Huff Daddy and the DH
OK, trivia time!
In the Giants’ previous two trips to the World Series in which a DH was used, what four players did the Giants use in the DH spot?
While you stew on that, how about the Giants’ DH on Sunday. Aubrey Huff came threw with a huge two-run home run in the third inning that gave the Giants the early 2-0 lead.
Huff led the Giants with 26 home runs. But it seemed like a long time since Huff Daddy went deep. And it was — Sept. 25 at Colorado.
But Huff has been contributing this postseason in little ways.
In the NLDS and NLCS, Huff was 10 for 39 (.256) — all singles. But he did knock in four runs and score four runs.
In the first three games of the World Series, Huff was 4 for 10 with two doubles, two runs and two RBI. On Sunday, he finally went deep, rocketing Tommy Hunter’s first pitch to him in the third for a two-run shot down the right-field line.
It was the first home run by a starting National League DH in the World Series since 2002. Do you remember who that was?
“And he told me about it, too,” Huff told MLB Network Matt Yallof. Dunston is now a bench coach for the Giants.
Well, Aubrey can tell Dunston that the Giants won the game when Huff went deep as a DH. (If you don’t remember which game Dunston hit his home run in 2002, we won’t remind you).
It’s great the Giants had an experienced DH to put in that spot Sunday. It’s nice to have some experienced hitters to go to as potential DH. In the Giants’ previous trips to the Series, the question was “Who do we have to DH?”
OK, trivia answer time. In 1989, the Giants used Ernest Riles as DH in Games 1 and 2 in Oakland. In 2002, they used Tsuyoshi Shinjo (remember him?), Dunston and Pedro Feliz as DH. All three of those players batted in the No. 9 spot at the DH.
So even though Pablo Sandoval didn’t do anything as DH in Game 3, he was at least a better option than what the Giants had in 2002
So who is the DH Monday against lefty Cliff Lee?
Well if it’s our call, it’s Pat Burrell.
Bruce Bochy said Burrell would be back in the lineup in Game 5 after sitting Sunday. But does that mean he’s in left field?
Burrell said he doesn’t like to DH and struggled in the spot with the Rays. But he’s been struggling at the plate in this series while playing left field. So I don’t know what the Giants are risking with Burrell as a DH. He needs to focus on his hitting. That’s why he’s in the lineup. And Cody Ross made some great defensive plays in left field in Game 4 that were huge.
Bochy went with the defensive alignment behind Madison Bumgarner in Game 4. He should keep that same mindset in Game 5.
Besides, what are the other options? Bochy started only one lefty in Game 1 against Lee — Huff, who went 2 for 3. So the other two RH options to DH would be Aaron Rowand, who would likely get the start in the OF if Burrell is the DH, or Pablo Sandoval.
Sandoval hit .227 with 1 HR as a right-handed batter. Rowand hit .211 with 4 homers against lefties this season.
I like the idea of Rowand in left, hitting in No. 9 hole, than Burrell in left and Sandoval at DH.
So here’s my lineup for Game 5:
CF Andres Torres
2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Aubrey Huff
C Buster Posey
RF Cody Ross
DH Pat Burrell
3B Juan Uribe
SS Edgar Renteria
LF Aaron Rowand