SAN FRANCISCO -- Maybe it's a farewell; maybe it's not. Either way, Giants left fielder Pat Burrell will start against the Colorado Rockies in Wednesday's season finale. Still bothered by the strained right foot that limited him to 90 games entering Tuesday, Burrell has started just twice since being reinstated from the disabled list on Aug. 31. But the 12-year veteran, whose baseball future is uncertain, asked manager Bruce Bochy for one more chance to get on the field. "I don't know what's going to happen after this year," Burrell said. "Obviously, if there was something at stake, like the playoffs, I wouldn't ask. Now that we're kind of out of it, I politicked my way into it. ... I just want to play. My foot's not really better, but it's one game. I appreciate the chance."
The Giants have missed Burrell probably more than most observers realize. He hit .266 with 18 home runs, 51 RBIs and a .872 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) in 96 games for San Francisco last year, compared with this season's .229, seven homers, 21 RBIs and a .761 OPS -- a still-creditable figure, given his injury and sporadic activity. The Giants owned a .670 team OPS entering Tuesday. Bochy acknowledged that Burrell has left a void in the offense. "It changed us when we brought Buster [Posey] and Pat up, with their presence and discipline," Bochy said. "It made us a better offensive team." Bochy also cited Burrell's knack for drawing walks and working deep counts.
"That type of stuff gets contagious," Bochy said.