Giants look to stay sharp after post-clinch rest

Giants look to stay sharp after post-clinch rest

Giants look to stay sharp after post-clinch rest
SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy gave his regulars an essential rest Sunday, seizing upon the timing of his club's clinching the National League West title Saturday night.

Combined with Monday's scheduled off-day, position players will get at least a two-day break. Bochy indicated that he'd use the regular lineup in Tuesday's series opener against Arizona as he tries to strike the proper balance between keeping players fresh and helping them stay sharp with the Division Series nearly two weeks away.

Bochy was well aware that Sunday's Fan Appreciation Day crowd at AT&T Park might be disappointed to see a Giants lineup filled with September callups and reserves.

"It's hard not to have the regulars in there, who the fans are accustomed to watching," Bochy said. "But we have some guys who need a break."

Bochy cited Angel Pagan, the center fielder and leadoff hitter who does everything at full speed, and second baseman Marco Scutaro, who's seemingly always on base, as two starters who particularly could use a rest.

Also high on Bochy's rest-and-relaxation list was catcher Buster Posey, who had played 27 consecutive games since missing games Aug. 22-23 with a tight right hamstring. Bochy said it was "50-50" whether Posey would play first base Sunday, and Posey emphatically expressed the need to stay active.

"It's important to keep the same focus ... of wanting to play the game hard," Posey said, pounding his left palm with his right fist for emphasis.

Bochy expressed mild concern about third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who tumbled over a railing to catch Yonder Alonso's fourth-inning popup Saturday.

"After that fall, he's probably a little beat up," Bochy said.

Bochy also cited shortstop Brandon Crawford, who experienced tightness in his right hamstring late in Saturday's game. But Crawford said Sunday that he felt fine.