn't pitched since Oct. 2, threw to batters on Tuesday as Bochy looked on intently.
Zito was 9-14 with a 4.15 ERA in 33 starts, but his effectiveness severely curtailed toward the end of the regular season, with the Giants losing nine of his final 10 starts. That's why Zito was left off the roster for the first two rounds.
As far as a designated hitter for the middle three games of the series, to be played in Arlington, Bochy said he had yet to make a determination but had a wide variety of choices.
"Pat Burrell is going to be mentioned," Bochy said. "I don't have a DH set, but he [served in that role] with Tampa Bay. Pablo Sandoval is an option. Another option would be Aubrey Huff, who's done some DHing. That would allow me to put another left-handed bat in there if I went with Travis Ishikawa [at first base]. So these are the things we're talking about."
Huff is the regular first baseman, and Burrell starts in left field. Sandoval, a third baseman, has played sparingly since the second game of the NLDS against the Braves.