SAN FRANCISCO -- As he did in the first round, manager Bruce Bochy is playing it coy when it comes to announcing starting pitchers, leaving Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito in the bullpen for the time being.

Madison Bumgarner will start Sunday's Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals and Ryan Vogelsong will take the ball in Monday's Game 2, but Bochy will wait before announcing anything further.

Matt Cain, who started twice in the NLDS, is a virtual lock to start Game 3. Lincecum and Zito are candidates to start Game 4 but both will be available out of the bullpen for the first two games.

"They're all available, Bochy said. "Timmy threw the ball great (against the Cincinnati Reds). Zito was a little bit off, but not bad. At this point, we're just going to wait until we get to St. Louis before we name those starters."

Lincecum twice came out of the bullpen in the first round and gave up just one earned run in 61/3 electric innings. Zito, who lasted just 22/3 innings in a Game 4 start, said he felt he would be better prepared the second time around.

"It was six years since I've been out there (in the postseason) so it was really good to get that under my belt," he said. "I was rushing a little. I've got that first one out of the way now."


Advertisement

Bochy and the coaching staff are still debating several other potential changes. It's possible the Giants will cut their postseason staff from 12 pitchers to 11, and they also could replace struggling right-hander Guillermo Mota with either Clay Hensley or Jean Machi, both of whom have been traveling with the team. Outfielder Francisco Peguero and catcher Eli Whiteside are also options for the NLCS roster.

  • Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt threw a bullpen session and said he felt good. Affeldt jammed his hand on a fluke incident late in Game 5 of the NLDS. He was standing on the top step when a foul ball was lined into the dugout, sending Affeldt stumbling down a flight of stairs.

    Asked if he would be ready for Game 1 against the St. Louis Cardinals, Affeldt said, "Yes, I'll be great."

    Bochy wasn't worried about Affeldt's hand, which was lightly wrapped as he left the park Saturday. He joked about the pitcher's penchant for weird injuries, including a 2011 self-stabbing while trying to separate frozen burger patties.

    "He'll be back to normal," Bochy said, "But he still has to go home and cook, so..."

  • The Giants thought they had the perfect game plan late Friday night as the Cardinals and Washington Nationals played for the second NLCS spot. The Giants left a Cincinnati hotel when the game was in the seventh inning and were all set to head to Washington, but a miracle comeback by the Cardinals sent the Giants, who watched on iPads while sitting on the tarmac, back to San Francisco.

    The Giants were happy to go home, but the enthusiasm waned when the flight was delayed as fuel was added to account for the new itinerary. The flight was delayed a second time because of a hydraulics problem. The Giants intended to arrive home by 2 a.m. but instead landed after 5 a.m. Several players didn't get to bed until 7:30 a.m.

    "It was miserable," Theriot said. "Probably the worst flight I've had."

    Most players passed the time by watching movies or trying to sneak in a few minutes of sleep. Theriot said he unsuccessfully tried to get a card game going.

    The double-delay meant many of the Giants got home at the same time that the Cardinals, who had played and then boisterously celebrated in Washington D.C., checked into their San Francisco hotel.

    "I think the guys got it all out of their system in Washington," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "But there were still people smiling as we got off the plane, even at six in the morning."

  • After serving a 50-game suspension for use of a banned substance, Melky Cabrera was added to the 40-man roster on Friday when MLB reinstated him. But Bochy said the club never further discussed a September decision to keep Cabrera off the postseason roster.

    "We've crossed that bridge," Bochy said.

    Staff writer Carl Steward contributed to this report.