Four-year-old game guided Bochy's rain plan

Four-year-old game guided Bochy's rain plan

Four-year-old game guided Bochy's rain plan
ST. LOUIS -- History taught Giants manager Bruce Bochy to pay extra attention to Wednesday's weather, which threatened the scheduled start of Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.

The possibility of a rain delay or cancellation made Bochy aware not to overthink his pitching plans. The Giants fervently wanted Game 3 to be played as scheduled, since it would enable right-hander Matt Cain to return in Monday's Game 7, if necessary, on his usual four days' rest. They got their wish, at least initially, as Game 3 started on time.

The threat of bad weather might force some managers to use a different starter to avoid wasting an ace pitcher in case the game would be called after a few innings. But, Bochy declared, "It's nature and it's unpredictable as to what's going to happen. So Matt will start the game if we start this game."

Bochy learned his lesson on April 2, 2008, at Los Angeles. The Giants and Dodgers were informed that they'd be able to play about two innings before storms would drench Dodger Stadium. So the Giants scratched Tim Lincecum and the Dodgers did the same with Chad Billingsley.

But the anticipated rainfall didn't halt play until the top of the fifth. Each team had used three pitchers by then. Lincecum entered the game in the fourth inning and, with Bochy defying convention, resumed pitching after a one-hour, 14-minute delay. Lincecum ultimately worked four innings in San Francisco's 2-1 victory.

The memory remained fresh in Bochy's mind as Wednesday's scheduled starting time approached.

"You kick yourself for not doing what you originally were going to do -- start Timmy," he said.