ESPN.com - MLB Playoffs 2002 - Shinjo to DH for Giants in Game 1
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Saturday, October 19
 
Shinjo to DH for Giants in Game 1

By David Schoenfield
ESPN.com

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Giants manager Dusty Baker has selected his designated hitter for Game 1 and, no, it's not Willie McCovey.

Tsuyoshi Shinjo will DH and bat ninth. Reggie Sanders, who suffered through a terrible NLCS and was benched for Game 5, will return to right field and hit sixth, behind Benito Santiago.

Shinjo is regarded as a good fastball hitter and Angels' starter Jarrod Washburn throws a high percentage of fastballs. Shinjo also hit .291 vs. left-handers, compared to his .214 average vs. right-handers during the regular season. More interesting is Baker's decision not to play Shinjo in center field. He is a superior defender to Kenny Lofton, who misplayed two flyballs in the NLCS.

"I thought about doing that vice versa," Baker said prior to Game 1. "I talked to Kenny about it. His years of being in the American League, he's more familiar with this ballpark, number one, defensively. Number two, he feels more comfortable playing and staying in the game playing (the field) than he does DHing."

With Kevin Appier, a right-hander, going in Game 2 for the Angels, Shinjo will likely return to the bench. Baker will have to find a DH for his Game 2 starter, Russ Ortiz, who hit .246 with seven extra-base hits (including two home runs) in 69 at-bats this season. In fact, with a .299 on-base percentage and a .406 slugging percentage, Ortiz had a .705 OPS. Compare that to the Giants' bench:

Yorvit Torrealba  .752
Ramon Martinez    .749
Russ Ortiz        .705
Tsuyoshi Shinjo   .662
Tom Goodwin       .659
Pedro Feliz       .617
Shawon Dunston    .536

Torrealba, the backup catcher, has yet to appear in the postseason, while Martinez has had only two plate appearances. The Giants have also left Damon Minor (.333 OBP, .445 slugging) off the roster for all three rounds of the playoffs.

Game 1 lineups
San Francisco
Kenny Lofton, CF
Rich Aurilia, SS
Jeff Kent, 2B
Barry Bonds, LF
Benito Santiago, C
Reggie Sanders, RF
J.T. Snow, 1B
David Bell, 3B
Tsuyoshi Shinjo, DH

Anaheim
David Eckstein, SS
Darin Erstad, CF
Tim Salmon, RF
Garret Anderson, LF
Troy Glaus, 3B
Brad Fullmer, DH
Scott Spiezio, 1B
Bengie Molina, C
Adam Kennedy, 2B

Roster decisions
The Giants are going with 11 pitchers on their roster, including three left-handed relievers. The Angels have 10 pitchers.

"We decided to stick with the three left-handed relievers because they have quite a few left-handers on their roster and in their starting lineup," Baker said.

Baker said the final roster decisions came down to picking guys who could do more than one thing, such as pinch-hit, pinch-run and play defense. That's where Minor drew the short straw. "We had some tough decisions there ... Damon Minor had a good record DHing. But we do play three games in our park, too."

This and that

  • Angels manager Mike Scioscia issued only 17 intentional walks all year, the fewest in the AL, so the Angels may go after Barry Bonds. If they do walk him, it will be up to Benito Santiago to produce, and in this postseason Santiago is 5-for-12 with a double, two homers and seven RBI following walks to Bonds.

  • Baker and Scioscia become the fifth pair of World Series managers who were teammates (they played together for the Dodgers from 1980-83). Others: Boston's Jimmy Collins and Pittsburgh's Fred Clarke in 1903 (played together with Louisville, 1895); the Yankees' Miller Huggins and Cardinals' Rogers Hornsby in 1926 (teammates on 1915 Cardinals); Toronto's Cito Gaston and Philadelphia's Jim Fregosi in 1993 (teammates on '78 Pirates); and Joe Torre and Bobby Valentine in 2000 (played together on '77 Mets).

  • Rich Aurilia has 12 postseason RBI for the Giants, a playoff record for shortstops. With a big World Series, he can catch the overall record. Sandy Alomar had 19 RBI for Cleveland in 1997.

  • The Angels and Giants both led their leagues in run differential (the Angels were +136 and the Giants were +99). The last time that happened in the World Series was 1989, when the A's swept the Giants.

    David Schoenfield is the baseball editor at ESPN.com.





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